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Active History Website - Soliciting Papers

The ( committee is pleased to announce that we are actively soliciting papers in all areas of historical inquiry. We are looking for short papers on important historical topics that might be of interest to policy makers, the media or the general public. Papers (approximately 2,000 - 4,000 words in length) should engage critical issues facing Canadian society, and must be written for a general audience.
Several issues pertinent to the history of education have emerged in the public eye that may benefit from historical analysis; additionally, we have raised some specific questions. Here are some suggestions, although we welcome papers on any time period or topic:

  • What is the relationship between education and public policy in times of economic and social change?
  • How have differing conceptions of education brought to North America by immigrant populations engaged with those here before?
  • How has education served the purposes of the state, and how have these goals been received by Canada's constituent populations?
  • How has education been used by populations living outside of state structures (for example, indigenous peoples)?
  • What is literacy? How has it been understood throughout time and what types of literacy have been given cultural value?
  • Given current debates about the practicality or relevancy of a liberal arts degree, how has it developed historically, and what are the roots of this tension?

We are also interested in papers on a variety of topics, the whole list of which can be found at Our editorial guidelines can be found at Papers should be submitted to is a new website to help connect historians with the public, policy makers and the media. This is part of an effort to facilitate and disseminate the ideas developed at the conference "Active History: History for the Future" at York University's Glendon College in September 2008.

We define active history variously as history that listens and is responsive; history that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; history that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of history that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active historians and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of the historian.

If you have any questions, please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you.