This course is divided into two parts. In the Fall term, we will ask: How does Canadian history change if you include the stories of Indigenous people as a central part of that history? We will survey the social, political, and economic processes that have made the country, while paying particular attention to the ways that the histories of Indigenous peoples—First Nations, Metis, and Inuit—challenge us to view the marquee events of early Canadian history in a very different light. We will investigate, for example, how Indigenous actors both shaped and were shaped by events as varied as the European struggles for the continent, British Columbia’s gold rush, the resettlement of the West, and even the political negotiations that resulted in Confederation. In the process, we will seek out new actors and different storylines—storylines that are meant to complicate the more familiar national histories you have encountered and to show how our historical understandings—that is, what we think we know about the past—continue to change. The Winter term will continue the making of Canada into the twentieth-first century, since the country is still being made and remade. The lectures will have seven recurring themes and points of concentration: war, immigration, women and gender, national politics, Quebec, Indigenous peoples, and international impulses. Lecture outlines will be distributed before each session, and lectures will be informed by a strong argument, which will be just that – an argument, open to discussion and debate, both of which will be encouraged during and after class and in the discussion groups. Students will be asked at the beginning of the Winter term what subjects they would particularly like to know more about, and a vigorous attempt will be made to accommodate these wishes.
The course will combine formal lectures and discussion-based groups.
Course Requirements and Assignments:
The grades for the Fall term will be assessed as follows:
- Attendance & Participation (incl. in-class writing assignments) 60%
- Formal Written Assignments 40%
The grades for the Winter term will be assessed as follows:
- Discussion group attendance and participation 25 %
- Proposal/Bibliography 10 %
- Research essay 35 %
- Final exam 30 %