July 2020

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

Student Focus

Congratulations to 2020 History Grads!

Congratulations History graduates of 2020!

It’s been an unexpectedly challenging end to your university studies. We hope you and your families are staying safe, and that you’re doing what you can to support others during these difficult times. We hope you’re able to take a moment to celebrate your accomplishments, and then put your History training and degree to good use. The world needs you now more than ever.

- Eagle Glassheim, Outgoing History Department Head, and John Roosa, Incoming History Department Head

Check out messages from the History department to 2020 grads here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

The Tyee: A Campus Newspaper Acknowledges Its Anti-Blackness. What Next?

UBC History undergraduate and Ubyssey culture editor Danni Olusanya was interviewed in this piece in The Tyee.

Danni: "I want to create a network where people feel “I am an Indigenous student, or a Black student, or a Christian, or a trans student, or non-binary, and I have something to say.”...I want to create a space where they feel that they will have the tools to report on things they care about and represent their community."

Faculty News

Congratulations to Tina Loo, winner of the Canadian Historical Association Political History Group’s Book Prize!

Please join us in congratulating Tina Loo for her win of the 2020 Best Book in Political History Prize from the Canadian Historical Association!

Loo’s book, Moved by the State, Forced Relocation and Making a Good Life in Postwar Canada (UBC Press, 2019) studies the history of forced relocations in Canada.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Other news and items of interest

Active History: Defund the police

Tamara Myers argues for removing police from schools. Drawing from her book Youth Squad: Policing Children in the Twentieth Century (McGill – Queen’s University Press, 2019), s she looks at the history of policing in schools and the thinking around criminality and race that created this phenomenon.

"The bottom line is that policing – even directed at youth – is about crime deterrence and law enforcement, which contradicts the social care work that youth-oriented policing is meant to perform."

CIGI: Why Doesn’t TikTok Get Policy Makers’ Attention?

Heidi Tworek discusses rising social media platform TikTok and its challenge for regulators. The app highlights concerns around the spread of information on online platforms.

"As countries are now grappling with TikTok’s role in issues like elections or cyberbullying, there may be even greater space for international cooperation over platform governance..."


The Vancouver Sun: Time to rename school named for slave-owning Briton, says Vancouver MP

Joy Dixon was quoted in this article from the Vancouver Sun on the potential of renaming Gladstone Secondary.

Please note that the headline chosen by the Vancouver Sun for the article is inaccurate: it was William Gladstone's father who owned slaves, not William Gladstone himself.


CBC: New poll reveals Chinese-Canadians' experiences with racism

Henry Yu discusses the results of a poll on anti-Chinese racism and its importance.


Castanet: Confederate flags flying

Heidi Tworek comments on sightings of Confederate flags in BC in this article from Castanet.


CTV: Filling the gap in data on anti-Asian racism in Canada

Henry Yu comments on the need for statistical data on anti-Chinese racism.

The Tyee: White Supremacy in ‘British’ Columbia, and the China Syndrome

Henry Yu comments on the spread of Sinophobia in this discussion of BC's racism.

Alumni Spotlight

Q&A with UBC History PhD graduate Alexey Golubev

“A degree will … open new career prospects and immerse you in a vibrant academic environment. You will connect with interesting people and will learn things that you would have never learned otherwise.”

Read this Q&A with UBC PhD graduae Alexey Golubev on his work as a scholar of Russian history, his upcoming book, his career path, his time at UBC, and his experiences completing his PhD.



Fall Courses

Q&As with UBC History professors about upcoming courses

Curious about UBC History's Fall and Winter courses, but not sure what to take? Check out these Q&As with UBC History professors below about their courses. Find out what the workload is like, what to look forward to, and why you should be interested in these topics. 

HIST 376: Modern Japanese History Since 1800- A Q&A with Kelly McCormick

 "We will dive into modes of resistance and control from a range of perspectives including: female anarchists, government agencies, artists, indigenous voices, the Korean diaspora, architecture, the mass media, activists and protestors."

Read a Q&A with Kelly McCormick on her course, HIST 376. McCormick plans for students to explore online archives, write 'visual essays', and take a new approach to Japan's history. 

Register for HIST 376 here.

HIST 104F: Cultures in Contact- A Q&A with Joy Dixon

"[Globalization] is often talked about as though it is a new phenomenon, but of course cultures have been encountering each other – sometimes peacefully and sometimes violently – for centuries."

Joy Dixon shares how her course, HIST 104F, explores globalization, the encounters between cultures, and what it means to 'do history'. She discusses her focus on primary sources- from newspaper clippings and poems, to tragically mislabelled early world maps.

Register for HIST 104f here.

HIST 399A: Theory and Practice of History- A Q&A with David Morton

"If you write about the same historical subject at two different times in your life, you will write two different histories. And yet some call this a social “science.”

David Morton's course, HIS 399A, looks at how history is written and understood. In this Q&A, Morton discusses his approach to the study of history- which includes having students write their own autobiographies. 

Register for HIST 399A here.

HIST 440: History of Health in the Modern West- A Q&A with Benjamin Bryce

"[H]istorical examples give us food for thought about our current experience with COVID-19, and how many of the same factors are at play."

Health and disease are hotly debated topics in the present moment. Benjamin Bryce discusses how his course's focus on the the history of health in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries can help us understand our current health crisis.

Register for HIST 440 here. 

HIST 310: The British Empire to 1850: A Q&A with Jessica Hanser

"I ... hope [students] will gain a new appreciation for imperial history by tackling the subject from an unconventional perspective."

Read about Jessica Hanser's approach to the study of the British Empire- from close reading and analytical writing, to watching Hamilton and reading Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Register for HIST 310 here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Middle East Studies (MES): UBC's new minor program

MES 300: The Middle East

Interested in the Middle East? Check out this new course from the brand-new Middle East Studies program taught by Dr. Pheroze Unwalla: MES 300 THE MIDDLE EAST: CRITICAL QUESTIONS & DEBATES.

Open to all UBC students, this interdisciplinary course introduces students to the study of the Middle East. It will engage with crucial questions and debates that continue to shape scholarly and public perceptions of this widely misunderstood region.

Find more information here, and register here. 




Working with UBC students, Dr. Pheroze Unwalla has established a new interdisciplinary MIDDLE EAST STUDIES (MES) minor program. Students are able to self-declare for the minor during registration.

Find more information here, or contact the Program Chair at Pheroze.Unwalla@ubc.ca.