Thursday, January 27, 2011

Political History Conference CFP

I've been busy with the start of term lately, but figured it couldn't hurt to give a bit of publicity to a conference I'm helping to organize. - MH


"Transformation: State, Nation, and Citizenship in a New Environment"

A conference sponsored by the Avie Bennett Historica Chair in Canadian History, Department of History, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, will be held from October 13-15, 2011 at York University in Toronto.


Canadian Political History has changed over the last fifteen years. With a growing research interest in social history and for those who came to be categorized as "ordinary" people, some have lamented that the study of "great men" seems to have ended and, as a result, that political history had disappeared as a field of research. Although these concerns have received much attention, especially outside of academia, new venues were being investigated by scholars preoccupied with the study of the state, the development and implementation of public policies, strategies used by state components to foster a sense of belonging less centered around ethnicity and more around civic values, and strategies used by large segments of societal groups in order to shape policies and state symbols in a way that they would permit them identify themselves with these new symbols. Concluding that political history has disappeared is quite premature.

This conference entitled "Transformation: State, Nation, and Citizenship in a New Environment" will give researchers an opportunity to reveal the breadth and the level of sophistication that has developed within political history over the last decade. At the same time, it will reveal the discipline's transformation.

The state has been fundamentally transformed and shaped by Keynesianism, then neoliberalism and now neo-Keynesianism. These transformations also reflect the fact that the state - a sovereign entity that controls a well-defined territory recognized by the international community- has seen its actions, powers and abilities circumscribed by supranational entities, and regional, continental, and international treaties.


The main geographical area is Canada but comparison with other state entities will be considered. There is no specific time period. Since the conference intends to demonstrate new innovative venues pursued by scholars in political history, proposals might deal with one of the following topics:

-The welfare state, its development and transformation over time especially in the context of neoliberal policies

-The creation and implementation of public policies

-The liberal order and the usefulness of national narratives in order to understand Canadian historical experience

-State repression and strategies developed in targeting groups defined as subversive, or social agents and individuals who agreed to assist state components in their repression of dissent

-Nationalism and citizenship and how these concepts have been conceptualized over time

-Political culture and how Canadian culture has been conceptualized

-Political history as a discipline and changes that the discipline has undergone over time

-Expertise, its development and its capacity for shaping public policies

-The environment, science and public policies

-Science and its use in the development and implementation of public policies

-Federal-provincial relations in the context of mega constitutional negotiations and free trade agreements

-Aboriginals, self-government, land claims, and the political process


Panel and roundtable submissions should include a session title, a brief description of the panel or roundtable, abstracts for each paper of no more than 300 words, and a brief biography or one-page c.v./resume for each presenter before March 1, 2011.

Individuals should submit a title, a 300-word abstract plus a brief biography or one-page c.v./resume before March 1, 2011.

Please send your proposal to

Applicants will be notified of the acceptance of their proposal in April 2011.
Papers accepted for this conference may be requested for subsequent publication.


Dimitry Anastakis, Department of History, Trent University
Matthew Hayday, Department of History, University of Guelph
Marcel Martel, Department of History, York University
Jennifer Stephen, Department of History, York University
Will Stos, Department of History, York University


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures in Copyright - A Plea for Assistance

Over the past few years, a number of publishing projects have made me keenly aware of how complicated Canadian (and international) copyright law can be. Right now, I'm working on a textbook module on gay and lesbian activism in 1970s Canada for Nelson publishing. I'm proposing to include three book chapters and scholarly articles, plus a selection of material that was originally published in Toronto's The Body Politic periodical. Sounds simple, right? Alas, when it comes to securing copyright, it is anything but, and this seems to be the case for much material published in periodicals prior to the 1990s. While Pink Triangle Press, who published TBP, is keen to allow us permission to use this material, they aren't certain who legally holds the copyright, and so we have to track down the original authors/photographers/cartoonists. But what does one do if they don't know who the photographer was, or if the author is deceased. That, my gentle readers, calls for careful detective work.

So, on the off chance that this post is seen by some friendly readers familiar with gay and lesbian activists of the 1970s, I'd greatly appreciate any leads that can help me track down someone who might know about the estates of Chris Bearchell or Michael Lynch, or who knows who was leading Toronto Gay Action in 1971 and could authorize the reprinting of the "We Demand" manifesto. My email contact information is listed in my profile.

Many thanks!

ETA: Thanks to the various people who have provided me with helpfor this query! I think I now have all the information I could hope to have found.

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