Spotlight on History
The study of history deals with our understanding of the past. It interprets human affairs and institutions as they change in time. By actively exploring the past, we strive to understand the complexities of the present and to anticipate the challenges of the future. UWinnipeg’s Department of History offers courses designed to lead students, in stages, to an understanding of the historian’s craft and of the historical process.
History graduates find the skills they have developed in critical analysis, report writing, and small group discussion valuable in business, law, government, and journalism. Some become teachers while others find employment in museums, libraries, or archives.
Dr.Paul Lawrie – Assistant Professor
UNRAVELING RACE AND TIME
Originally from Toronto, Lawrie has been at UWinnipeg since 2012. He has a particular interest in history, race, labour, and the idea of time.
His new book Forging a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination (NYU Press, 2016), will be published in July 2016. Lawrie’s current research project, The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Post-Industrial Urban America, examines how our understanding of time and progress after the Second World War — from the street corner to the factory floor — were produced and negotiated along racial lines. Drawing on a mix of sources ranging from personal stories, industrial management literature, public transportation schedules, and city by-laws that discriminated against the poor, he investigates how we understand the progress of time, especially as it relates to the way communities were formed along racial lines in cities such as Detroit and Chicago.
Lawrie loves the sense of community at UWinnipeg, and says the urban campus is a great place to study and research because it allows students to see firsthand many of the things they are learning about.
Erin Yaremko – Student
A FORM OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
When she first arrived at UWinnipeg, Yaremko thought political science was her path. However, that changed when history professor Dr. Nolan Reilly invited her to take the course Introduction to Oral History, which ignited a new passion.
“I continued to explore history courses and found that, to move forward politically and economically, we need to look to our history.”
Yaremko is now working on Landscapes of Injustice, a nationally funded research project involving several Canadian universities and museums, dedicated to uncovering a deeper history of the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War.
“This project brings forth intergenerational stories that need to be heard, allowing families to share their experiences during this timein Canadian history,” said Yaremko. “Collecting these stories is a form of social justice for the voices that are unheard.”
Yaremko plans to pursue an MA in history after completing her undergraduate studies.
Janet Walker – Alumna
LEADING CANADA’S HISTORY
Walker joined Canada’s History as President & CEO in September 2014 and is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the multifaceted organization that is known for publishing Canada’s History magazine (formerly The Beaver). An experienced not-for-profit executive and fundraising professional, with a passion for history and commitment to the development of collaborative partnerships, Walker credits the UWinnipeg Oral History program as “a game-changer”.
“Experience with life story interviews and studies in history and memory led me to a career that directly relates to public and popular history— precisely the work of Canada’s History,” says Walker. “Based in Winnipeg, this national role puts me in touch with museums, teachers andwriters who actively use oral histories to tell the stories of our past.”
She has previously served as Executive Consultant to The University of Winnipeg Foundation, and played a key role in the “A World of Opportunity” capital campaign that raised more than $70 million in support of her alma mater.
See more Spotlight features here.