Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Canadian history context for your family history

If like me you didn't study Canadian history in school, or you could do with a refresher, two recently updated open-access textbooks by John Douglas Belshaw (formerly?) of Thompson Rivers University directed at the undergraduate level will be of interest. Available to download in a variety of formats they are:

Canadian History: Pre-Confederation, a survey text that introduces undergraduate students to important themes in North American history to 1867. It provides room for Aboriginal and European agendas and narratives, explores the connections between the territory that coalesces into the shape of modern Canada and the larger continent and world in which it operates, and engages with emergent issues in the field. The material is pursued in a largely chronological manner to the early 19th century, at which point social, economic, and political change are dissected.

Canadian History: Post-Confederation includes Newfoundland and all the other parts that come to be aggregated into the Dominion after 1867. Much of this text follows thematic lines. Each chapter moves chronologically but with alternative narratives in mind. What Aboriginal accounts must we place in the foreground? Which structures (economic or social) determine the range of choices available to human agents of history? What environmental questions need to be raised to gain a more complete understanding of choices made in the past and their ramifications? Each chapter is comprised of several sections and some of those are further divided. In many instances, you will encounter original material that has been contributed by other university historians from across Canada who are leaders in their respective fields. They provide a diversity of voices on the subject of the nation’s history and, thus, an opportunity to experience some of the complexities of understanding and approaching the past.

There's a good part of a university education in the open texts. Another of potential interest to family historians is Teaching Autoethnography: Personal Writing in the Classroom.

4 comments:

Bryan Douglas Cook said...

Thanks John....those histories are a remarkable resource which I have already downloaded. The site also has a wealth of other instructional learning across a wide university spectrum. Very well worth a visit. Cheers, Bryan

Toni said...

How were you able to down load them? I was not able. I live in the US. Is that why? I'm not affiliated with any university.

Sophronia said...

I too downloaded this item although I must admit unless you regularly download material like this the path to the pdf version was not intuitive.

Teresa said...

Toni - what steps did you try? It is possible you're blocked because you're in the US, but I'm still curious where you went to try the download (I'm a librarian - always wanting to help people access material)...