Summer 2023 - HIST 204 D100

The Social History of Canada (3)

Class Number: 3230

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Tue, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 9, 2023
    Wed, 11:59–11:59 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.


HIST 204 offers a selective survey of nineteenth- and twentieth-century events in the lands currently known as Canada through the lens of social history. Originally described as history “from below” or “from the bottom up,” social history aims to recover the experiences of non-elite members of society, including (but not limited to) women, members of the working class, ethnic minorities, and Indigenous peoples. To avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer scope of this historical project, we will focus upon a handful of social spaces in which people residing in Canada have lived, worked, and played over the last two centuries. We will learn how these spaces materially and imaginatively shaped how people conducted their lives, what kinds of choices they were able to make, and what effects their actions had on others and on the times in which they lived. As we move through these spaces, we’ll encounter some key concepts used by social historians. These include the intersecting categories of gender, race, and class, which people have understood and performed differently in different times and places. We’ll also encounter different kinds of sources and consider how social historians work with various records and objects to glean information and build arguments about the past. 


  • Participation 10%
  • Rural diary assignment 20%
  • Graphic novel assignment 35%
  • Final exam 35%



Students will require access to one of the following books:

  • Kassandra Luciuk and nicole marie burton. Enemy Alien. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2020.
  • David H.T. Wong. Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America.

Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012.

  • Zach Worton. The Klondike. Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2011.

All other texts will be made available on or linked to from the course’s Canvas website.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.