Of Police, Protest and Pride
A slightly acidic space for commentary, mixed with sweet undertones of optimism, and occasionally garnished with a cherry of insight. Pample the Moose is the blog of Matthew Hayday, an associate professor in the History Department at the University of Guelph. The assorted musings here are his, and do not reflect the positions of the university.
The story about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights' decision to pull Professor Strong-Boag's blog post about International Women's Day has continued to evolve since my post on the weekend. The Winnipeg Free Press has published additional correspondance between the Museum and Strong-Boag. On their side, the museum indicated that they did not want blog posts that are "used as, or be perceived as, a platform for political positions or partisan statements". Strong-Boag replies that she considers this approach to be both "naive and pedagogically unsound for a museum supposedly dedicated to (the promotion of) Human Rights". It's worth reading both statements in their entirety.
Over the weekend, I was asked to sign an open letter regarding the proposed "Fair Elections Act", a seriously-flawed piece of legislation with an Orwellian name. I was happy to sign it, particularly as the recipient of a diversionary robocall in Guelph on voting day of the last federal election. The open letter, signed by many Canadian professors, appeared in the National Post and Le Devoir today. I encourage you to read the letter, which outlines a number of key concerns.
For the past three days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with a series of re-posts and re-tweets related to Professor Veronica Strong-Boag's blogpost about International Women's Day (IWD) for the (still-to-be-opened) Canadian Museum for Human Rights. According to the detailed report on ActiveHistory.ca, containing Strong-Boag's post and commentary about the story, she had been commissioned by the Museum to write a post about IWD for their collective blog. When she submitted the blogpost, it was initially approved, and then withdrawn when the communications department expressed concern over her comment on the current Conservative government. As a result, historians from coast to coast have been decrying the "censorship" and "silencing" of Strong-Boag by the museum (and speculating that the current federal government might have had a hand in this).
It's sad that it took a death of a very notable figure in my research field to jump-start my blogging for the fall term, but I didn't want to let this pass without comment.
With all of the hubbub surrounding the federal government's history agenda, I thought it was worth noting that one of the things that has been occupying me lately is the early phases of an edited collection about the practice and politics of crafting national identity in Canada's past. If you're an academic who reads this blog, this collection might be of interest to you.
My blog isn't dead, it's not an ex-blog, it's just pining!