Fall 2016 Graduate History Newsletter


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EXTENDED: Call for Papers for York’s New Frontiers Conference

New Frontiers

Graduate History Conference

York University, Toronto ON

February 23-25, 2017

Call for Papers

 We are seeking proposals for the twenty-first annual New Frontiers in Graduate History Conference. We encourage papers from a wide range of national, regional, thematic, and methodological backgrounds. New Frontiers is an excellent opportunity for both MA and PhD students in history and related fields to present papers to colleagues from across Canada and the United States. We will be accepting papers on any geographic location and on a wide range of themes and topics including but not limited to:


History and Theory

Public Memory and Commemoration

Law, Politics, and Protest

Science, Medicine, Technology and Environment

Sovereignty and the State

Religion and Society

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit

Race, Ethnicity, and Identity

Gender, Sexuality, and the Body

Empire and Nation

Popular Culture and Consumerism

Migration and Diaspora

Work, Class, and Community


            Applicants are invited to submit 250 word proposals for individual papers or panels of either two or three papers. Submissions must be accompanied by a short biographical statement and email contact information. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, January 4, 2017.  Please direct submissions to:


Cristiana Conti, Caroline Butt & Joanna Pearce

via Google form: https://goo.gl/forms/6zT2DugfsAzXUEFC2

For general inquiries: yorknewfrontiers@gmail.com

Website: https://yorknewfrontiers.wordpress.com/

We are pleased to announce that our Keynote Speaker this year will be Dr. Eric Cline. Dr. Cline will be delivering the following keynote:

Raiders of the Faux Ark: Aliens, Archaeologists, and the Media

The amount of pseudo-scientific nonsense concerning the locations of places like the Garden of Eden, Sodom and Gomorrah, Atlantis, and the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant is overwhelming. The same goes for explanations regarding the Nazca Lines in Peru, the pyramids in Egypt, Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, and anything that could possibly have been built by aliens. The vast majority of this work has not been produced by professional scholars, but by amateur enthusiasts practicing what amounts to “junk science,” which “advocates a cause, pays little attention to the investigative process, ignores contrary evidence, and advertises a high moral purpose.” And yet, the public in general, and the media in particular, greet each new announcement breathlessly. The original claim is often widely disseminated, especially on the Internet these days, while the subsequent debunking by archaeologists and ancient historians receives almost no press whatsoever. The question of what can be done about this, and the best way to counter such pseudo-scientific claims, including actively working with the media, remains unanswered despite attempts made over the course of the past decade. A future course of action should be decided upon and put into place.


Dr. Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology, former Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University, in Washington DC

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Dec. 7 Global Digital Citizenship Lab Speaker Series: Linsey McGoey


The Global Digital Citizenship Lab Speaker Series presents

LINSEY MCGOEY (University of Essex)


Piketty’s Data Battles and the Power of Absent Evidence



Qualitative Research & Resource Centre (N141 Ross)

York University

The popularity of Thomas Piketty’s research on wealth disparities raises a question: why was wealth inequality neglected in mainstream neoclassical economic theory during the latter half of the twentieth century? To explore this question, I draw on the writing of the early neoclassical economist John Bates Clark, who introduced the notion of the marginal productivity of income distribution at the end of the nineteenth century. I then turn to Piketty’s Capital in order to analyze the salience of marginal productivity theories of income today. I suggest that most of the criticism and praise for Piketty’s research is focused on data that is accessible and measurable, obscuring attention to questions over whether current methods for measuring economic capital are defensible or not. Debates over the robustness of Piketty’s data have had unanticipated effects, such as the implication that mainstream economics is marked by a high degree of internal tension and fruitful disciplinary discord. In reality, mainstream theory resists challenges to core disciplinary beliefs, such as the belief that remuneration levels reflect one’s economic contribution. I explore how ‘absent’ data in economics as a whole helps to reinforce blind-spots within mainstream economic theory. 

 Linsey McGoey is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex. She’s currently working on two main research projects. The first explores the relationship between global philanthropy and growing economic inequality, with a focus on new, hybrid forms of philanthropy that direct charitable resources to for-profit recipients. The second is a project on abundance and scarcity in economic and social thought, with an emphasis on work by Georges Bataille and Henry George. McGoey is co-editor (with Matthias Gross) of the International Routledge Handbook of Ignorance Studies (2015), and the author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (Verso, 2015).

Discussant: Kean Birch (Department of Social Science, York University)


Refreshments will be provided at the event.


Sponsored by the York Research Chair in Global Digital Citizenship (Fuyuki Kurasawa)

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Call for Abstract – CIPSS Graduate Conference

The Canadian Centre of International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS) Graduate Student Conference is an annual conference which invites graduate students from all disciplines to present papers on topics related to International Security Studies, International Relation Theory and international politics in general.
We are currently accepting abstracting submission for the 12th CIPPS graduate student conference, to be held at McGill university (Montreal, Quebec) on March 31st, 2017.


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Book Sale!

Big thanks to everyone who participated and made this year’s book sale such a success! Lots of department folks volunteered for set up, cashier shifts, and packing up, as well as baking. As a result, we have blown past our fundraising goal for the year, and it’s only November! Congratulations to raffle prize winner Max Smith!

Thanks also to raffle prize donors Moksha Yoga Uptown, Kawartha Country Wines, the York University Bookstore, and Chelsea’s mom (who made that crocheted blanket!)


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Call for Papers: 12th Annual Carleton CGC Conference: Imagined Realities

A message from the Carleton Communication Graduate Caucus

magined Realities: Past, Present and Future
March 16-17, 2017 | Richcraft Hall

Why do past, present and future realities captivate and fascinate? The 12th annual Communication Graduate Caucus (CGC) conference, Imagined Realities, invites us to explore how discourses and representations provide us with roadmaps into potential futures. When imagination enters communication, we get a sense of creativity, of playfulness and of persuasion. We imagine realities in the present to grapple with the uncertainties of the future as well as recollect stories of the past. Imagining is perpetual, but often fragmented and immaterial. The 2017 CGC Graduate Conference invites us to critically reflect on how past, present and future imagined realities impact the way we navigate and conduct our lives.
We are pleased to announce Dr. John Shiga as our keynote speaker, delivering a lecture entitled “Sonar and the eco-sonic imaginary.” Dr. Shiga is Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director of Professional Communication at Ryerson University. The lecture will take place March 16.
We welcome 250-word abstract proposals for individual paper presentations and panels. Panel proposals should include both a 250-word abstract for the panel, explaining how it relates to the conference theme, and a 250-word abstract for the paper.
Please send your 250-word abstract and panel proposals to melodie.cardin@carleton.ca AND
antonella.pucci@carleton.ca by JANUARY 07, 2017. Include “CGC conference submission” in the email subject line.

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Tom Hooper’s PhD defense, Dec. 9 2pm in the common room

A message from Daniel Ross:

Hi historians,

Note in your calendars that Tom Hooper is defending his thesis on Dec 9. Consider attending if you a) know Tom b) study Canadian/LBGTQ/legal/social movements history c) are curious about how defenses work d) need inspiration with your own project.

Details below,

Daniel Ross

“Enough is Enough”: The Right to Privacy Committee and Bathhouse Raids in Toronto, 1978-83

By Tom Hooper


Friday December 9, 2016


History Department Common Room




On Thursday February 5th, 1981, 200 agents from the Metropolitan Toronto Police raided four of the city’s gay bathhouses.  Codenamed “Operation Soap,” 286 men were charged with the criminal offense of being “found in a common bawdy house,” 30 men faced the more serious charge of “keeping a common bawdy house.”  Operation Soap was known for its scale, but also for its destruction and brutality.  The Richmond Street Health Emporium was destroyed to the extent that it never reopened.  At the Barracks bathhouse, several of the found-ins were forced into the shower room, where police agents made jocular references to the holocaust.  The legacy of the bathhouse raids has been the subject of academic and popular discourse.  Using news reports, archival material, and 25 oral history interviews, this project provides the historical context for Operation Soap and the community resistance that brought an end to bathhouse raids in Toronto.

The bathhouse raids are situated within the broader history of queer consciousness, resistance, and political organizing, both in Toronto and across North America.  The resistance to the bath raids are not analogous to the 1969 Stonewall riot in New York City, but rather, activists built upon these radical actions of the sexual liberation movement.  This movement came to Canada, as represented by the 1971 “We Demand” protest on Parliament Hill, where activists criticized the 1969 amendments to the Criminal Code by Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  These amendments partially decriminalized certain sexual acts, provided they took place under a strict set of circumstances: namely, that only two people could be present.  If more than two were present, the space was deemed by police to be public and subject to the bawdy house law in the Criminal Code.  In building on the work of queer theorists, this project argues that the ideal of private sexual monogamy, or mononormativity, was the point of conflict between law enforcement discourse of morality and the sexuality contained within a bathhouse.  The policing of anonymous group sex among adult men became a rallying point for the emerging queer community.

This project is a history of the Right to Privacy Committee (RTPC) and the various tactics employed in resisting the police.  This group was created after the first Toronto bathhouse raid in December 1978.  Their tactics included formal briefs to police agencies and the Parliament of Canada, as well as more radical actions involving sit-ins and street demonstrations.  The RTPC became best known for coordinating the successful defence of 90% of the men charged, and for raising $224,000 to subsidize the cost of their legal fees.  In addition to this narrative of success, the RTPC reflected some of the divisions and complexity of an increasingly organized queer political community.  Activists and gay business interests were in conflict over a rights-based strategy versus a sexual liberationist strategy of resistance.  Policing was an important issue of solidarity between queer activists and people of colour, but it also brought to the surface tensions between gay men and lesbians.  The central theme of this project is that the RTPC was not a singular organization, it consisted of various resisters of social control who were influenced by their own identities and experiences.

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