September 2019

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

Welcome Back to UBC

Note from Eagle Glassheim, History Head

Welcome back for the fall term!

It’s been a quiet summer in Buchanan Tower, but much has been happening in the world. Fires in the Amazon; tremors in global trade; persistent and sometimes violent manifestations of racism in Canada and around the world; politicians prevaricating over acts of genocide; millions on the streets of Hong Kong in defense of democracy. History never rests. Historians take vacations, but we don’t really rest either.

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Student Focus

Jan Prchal's Go Global Semester

Ever wondered what it's like to live abroad for a semester?

Former History Honours student, Jan Prchal, shares his adventure studying history at Uppsala University in Sweden in our most recent Spotlight feature.

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PhD student Eric Michael Johnson's research featured on This View of Life

A review of Eric’s 2019 PhD thesis “The struggle for coexistence: Peter Kropotkin and the social ecology of science in Russia, Europe, and England, 1859-1922” can be found in This View of Life, an online magazine by scientists for scientists published by the Evolution Institute. A great example of interdisciplinary research and how history can cross boundaries and reach further audiences.

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Faculty News

Remembering Professor Robert AJ McDonald

In June 2019, the UBC History Department lost an incredible historian, friend and colleague.

"Bob earned his PhD from the University of British Columbia, where he was appointed assistant professor of history in 1978. In more than three decades teaching at Simon Fraser University, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Victoria, and UBC, Bob inspired thousands of undergraduates in Canadian and BC history with passion, kindness, inclusive demeanour, humour, and deep expertise. He supervised over 20 graduate students and mentored countless more. In recognition of his commitment to students, Bob received the Killam Teaching Prize from UBC in 2000."

Read more about Bob's life and impressive career here.

Book Award

Sebastian Prange’s book Monsoon Islam: Trade & Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast was awarded the American Historical Association- Pacific Coast Branch Book Award.

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New Book

David Morton's new book: Age of Concrete: Housing and the Shape of Aspiration in the Capital of Mozambique is now available from Ohio University Press.

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Leslie Paris Quoted in Two Articles

Leslie Paris is the author of Children's Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp and her expertise on the history of summer camp was utilized in two recent articles for CNN Health and Slate.

She discusses the rise of specialty camps in CNN's Summer Isn't a break for kids or parents.

Leslie comments on the tradition of ghost stories in Slate's What Happened to All the Scary Stories at Summer Camp?

Welcome & Congratulations to Jessica Hanser

Jessica Hanser's new book Mr. Smith Goes to China: Three Scots in the Making of Britain's Global Empire was released only days after she began her appointment at UBC! She also wrote an essay for Aeon titled "Scots running amok."

Check out these publications listed after her Q&A
(see Learn More).

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Alumni Spotlight

Joanna Chiu, 2010 History Honours Graduate 

“The skills I learned in my history degree primed me to be a good, skeptical journalist."

Joanna Chiu, a 2010 History Honours graduate, applies her knowledge and passion for Chinese history in her career as a journalist at the Star Vancouver.

Joanna discusses how her history degree informs her career in journalism and provides useful insight for other students considering a similar path in her alumni Q&A.

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Want to share your UBC History Alumni story? 

Answer a short Q&A here:

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Featured Courses

History 280: Q&A with Sebastian Prange

Can you explain the image on your course poster and its significance? Why did you choose it?

SP: The image is of Salāh al-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb (1137-93), who is known in the West as Saladin. He is one of the most famous heroes in Muslim history for leading the fight against the Christian Crusaders and capturing back Jerusalem. Read More.

History 443: Q&A with Tamara Myers 

Can you explain the image on your course poster and its significance? Why did you choose it?

TM: Fifty years ago, 400 thousand young people gathered for a three-day music and art fair – an “Aquarian exposition” for love and peace – called Woodstock. Located on a farm in upstate New York, Woodstock is an immediately recognizable and historic youth space that marked a generation. Read More.

Student Event:
Drop-in Advising on UBC's Imagine Day

For returning undergraduates & exchange students

Buchanan Tower, 1207


Event Details

Student Event: Welcome Back to History!

For Majors, Minors, & Honours students

Buchanan Tower, 1197


Event Details

Lecture: “Absolutely Nothing Going On”: Historicizing the Settler Colonial Everyday

Laura Ishiguro's lecture is part of the Social Justice Institute's Noted Scholars Series on September 11th from 12:00pm- 1:00pm. RSVP is required for this event.

This talk will draw from her 2019 book, Nothing to Write Home About: British Family Correspondence & the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia.

Event Details

Lecture: “The Force
is No Longer with You”: The Police and Hong Kong Protests

Speaker: Randy Shek (Barrister-at-law)

DLA Piper Hall
(room 104)

3:30–5:30 pm

Event Details

Lecture: Chinese State Capitalism in Hong Kong

Speaker: Prof. Ho-fung Hung (Johns Hopkins University)

Harbour Centre (Downtown Vancouver)


Event Details