July 2021

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

Student News

Shared Language and Culture: Documenting and Creating Punjabi History in BC

"Having the opportunity to help preserve the history of Punjabi Canadians for future generations and educating myself has been incredibly meaningful."

Undergraduate project assistants share what they learned from working with Dr. Anne Murphy on the Punjabi Oral History Project, and what it means to them to be able to leverage cultural lived experiences in a community-based research project.

Faculty News

Congratulations to Dr. Benjamin Bryce and Dr. Eagle Glassheim on being awarded five-year SSHRC Insight Grants

Dr. Benjamin Bryce and Dr. Eagle Glassheim received SSHRC Insight Grants for their respective projects, “Grounds for Exclusion: Immigration, Race, Health, and Gender in Argentina, 1876-1940,” and “Revitalizing Mining Landscapes and Communities: Ecological Restoration, Heritage Preservation, and Economic Development in the Age of Mass Destruction Mining.”


Co-curators, from left to right: Viviane Gosselin, Denise Fong, and Henry Yu posing in the MOV exhibit.

Image: Co-curators Viviane Gosselin, Denise Fong, and Henry Yu, from left to right, posing in the MOV exhibit.

A Seat at the Table awarded Canadian History Association's Public History Prize

Congratulations to Prof. Henry Yu and his co-curators, CCIE PhD Candidate Denise Fong, and UBC alumna Dr. Viviane Gosselin on being awarded a Public History Prize for their exhibition, A Seat at the Table. The award recognizes work that achieves high standards of original research, scholarship, and presentation; brings an innovative public history contribution to its audience; and serves as a model for future work, advancing the field of public history in Canada. The exhibit was in part funded by the Department of History's Public History Initative.


Publication: Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: African American Children in the Antebellum North

Crystal Lynn Webster

Prof. Crystal Lynn Webster's new book draws evidence from the urban centers of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia to illustrate the powerful history of African American childhood before the Civil War. Webster argues that young African Americans were frequently left outside the nineteenth century's emerging constructions of both race and childhood. Often marginalized in the development of schooling, ignored in debates over child labour, and presumed to lack the inherent innocence ascribed to white children, African American children nevertheless carved out physical and social space for play, for learning, and for their own aspirations.

The white elephant in the room: anti-Asian racism in Canada
Henry Yu in UBC Beyond

"White supremacy is Canada’s elephant in the room. Many Canadians deny that there is racism in Canada or assert that there used to be racism but it is now gone. Others will admit that there was this history of racism but find it very uncomfortable to talk about the connection between white supremacy and racism. Without dealing with white supremacy, however, racism makes no sense."

Indigenous Bodies of Evidence and Counter-Mapping in the “Green” Nuclear Archive

July 14th, 12:30 - 2:00 pm

Marshalling bodies of evidence from their own bodily knowledge, experiences, and memories of the land, Indigenous scientists are documenting communal knowledges and management practices in the land. Join Dr. ann-elise lewallen, Associate Professor from the University of Victoria as she invokes the framework of critical environmental justice and settler colonial studies to explain how Indigenous communities deploy citizen science techniques and Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Register for the event

Afghans in the Persianate Age

July 24th, 4 pm

Too often, Afghan peoples feature in public discourse exclusively as inhabitants of Afghanistan, a so-called ‘graveyard of empires’ and a site of endemic warfare. But who were the Afghans before the modern state of Afghanistan came into being? We will visit this question by observing how the history of Afghan peoples unfolded across Persianate Central and South Asia in pre-modern times. In particular, we will focus on Afghans traders, Sufis and service people in Hindustan, some of whom left behind a written record in Persian, the lingua franca, as well as Pashto and later, in the local vernacular, Urdu.

Register for the event

Winter 2021 Courses Spotlight

HIST 390A/ASIA 490Z: Engendering China: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Modern Chinese Histories

Faculty sponsor: Dr. Renren Yang

HIST 390A is a student directed seminar that examines the role sex, gender, and sexuality play in modern Chinese histories. This course showcases experiences from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Canadian diaspora. It provides participants with the tools to analyze and consume history through the lens of sex, gender, and sexuality, and integrate it into the way we look at contemporary society. 


HIST 340: The American West

Instructor: Dr. Coll Thrush

One of the most compelling things about the West is the way it brings together so many major themes in American history: settler colonialism, racial capitalism, gendered narratives, and environmental change. The "frontier", however, never closed. Through studying primary and secondary sources  emphasizing the expeirences of Indigenous and racialized people in the American West, this course will focus on the ways in which the imagined past of the American West continues to shape daily life in the region.