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Archived news stories

Extended Deadlines for Grad Applications

Thinking About Grad School in History?  

Prospective Graduate Students for Sept. 2013:

We will continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis.

UVic's History Department is described by external reviewers as one of the best in the country and the university has consistently ranked in the top two Canadian comprehensive universities for the past six years (MacLean’s). UVic is the top-ranked Canadian university (without a medical school) in the Times Higher Education’s 2011 World University Rankings. 

The department offers both a one-year course work and a two-year thesis MA option.  The department includes 33 historians, with national and international reputations.   We are particularly strong in a range of subjects in Canadian history and in early modern and modern Britain and Europe, and also have considerable strength in American, World and Asian history.  The department also offers particular expertise in Indigenous, military, digital and public history.  Among the course options available are three field schools (Ethnohistory with the Stó:lõ; the Holocaust Field School; The Colonial Legacies Field School: South Africa to the 21st Century); other options include Co-op (which alternates school and work terms) and a congruent Diploma in Cultural Heritage Studies for those interested in museum or heritage work.  

For more information visit the Prospective students page or contact Dr. John Lutz, Graduate Director,

Read more about Extended Deadlines for Grad Applications.

2011 History newsletter

Hot off the press!  Keep up with what's been going on in the History Department!

2011 Newsletter

Read more about 2011 History newsletter.

Qualicum 2014: CFP now available


“Qualicum” Conference


The 39th Annual Qualicum Student-Faculty History Conference will take place


at the Quality Resort Bayside in scenic Parksville on Vancouver Island


The Program Committee welcomes paper proposals on all historical topics, regions, and time-periods, as well as ideas for innovative sessions and workshops.

                Proposal deadline:  

      FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013

► Proposals must be submitted online using the online submission form.

► Graduate students at B.C. universities will be given priority, but proposals from senior undergraduates and out-of-province graduate students are also welcome.

► Talks are normally 20 minutes long

► Please direct all enquiries to: 

Dr. Jill Walshaw
History Department
University of Victoria
(250) 721-7393

For more information, please visit the Qualicum Conference page on the History Department website as well as our Facebook forum.


Read more about Qualicum 2014: CFP now available.

Tamara Vrooman - How a Historian Became a CEO

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

1:30 pm, Cornett A120

Tamara Vrooman is the Chief Executive Officer of Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union, and the former Deputy Minister of Finance for British Columbia (2004-2007).  Her remarkable achievements have been recognized by numerous awards, among them the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Public Service (2003), Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 (2005), Women’s Executive Network: Top 100 Most Powerful Women (2008, 2009 & 2010), and the UVic Distinguished Alumni Award (2009).

Ms. Vrooman holds two History degrees from the University of Victoria, an Honours B.A. (1991) and a Master’s (1994).

The subject of her presentation will be the nature and relevance of historical training for a wide variety of career paths. There will be opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion.

Read more about Tamara Vrooman - How a Historian Became a CEO.

Paul Summerville Event

“How the study of history can be central to an awesome career in almost everything”


Paul Summerville was born in Britain, and has studied and worked in Canada and internationally.   He is an Adjunct Professor at the Peter Gustavson School of Business.  Paul’s undergraduate major was in History from Glendon College, York University with a minor in Political Science.   He completed a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo (1988) with a thesis on the Japanese automotive industry.  Paul worked at a number of prominent financial firms Deutsche Bank, Jardine Fleming, Lehman Brothers, RBC Capital, Richardson Greenshields, TD Securities, and Wellington Investment Management LLP in various roles. In April 2013 Paul co-founded a technology company LimeSpot. Paul ran twice for Parliament as a member of the NDP and more recently, the Liberal party.  He is the President of the Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island and gives speeches on Churchill’s idea of social justice.

Tuesday, October 22nd

2:30 to 4:00 pm

David Turpin Building A102

Read more about Paul Summerville Event.

12-13 Undergraduate Research Scholarships

We are now accepting applications from students for the 2012-13 Undergrad Research Scholarships.

The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) was instituted in 2009-10 as the Undergraduate Research Scholarship program by the Vice-President Academic and Provost. It is designed to provide support for exceptional undergraduate students who might otherwise not be able to obtain a direct research experience as a part of what we anticipate should be a truly formative learning experience. The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) administers the award nomination process on behalf of the Provost’s Office.

Eligible students include all full-time 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students (normally registered in 12 or more units of study in the Winter Session) in excellent academic standing (normally this is a minimum GPA requirement of 7.0). Award recipients will undertake a research investigation in dialogue with, and under the mentorship of, a faculty supervisor. Each academic unit is eligible for 1, 2 or 3 student nominations per year depending on the number of students in the unit. Each successful student receives $1,500 credited directly in their UVic account.

History is eligible to nominate 3 students.  All applicants must have a potential supervisor.  For honours students, their honours thesis counts as the piece of research they are required to do.

The application deadline is June 1st

Please send completed applications to

Read more about 12-13 Undergraduate Research Scholarships.

The City Talks

This fall, The City Talks will host three historical talks, all revolving around the common theme: "70 Years Later: Japanese Canadians and the Urban Legacy of War." The talks occur on the third Thursday of every month during the fall term (Sept-Dec) at the Legacy Gallery in downtown Victoria.

The doors to the Gallery open at 7:00 pm, and the talks start at 7:30.

The City Talks are free and open to the public.

For more information, please see: Or email Dr. Stanger-Ross.

Read more about The City Talks.

Upcoming lecture: Chief Bev Sellars

Chief Bev Sellars, Author of

They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School. 

Ceremonial Hall, First Peoples House UVIC

Monday, September 16

11:30 to 1:00

Sponsored by the Department of History and the Indigenous Studies Program.

“Deeply personal, sorrowful and ultimately triumphal, They Called Me Number One is an important addition to the literature on residential schools, and Canada’s reckoning with its colonial past.”

– Winnipeg Free Press

Read more about Upcoming lecture: Chief Bev Sellars.

Living Calendar

Come hear from faculty and preview 2014-15 History course offerings!

Thursday March 13 3:30 - 4:30

Clearihue A127

Living Calendar

Read more about Living Calendar.

Dr. Colby - The West and US Expansion

Dr. Jason Colby will give a talk titled The West and US Expansion: The Continental Consequences of the War of 1812

Mar 11 | 7pm
Maritime Museum of BC
28 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC

By donation

Specializing in U.S. international relations and modern American history, the University of Victoria’s Dr. Jason Colby speaks to expansion and continental power during and after the War of 1812. Winner of UVic’s Humanities Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013, Jason brings an American perspective to the Maritime’s lecture series and highlights the long-lasting consequences of the War of 1812 on the Pacific Northwest.

Read more about Dr. Colby - The West and US Expansion.

City Talks Lecture

Please join The City Talks, the Department of History, and the School of Environmental Studies for a special event:

March 5: Building Better Cities: Urban Renewal, State Power, and Democracy in 1960s Halifax and Vancouver
Tina Loo
Professor, Department of History, University of British Columbia

Wednesday, March 5, 7:30 PM

Legacy Art Gallery ~ 630 Yates Street, Victoria

Free Public Event

Tina Loo is the former Canada Research Chair in Environmental History and current Brenda and David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of two acclaimed books and numberous award willing articles, including her recentStates of Nature: Conserving Canada's Wildlife in the Twentieth Century, which was awarded the Canadian Historical Association's Sir John A. Macdonald Prize and the Harold Adams Innis Prize of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.


This special City Talk is a preview of Professor Loo's current book project. Within this talk, Loo will explore Canada's tumultuous relationship with urban planners and planning. Focusing on the controversies in 1960s Victoria and Halifax, Loo demonstrates that debates about cities are rooted in contests over citizenship and the state.

For more information, please visit

Read more about City Talks Lecture.

Public Talk by Eugene Rogan, Oxford University

Rogan Lecture

Read more about Public Talk by Eugene Rogan, Oxford University.

Panel Discussion: How does Canada's oldest synagogue fit into history?

On June 3rd, Victoria's Congregation Emanu-El will be celebrating the 150th Anniversary of its downtown synagogue, the oldest in Canada (for information on the celebration, see:

In this panel discussion, the current Rabbi of the shul joins scholars to discuss the significance of this anniversary in the history of the community, the city, and Jewish memorial projects.


Date: Monday, June 3
Time: 7:30pm
Place: It will take place in the sanctuary of Congregation Emanu-El at 1461 Blanshard Street.

This is a free event that is open to the public.


Harry Brechner, Rabbi, Congregation Emanuel: The place of the 150th Anniversary in the Spiritual Life of a Community

Zhongping Chen, History, University of Victoria: Victoria's Chinatown: A Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians

Faith Jones, History, UBC: Jewish Identity and Memory: The Online Yizkor Book Project

Richard Menkis, History, UBC: Weaving Together Heritage, Identity, and Memory

This panel is presented jointly by Congregation Emanu-El, the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies, the Canadian Historical Association, and The City Talks. Richard Menkis and Jordan-Stanger-Ross, co-convenors.

Read more about Panel Discussion: How does Canada's oldest synagogue fit into history?.

“Victoria’s Black History” - John Adams

Victoria's Black History

Read more about “Victoria’s Black History” - John Adams.

World History Lecture - February 6

World Hist lecture

Read more about World History Lecture - February 6.

Qualicum History Conference this weekend in Parksville

Qualicum is here!

Our program kicks off at 7:30 this evening in Parksville, with the plenary lecture given by visiting scholar Allyson Poska, entitled “Thinking Transimperially: A New Framework for Atlantic History.”

Complete final program


Materials will be available at the hotel in hard copy for conference attendees.

UVic students, faculty and staff, please fill out a Conference Registration form, or pick one up at the History Department office, and submit to Heather in the History Department (

The conference will be held at the Quality Resort Bayside hotel in Parksville, which you can view here: Pricing per person includes 2 nights’ accommodation, two buffet breakfasts, one buffet lunch, and the Saturday night dinner banquet. We’re able to offer a $70 reduction on conference costs for all UVic History students, as shown in the “UVic Student Price” column, below (thank-you, Qualicum Auction supporters!):

REGULAR                            UVIC STUDENT

Single:   $294.79                 Single:   $224.79
Double:  $198.82                 Double:  $128.82
Triple:    $177.93                 Triple:    $107.93
Quad:     $163.22                 Quad:     $93.22

Deadline for conference registration = January 10, 2014

Deadline for payment = January 17, 2014.

REGISTER EARLY! In previous years, high registration has meant that late registrants have been accommodated in an overflow hotel. Please register early to guarantee your room in the main conference location!

With participants from five universities, this promises to be a very exciting conference. We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Please contact Dr. Jill Walshaw at if you have any questions.

Read more about Qualicum History Conference this weekend in Parksville.

Pro-D Day Workshops for Social Studies Teachers

Free Event
Hosted by The UVic History Department
Friday, February 21, 2014

Welcome and Orientation 9:10-9:20

Clearihue A127

Workshop I 9:30-10:20

"The French Revolution"

Dr. Jill Walshaw
Clearihue Bldg A205

"Louis Riel and Canadian Western Expansion"
Dr. Eric Sager
David Strong Bldg C116

"The Komagata Maru Incident (1914) to the Chinese Exclusion Act (1923): Critical Approaches to a Decade of Change"
Dr. John Price
MacLaurin Bldg D103

Workshop II 10:30-11:20

"Gender History, Women's History and Changing Roles for Canadian Women, 1880-1980"
Dr. Lynne Marks
Cornett Bldg B135

"Indigenous History and Residential Schools in Canada"
Dr. Christine O'Bonsawin
Cornett Bldg A129

"From Hot to Cold War: The United States and the World, 1940 to 1948"
Dr. Jason Colby
David Strong Bldg C116

Refreshments will be available during workshop II

Plenary Session

11:30-12:20 - Cornett Bldg A221

Mr. Adrian French, Mount Douglas High School
"Fostering Historical Empathy"
Dr. John Lutz, University of Victoria
"Teaching History as Mystery"

Thank you for your interest. All sessions are full, and registration is now closed.

Read more about Pro-D Day Workshops for Social Studies Teachers.

Guest Lecture: Patrick Dunae


Read more about Guest Lecture: Patrick Dunae.

Neil Burton Memorial Lecture - Shark Truth

burton lecture

Read more about Neil Burton Memorial Lecture - Shark Truth.

Book Launch: Undoing Border Imperialism

book launch

Read more about Book Launch: Undoing Border Imperialism.

Lansdowne Lecture - Dr. Allyson Poska

Dr. Allyson Poska History Department, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA. 

“History, the Humanities, and the Promise of Possibilities”
7:30 pm
Thursday January 30th, 2014
David Turpin Building, Room A102

During this time of shrinking educational resources, politicians and the media often promote the sciences as the engine for social and economic progress.  This presentation argues that the humanities are the foundation of intellectual innovation.  As such education and research in the humanities provide the best promise of possibilities for the future.

Dr. Poska is a dynamic and wideranging scholar who studies gender, religion and social relations.  She is professor of History at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia and is the author of several books.  Her temporal focus is early modern and her research is transatlantic in scope, involving both Spain and Latin America. 

Read more about Lansdowne Lecture - Dr. Allyson Poska.

Making a Life in History After an MA


Read more about Making a Life in History After an MA.

Historical lead research leads to $1 billion courtroom victory

On Monday, a California judge ordered three corporations —Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries, and ConAgra—to contribute $1.1 billion into a state-run fund to clean up lead paint hazards in 10 California cities and counties. David Rosner, an expert on the history of lead paint, was a key witness in the case. Rosner is the author, with Gerald Markowitz, of Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children and Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution.

Read more about Historical lead research leads to $1 billion courtroom victory.

Upcoming Graduate Defences

Program of the Final Oral Examination
for the Degree of Master of Arts

“The Mischiefmakers Woman’s Movement Development in Victoria, British Columbia, 1850-1910”

Friday, December 13, 2013
Graduate Student Centre,
Room 108/112

Read more about Upcoming Graduate Defences.

In Memoriam - Dr. Ian MacPherson


Dr. Ian Macpherson, long-time member of the History Department, as well as former Chair of the Department and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, passed away on Saturday, November 16th.   He was 74.

Ian joined the History Department in 1976.  He was an eminent Canadian historian of the rural Prairie West and had a long and extremely distinguished career working on both historical and contemporary issues relating to co-operatives, both in Canada and around the world.   In 2000 Ian founded the B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies at UVic (now the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy), and served as Director of the Centre from 2000 to 2008.  The Centre became a prime source of scholarly material as well as support for practitioners in co-operative undertaking.  Ian was also very active in the co-op movement both in Canada and internationally, and took a leading role in creating the Canadian Co-operative Association, was the co-founder of CASC (the Canadian Association for the Study of Co-operation), and chair of the International Co-operative Alliance committee that revised the co-operative principles in 1995.

Ian was a kind and compassionate man, an exceptional teacher and mentor, a wise leader, a distinguished scholar and a model of a community-engaged academic.  He will be much missed.

Read more about In Memoriam - Dr. Ian MacPherson.

Qualicum Auction this Tuesday Nov. 19th

Don't miss the Qualicum Auction: Tuesday November 19th at the Grad Lounge, doors at 5:30pm, auction begins at 6:30pm.

Up for bids are movie passes, concert tickets, workshops and rec centre passes, delectable treats, hotel stays, wine & rum, pet sitting and custom blinds and many other great products and services... not to mention BOOKS! Come one, come all, order a drink and some dinner and have fun with your friends and colleagues! Children are allowed on the premises for this special event.


Read more about Qualicum Auction this Tuesday Nov. 19th.

Upcoming Grad Defense

Program of the Final Oral Examination
for the Degree of Master of Arts


“The Western Perception of Empress Dowager Cixi”

Friday, November 15, 2013

University Centre,
Room 207A

A copy of the thesis will be available for viewing in the General Office of the
Department of History at least one week prior to the oral examination.

Read more about Upcoming Grad Defense.

Bonnie Sawyer - CSRS Public Lecture

CSRS lecture

Read more about Bonnie Sawyer - CSRS Public Lecture.

ON TRIAL! The Panama Maru in Victoria: Performing a Hundred Year Retrospective

Panama Maru

Read more about ON TRIAL! The Panama Maru in Victoria: Performing a Hundred Year Retrospective.

Syria risks losing more than bazaars and mosques

Ezra Karmel, October 24, 2013

Ezra Karmel is a Graduate Fellow at UVic’s Centre for Global Studies and the Head of Research for the Jordanian CSO Identity Center

Damascus, locals say, does not measure its history in years or generations, but in civilizations. The evidence of these past lives is etched into its ancient walls and markets, which are now crumbling under the weight of war. The last two years have erased thousands of years of history, leaving the Syrian people as the last remnant of its legacy.

Those who have travelled to Syria will have experienced the unfathomable kindness and humility of a people that have witnessed the rise and fall of countless empires. Many will likely have also visited the famous Damascene café, where nightly (until 2011) the last storyteller of Syria, Mr. Abu Shadi, recounted age-old stories of empires past, whilst packed-in listeners smoked water pipes and drank Turkish coffee by the thimbleful. Those stories are no longer being told. They are vanishing along with the cities that gave them resonance.

Along with Syria’s famous mosques and bazaars, the Syrian people are being buried under the weight of the regime’s onslaught. Even those who have managed to escape Assad’s tank treads are being lost. They are being dispersed throughout the region and across the globe. Since violence erupted more than two years ago, over two million Syrians have joined the growing diaspora community.

Thus far, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has absorbed more refugees from this conflict than any other country. Daily, nearly 1 000 Syrians flee across Jordan’s northern border, seeking refuge from the conflict. In total, Jordan, a country with a population of over six million people, has received more than half a million Syrian refugees. This massive influx has drastically reoriented the demographic landscape of the small, ethnically divided kingdom. The third-largest city in the entire kingdom is now Za’atari, a Syrian refugee camp located in the North of Jordan.

The Syrian presence is also evident outside of the crowded, putrid streets of Za’atari. Jordan is being irrevocably changed, as more and more Syrians begin afresh within its borders. Along with their savings—which do not go far in Jordan’s vastly more expensive society—the refugees have brought only their culture. Yet this cultural influence has had a profound social impact; daily you hear the resulting quips: “Jordan is becoming a much friendlier place” or “the confectionary here is certainly getting a lot better.”

As with all jokes, there is a foundation of truth in these remarks. News stands, shops, and restaurants are popping up across Amman, the kingdom’s capital. One of these restaurants was opened by a Syrian chef who fled to Jordan with his family in 2011.

Syrians such as the chef have started new lives in Jordan. The Hashemite Kingdom has graciously opened its doors and provided relative stability and safety to the Syrian newcomers. However, as Syrians grow accustomed to life in the conservative kingdom, growing anti-Syrian sentiments are also emerging. Due to the supposedly negative impact that Syrians have inflicted upon the economy and housing market, Jordanians are becoming increasingly hostile towards their new guests. In fact, while Jordanians were quick to condemn Assad when the conflict broke out, support for his regime is now growing, as many Jordanians see him as the best possible solution to the Syrian problem and the expedient return of Syrians to their homes.

To please its Western allies and maintain solidarity with its Arab brethren, Jordan continues to accept refugees. It does not, however, want its land to become a permanent home for fleeing Syrians. Jordan has been used as a dumping pile for refugees in many conflicts past; it refuses to once again be used as a pawn in superpower gambits. The wars with Israel and the conflicts in the Gulf brought wave upon wave of refugees to Jordan. They came as temporary guests, but made permanent homes.

The Syrian chef has been forced to close his restaurant. It is possible that he merely went out of business (his tabouleh was surprisingly cheap), although it is plausible that the Mukhabarat (Jordanian intelligence) forced his closure.

While the regime may not make life easy for the refugees, Syrians who have made a new home in Jordan are unlikely to pack up and return to a war-ravaged Syria the moment the conflict ends. The Syrian chef may have been forced to close his business, but he has since found employment elsewhere and is building a new life for himself and his family in Jordan. As with the end of the Iraq War, many of these refugees will decide to stay in Jordan after the conflict.

Even if it means living without citizenship or rights, some may choose to gamble on the security and affluence of Jordan. Countless Syrians who escaped the fate of being caught in no man’s land—between the bombardment of Assad and the opposing rebels—will, nonetheless, be lost from Syria.

As the war endures, Syria continues to lose its people—not just to death, but to the diaspora. If the war does not end soon, the Syrian culture that was once vibrant may disintegrate along with the bazaars and mosques of Damascus.

Read more about Syria risks losing more than bazaars and mosques.

Thinking about an MA in History at UVic or Elsewhere?

Everything you always wanted to know about graduate studies in history:

  • Scholarships
  • Entrance Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • What is Involved
  • Employment Opportunities

All will be revealed by Dr. John Lutz, Graduate Director

Wednesday 23 October
Clearihue A205.

Read more about Thinking about an MA in History at UVic or Elsewhere?.

Bev Sellars Presentation

Video Link

Thank you to Dan Posey, UVic History Department, for filming this presentation.

Read more about Bev Sellars Presentation.

The Corvette - Call for Submissions

Corvette poetry

Read more about The Corvette - Call for Submissions.

THUGS Upcoming Events!

THUGS pub crawl

THUGS Jeopardy night
THUGS Ghost Tour

Read more about THUGS Upcoming Events!.

Work Study Positions Available!

The History Department has several Work Study positions available.  Details can be found on through the Office of the Registrar:

Read more about Work Study Positions Available!.

History Students Represented at 50th Anniversary Awards Ceremony

The University recently honoured 5 exceptional UVic alumni with a 50th Anniversary Award.  Each honorand exemplifies the rich diversity and tradition of excellence at UVic and embodies our vision to be engaged citizens and leaders contributing to the betterment of our local and global communities.

Two of the five people selected are graduates of our MA program!  Congratulations to Alisa Smith and Tamara Vrooman!

Alisa Smith

BA (History in Art), '94, Faculty of Fine Arts | MA (History), '97, Faculty of Humanities

A commitment to sustainability is central to UVic’s mission and core to teaching and research across the university. Alisa Smith personifies this commitment and has captured the imagination of consumers with the publication of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, which she co-authored with her partner, former University of Victoria student J.B. MacKinnon.

The book puts sustainability to the test as the authors describe the challenges and triumphs of spending 365 days living on food produced within a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver home. Released in 2007, the book, struck a chord amid concern about climate change – especially considering that so many groceries originate from a distance of 1,500 miles or more. The book also coincided with widening interest in the “locavore” movement and farmer’s markets.

The book received a national Cordon D’Or culinary literature award in the United States and a Canadian Culinary Book Award, as well as the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize. Chapters/Indigo named it a best book of the decade. It is also reading material in colleges and universities across North America.

 The 100-Mile Diet was also adapted into a TV series, The 100-Mile Challenge, hosted by the authors. It aired on Food Network Canada and Discovery Planet Green in the US, and in Europe and Asia.

Tamara Vrooman

BA (History), '91, Faculty of Humanities | MA (History), '94, Faculty of Humanities

Educating socially responsible leaders for the public and private sector is a UVic tradition. Tamara Vrooman’s accomplishments exemplify UVic’s commitment to thoughtful leadership and affirm that the health and wealth of society are inseparable.

As the chief executive officer of Canada’s largest credit union, Tamara Vrooman is responsible for ensuring Vancity fulfills its vision of redefining wealth for members and communities. Her recent success builds on her prior career in the British Columbia public service.

Overseeing Vancity’s $16-billion balance sheet, she helped the credit union achieve, in 2011, the best earnings performance in its 65-year history. Under her leadership, Vancity has also become the first carbon neutral credit union in North America and the first Canadian financial institution invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

Previously, as deputy minister of finance for BC, Tamara Vrooman led successful public service contract negotiations and helped the province achieve two AAA credit rating upgrades. She also oversaw the government's annual $100-billion borrowing and cash requirements and development of the government's $36-billion fiscal plan.

A recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Public Service, she was also named three times to the Women’s Executive Network: Top 100 Most Powerful Women list. In 2008 she received the UVic Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Read more about History Students Represented at 50th Anniversary Awards Ceremony.

History Social Spetember 17

Welcome to the History Department!

You are invited to our History social to celebrate the new school year. 

Pizza and other rrefreshments will be served.

Meet History instructors and members of our undergrad student society (THUGS).

Clearihue A127

Tuesday September 17th

2:30 pm

See you there!

Read more about History Social Spetember 17.

History is more than just getting the facts right

MARCH 15, 2013

This year, history made it to the Oscars as never before. Four of the nominees for best picture were about historical events: Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained. All four unleashed debates over the films’ accuracy and the role of movies in shaping our knowledge of the past.

Does it matter if Argo turns the rescue of Americans into a CIA rather than a Canadian operation? Yes, it does. But as a historian, I see another problem. The debates over these films emphasize factual accuracy and completeness. In doing so, they reinforce common misunderstandings about what history is and what it is for.

A common view is that historians are mere fact-grubbers. Occasionally, they enter the real world to correct errors made by people doing important things, whether in politics, war, business or movie-making. The real world moves on, whether corrected or not, and the historian returns to her burrow in the archives.

Can we please throw such notions into our garbage cans where they belong? History is not the past, dead and gone for all but a few fact-obsessed zealots. History is the past that exists in the present: It is the social memory that guides us between past, present and future. Without it, we have amnesia, and we cannot see our way clearly.

History is also a set of skills, a big toolbox that is applied to problems in the real world. It is what some people call “soft skills,” although the skills are hard to acquire. They are skills that employers value: fast and comprehensive evidence-gathering, systematic analysis, clear reasoning, teamwork and effective communication. Above all, history is about change over time: how to understand change, how to evaluate multiple causes, how to put change in context. History is these things.

Consider the testimony of Tamara Vrooman (MA in history), CEO of Vancity and former deputy minister of finance for B.C.: “Much of my work requires making sound, reasoned and objective arguments based on evidence and data which are often incomplete and difficult to interpret. Often, this requires the ability to explain and defend the assumptions and the analysis publicly. If this isn’t the practice of history, I don’t know what is.”

On the value of the skill set of historians and other humanists, consider what Google did in 2011. Google vice-president Marissa Mayer announced the projected hiring of 6,000 people — “probably 4,000-5,000 from the humanities or liberal arts.”

Consider the pattern of job growth in Canada. Statistics Canada tells us that job growth between 2007 and 2011 was fastest in health-related occupations (a 16 per cent increase). Job growth was also strong in “art, culture, recreation and sport” (13 per cent), which was ahead of “natural and applied sciences” (eight per cent). Of the million job openings expected in B.C. between 2010 and 2020, 78 per cent are likely to require post-secondary education, and there will be a demand for graduates in all fields.

Of course, a bachelor’s degree in humanities does not get you a job by itself. The BA is what a high school diploma was generations ago. Today, it is one stage in a long education pathway.

History is not a job ticket. It is a mental discipline, a strengthening of specific muscles that we all use in seeing and knowing. “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there,” wrote the novelist L.P. Hartley.

History takes us to that other country and back to the present, where we see our world with the empathy of an experienced traveller, with a new respect for people of different cultures, with a keen eye for the trivial and the transitory, and with a renewed sense of the goods we should value and the evils we should discard.

It may be that Lincoln got some facts wrong about who voted for or against the amendment to abolish slavery. Such small errors detract little from an entertaining film about the Lincoln that Americans know and even revere.

Elsewhere, history was doing its work. A week after Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his portrayal of Lincoln, Andrew Preston, a Canadian, won the Charles Taylor prize for his history of religion in American politics. Among other achievements, Preston’s book gives us a new portrait of Lincoln: a Christian for whom the Civil War was a moral crusade. In a small but important way, Preston has changed the world as we know it. He gave us not just facts, but a necessary wisdom about the enduring religious roots of American politics.

Eric W. Sager is a member of the University of Victoria’s history department.

More information and lesson plan

Read more about History is more than just getting the facts right.

Whose History? A Public Forum on Harper's Review of Canadian History

Monday, June 3rd
8:00 pm
Legacy Gallery, 630 Yates Street at Broad and Yates.

Moderator: Dave Obee, Editor in Chief of the Victoria Times Colonist.

Speakers include:
Wayne Axford Former President, B.C. Social Studies Teachers
Jim Clifford Co-editor
Lyle Dick

President of the Canadian Historical Association,
and retired Parks Canada historian

Greg Kealey Retired Professor of History and former Provost
and VP Research, UNB
Jocelyn Létourneau

Canada Research Chair in Contemporary Political
History and Economy in Quebec, Université Laval

Tina Loo Canada Research Chair in Environmental History UBC
Michael Marker Associate Professor of Educational Studies, UBC

 Co-sponsored by the Canadian Historical Association and the Department of History, UVic

Read more about Whose History? A Public Forum on Harper's Review of Canadian History.

UVic is hosting the annual CHA conference

Intersections and Edges/Intersections et limites

June 3, 2013 – June 5, 2013

The University of Victoria is proud to host the 2013 meeting of the Canadian Historical Association.

More information

Read more about UVic is hosting the annual CHA conference.

2014 South Africa Field School

Spend three weeks in South Africa and learn on-the-ground about impacts of colonial histories in everyday life and on rural and urban landscapes; sustainable rural development; apartheid and reconciliation; grassroots anti-poverty initiatives; community responses to HIV/AIDS; gender and development; land, labour and global economy; modes of historical memory.

Field school faculty: Dr. Elizabeth Vibert and doctoral candidate Megan Harvey, UVic History

3rd and 4th-year students from all disciplines are welcome to apply

More information and draft itinerary

Read more about 2014 South Africa Field School.

Online Museum Offers View Into Chinatown

A new online resource offering visual insight into the lives of Chinese Canadians in Victoria and on the west coast launched April 4 at the University of Victoria Libraries. More than 50 people, including a dozen leaders of local Chinese organizations, attended the launch ceremony.

“Victoria’s Chinatown: Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians” ( provides visitors with access to hundreds of digital images illustrating Chinese experiences in Victoria and Pacific Canada. It includes historic photos and documents relating to Chinatown’s landscape changes, heritage buildings, community associations, numerous historic figures, the Chinatown Newsletter since 1993, and paintings of Chinatown by Victoria artist Robert Amos.

The digital collection is complemented with recorded interviews with a number of residents and contemporary community leaders.

“The website of Victoria’s Chinatown is a gateway to both Chinese Canadian experience and Canadian multiculturalism because it’s just our first step toward online preservation and presentation of diverse experiences of different Asian Canadian communities,” says UVic history professor Zhongping Chen, who spearheaded the effort with colleague John Price, also a history professor.

The digital resource is a joint project of UVic’s Asian Canadian Working Group and the UVic Libraries, in partnership with the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, and the Chinese Public School.

Funding for the project came from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Read more about Online Museum Offers View Into Chinatown.

Upcoming Graduate Defences

The Final Oral Examination
For the Degree of
(Faculty of Humanities--History)
Axel Schoeber
“Gérard Roussel: An Irenic Religious Change Agent”
April 16, 2013
9:00 am
University Centre, room A207a


The Final Oral Examination
For the Degree of
(Faculty of Humanities--History)
Gordon Lyall
"The Pig and the Postwar Dream: The San Juan Island Dispute, 1853 - 1872, in History and Memory"
April 26, 2013
9:30 am
Clearihue B315

The Final Oral Examination
For the Degree of
(Faculty of Humanities--History)
Lee Blanding
"Re-branding Canada: The Origins of Canadian Multiculturalism Policy, 1045 - 1974"
May 21, 2013
10:00 am
University Centre, room A207a




Read more about Upcoming Graduate Defences.

City Talks

Thursday 28 February, 2013

Dr. Jason Corburn, University of California,Berkeley

Doors Open at 7:00

Lecture Begins at 7:30

At the Legacy Art Gallery ~ 630 Yates Street

See more details about the talks this semester @

Social justice and city planning go hand in hand. In the upcoming lecture for UVic’s ongoing City Talks series, Dr. Jason Corburn of the University of California, Berkeley, will argue that city planners can learn from the expertise of community residents living in the most impoverished districts of Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, and America.

As the trend toward urbanization continues globally, shifting the focus to emphasize social justice will lead to a more sustainable future. Corburn’s talk on Feb. 28, “Making Healthy and Equitable City Planning Work: Lessons from Three Continents,” will explore how to reorganize 21st-century city planning to focus on health equity.

Read more about City Talks.

Faces of UVic Research - Dr. Eric Sager

Read more about Faces of UVic Research - Dr. Eric Sager.

High School Essay Contest

Attention: The Corvette High School Essay Contest 2013

The History Undergraduate Society is holding an essay contest, and will publish the winner in our peer-reviewed journal, The Corvette!

To enter, you must be a current Grade 12 student in school district 61 or 63. You do not have to apply to UVic to be eligible.

The Question:

Which of the following twentieth century events had the greatest impact upon Canadians and why: The Great Depression, World War Two, or the Cold War? Briefly discuss each and give reasons to support your argument.

The Rules:

  • No independent research is required; this question is meant to draw upon what you have learned in Social Studies 11 and/or History 12. If you do research, please cite any books or articles you use in footnotes and a bibliography using the UVic History Department Style Guide (available online at
  • Essays should be between 750-1000 words.
  • Only one submission per contestant is permitted.
  • Students should submit their essays as Microsoft Word attachments to by no later than Midnight January 18 2013. The subject line of the email should be “Corvette Essay Contest Submission” and emails should include the student’s name, school, school district and telephone number.
  • Essays will be evaluated for their critical thinking, originality and style. The journal will be published in March 2013.

Good Luck!

Read more about High School Essay Contest.

History course in the news!

There is more to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth than the movies. It's all set to begin again with the release next month of the first installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy and, less than three weeks later, the University of Victoria will launch a new third-year course (History 380A - "The Created Medieval History of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth") on Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's world. Historian Dr. Tim Haskett will delve deeply into Tolkien’s full body of work, much more than Jackson had on hand when crafting his screen adaptations.

Haskett, a history professor and medievalist who has taught at UVic for 23 years, says the new course will be “radically unlike anything I’ve done before.” He will take his class of 200 undergraduate students through the history created by the English writer and Oxford professor—from the creation of the World to the War of the Ring—based on what Tolkien knew as a medieval scholar. “I want to take students through the deep and complex world of Middle-earth. We will approach Tolkien’s writings as a coherent historical record. This world is a creation, to be sure, but it has to be understood as a real history if it is to make sense.”

Haskett will be in the ticket line up when the first new film hits screens next month, and he adds, “If Jackson needs another screenwriter, I’m available.”

Metro News

Huffington Post


Read more about History course in the news!.

Qualicum Auction!

The much anticipated Qualicum History Conference Auction will take place on Tuesday, November 20th at the Graduate Student Lounge. The doors will open at 5:30 pm and the live auction will begin at 6:30. Come at 5:30, order something to eat and drink, and browse through the many items on the auction tables.

The Graduate History Student Union (GHSU) hosts this annual auction to raise funds in support of student participation in the Qualicum History Conference taking place early in the new year.

In the past years there have been great items on which to bid, such as:

- Hotel and restaurant gift certificates
 - Movie and sporting events passes
 - Home-baked goods
 - Hand-made works of art
 - Books galore!
 - Concert and theatre tickets
 - Wine, beer and spirits!          

This is just a taste of what to expect for this year.

Please “like” Qualicum History Conference on facebook and spread the word!

Please put November 20th on your calendar and plan to attend this fun evening. Contact Peter Cook ( or Andrea Feary ( if you have any questions.

Read more about Qualicum Auction!.

The City Walks

This Saturday, September 29th, UVic's Committee for Urban Studies launches a new series, The City Walks, to complement our ongoing activities. Beginning at 10:00 AM at the corner of Fisgard and Store,  Vincent Gornall, an urbanist and graduate student in history, will lead an interactive scholarly walking tour entitled entitled "Labour Migration and the Making of Ethnicity in Victoria." We hope you will consider joining us. 

This City Walks are designed to facilitate a public dialogue and discussion. Each month, Vincent will offer a tour that mirrors the themes of the *The City Talks.* He'll ask how the themes of the talks inform us about our own city. The Walks are active and participatory. They are free public events, and all are welcome.

Labour Migration and the Making of Ethnicity in Victoria

Saturday, September 29th 10 a.m. - 12 noon

Departure at Fisgard and Store streets

This walk takes-up the themes of Audrey Kobayashi's talk on September 20th. Vincent will guide the group through a critical discussion about the past and present of Victoria’s downtown, including Chinatown and the Empress Hotel. Together, participants will explore the ways in which ethnicity and labour migration shaped these locations, and the ways these locations continue to shape ethnicity.

During the semester, more information about The City Walks will continue to be available at

Questions can be addressed to Vincent at

Read more about The City Walks.

2012-13 Work study positions are now posted!

Please find the list of available Work study positions in the History department here.

Read more about 2012-13 Work study positions are now posted!.

Dr. Marks wins Marion Dewar Prize!

Congratulations to Dr. Lynne Marks from the Department of History for winning the Marion Dewar prize for 2012!

The prize is awarded annually by the National Capital Committee on the Scholarship, Preservation and Dissemination of Women's History, which is composed of a group of feminist historians drawn from a variety of universities, colleges, government, cultural instutions and non-profit organizations in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The award is given to Canadian historians who specialize in women's history and it recognizes an outstanding scholar based on the strength of research, teaching and administrative work during her or his career to date. Dr. Marks is the eighth receipient of this award.

Read more about Dr. Marks wins Marion Dewar Prize!.

Dr. Lutz wins Craigdarroch Award

Award for Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Through an innovative weave of traditional historical research, community-based fieldwork and popular interactive websites, historian Dr. John Lutz sheds new light on settler-Aboriginal relations in the Pacific Northwest and makes Canadian history fun and accessible for everyone.

The Craigdarroch Research Awards are named for Craigdarroch Castle, which was home to Victoria College from 1921 to 1946. These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize those who excel in original, productive, entrepreneurial and ground-breaking research at the University of Victoria.

Congratulations Dr. Lutz!

Read more about Dr. Lutz wins Craigdarroch Award.

Deadline to apply for McKinnon scholarship extended!

Allan and Elizabeth McKinnon Scholarship

A scholarship is awarded to a senior (3rd or 4th year) student of high academic standing engaged in a Major or Honours program in Canadian history who would find it difficult to resume studies without financial aid. The deadline for letters of application is May 15th. A budget sheet must be completed to qualify for this award. The Administrative Officer will send you a budget sheet for completion upon receipt of your application.

In 2011 the value of the McKinnon scholarship was $1750.

*Letters of application should include a CV noting student achievements at UVic and in the community, as well as a cover letter summarizing the qualities that make you a good candidate for the scholarship

Read more about Deadline to apply for McKinnon scholarship extended!.

Dr. Eric Sager wins the 2012 Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award

University of Victoria historian Dr. Eric Sager, who has worked tirelessly to communicate the relevance of history to daily life, will receive the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC’s (CUFA BC) 2012 Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award tonight at a special awards ceremony in Vancouver.

Sager is particularly well known for his efforts to promote research in the public sphere and connect historical research on census data to public policy decisions. He has produced as many popular and critical essays in newspapers and magazines as he has academic articles in journals and books, and has made frequent use of national radio and television, including a two-part series on CBC's Ideas. Sager has also worked with professional organizations to prepare briefs for parliamentary committees in a relentless effort to emphasize his common refrain that history is always with us.

Sager has devoted himself to highlighting the importance of education. In a September 2009 discussion paper entitled “Universities and the Knowledge Economy,” Sager and UVic President David Turpin outlined the need for a new era of collaboration among universities, government and the private sector. Sager has demonstrated a similar level of commitment to high school education as a constant visitor to local classrooms and an ambassador on the merits of a history degree.

“Yes, universities contribute to the knowledge economy,” says Sager. “But let’s not sell ourselves short; universities are places where society stores and shares its arts and sciences, for their indispensable value to us all.” Sager has also worked extensively with information from Canada's censuses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was director of the Canadian Families Project (1996-2001) and a co-investigator with the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure Project (2003-09).

The CUFA BC awards are presented annually to honour faculty members from BC universities. The career achievement award, introduced in 1999 in special tribute to academic, community builder and international development consultant Dr. Paz Buttedahl, recognizes sustained outstanding contributions to the community beyond the academy.

Read more about Dr. Eric Sager wins the 2012 Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award.

Seminar Discussion with Michael Gilsenan

"Persons, Properties, and the Transmission of Goods in an Arab Diaspora"

Thursday 22 March

1:15 - 2:30pm

Clearihue B215

Michael Gilsenan is the David B. Kriser Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A specialist on the anthropology and sociology of Islam, he is the author of Recognizing Islam: Religion and Society in the Modern Middle East (rev. ed., 2000), Lords of the Lebanese Marches: Violence and Narrative in a Lebanese Society (1996), and Saint and Sufi in Modern Egypt: An Essay in the Sociology of Religion (1973).

Read more about Seminar Discussion with Michael Gilsenan.

Scholarship opportunities!

The following awards require a letter of application to the department Chair by email to the Administrative Officer.

The Maureen Dobbin Scholarship

A scholarship of $500 is awarded to the student in a Majors or Honours program in History who best combines academic excellence with contributions to the University and/or the community. The deadline for letters of application is April 15th. 

Allan and Elizabeth McKinnon Scholarship

A scholarship is awarded to a senior student of high academic standing engaged in a Major or Honours program in Canadian history who would find it difficult to resume studies without financial aid. The deadline for letters of application is April 15th. A budget sheet must be completed to qualify for this award. The Administrative Officer will send you a budget sheet for completion upon receipt of your application.

*Letters of application should include a CV noting student achievements at UVic and in the community, as well as a cover letter summarizing the qualities that make you a good candidate for the scholarship

Read more about Scholarship opportunities!.

Lecture on the Future of Digital Research

"Close reading, distant reading and in between: visualizing spaces of knowledge in early medieval scholarship"

Dr. Malte Rehbein, Director of the Centre of Digital Editing at Würzburg University, Germany; Visiting Scholar at the ETCL
Wednesday, March 21st
12 - 1 p.m.
Clearihue C108

Abstract: The talk illustrates an ongoing project which aims at exploring the "intellectual network" of early medieval scholarship, textual practices and exegeses. It focuses on two aspects: one is the exploration of an 8th century manuscript from the renowned Würzburg collection "Libri Sancti Killiani" with glosses and commentaries (the "Würzburg Saint Matthew") and its intertextual relations to other texts, mainly patristic sources such as Jerome or Isidore. The other aspect is an outline of ideas how a close reading of these relations can be extended towards an intellectual network of early medieval textual practices as a whole, employing digital methods such as encoding of information and data visualization.

Bio: Malte Rehbein is a PhD in Medieval History from Göttingen University, Director of the Centre of Digital Editing at Würzburg and Lecturer in Digital Humanities with a focus on Digital History. He serves as co-chair of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Manuscript Special Interest Group, on the executive of the Digital Medievalist ( and as scientific coordinator of the European Science Foundation Research Networking Programme NeDiMAH (Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities, He is a former Marie Curie-fellow at the National University of Ireland, Galway and has an additional background in software development, project management and consulting. See also his homepage

Bring your lunch and join us to discuss the future of digital research!

Read more about Lecture on the Future of Digital Research.

The City Talks - Seeing Like a City

Please join us this Thursday evening, March 15th, for the final installment of The City Talks, 2011-2012.

Seeing Like a City
Warren Magnusson, Political Science
University of Victoria

The Legacy Art Gallery, Downtown Victoria
Doors open at 7:00
Lecture begins at 7:30

This is a free public event.

Victoria’s own Warren Magnusson, a founding member of the Committee for Urban Studies at the University of Victoria will explore themes related to his recent book, Politics of Urbanism: Seeing Like a City (Routledge, 2011). In it professor Magnusson advances a new interpretation of the role of cities/urbanism in contemporary political life. The city, he argues, defies our expectations of governance and authority. In this context, he asks, how do we engage in realistic and creative politics?

Read more about The City Talks - Seeing Like a City.

W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarships

The British Columbia Historical Federation awards two scholarships annually for essays written by students at B.C. colleges or universities, on a topic relating to British Columbia history.  One scholarship ($750) is for an essay written by a student in a first or second year course; the other ($1,000) is for an essay written by a student in a third or fourth year course.

To apply for the scholarship all candidates must submit (1) a letter of application and (2) a letter of recommendation from the professor for whom the essay was written.  First and second year course essays should be 1,500-3,000 words; third and fourth year, 1,500-5,000 words.  By entering the scholarship competition the student gives the editor of British Columbia History the right to edit and publish the essay if it is deemed appropriate for the magazine.

Applications by mail with 3 printed copies of the essay (no e-mails, please) should be submitted to:  Marie Elliott, Chair, B.C. Historical Federation Scholarship Committee, PO Box 5254, Station B, Victoria, B.C.  V8R 6N4.  For information on other BCHF awards please check

Deadline: May 15, 2012

Read more about W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarships.

Help us with the History of History!


 In 2013 UVic will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as a university but the history of the History department goes back at least to 1920 when it was part of Victoria College. (A  case may be made that it dates from 1903  but that will require further research).   In all but the latter days of the College the department was very small.  Sydney Pettit was the only historian and at various times  also acted as  librarian or taught psychology and sociology.  By 1963, when the College became a University the nucleus of the present department was emerging as professors such as R.H. Roy had joined the department.  In the late 1960s the department began to grow rapidly.

Historians know the value of the written record;  the minutes of department meetings survive.  In addition, many professors who taught in the late 1960s and beyond are available for interviews but there is little evidence of the department's history from the student's point of view.   And there are no photographs.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, the department has asked me to write its history.   In order to make it more than a formal record of such things as how the curriculum evolved, how the faculty debated such matters as smoking at department meetings,  or how the secretaries coped with the first computers and photocopiers,  I need anecdotes from former students.  I have some stories such how the forerunner of THUGS (The History UnderGraduate Society) got in trouble for serving sherry at a party but I need more.  Do you recall any outstanding professors?   Any eccentric ones?  Do you remember any highlights of the Qualicum Conferences?   Were you part of the UVic team that won the University Challenge (a televised quiz show) in 1971? Were you writing an exam in the old gym when the lights went out?   What was it like to be a pioneer graduate student?  And, of course, memories of routine events are also welcome.

If you have any stories or photographs to share, they will be greatly   appreciated.   Photographs will be returned if you provide your name and address or they can be scanned and sent electronically.  I would like to have stories and photos by 12 March 2012 so they can be incorporated into the manuscript in a timely manner.

Any stories relating to the History Department and how rules, regulations or customs have changed will be welcomed as possible contributions to the Department’s History.

When you submit your stories, please provide your name, your years of attendance, and indicate whether you wish to be acknowledged by name or left anonymous.

Thank you.   I look forward to hearing from you.

Patricia Roy
Professor Emeritus    

Read more about Help us with the History of History!.

Panel Discussion On U.S.-Iranian Relations

This is panel discussion on the history of U.S.-Iranian relations and Iran's nuclear program being put on by the History Undergraduates Society and the UVic Students Middle East Dialogue Group.

Monday March 5, 2012

Michel Pujol Room, Student Union Building, 1:00 - 2:30 PM

We are very excited about the panelists who have agreed to be involved!

Dr. Greg Blue will be speaking on Iran's history from World War II up until the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Dr. Martin Bunton will be discussing the Iranian nuclear program, examining the extent to which the concerns that Iran may be weaponizing are well-founded.

Dr. Peyman Vahabzadeh will shed light on aspects of U.S.-Iranian relations since the Revolution, and discuss how Iranians view the United States.

Dr. Jason Colby will discuss further the relations between the United States and Iran since the Revolution, in context of the current state of affairs.

Please join us for this exciting event!

Read more about Panel Discussion On U.S.-Iranian Relations.

Summer 2012 course offerings

Summer course offerings are now available!  Make the most of your summer

List of summer courses with descriptions.

Summer registration starts March 27.

If you need help please contact our undergraduate assistant at

Read more about Summer 2012 course offerings.

Distinguished Women Scholar Dr. Paula Fass

The History Department is sponsoring a Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture next month by Dr. Paula Fass. This visit is cosponsored by the Departments of English and Women's Studies, and the School of Child and Youth Care.

Dr. Fass will hold a colloquium for History, English, and Women's Studies faculty and graduate students on Thursday, March 1st  from 1:15 to 2:30 in Clearihue B215, where she will present a historiographical interpretation of work in the History of Childhood during the previous half century.

Dr. Fass's public lecture will be held on March 1, at 7:00 pm, in David Strong 116. Her talk,  "The Child Centered Family:  New Rules in Post World War II America," reexamines the notion that child-centeredness has dominated middle class family life since World War II.  Instead, Fass argues that parents began to limit children's freedom and autonomy in serious ways that have become manifest in the severe restrictions and intense supervisions of the 21st century.

Dr. Paula Fass is the United States’s preeminent historian of twentieth-century American childhood. Fass earned her Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1974, where she studied under Richard Hofstadter.  Her first book, _The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s_ (1979) helped to create the modern field of the history of childhood.  She is a founder and past president of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, a transnational organization with members in Canada, the United States, Sweden, Italy, Israel, and beyond.  Fass has published seven books and over thirty articles and book chapters on the subjects of children, youth and education.  She has been invited to give distinguished lectures at universities, museums, and libraries across the world, including in Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Poland, and Canada.  She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Linkoping University in Sweden.  Fass has had a thirty-five year career at the University of California Berkeley, during which she has held several named chairs.  She is now a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Read more about Distinguished Women Scholar Dr. Paula Fass.

70th Anniversary of Japanese Canadian Uprooting

Friday February 24, 2012


Senate Chambers, University of Victoria

On February 24, 1942, the Mackenzie King cabinet passed Order-in-Council 1486.  Two days later, the government ordered all people of Japanese heritage out of their homes and sent them into camps in the BC interior or further east.  This was followed by the seizure and selling of their properties, and an attempt to prohibit them from ever returning to British Columbia.  Japanese Canadians survived this adversity, re-established communities, and in 1988 won the first redress settlement with the Canadian government.

Join this commemorative event to discuss the difficult past and to honour elders from the Japanese Canadian community.

Sponsored by: Department of History • Social Justice Studies Program • Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives • UVic Asian Canadian Working Group • Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost

Read more about 70th Anniversary of Japanese Canadian Uprooting.

How a historian became a CEO

Tamara Vrooman will be speaking on Thursday, January 19th at 11:30 am in Elliott 061, on “How a Historian Became a CEO”.

She is the CEO of Vancity, and is a BA and MA in History from UVic.

Read more about How a historian became a CEO.

Lansdowne Lecture: Dr. Kelly DeVries on the Siege of Rhodes

Dr. Kelly DeVries Professor of Medieval History, Loyola University Maryland, USA and General Mark W. Clark Visiting Professor of Military History at the Citadel

Using the Sieges of Rhodes, 1480 and 1522, as a Laboratory to Study Changes in Early Gunpowder Weapons and Defenses Against Them

Thursday, 26 January, 2012, 7:30 pm Hickman Building, Room 105

Presented by the Department of History

Kelly DeVries is the professor of medieval history at Loyola University in Maryland. He currently holds the General Mark W. Clark Visiting Professorship of Military History at the Citadel. DeVries is a leading expert in medieval military history, with a focus on war and technology. He is the author of thirteen books including: Medieval Military Technology; Rhodes Besieged: Stone, Cannon, and Men; Joan of Arc: A Military Leader; Infantry Warfare in the Early Fourteenth Century: Discipline, Tactics, and Technology; and The Norwegian Invasion of England in 1066.

Read more about Lansdowne Lecture: Dr. Kelly DeVries on the Siege of Rhodes.

Registration for the 2012 Qualicum Conference is OPEN!

The conference will be held January 27 - 29 in Parksville BC. Registration is online this year - contact if you have problems.

Qualicum History Conference Registration

Read more about Registration for the 2012 Qualicum Conference is OPEN!.

History site nearly ready

The new incarnation of the History Department website is nearing completion. We hope to have it launched in January.

Read more about History site nearly ready.

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