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Robarts goes POP!

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Canadian Popular Culture

How does Canadian popular culture inform the construction of Canadian identity? The Robarts Centre’s second annual interdisciplinary graduate conference is interested in theories, forms, genres, and representations of Canadian popular culture both past and present. We welcome multiple interpretations of the conference theme from a wide range of disciplines, seeking presentations that deal with the role of popular culture in Canadian identity formation.

We are also interested in the extent to which our identity is informed by other nations’ depiction of Canada (e.g.; the depiction of Canadian culture through exaggerated stereotypes in South Park; the belief that Canadians are passive and polite, Commentary of Canada through social media [for example: Norm MacDonald's #PrayForMoncton story], etc.).

We invite proposals of no more than 300 words that address the conference theme from those engaged in the study of Canadian popular culture in all disciplines or research areas (arts and media, history, languages, geography, literature, archaeology, economics, politics and policy) and from multiple perspectives (urban or rural; local or global; indigenous, immigrant, or diasporic; virtual or embodied).

Possible approaches to the conference theme include:
• Interpretations of Canadian Popular Culture
• Canadian Cultural Icons and Iconicity
• Politics in/of Canadian Popular Culture
• Canadian Popular Culture in Film, Television, Literature, Theatre, and Fine Arts
• Issues of Identity, Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture
• Popular Culture and French Canada
• Sport Cultures and the Body
• Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches to Canadian Popular Culture

Please send proposals to by January 26th, 2015.

The conference will be held from April 17th-18th, 2015.

For more information visit

1st Nature’s Past Podcast of 2014-15 Season

Episode 44: The Second World Congress for Environmental History, 24 September 2014 [48:01]
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For five days this past July, environmental historians from around the world convened in Guimarães, Portugal for the Second World Congress for Environmental History. This is the main event for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations. It brings together scholars from nearly every corner of the globe every five years to share new research in the field and to think about environmental history from a global perspective.

This year, several scholars from Canada attended the conference (as they did five years ago). They took the opportunity to learn from colleagues in other national fields and they shared research findings from the Canadian context.

There were dozens of panels and round tables, big plenary lectures, and a poster session, so much that no one person could see it all. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with a group of environmental historians who attended the Second World Congress for Environmental History.


The streets of Guimarães.

The streets of Guimarães.

Please be sure to take a moment to review this podcast on our iTunes page and to fill out a short listener survey here.

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Stephen Bocking
Jessica DeWitt
Matthew Evenden
Alexander Hall
Tina Loo
John Thistle
Jocelyn Thorpe

Works Cited:

Music Credits:


Kheraj, Sean. "Episode 44: The Second World Congress for Environmental History" Nature's Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 24 September 2014.

Two Robarts Centre prizes awarded earlier this summer

The 2013-14 recipients of the Odessa Prize for the Study of Canada and the Barbara Godard Prize for the Best York University Dissertation in Canadian Studies were announced in Y-File in July.

Monique Giroux (Music) was awarded the Barbara Godard Prize for her dissertation "Music, Power and Relations: Fiddling as Meeting Place between Re-settlers and Indigenous Nations in Manitoba."

Catherine Timms (History) received the Odessa Prize for her paper "Frederick G. Gardiner: An Exploration of High Modernism and the Metropolitan Toronto Council, 1953 - 1961."

History of Indigenous Peoples Network: Fall Schedule 2014


Co-organizers Boyd Cothran and Carolyn Podruchny would like to invite you to the inaugural season of the History of Indigenous Peoples Network.
The HIP Network, part of the Robarts Centre, brings together junior and senior scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, and independent researchers and is devoted to cultivating a community of scholars working on Indigenous history at York University and throughout southern Ontario.
The HIP Network consists of informal workshop meetings aimed at encouraging an interdisciplinary discussion of pre-circulated scholarly works-in-progress, monthly film screenings followed by discussions, and once or twice a semester field trips to Indigenous community historical and cultural sites and museums.  Meetings are generally held on Friday from 9:30-11:30AM at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, in room 749 Kaneff Tower on York University Keele campus.
Please find the preliminary fall schedule. More activities will be added soon. We are hoping to expand our schedule in the winter term so if you have suggestions or would like to present material, please let us know.
All the best,
Boyd and Carolyn

Fall 2014 Schedule
September 26: Talk with Associate Professor Carolyn Podruchny and Doctoral Candidate Erin Dolmage, History Department (York), speaking on co- authoring Myra Rutherdale’s paper on the Idle No More Movement. 9:30 - 11:30

Cancelled October 23: C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, Assistant Professor of History and Art History at George Mason University, "Indigenous Washington City: Public History and Urban Archive" (Thursday, Oct 23, 2:30-4:00 hosted by GHSA's Historian's Craft, 2183 Vari Hall).

Cancelled October 24: C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, Assistant Professor of History and Art History at George Mason University, "A 'Curious Removal': Leta Myers Smart and the Indians' Capital City (9:30am-11:30am; 749 Kaneff Tower).

November 7: Film screening, Biimadasahwin:Reclaiming Land Rebuilding Home and discussion with film-maker Sara Howdle, Doctoral Candidate in History (York).
(5 - 7 PM; 764 Kaneff Tower)

November 14: Katie Magee Labelle, Assistant Professor of History Department, University of Saskatchewan, "Mother of the Nation(s)”: Dr. Éléonore Sioui’s Indigenous Feminist Strategy, 1920 - 2006" (9:30am-11:30am; 749 Kaneff Tower).

Cancelled November 21: Film screening, The Lesser Blessed (2013), directed by Anita Doran, discussion afterward.
(5 - 7 PM; 764 Kaneff Tower)

November 28: Jon Jonhson, Doctoral Candidate in Communication and Culture (York).

Dec 5: Presentation, Christoph Laugs, Doctoral Candidate in History at the University of Trier (Germany), "Nineteenth-Century Metis Material Culture in the Red River Valley: Artefact Adoption, Translation, and Hybridisation" (9:30am-11:30am; 749 Kaneff Tower).

Robarts Centre Open House

Wednesday September 24, 2014
3-4:30 PM; 626 Kaneff Tower

The Robarts Centre will go through the rechartering process in 2014-15. As part of this process we will have to envision future directions for the Robarts Centre. The Robarts Centre can provide services to researchers at York and bring together colleagues working on a variety of projects across many disciplines which relate to Canada. To this end, we have scheduled an open house on Wednesday, 24 September from 3.00-4.30 pm in Room 626, Kaneff Tower. Please come by to provide feedback on directions which the Robarts Centre should pursue. If you are unable to come, please send your views to