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Mar 31 / el capitan


The Global Indigenous Conference at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will be held on April 1st and 2nd, 2011 in Sty-Wet-Tan, the Great Hall of the UBC First Nations Longhouse in Vancouver Canada.

Indigenous and non-indigenous students at UBC have collaborated to bring together Canadian and international Indigenous activists, academics, and youth for this conference on Indigenous People’s and Globalization. A highlight of the conference will be a case study on mining and oil development within recognized Indigenous lands in Peru by Canadian and American companies.

Keynote Speaker:

DR DAVID SUZUKI, cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation. A geneticist and broadcaster, Dr. Suzuki is well known as host of The Nature of Things and is a professor emeritus at UBC.

For more information please visit:

Also, for a link to Dr. David Suzuki’s “The Real Avatar” on the Nature of things check out:

Mar 23 / mathieus

Course Evaluations

Hello All,

Last Friday I went to a meeting with a handful of student representatives and Dr. Kathryn Harrison, the Associate Dean of Arts, regarding course evaluations. The reason for the meeting was simple – response rates  have been dropping steadily every semester since evaluations were put online. As it stands, the completion rate for the faculty is somewhere around 50%.

The Dean’s office is working hard to fix to this problem, but the solution ultimately rests with students. I know you have probably heard this before, but course evaluations really, really matter. Departments take them extremely seriously when deciding whether or not to promote professors, and when assigning merit pay. Professors, for their part, really care about how they are evaluated by their students. Your professors are here to help you learn but remember,  they see the classroom from a very different perspective than you do, so student feedback is critical for them to make their classes the best they can possibly be.

Please, do your part to make UBC the best it can be for its student community and fill in your course evaluations. It will only take 10 minutes of your time – both your peers and your professors will be thankful.

Feb 28 / chof11

Why, ‘frankly my dear,’ you should give a damn!

Studying history can make you see things you didn’t before…

I am currently taking HIST 447B, a course entirely committed to analyzing the legacy racial slavery has had on the United States. For the past four years of my degree I have been a student of mainly twentieth century European history, and so I knew little to nothing about the slave history in America, except for what I had seen on television and in movies. Through my readings and the in-class discussions with Professor Paul Krause,  I increasingly could not believe I hadn’t gotten into this area of history before. It is so interesting and so unsettling, and the more you learn about it the more you notice things you’ve recently read in class emerge in your everyday life.

I am still a stickler for WWII history, but it doesn’t pop up on a daily basis like the topic of race does in the media. The cable channel Turner Classic Movies aired the classic 1939 film Gone with the Wind over reading break, and even though I had seen the film before and knew it dealt with racism through its storyline of the American Civil War, I had never realized how racist the film itself was. The two main black actors in the film are both portrayed as bumbling fools, while the white characters are portrayed as the paragons of honour and courage. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it, and I don’t know if I would have seen it before taking this course.

After watching the film I did some research, and the African-American woman who portrayed Scarlett O’Hara’s nurse, Hattie McDaniel, was the first African-American to both be nominated, and to win, an Academy Award. Clark Gable apparently became good friends with McDaniel during filming, and threatened to boycott the Atlanta, Georgia premiere of the film as McDaniel and her other African-American co-stars were barred from attending due to the state’s segregationist laws. It is amazing to think that the film itself deals so prominently with the problem of racism in The United States, yet when it was released, America was still a country largely troubled by its racist issues, and arguably, is still dealing with these problems today.

For me, this is a really excellent example of how studying history can not only open your eyes to things you may not have seen before or questioned before, but it allows us as students to look at the past and evaluate what it means for us today.


Corrine Hof is completing her fifth year at UBC and is graduating this May. Historically, she interests herself with twentieth-century history. She has also just completed a semester abroad at at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Feb 24 / chief

Elections Information

The History Students Association is looking to recruit new Executive Members for the school year of 2011-2012. The following positions will become available at our annual elections currently set to take place April 6th, 2011.


President: In charge of the social and management aspects of the club. Oversees membership queries and is the powerhouse behind the organization of most HSA events. Also oversees/works with the Vice-Presidents of Internal & External Affairs. Is the Department Liaison and attends most Departmental meetings and works with the Professor-Department Liason.

Vice President External: Is AUS (Arts Undergraduate Society) Representative. Works with various AUS members on AUS projects (such as Clubs Days and Arts Week). Oversees the organization of the PHP Conference at Thompson Rivers University. Works with other Clubs in joint events such as Fourgy (a Bzzr Garden).

Vice-President Internal: Works largely in tandem with the President, but oversees the HSA Blog and Facebook pages, and sends out monthly newsletters.

VP Finance: In charge of our yearly budget. Works with the AMS and Departmental liaisons.

VP Administrator: In charge of keeping weekly minutes and helping the VP Internal with the monthly newsletter.

Atlas Editor & Assistant Editor: Editor is in charge of overseeing and organizing the layout and design of the Atlas (our undergraduate journal). Also in charge of organizing the Reviewers/Editors in order to meet important deadlines for publishing.  Assistant Editor will assist the Editor in advertising and promoting the submission of essays (from mid-October to mid-December), recruit a committed team of editors by the end of December, and help organize all submissions to be edited by the end of winter break or January. Both the Assistant Editor and the Editor will narrow essays down to be reviewed and it will be their job to help organize meetings between professors and the editors/reviewers. Deadlines are crucial in order for the journal to be published

Social Coordinator: Helps organize/oversee various HSA events. Will be the HSA’s bookings representative – which means you’d be responsible for booking an appropriate space for our events and meetings when necessary in addition to ensuring that there is appropriate licensing at any events where alcohol is being consumed. Is responsible for ensuring that all appropriate sound & entertainment equipment is present at events.

Grad Representative: Represents graduating History Majors and the various processes involved in graduating (such as taking grad photos, etc.)

Sports Representative: In charge of all things sports related. Organizes team events for games like Dodgeball, Badminton, or even Storm the Wall, in addition to organizing evening games nights (eg. going out to watch Varsity Hockey, etc.).


All positions are expected to attend club meetings and be active members. You will receive as much support as possible in your roles; we want everyone to have a good year and to have fun! Team effort is emphasized to decrease stress levels. We know that everyone will be very busy, especially during essay and exam time. This is all about having a fun UBC experience!

If you are interested please don’t hesitate to email us at <> Also, if you are available, please come to our weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 11:30am in Buchanan Tower (11th Floor room 1126) or visit us in the History Lounge on the 12th Floor. We recommend that anyone interested in running for a position attend at least one meeting before elections.

Feb 2 / chief

Movie Night Out! Viewing of “The Kings Speech”

The HSA will be attending a screening of The Kings Speech at the beautiful Park Theatre!

Referred to by some as a great film while others say its “…historically inaccurate, entirely misleading, and, in its own small way, morally dubious,” we’re sure to have lots to talk about after! We’ll most likely be heading to Keno Cafe for drinks, it’s the Friday that kicks off reading week and since most of us can’t afford to go anywhere sunny we figured we would at least enjoy some flamenco music…

Come and join us, if not for our company than for his:


Jan 27 / chief

Town Hall Meeting

About 25 students assembled today in Buchanan D 316 for the Annual Undergraduate Town Hall.

UBC History Department Undergraduate Town Hall

For those of you who have never been, the Undergraduate Town Hall is something that Daniel Vickers, our department head, has been hosting for many years. It is considered a means of opening the debate about the History program up to the students and finding out what it is that students are hoping to gain from their degrees.

While there are struggles that continue to be brought up annually (ex. course diversity, class sizes etc.) some topics that were unique to this years session involved an investigation on the effectiveness of discussions in courses and how to best go about them. Some people felt that discussion should be relegated to an online format and that class time should be reserved for lecture whereas others liked the opposite idea of having discussion homework assignments that would require students to have done their readings.

Amidst all of the serious talk there were also many lighthearted moments as Professor Vickers opened up to the students about the realities of contacting the university administration down to the intimidating nature of teaching for people who have never been taught to teach.

Finally, there were also snacks provided – which was totally a bonus!

As someone who has attended three of these now I can tell you that the profs do listen to us. At a previous town hall I had suggested that 6 credit courses needed to be shortened into two 3 credit courses instead – this was mainly to better support the idea of someone going on exchange, or doing a co-op. I can tell you I have noticed that a lot of courses are run in two separate parts which has opened up more possibilities to students whose lives cannot be entirely focused on their in-class education.

Profs that addressed student concerns (From Left: Daniel Vickers-Department Head; Glen Peterson; Coll Thrush; Arlene Sindelar)

Daniel Vickers is finishing as department head this year but I hope that his replacement will be equally as keen to encourage student participation in developing the structure of their education.


This is just what I noticed so please feel free to post other things in the comments that you found particularly important from this years town hall!

Jan 27 / chief

First Ever History Slam!

Our first-ever departmental ***History Slam*** will be on Friday February 25, 5 PM and onward, Buchanan Tower 1197.

Comestibles will be served.

A history slam includes readings, showings, and performances of short works that are no more than 10 minutes long and that experiment with the creative possibilities of language and history, broadly conceived. It’s sort of like a poetry slam (only with history), or an improvisational jazz gathering (only not as smoky). It will be an informal, open-format way to present creative historical work to a sympathetic, supportive audience of students and faculty. Don’t worry about having something polished: this is all about works-in-progress.

You can sign up ahead of time and be scheduled, or decide on the spur-of-the-moment to stand up and share your stuff. Maybe you’re experimenting with different ways of thinking about time, or character, or language in your history. Maybe you’re trying out the historical possibilities of images, or sounds, or objects, or smells, or tastes. Maybe you’re trying out different forms of historical writing: can a history take the form of a poem? A menu? A classified ad? A cv? Maybe you’re writing a novel or a screenplay or a song. Maybe you don’t have anything of your own ready, but you’ve just stumbled across a great and inspiring piece by someone else and you want to share it with us. Whatever the case, come join us and play.

A quick note on the format: we’ll have the room until 8, so after we’re all done eating and sharing, anyone who’s interested can stick around to have an informal chat about what just happened, and to continue munching on things.

To sign up for a slot to present your work in advance, contact Carla Nappi ( by 21 February. Please indicate a provisional title (just so I have something tantalizing to put on the program) and whether you need special AV equipment, and I’ll do my best to see what I can magic up. There’s no need to sign up in advance, though. Feel free to come on by and share your stuff spontaneously if Clio moves you.

All are welcome!

Aug 29 / el capitan

Welcome Back!!! Want to get involved??

Hey All!!!

Long time no hear!! So the summer is rolling to an end and it’s that time of year where everyone is gearing back into school.

So! In case you don’t know, first day back in Imagine Day which is an opportunity for new students to get a feel for the university and also to take a look around and scope out different clubs that will be promoting themselves. The History Students Association will be no exception!! We want your involvement!! So come see us at our booth on Imagine Day and join us in our trivia and candy prizes!

Also, if your declaring your major soon and it’s in History, there’s a ‘Welcome Back History Majors’ meeting that’s being held at Buchanan Block A in room 102 at 11:30am on Monday September 7th, where important questions such as graduation, how to declare a major/minor, how to make sure your transfer credits apply or even how to join us, the HSA, will be answered.

Also! Another important announcement! The HSA is looking for new executive members.  If you are interested in working with a group of people that organizes and participates in events  such as the Annual Wyne+Cheese Lecture Series, or the Thompson Rivers University Undergraduate Conference then you might be interested in joining our team!!

The HSA promotes, directs and/or sponsors such activities—whether they’re academic, social, athletic, or professional—that will benefit its members and also enhance communication and networking within the Department of History between students, professors, alumni, and relevant community contacts. The HSA works to make aware to History students the various graduate programs, post-graduation employment opportunities, and current job and volunteer opportunities, that are relevant,  are available to students of History.

So, in lieu of this we’re looking for someone who is interested in positions that might encompass the following job aspects:

– Maintaining the HSA blog & Facebook page

– Overseeing the bi-weeklyl HSA newsletter

– Organizing events such as the Annual Wyne + Cheese Lecture Series

– Organizing Bzzr Gardens, Pub Nights or Film Nights

– Helping organize the Thompson Rivers University Undergraduate Conference – be part of the team that reads, selects and helps students present exceptional papers to  History faculty and students

If you have any other suggestions of great events or ideas, they are most welcome too!!!!

If you are interested in being part of the executive, email us at  Tell us a little about yourself and why you’re interested in becoming apart of the HSA Team. Also, tell us what events or other activities you might be interested in becoming involved with.

Looking forward to hearing from you!!!!!

History Students Association

May 17 / el capitan

YouTube Video

Hey everyone,

This is also up on our events page But I just thought I’d also add it to our main blog page.

As you may know, a month or so ago one of our history professors Neil Safier  was presented at the “Celebrate UBC Authors” event held at the IK Barber Library on April 6th.

Dr. Safier presented on his new book Measuring the New World: Enlightenment, Science and South America, which was the winner of the 2009 Gilbert Chinard Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies and the Institut Français de Washington.

Allan Cho a Librarian at IK Barber was kind enough to provide us with a video link for the presentation, which I’ve embedded here ;). Enjoy!

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