Excerpt from Jackson's Wars: A.Y. Jackson, the Great War, and the Birth of the Group of Seven, a work in progress under contract with McGill-Queen's University Press Alexander Young Jackson was sketching on the English Channel coast near Étaples, France, in 1912 when a droning, sixty-horsepower Anzani radial engine drew his attention away from dunes … Continue reading The beautiful Idea that kills
Two of my drawings, "Hunt Club" and "Gin Rock I. to Brébeuf I. " are part of the "Water /L'Eau" exhibition at Quest Art School and Gallery in Midland, Ontario, which opens June 15. I plan to be there for the opening, 2-4 pm, if you want to say hi. Also: I take terrible photos … Continue reading “Water/L’Eau” exhibition
The twitterverse and media had all sorts of fun with the boys’ and girls’ names registered in Alberta in 2018. Released in January 2019 under the province’s open government policy, the lists of baby names included some real, well, horrors. Who names their son “Despot”? Who names their daughter “Anger”? What kind of marriage ceremony … Continue reading What’s in a name?
This past week, I started retooling my online presence, both on this website and on Twitter. I made the changes after a lot of reflection and with some misgivings over what I was doing. While not dramatic, I had decided to reduce the prominence of my academic qualifications and accomplishments. On Twitter, for example, my … Continue reading Life after academia: a status report
When Christopher Columbus strode ashore in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, he famously called the indigenous people he met “Indians.” The main talking points of his legacy are still the consequences of his arrival for the people who bear that incongruous label: millions would suffer and die, and cultures would struggle to endure the … Continue reading Columbus, Indians, and the Guanches
No matter what you write, if you’ve done your research thoroughly, your first draft is probably going to be too long. If you’ve never written a book, the thought of having at least 80,000 words to fill might seem daunting rather than a restriction. For people who have asked me to help them write a … Continue reading Should it stay, or should it go?
In my blog post on book breaking (and the version published by Slate), I wrote of two items that ought to belong in an academic historian’s tool kit: narrative and microbiography. Narrative requires a blog post of its own (but no, I did not mean writing fancy sentences and dumbing down serious work for the … Continue reading Microbiography: Turn over all stones