March 2022

Now & Then highlights UBC History news and events for students, faculty, staff & alumni

Faculty News

Mural of a weeping eye in the colours of the Ukrainian flag by artist MyDogSighs

Mural of a weeping eye in the colours of the Ukrainian flag by artist MyDogSighs, in Cardiff, Wales, March 2, 2022. (REUTERS/Rebecca Naden via CIGI Online).

Dr. Heidi Tworek: History Is a Good Antidote to Disinformation About the Invasion of Ukraine

CIGI Online

"When someone launches a war based on historical distortion, the past could not be more relevant. Many of us may be asking what we can do in this difficult moment. Learning from experts and reading some history can help us be less susceptible to online distortions around the current situation," writes Prof. Heidi Tworek, who offers a list of resources to help us understand the present moment.


A dark skinned person with long black dreadlocks looks at a subject out of the image. They wear a purple long sleeved shirt, dark rimmed glasses, and silver jewelry on their nose and earlobe.


Reclaiming the Narrative: Decolonizing MOA’s African Collections

UBC Arts

The Decolonizing the African Collections and Displays at MOA Project (DAC-MOA) was a collaboration between Arts student Njamba Koffi (Africa Awareness Initiative), Savannah Sutherland (Black Students Union), Adam Rudder (Hogan’s Alley Society), MOA curator Nuno Porto, and History professor Dr. David Morton. This two-year endeavour employed and trained 32 students with affiliations to UBC African Studies to research and update the descriptions of approximately 1,000 objects in the Museum of Anthropology. In this editorial, three Arts student participants reflect on their learnings and the importance of connecting with local knowledge holders as part of this impactful project.


An image of Dr. Bonnie Effros next to text that reads Know Your Profs with Dr. Bonnie Effros. Dr. Bonnie Effros is on a sandy beach with large boulders on the shore. Mountains are visible behind her. She has brushed back dark brown hair and wears round glasses. She has on a scarf in red, cyan blue, dark brown, and white. She is smiling at the camera.


Know Your Profs with Department Head Dr. Bonnie Effros

In this instalment of Know Your Profs, Department Head Dr. Bonnie Effros shares with us her journey into the history of archaeology, an innovative interdisciplinary course she has planned for the future, and the responsibilities that come with the privileged platform of being a historian.


Painting titled "Revolution is Art" by Gigi Ibrahim. In the foreground on the left is a dark figure with blue pants and black jacket with one left up in the air, as if dancing. They hold a black and red flag pointed town. In the foreground right is a person in a white dress with dark hair in a bun. They pose as if they're dancing, mirroring the movements of the dark figure to the left. The background is impressionistic with patches of lilac, shades of blue, green, and red.

"Revolution is Art" by GigiIbrahim via Flickr.

Dr. Pheroze Unwalla Wins Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Seed Fund

Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISoTL)

UBC History Professor and Middle East Studies Chair Dr. Pheroze Unwalla has been awarded a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Seed Fund grant. Entitled “Emotion(ality) and Emotive Writing: Assessing the Impacts in/on the Middle East Studies Classroom", this project evaluates the impact of emotion(ality) in MES 300 The Middle East: Critical Questions & Debates and beyond.


A corner of an interior room at the Roedde House Museum. A large table is in the foreground covered in a light blue and dark green table cloth. On the table are playing cards, cookies, sandwiches, fruits, cheese, a tea set, eating utensils, and a clear glass bottle containing a transparent dark brown liquid. Behind the table on the right is a dark brown chest of drawers with an antique clock and decorative glassware and candleholders. To its left, covering the corner of the room, is a three-panel silk screen decorated with flowers and butterflies. On the left of the image is a glass cabinet displaying porcelain tea sets. Decorative plates line the walls along with two black and white portraits, one of a person in a frock and the other of a different person in a dark jacket and dark neck tie.

Inside the Roedde House Museum. Photo by Sara Hepper, via Roedde House Museum.

Dr. Benjamin Bryce Wins UBC CCEL Grant for Advancing Community Engaged Learning

UBC Department of History professor Dr. Benjamin Bryce was awarded an Advancing Community Engaged Learning Grant from the UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning for his project entitled “Public History and Community Engagement at the Roedde House Museum.”


Student News

The History Writing Centre is open on a drop-in basis on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 am to 1:30 pm in Buchanan Tower 1233. Visit for more information.

Proofreading, Editing, and Formatting: 5 More Tips for Writing a Better History Essay

The effort put into polishing your writing is often what makes the difference between a good essay and a great one. A few weeks ago, we brought you the editorial, “Style, Voice, and Using Evidence: 7 Tips for Writing a Better History Essay.” In this editorial, read about five additional tips for how to write a better History essay through proofreading, editing, and formatting, and learn how to access the History Student Writing Centre.


A person wearing a yellow frock and wearing blue latex gloves flips over the cover of an old photo album laid on top of a table that shows four small photographs pasted on a grey page. In the foreground on the same table are three portraits in sepia.

Image by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre via Twitter.

Hands-on History: Students Engage in Public History through Graduate Seminar

In HIST 595B: Public History, a graduate seminar taught by Professor Richard Menkis, students get hands-on experience producing resources and engaging with primary sources at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC). Learn more about the Holocaust with the three student-produced research guides featuring propaganda material, photography, and diaries in the VHEC collections.


Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra is at the centre of the image with her right hand raised to gesture to a wall display at the "We Are Hockey" exhibit at the Sikh Heritage Museum. She has light brown skin and wears a frock with sapphire blue patterns and white decorative elements on the collar. She is speaking to two people, one who has shoulder-length blonde hair and who is seated facing away from the camera, and the other who is standing in side profile to the camera, and who wears glasses. There is a camera on a tripod between them, filming Sandhra as she speaks.

Curating Belonging: Decolonizing the Path Forward with PhD Candidate Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra  

PhD candidate Sharanjit (Sharn) Kaur Sandhra studies museums as spaces of belonging. She is also a sessional lecturer and staff member at the University of the Fraser Valley, a co-curator at the Sikh Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, and mother to two young boys. In this editorial, she highlights the importance of cultivating opportunities for racialized communities to tell their own stories. She also emphasizes the need for instructors to understand the nuances of the diversities of students, and students with different age, gender, or racial identities.


Student Opportunities

Photo of the exterior of the Roedde House Museum, an old mansion with lime green exterior walls and nut brown accents. The image is taken with the camera low on the ground, and shows the house surrounded by a field of white flowers that hang on their stems like little bells.

Photo of the Roedde House Museum. Image by Sara Hepper, via Roedde House Museum.

Public Internship Program: Roedde House Museum, Summer 2022

Application deadline: March 25, 2022

Are you a UBC History student? Are you looking for summer employment? Are you hoping to gain skills and experience related to your studies? The Department of History’s Public History Internship Program, in collaboration with the Roedde House Museum, invites your application for an exciting paid summer internship as a Programming Assistant and Researcher.


Decorative image of an archival room with white cupboards lined against on the wall on either side of a curved corridor.

Photo by Ula Kuźma via Unsplash.

Public Internship Program: City of Vancouver Archives, Summer 2022

Application deadline: March 25, 2022

The UBC History department’s Public History Internship is part of a five-year program supporting students gain experiences and skills related to public history. The Department of History and the City of Vancouver Archives are currently looking for a research assistant, who will be responsible for developing and implementing a community engagement strategy related to visual materials at the City of Vancouver Archives.


Upcoming Events

Event poster for "Hong Kong Identity: Past, Present, and Future", presented by Prof. Gordon Mathews, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Identity: Past, Present, and Future

March 17, 7:00 – 8:30 pm PT

With the passage of the National Security Law in 2020, and expanded Chinese control over Hong Kong, is Hong Kong identity coming to an end? Will Hong Kong identity survive only in diaspora, in London, Vancouver, Taipei, and Melbourne and elsewhere? Or can Hong Kong identity also continue as a distinctive identity within China, but taking new, presumably apolitical forms, with “Hongkongese” being something similar to “Shanghainese” as an identity? This event is part of the City Reassembled seminar series, hosted by the Hong Kong Studies Initiative, sponsored by UBC History.


Event Page

“Climate Warnings: The Power of Canadian Environmental Art, Literature, and Creative Activism.” A public lecture by Professor Laura Moss. March 2, 7:30pm, Green College Coach House & streamed online   A Panel Discussion with Laura Moss, Warren Cariou, Stephen Collis, and Rita Wong on Art, Activism, and Climate Justice. March 17, 7:30pm, Green College Coach House & streamed online

Climate Warnings: The Power of Canadian Environmental Arts, Literature, and Creative Activism

Panel Discussion: March 17, 7:30 pm PT

As the climate crisis continues, many artists and writers have raised their voices for awareness, change, and justice. In this year's David and Brenda McLean Lecture, UBC English Language & Literatures professor and Faculty of Arts Associate Dean of Students Dr. Laura Moss will concentrate on creative responses to the global environmental emergency in Canadian art and letters. 

This year’s series will be comprised of two evening events. On March 17, Dr. Moss will be joined by several of the creators whose work she features in the lecture to discuss the relationship between art and activism, the climate emergency, and the limits of art in driving change.


Register for the Event

Event poster, featuring two yellowed and opened envelopes, each addressed to Joan Gillis in cursive handwriting.


Event Recording: "I Know We'll Meet Again": Correspondence and the Forced Dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Available until March 24, 11;45 pm PT

The Joan Gillis fonds is a remarkable collection of letters that recount the lives of a group of Japanese Canadian teenagers after their forced dispersal from the coastal regions of British Columbia in 1942. On March 1, 2022, members of the Japanese Canadian community, including History professor Dr. Laura Ishiguro, participated in a panel event in response to these letters. Watch the event recording via the button below, and access the online exhibit here.

Watch the Event Recording


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