The History of the Canadian West (hist 303)



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The History of the Canadian West (HIST 303)
Lectures: Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:30pm

Discussions: Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:30pm
Instructors:

Jocelyn Thorpe (term 1) Sean Kheraj (term 2)

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer

Department of History, UBC Department of History, UBC

jthorpe@interchange.ubc.ca sean.kheraj@ubc.ca

Office hours: by appointment Office hours: 3:00pm to 4:00pm Tues, Thurs


Purpose, Objectives and Themes of the Course
Purpose: This course aims to introduce students to the history of the Canadian west, focusing largely on the area west of present-day Ontario and east of the Rocky Mountains. We will study events, individuals and groups key to the making of western Canada, and will pay close attention to how the land and its non-human inhabitants also shaped the character of the region. We will examine as well the role of historical narratives in shaping our understanding of the past, asking: Who tells what stories, for what purposes and with what consequences?
Content Objectives: To gain an understanding of the history of what has come to be known as the Canadian west; to consider the wide variety of actors involved in this history; to examine how historical narratives influence our understanding of western history.
Process Objectives: To examine course topics carefully and critically; to engage with course materials both inside and outside the classroom; to develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills; to work on analysing primary sources; to work on active listening and thoughtful speaking skills in the classroom.
Themes: Relationships between storytelling practices and our knowledge of past events and actors; relationships between people and land/non-human animals; the west and colonialism; race, gender, class and identity; nations and nationalisms; transnational perspectives; imagining the west

Organization of the Course
The course involves lectures by the instructors and in-class discussions. Lectures will take place on Tuesdays and in-class discussions will take place on Thursdays on a rotating schedule. The first Thursday and every third Thursday thereafter will be a large-group discussion with the whole class. On the other Thursdays, the class will break in half and one half of the class will attend one Thursday class and the other half will attend the following Thursday class. Students will for every discussion class hand in a small assignment that will count toward their participation marks. Students are expected to participate actively in the class through careful and close readings of the course materials, thoughtful response papers, informed participation in small and large group discussions, and active listening.
Readings
The course textbook, Gerald Friesen’s (1987) The Canadian Prairies: A History, is available at the UBC bookstore, as is Chester Brown’s (2006 paperback edition) Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, which you will need to read for the beginning of Term 2. Other required readings are available on the course website (details will be given in class). We have tried our best to make the amount of reading for the course reasonable and so we expect students to complete their reading for each week. Readings listed under a particular date should be read for that date. Discussions depend upon students having done their reading.
Assignments and Evaluation
The grade for the course will be based on the following percentages:
Primary text analysis essay # 1 10%

Primary text analysis essay # 2 15%

Research essay 25%

Final examination 20%


Course participation 30%
General Rules, Policies and Expectations for Assignments and Participation
Assignments should be handed in at the beginning of class on the due date. Please double-space all written assignments and print them in standard 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Include your name and the assignment’s title at the top of the paper (no separate title pages necessary). You are encouraged to print on both sides of the page. All sources should be books and journal articles (i.e., no internet sources unless obtained from UBC Library e-resources) and should be cited, using the Chicago style, in footnotes. You must also provide a properly formatted bibliography. Hard copies of assignments only will be accepted; no electronic copies please.
Assignments received later than the due date will be penalized one third of a letter grade per day (i.e., if one day late, a B paper receives a B-) up to a maximum of five days. After five days, assignments will not be accepted. We will consider exceptions to the lateness penalty only when they are supported by authoritative written documentation (i.e., a doctor’s note).
We will accommodate students with disabilities who have registered with the Disability Resource Centre. Please contact us directly to make sure we are informed of your needs. If you will require any kind of accommodation for religious reasons, please let us know as soon as possible. Attendance is otherwise mandatory (see “Course participation” section below).
Please make sure that all work that you hand in and present for this class is your own. For an explanation of plagiarism and information about how you can ensure that you maintain academic integrity, see http://www.library.ubc.ca/clc/airc.html. The University takes this issue very seriously, as do we.

You should retain a copy of all your papers and you should also retain all your marked assignments in case you wish to apply for a Review of Assigned Standing.


Primary text analysis essays Due: October 13 (#1) and November 10 (#2)
In the first primary text analysis essay, you will choose one question and one primary source from a list of options given in class and/or on the course website. You will answer the question based on your analysis of the primary source. This essay will be 5 pages long. Due: October 13.
In the second primary text analysis essay, you will find your own primary source document relating to western Canadian history prior to 1885 and write a 5-page essay that analyses this document and provides a clearly stated thesis.
We will discuss both primary text analysis essays in more detail in class.
Research essay Due: March 30
You may select any topic relevant to the course (to begin considering ideas, have a look at the list of course themes and outline of topics discussed each week). Your task is to write a research essay that includes the analysis of at least one primary source. Your essay must make an argument, relying for support upon course readings, lectures and discussions. You may also bring in other secondary sources. The purpose of this assignment is to show your competence in the following areas: analysis of primary sources; ability to comprehend, analyse and think critically about course issues and themes, relating these issues and themes to your primary source(s); forming and defending an argument; writing (content, structure and style). Your primary source may be an historical document or it may be a present-day document through which you analyse contemporary representations of the history of the Canadian west. We will discuss possible topics in class and we also expect that you will meet with us about your chosen topic before you start to write. This paper will be 10 to 12 pages long, plus footnotes and a bibliography.
Final examination Due: April 22
The final examination will be a take-home essay. You will be required to write answers to two essay questions from a list we provide, using specific examples from the course to support your argument.
Course participation
Your active participation in class is essential, and we will measure it in a variety of ways. Attendance is mandatory and will be taken every class. You must show that you are engaging with course readings and themes by contributing thoughtfully to small and large class discussions. You must also hand in a short response paper (1 typed page, double-spaced) every discussion class you attend (this will be your ticket into class). The papers will be in response to questions we pose about your readings. We realize that some people are more comfortable than others with speaking in class, and we will take note of active listening as well as speaking. We hope that those comfortable with talking in class will work on their listening skills, while those more comfortable listening will be prepared to talk as well.
Course Schedule – Winter Term

Week Fourteen: 1885 and the Birth of Western Canada
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lecture: The Trial of Louis Riel


  • Read (course website): Mumford, Jeremy Ravi. “Why Was Louis Riel, a United States Citizen, Hanged as a Canadian Traitor in 1885?” Canadian Historical Review 88 (2) 2007: 237-262.

  • Read (course website): Silver, Arthur. “Ontario’s Alleged Fanaticism in the Riel Affair” Canadian Historical Review 69 (1) 1988: 21-50.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Large Group Discussion: The Story of Louis Riel

  • Read: Brown, Chester. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2006.


Week Fifteen: Resettling the Canadian West
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lecture: Immigration and the Last Best West


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “Immigrant Communities 1870-1940: The Struggle for Cultural Survival,” textbook chapter 11

  • Read (course website): Spry, Irene. “The Great Transformation: The Disappearance of the Commons in Western Canada.” In Canadian Plains Studies 6: Man and Nature on the Prairies, edited by Richard Allen. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 1976.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Small Group Discussion – B: Institutions, Immigration, and Resettlement


  • Read (course website): Katz, Yossi and John C. Lehr. “Institutions and Pioneer Settlement” in The Last Best West: Essays on the Historical Geography of the Canadian Prairies. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1999. pgs. 189-210.

  • Read (online primary sources):

    • Immigration Pamphlet (1923) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292043_e.html

    • Immigration Poster (1893) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292052_e.html

    • Immigration Poster (1908-1918) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292053_e.html

    • Immigration Poster (1920s) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292055_e.html


Week Sixteen: Western Landscapes
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lecture: The Rocky Mountains and the Origins of National Parks in Canada


  • Read (course website): Murphy, Peter J. “‘Following the Base of the Foothills’: Tracing the Boundaries of Jasper Park and its Adjacent Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve” in Culturing Wilderness in Jasper National Park: Studies in Two Centuries of Human History in the Upper Athabasca River Watershed. Ed. I.S. MacLaren. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2007 pgs. 71-121.

  • Read (online source): Interactive historical maps of the Rocky Mountain national parks

    • http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/CulturingWilderness/index.html


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Small Group Discussion – A: Institutions, Immigration, and Resettlement


  • Read (course website): Katz, Yossi and John C. Lehr. “Institutions and Pioneer Settlement” in The Last Best West: Essays on the Historical Geography of the Canadian Prairies. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1999. pgs. 189-210.

  • Read (online primary sources):

    • Immigration Pamphlet (1923) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292043_e.html

    • Immigration Poster (1893) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292052_e.html

    • Immigration Poster (1908-1918) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292053_e.html

    • Immigration Poster (1920s) - http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/canadian-west/052920/05292055_e.html


Week Seventeen: The Great War: The Homefront in Western Canada
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lecture: Society & War in the Canadian West


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “Capital and Labour 1900-1940: Cities, Resource Towns, and Frontier Camps” textbook chapter 12

  • Thompson, John Herd. “‘The beginning of our regeneration’: The Great War and Western Canadian Reform Movements” Canadian Historical Association Historical Papers 1972: 227-245.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Large Group Discussion: Inventing Wilderness


  • Read (course website): Binnema, Theodore (Ted) and Melanie Niemi, “‘Let the line be drawn now’: Wilderness, Conservation, and the Exclusion of Aboriginal People from Banff National Park in Canada” Environmental History 11 (4) 2006: 724-750.

  • Read (online primary sources): Silent Narratives: The Byron Harmon Fonds

    • Byron Hill Harmon biography - http://www.whyte.org/harmon/bio.html

    • Byron Harmon’s Banff - http://www.whyte.org/harmon/btwo.html

    • Photo set - http://www.whyte.org/harmon/imagesete.html

    • Photo descriptions - http://www.whyte.org/harmon/captions_e.htm


Week Eighteen: The Workers’ Revolt
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lecture: Winnipeg 1919 and Beyond


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “Politics and Culture 1900-1929” textbook chapter 14

  • Read (course website): Mitchell, Tom and James Naylor. “The Prairies: In the Eye of the Storm” in The Workers’ Revolt in Canada, 1917-1925. ed. Craig Heron. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998 pgs. 176-230.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Small Group Discussion – B: Aftermath and Perspectives on the Winnipeg General Strike


  • Read (course website): Michell, Tom. “‘Repressive Measures’: A.J. Andrews, the Committee of 1000 and the Campaign Against Radicalism after the Winnipeg General Strike” Left History 3 (2) 1995-1995: 133-167.

  • Read (online primary sources): Mackintosh, W.A, ed. Hugh Grant. “Revolution in Winnipeg” Labour/Le Travail (60) 2007: 171-179.



Week Nineteen: Farmer Politics
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lecture: The Agrarian Revolt


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “The Rural West 1900-1930: The Farm, the Village, and King Wheat” textbook chapter 13

  • Rennie, Bradford James. Ch. 8 “The Politicizing of the Movement, 1919-1921” in The Rise of Agrarian Democracy: The United Farmers and Farm Women of Alberta, 1909-1921. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Small Group Discussion – A: Aftermath and Perspectives on the Winnipeg General Strike


  • Read (course website): Mitchell, Tom. “‘Repressive Measures’: A.J. Andrews, the Committee of 1000 and the Campaign Against Radicalism after the Winnipeg General Strike” Left History 3 (2) 1995-1995: 133-167.

  • Read (online primary source): Mackintosh, W.A, ed. Hugh Grant. “Revolution in Winnipeg” Labour/Le Travail (60) 2007: 171-179.


Week Twenty: Aboriginal People, Health, and the State
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lecture: Plains Native People and the Canadian State in the Early Twentieth Century


  • Read (course website): Lux, Maureen. Ch. 4 “‘Indifferent to human life and suffering’: Medical Care for Native People to 1920” in Medicine that Walks: Disease, Medicine, and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880-1940. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Large Group Discussion: Writing a History Research Essay


  • Read (course website): To be announced


Week Twenty-One: Depression & Dissent I
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lecture: Economic Emergency and Relief


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “The Depression 1930-1940” textbook chapter 13

  • Read (course website): Strikwerda, Eric. “‘Married men should, I feel, be treated differently’: Work, Relief, and Unemployed Men on the Urban Canadian Prairie, 1929-32” Left History 12 (1) 2007: 30-51.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Small Group Discussion – B: Representing Crisis on the Prairies


  • Read (course website): Allan, Blaine. “Canada’s ‘Heritage’ (1939) and America’s ‘The Plow that Broke the Plains’ (1936)” Historical Journal of Film Radio & Television 19 (4) 1999: 439-472.

  • Watch in class (film) Heritage (1939) - http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/collection/film/?id=18392


Week Twenty-Two: Depression & Dissent II
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lecture: Alternative Governments


  • Read (course website): Conway, J.F. “Populism in the United States, Russia, and Canada: Explaining the Roots of Canada’s Third Parties” Journal of Canadian Political Science 11 (1) 1978: 99-124

  • Read (online primary source): Aberhart, William. “Aberhart on Social Credit: A Radio Broadcast” Alberta History 53 (4) 2005: 24-30.

  • Watch & Listen (online primary source): CBC Digital Archives, “Social Credit Pioneer William “Bible Bill” Aberhart Dies” 10 January 1962


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Small Group Discussion – A: Representing Crisis on the Prairies


  • Read (course website): Allan, Blaine. “Canada’s ‘Heritage’ (1939) and America’s ‘The Plow that Broke the Plains’ (1936)” Historical Journal of Film Radio & Television 19 (4) 1999: 439-472.

  • Watch (film) Heritage (1939) - http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/collection/film/?id=18392


Week Twenty-Three: Second World War: The Homefront in Western Canada
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lecture: War Society and Civil Liberties


  • Read (course website): Whitaker, Reg. “Official Repression of Communism During World War II” Labour/Le Travail 17 (1986): 135-166.

  • Read (course website): German, Daniel. “Press Censorship and the Terrace Mutiny: A Case Study in Second World War Information Management” Journal of Canadian Studies 31 (4) 1996-1997: 124-142.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Large Group Discussion: Enemy Aliens & Internment


  • Read (course website): Keyserlingk, Robert H. “‘Agents within the gates’: The Search for Nazi Subversives in Canada During World War II” Canadian Historical Review 66 (2) 1985: 211-238.

  • Watch (online video): Michael Fukushima. Minoru Memory of Exile (National Film Board of Canada, 1992).

  • Watch (online video): Jeanette Lermann. Enemy Alien (National Film Board of Canada, 1975).


Week Twenty-Four: Alberta’s Oil History: From Leduc to Tar Sands
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

*RESEARCH ESSAY DUE IN CLASS*

Lecture: Alberta’s Oil History: From Leduc to Tar Sands


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “The New West since 1940: Political and Economic Change” textbook chapter 16

  • Read (course website) Nikiforuk, Andrew. “Dirty Canadian Gas vs. America’s Green Economy”; “Canada’s Great Reserve”; “It Ain’t Oil” in Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. Vancouver: Greystone, 2008.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Small Group Discussion – B: Tar Sands Development and Critique


  • Read (course website): Kunzig, Robert. “Scraping Bottom: The Canadian Oil Boom” National Geographic (March 2009) and Photo Gallery.

  • Read (online primary source): Alberta Chamber of Resources. Oil Sands Technology Roadmap. (Industry Canada, 2004). *Read all sections*

  • Read (online source): Alberta Chamber of Resources. “History of the Alberta Chamber of Resourceshttp://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/trm-crt.nsf/eng/rm00212.html



Week Twenty-Five: Fueling the Cold War: Uranium and the Nuclear Age
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lecture: Uranium Mining in the Northwest, or How We Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb


  • Read (course website): Bothwell, Robert. “Radium and Uranium: Evolution of a Company and a Policy” Canadian Historical Review 64 (2) 1983: 127-146.

  • Read (course website): Quiring, David M. “The Ultimate Solution” in CCF Colonialism in Northern Saskatchewan: Battling Parish Priests, Bootleggers, and Fur Sharks. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Small Group Discussion – A: Tar Sands Development and Critique


  • Read (course website): Kunzig, Robert. “Scraping Bottom: The Canadian Oil Boom” National Geographic (March 2009) and Photo Gallery.

  • Read (online primary source): Alberta Chamber of Resources. Oil Sands Technology Roadmap. (Industry Canada, 2004). *Read all sections*

  • Read (online source): Alberta Chamber of Resources. “History of the Alberta Chamber of Resources



Week Twenty-Six: The History of Stephen Harper: Conservatism and the West
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lecture: The History of Stephen Harper


  • Read (textbook): Friesen, “Conclusion” textbook chapter 17

  • Read (course website): Ellis, Faron. “The Founding, 1987-1989” in The Limits of Participation: Members and Leaders in Canada’s Reform Party Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2005.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Large Group Discussion: Review






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