Last week, I touched down in Waterloo, Ontario, for a far-too-brief time at the 2012 Canadian Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. A big thank you and congratulations to the organizers, particularly of the Canadian Historical Association’s annual meeting, which was (as always) a fruitful and thought-provoking conference. It was lovely to see old friends and to meet new ones, and I really appreciated the feedback on my paper on Pollie Keen (Mary Caroline, née Holloway). (More on Keen in another post, but in short: I am working on her rich collection of family letters written from late-nineteenth-century Sialkot (then north-western India), which I think offer an interesting lens onto the complex histories of class, gender, race, and family that both linked and divided the British metropole and the Anglo-Indian military community.)
As with so many conferences, though, I was sucked into the book fair with a heart full of joy and a wallet full of trepidation. Unfortunately, I was unable to buy anything due to limited luggage space and an impending international move, so I will just have to share a few of the recent or upcoming publications that I thought might be of interest on issues of colonialism and family history. There were so many, but a few highlights include the following:
The CHA saw the launch of what looks to be a wonderful edited collection from Robin Jarvis Brownlie and Valerie J. Korinek, Finding a Way to the Heart: Feminist Writings on Aboriginal and Women’s History in Canada, from University of Manitoba Press. From the press description:
When Sylvia Van Kirk published her groundbreaking book, Many Tender Ties, in 1980, she revolutionized the historical understanding of the North American fur trade and introduced entirely new areas of inquiry in women’s, social, and Aboriginal history. Using Van Kirk’s themes and methodologies as a jumping-off point, Finding a Way to the Heart examines race, gender, identity, and colonization from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century, and illustrates Van Kirk’s extensive influence on a generation of feminist scholarship.
UBC Press recently released A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War, edited by Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw. From the press description:
Drawing upon a multidisciplinary spectrum of recent work — studies on mobilizing women, paid and volunteer employment at home and overseas, grief, childhood, family life, and literary representations — this collection brings Canadian and Newfoundland women and girls into the history of the First World War and marks their place in the narrative of national transformation. Recognizing women’s active and emotional responses to the First World War is a crucial step towards understanding how that war shaped Newfoundland and Canada both during and after the conflict. This volume is therefore essential reading for anyone interested in the history of women, the First World War, Newfoundland, or Canada.
Another new release, Tolly Bradford’s Prophetic Identities: Indigenous Missionaries on British Colonial Frontiers, 1850-75 (UBC Press, 2012), offers an important exploration of indigeneity, missionaries, and empire. From the press description:
The presence of indigenous people among the ranks of British missionaries in the nineteenth century complicates narratives of all-powerful missionaries and hapless indigenous victims. What compelled these men to embrace Christianity? How did they reconcile being both Christian and indigenous in an age of empire? Tolly Bradford finds answers to these questions in the lives of Henry Budd, a Cree missionary from western Canada, and Tiyo Soga, a Xhosa missionary from southern Africa. He portrays these men not as victims of colonialism but rather as individuals who drew on faith, family, and their ties to Britain to construct a new sense of indigeneity in a globalizing world.
A few highlights to anticipate this autumn/winter include Andrew C. Holman and Robert B. Kristofferson, eds., More of a Man: Diaries of a Scottish Craftsman in Mid-Nineteenth-Century North America (University of Toronto Press, available December 2012); Franca Iacovetta, Valerie J. Korinek, and Marlene Epp, eds., Edible Histories, Cultural Politics: Towards a Canadian Food History (University of Toronto Press, available December 2012); and Kamala Elizabeth Nayar, The Punjabis in British Columbia: Location, Labour, First Nations, and Multiculturalism (McGilll-Queen’s University Press, available October 2012).
Were you at Congress with thoughts to share? What other new releases are you looking forward to reading?
– Laura Ishiguro