Book Launch: Friday, September 25, 12:30-2:30pm in the History Lounge, Paterson Hall
You are invited to attend the launch of E. Maud Graham’s memoir, A Canadian Girl in South Africa (University of Alberta Press, 2015). Originally published in 1905, Graham’s memoir describes her experience as a teacher in the concentration camps established for captured Boers during the South African War (1899-1902). As the war reached its grueling end in 1902, colonial interests at the highest levels of the British Empire hand-picked teachers from across the Commonwealth to teach the thousands of Boer children living in concentration camps. Highly educated, hard working, and often opinionated, E. Maud Graham joined the Canadian contingent of forty teachers. Her eyewitness account reveals the complexity of relations and tensions at a controversial period in the histories of both Britain and South Africa. Graham presents a lively historical travel memoir, and the editors – Michael Dawson (St. Thomas University), Catherine Gidney (St. Thomas University) and Susanne M. Klausen (Carleton University) – have provided rich political and historical context to her narrative in the Introduction and generous annotations. This is a rare primary source for experts in Colonial Studies, Women’s Studies, and Canadian, South African, and British Imperial History. Readers with an interest in the South African War will be intrigued by Graham’s observations on South African society at the end of the Victorian era.
At the book launch, two of the editors, Catherine Gidney and Susanne M. Klausen, along with John Walsh from Carleton’s Department of History, will discuss the process of re-publishing Graham’s memoir as well as numerous aspects of her account that they find fascinating and relevant for historians of education, women and gender, and colonial Africa.