A Journey to the End of the World: Tracing Polar Explorer Shackleton’s Footsteps a Century Later

Medusa Kelp in Hercules Bay, South Georgia

Medusa Kelp in Hercules Bay, South Georgia (Rachel Sussman)

Explorer Ernest Shackleton is one of the people who puts in an appearance in Acts of Occupation. At one point there was the prospect of his leading a Canadian government expedition to the high Arctic, but these plans fell through. Instead, Shackleton headed south again, and died in South Georgia. Rachel Sussman’s article describes her recent visit there, and you can read more about her Antarctic trip in her blog, The Oldest Living Things in the World.

Legendary geologist Raymond Thorsteinsson hailed as ‘last living Arctic explorer’

Raymond Thorsteinsson’s life could have come straight out of an adventure novel.

The renowned Calgary geologist, who passed away April 23 at the age of 91, first made a name for himself in the Canadian Arctic in the 1950s and 1960s.

Braving polar bears, ever-shifting ice floes and the fury of the elements, Thorsteinsson explored and mapped more than 500,000 square kilometres of frozen archipelago — and in between, he still managed to squeeze in an important daily ritual.

“He was a gentleman, and he always made time for tea,” says daughter-in-law Mary Thorsteinsson. “No matter where he was, he would heat up his Primus stove and make tea, and always have a little piece of chocolate.”

Read the rest of Amanda Stephenson’s article on the Calgary Herald’s website.

Read an obituary on the Globe and Mail’s website.

Northern and Arctic History at the Canadian Historical Association’s Annual Meeting – Update

The Canadian Historical Association will be holding its annual meeting at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University on 28-30 May 2012, and there’s now an official website for the meeting. The revised program (PDF, view here) has just been posted, and there have been some changes to the sessions dealing with Northern and Arctic history:

MONDAY, MAY 28 / LUNDI LE 28 MAI

10:30-12:00/ 10 h 30-12 h 00    Waterloo MC 1085

15    Women, Biographical Narratives and Northern Landscapes in Twentieth- Century Canada / Les femmes, les récits biographiques et les paysages du Nord au vingtième siècle au Canada
15.1    Cyrstal Fraser, University of Alberta
Portrait of a Grandmother: Changing Notions of Aboriginality on the Gwich’in Flatlands
15.2    Joan Sangster, Trent University
Irene Baird’s ‘North and South’ in The Climate of Power
15.3    Myra Rutherdale, York University
Intimacy and Surveillance: Northern Canadian Nurses and Boundaries of Medicinal Matters

Facilitator / Animatrice: Nancy Janovicek, University of Calgary

1:30-3:00/ 13 h 30-15 h 00    Waterloo MC 2035

19    Interpreting the First Nations: Whose Past(s)? Whose Knowledge? Interpréter les Premières nations : quel(s) passé(s)? À qui a le savoir?
19.1    Angela Byrne, University of Toronto and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Interactions of Native and Newcomer Knowledge in Northern Regions, c. 1790-1830
19.2    Emma Battell Lowman, University of Warwick
Whose Wawa is it Anyway? Father JMR LeJeune and the Chinook Jargon at the turn of the century
19.3    Kaleigh Bradley, historical consultant
Taking John’s Photograph : The Afterlife of an Inuit Family Portrait
19.4    Katya MacDonald, University of Saskatchewan
Creating Community through Conflicted Histories : Negotiating Stó:lō Places

Facilitator / Animateur : John Walsh, Carleton University

3:15-4:45/ 15 h 15-16 h 45    Waterloo MC 4045

30    Memory, Commemoration and Northern Canadian Travel and Exploration in the Twentieth Century / Mémoire, commémoration et voyage et exploration dans le Grand Nord canadien au vingtième siècle
30.1    Christina Adcock, University of British Columbia
‘Alas for those who never sing!: Commemorative practices and lost histories of twentieth-century northern Canadian exploration
30.2    Janice Cavell, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
A Circumscribed Commemoration: Mrs. Rudolph Anderson and the Canadian Arctic Expedition Memorial Plaque
30.3    Misao Dean, University of Victoria
‘Anglo-Saxon Pleasure’: Late twentieth century recreational wilderness canoeing as a material practice of Empire

Facilitator / Animateur : John English, University of Waterloo

1:30-3:00 / 13 h 30-15 h 00    Waterloo MC 2054

67.    Bilateral Relations at the Crossroads : Reconsidering Canadian-American Relations, Continental Defence, and Sovereignty in the Early Cold War / Relations bilatérales aà la croiseée des chemins : reconsideérer les relations canado-ameéricaines, la deéfense continentale et la souveraineteé au deébut de la guerre froide
67.1    Matthew Trudgen, University of Calgary
Cooperating with the Americans: Lessons from the North American Air Defence System, 1950-1956
67.2    Richard Goette, Royal Military College/ Canadian Forces College
Command, Sovereignty, and the Creation of NORAD in 1957

Facilitator / Animateur : John English, University of Waterloo

Northern and Arctic History at the Canadian Historical Association’s Annual Meeting

The Canadian Historical Association will be holding its annual meeting at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University on 28-30 May 2012. According to the preliminary program, there will be a few sessions dealing with Northern and Arctic history at the meeting, including:

Note: the schedule has changed; see the more recent post with the updated schedule.

Monday, May 28 / Lundi le 28 mai

10:30-12:00/ 10 h 30-12 h 00    Waterloo MC 1085
15    Women, Biographical Narratives and Northern Landscapes in Twentieth- Century Canada / Les femmes, les récits biographiques et les paysages du Nord au vingtième siècle au Canada
15.1    Cyrstal Fraser, University of Alberta
Portrait of a Grandmother : Changing Notions of Aboriginality on the Gwich’in Flatlands
Joan Sangster, Trent University
Irene Baird’s ‘North and South’ in The Climate of Power
15.2    Myra Rutherdale, York University
Intimacy and Surveillance : Northern Canadian Nurses and Boundaries of Medicinal Matters
Facilitator / Animatrice : Nancy Janovicek, University of Calgary

1:30-3:00/ 13 h 30-15 h 00 Waterloo MC 2035
19 Interpreting the First Nations : Whose Past(s)? Whose Knowledge? Interpréter les Premières nations : quel(s) passé(s)? À qui le savoir?
19.1 Angela Byrne, University of Toronto and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Interactions of Native and Newcomer Knowledge in Northern Regions, c. 1790-1830
19.2 Emma Battell Lowman, University of Warwick
Whose Wawa is it Anyway? Father JMR LeJeune and the Chinook Jargon at the turn of the century
19.3 Kaleigh Bradley, historical consultant
Taking John’s Photograph : The Afterlife of an Inuit Family Portrait
19.4 Katya MacDonald, University of Saskatchewan
Creating Community through Conflicted Histories : Negotiating Stó:lō Places

3:15-4:45/ 15 h 15-16 h 45    Waterloo MC 4045
30 Memory,Commemoration and Northern Canadian Travel and Exploration in the Twentieth Century / Mémoire, commémoration et voyage et exploration dans le Grand Nord canadien au vingtième siècle
30.1    Christina Adcock, University of British Columbia
‘Alas for those who never sing! : Commemorative practices and lost histories of twentieth-century northern Canadian exploration
30.2    Janice Cavell, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
A Circumscribed Commemoration : Mrs. Rudolph Anderson and the Canadian Arctic Expedition Memorial Plaque
30.3    Misao Dean, University of Victoria
‘Anglo-Saxon Pleasure’ : Late twentieth century recreational wilderness canoeing as a material practice of Empire
Facilitator / Animateur : John English, University of Waterloo

Tuesday, May 29 / Mardi le 29 mai

1:30-3:00 / 13 h 30-15 h 00    Waterloo MC 2054

68.    Bilateral Relations at the Crossroads : Reconsidering Canadian-American Relations, Continental Defence, and Soverignty in the Early Cold War / Relations bilatérales à la croisée des chemins : reconsidérer les relations canado-américaines, la défense continentale et la souveraineté au début de la guerre froide
68.1    P. Whitney Lackenbauer, University of Waterloo and Peter Kikkert, University of Western Ontario
Arctic Policy at the Crossroads : Securitization and Soverigntization of the Canadian Arctic, 1946-1955
68.2    Matthew Trudgen, University of Calgary
Cooperating with the Americans: Lessons from the North American Air Defence System, 1950-1956
68.3    Richard Goette, Royal Military College/ Canadian Forces College
Command, Soverignty, and the Creation of NORAD in 1957
Facilitator / Animateur: John English, University of Waterloo

View the entire preliminary program on the CHA’s website.

Acts of Occupation in the Ottawa Citizen

There’s an article in today’s Ottawa Citizen by Ross Fitzgerald about Acts of Occupation being shortlisted for the Canadian Political History Book Prize:

The Canadian Historical Association (CHA) has recognized two Ottawa historians by shortlisting their recent book for the 2012 Canadian Political History Prize.

Dr. Janice Cavell and Dr. Jeff Noakes co-authored Acts of Occupation: Canada and Arctic Sovereignty, 1918-25. The book is about early Canadian Arctic sovereignty.

Read the full article on the Citizen‘s website.

Randy Boswell on Acts of Occupation

Back in August 2011, Postmedia News’ Randy Boswell wrote an article about the book, which we’re sharing with you now, through Nunatsiaq Online:

A new book about the history of Canada’s territorial claims in the Arctic has shed fresh light on the impressive, behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by Canadian officials in the 1920s to secure control over the vast region and its untapped resources — a key part of the current Conservative government’s vision of Canada’s economic future.

Randy Boswell, “New book details Lester Pearson’s role in securing Canada’s North,” Nunatsiaq News, 31 August 2011.