Spring 2017 - HIST 424 D100

Problems in the Cultural History of Canada (4)


Class Number: 6792

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 2235, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 101, 102W.



Selected problems in Canadian ideas and attitudes on such topics as the arts, religion, education, minority and native cultures, nationalism, and Canadian historiography. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 424 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


Confederation and Commemoration

In 2017, Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  The federal government is spending millions of dollars to mark the occasion and is promising the celebration of a lifetime.  Drawing on the buzz surrounding Canada 150, this course will examine the politics and culture of commemoration in this country.  Why are anniversaries like this significant, and how are they constructed as such?  Whose stories get told, and how?  Whose stories are left out, and why?  In this course, we’ll examine the nature of Confederation and Canadian society circa 1867, how historians have interpreted the period, and more broadly, how Canadians think about their shared history. Bridging scholarly and public history, this course will invite you to analyse and critique the Canada 150 commemorations and to reflect more broadly on the intersection of history and memory in the public imagination.  

NB. If you are lacking the necessary prerequisites, but are interested in this course, please contact the instructor for further discussion: nicolas.kenny@sfu.ca


  • Seminar participation and presentations 25%
  • Group commemoration project 35%
  • Final paper 40%



Donald Creighton, The Road to Confederation (Oxford University Press, 2012 [1965]

Cecelia Morgan, Commemorating Canada: History, Heritage and Memory (UTP, 2016)

Margaret Conrad et. al., Canadians and their Pasts (UTP 2013)

A.I. Silver, The French-Canadian Idea of Confederation (UTP, 1997)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html