History Department celebrating scholarly research and community engagement

By Costa Maragos Posted: December 4, 2017 10:00 a.m.

More than a book launch. The Department of History is highlighting the community of scholars and students active in the study of history.
More than a book launch. The Department of History is highlighting the community of scholars and students active in the study of history. Photo courtesy of the History Department

The Department of History has plenty of reasons to celebrate.  
 
The research of the department’s faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students is in great demand these days from book publishers, research journals, prestigious history magazines, and the mainstream media.
 
The Department is celebrating its successes by hosting a special event - Book Launch and a Celebration of Research on December 5 at 4:00 p.m. at Room 349 of the Administration Humanities Building.

The event celebrates new book releases by Dr. Raymond Blake, Professor and Head of the History Department, Dr. John Meehan, Professor and President of Campion College, and Dr. Katrina Ackerman, post-doctoral scholar.

However, this is more than a book launch.
 
“The purpose of this event is to highlight the community of scholars and students active in the study of history,” says Blake. “Although we often think of the accomplishments of individuals, we collaborate and support each other.
 
Blake has written or edited 19 books.

Raymond Blake
“We want to celebrate our students and our colleagues and we hope to do this for years to come" - Dr. Raymond Blake.

His latest books, published by U of T, Press are Conflict & Compromise. Post-Confederation Canada; Conflict & Compromise. Pre-Confederation Canada and Celebrating Canada. Volume 1. Holidays, National Days and the Crafting of Identities.

Meehan has co-edited Conscience of a Nation: A History of Jesuits in English Canada: 1982-2016.

Ackerman is the co-editor of Transcending Borders: Abortion in the Past and Present.

“In most history departments, the book is the gold standard. Yet there are some areas where articles and other forms of publications matter more,” says Blake. “Our goal is to generate insights into historical questions and refine historical thought so that new knowledge and new ideas may inform and enlighten our students, the historical communities and the public.”

The History Department is making an impact in the community.

Faculty members and graduate students regularly hold events on and off campus commemorating significant historical events. Recent examples include the Canada 150 Lecture Series and a variety of events at the Regina Public Library dealing with Canada’s wartime experience.

That community outreach also includes interviews with reporters.
 
“Often you will see our colleagues in magazines, op-eds, and in the media. We are frequently on TV, the radio, and quoted in newspaper stories,” says Blake. “We often help journalists figure out their stories. Sometimes we’re mentioned and sometimes we provide background. So we contribute in many different ways.”

When Maclean’s Magazine recently required context on a story on the fall of Canada’s department stores, the reporter turned to Dr. Donica Belisle, Assistant Professor and author of Retail Nation – Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada.

“Getting out there is one of the things we try to do as a community of scholars that includes realizing there is a world beyond our academic life and people are indeed interested in history and interested in what we do,” says Blake.

The event December 5 is open to the public.

“We want to celebrate our students and our colleagues and we hope to do this for years to come,” says Blake.

Event:    Book Launch and Celebration of Research
Host:      Department of History
Date:      Tuesday, December 5
Time:      4:00 p.m.
Location: AdHum Building – Room 349

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