Summer 2022 - HIST 204 D100

The Social History of Canada (3)

Class Number: 2294

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 10 – Aug 8, 2022: Thu, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 15, 2022
    Mon, 12:30–12:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Recommended: HIST 101 and 102W.



A survey of major themes in Canadian social history, which is the examination of past lived experiences. Particular attention will be paid to developing an anti-racist and feminist historical analysis of how race, gender, sexuality, and class shape everyday life, and how and why lived experiences change over time. Breadth-Humanities.


Social history is a distinct mode of historical inquiry that takes as its primary interest the lives of everyday peoples – how they lived, worked, and engaged in social and other activities, both formal and informal. Born of 1960s and 1970s radical left movements which maintained that the nation was made not by politicians and capitalists but by the labour, including reproductive labour, of White, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, and by the genocide of Indigenous peoples, it pays particular attention to race, class, gender, sexuality, indigeneity and colonization as lenses through which to examine historical experience and understand change and continuity. This course focuses on the early 1800s to the present. Students are introduced to and apply social history theories and methods, which are now common across the history discipline.

Topics to be covered may include:

  • Coast Salish and other northwestern Indigenous peoples
  • Fur trade and gold rush societies
  • Impacts of industrialization
  • Women’s changing social and familial roles
  • Early 20th century immigration  
  • WWI
  • Social responses to the “Spanish Flu”
  • The Social Life of White Supremacy
  • Changes in post-WWII family life
  • Black Canadian experience
  • Gay and Women’s Liberation
  • #IdleNoMore, #MeToo, #BlackLives


  • Class participation 20%
  • Response Paper 15%
  • Primary source analysis 20%
  • Short essay paper 20%
  • Final Take Home Exam 25%



Charles Yale Harrison, Generals die in bed: a story from the trenches (Toronto: Annick Press, 2002).

Other books TBD.

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in summer 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote, online, or blended courses study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.