J.B. McLachlan, Labour Hero or Opportunist?

Wed., February 16, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via TBA 

Carole MacDonald

Abstract: Carole MacDonald, daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of Glace Bay coal miners, has questions about the legacy of the man labour historians claim, “fought for the miners” in the early twentieth century. These questions include: why, while practicing capitalism, McLachlan preached communism; why some of his decisions, considered heroic by many, arguably demonstrated a careless disregard for human life; and how this orator’s speeches, articles, and demands for illegal strikes failed to help women feed and protect their children.

Click here for a bio of Carole MacDonald

Not just Evangeline: A Look at Real Acadian Women

Wed., May 18, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via TBA

Susan Surette-Draper

Abstract: Some Acadian men’s names like Joseph Beausoleil, René LeBlanc and Pierre Melanson are familiar to many people but have you ever asked yourselves about the women in their lives? How did women’s support, determination and leadership help to build and preserve Acadian identity? A few rare comments can
be found in history books but the information is sparce and scattered. Join Susan for her look at Acadian society from a female lens.

Click here for a bio of Susan Surette-Draper

 

Carole MacDonald

Carole MacDonald has an MA, Atlantic Canada Studies, Saint Mary’s University, a B Journalism, University of Kings College, Halifax, a B.A English (minor, political science) Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax, 1976 and a diploma in Education as well as certificates in business, community economic development and adult education. Her book Historic Glace Bay was published in 2009. Her biography of Col. The Honourable Gordon Harrington, Nova Scotia’s 11th premier is yet unpublished. She has made presentations about Harrington’s career to the Nova Scotia Historical Society, the Nova Scotia Medical History Society and the Glace Bay Historical Society.

Hilary Doda

Dr. Hilary Doda is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University, and lectures in Costume Studies at the Fountain School of Performing Arts. She holds an Interdisciplinary PhD from Dalhousie University, for research exploring the material culture of dress and textiles in the early modern Atlantic world. Recent publications include an article in Acadiensis on Acadian needlework tools. Her current research on traditional weaving in Cape Breton has been supported by a postdoctoral fellowship at Saint Mary’s University.

Magen Hudak


Magen Hudak completed a BA in Philosophy (2011) and a MA in Atlantic Canada Studies (2014) at Saint Mary’s University, and in 2012 completed a MA at the University of Toronto in Slavic Literatures and Languages. From 2014-2018, Magen attended Trent University’s School for the Study of Canada doctoral programme. Her MA Thesis, which this lecture is based on, won the Governor General’s Gold Medal in 2015.

Wade Pfaff


Wade Pfaff was born in Toronto during the Civil Rights Movement to a family of South African educators. A musician, creative artist and academic, Wade’s interests range from conducting Canadian Black history research, to studying and playing music from the trans-Atlantic diaspora on guitar and drums, to developing cultural education programs for marginalized youth. After completing a Bachelor of Community Studies degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cape Breton University, where he was greatly influenced by Dr. Graham Reynolds, he went to Halifax to obtain a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr. Afua Cooper. Wade is a Visiting-scholar-in-residence at Cape Breton University’s Centre for Sound Communities where he continues to study the relationship between the music of trans-Atlantic Black cultures during the early 20th century (especially Jazz and Blues) and improvements in civil rights for people-of-colour that came later in the century in Canada.

Steven Schwinghamer


Steven Schwinghamer is an historian at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. His research explores policies, practices, and places of immigration to Canada. His most recent publication is Pier 21: A History (UOP, 2020), co-authored with Jan Raska.

Judith Fingard

Judith Fingard, a retired history professor and a former president of the RNSHS as well as a fellow of the RNSHS and of the Royal Society of Canada, published a number of papers in the 1980s and 90s relating to the emergence of the black middle class in Halifax. This presentation covers some of the same ground, but with an emphasis on the opportunities for young women to improve their life chances in the face of the significant obstacles they encountered.

Paul Fraser Armstrong


Trained as an historical sociologist, Paul has held posts in economic development in municipalities in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. More recently, he was one of the organizers of the Irish Halifax SSHRC project and did research there on the early Mechanics’ Library in Halifax. He did his doctorate at Dalhousie University with work on the intellectual genealogy of the Antigonish Movement. His research is focussed now on the theory of civil society. He has considerable experience with non-profits at both the Board and staff level, and holds offices currently as President, Maritime Institute for Civil Society, Chair, KITH Observatory, Inc., and Treasurer, Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia.

Afua Cooper


Dr. Afua Cooper is professor of Black and African Diaspora Studies at Dalhousie University. She led the scholarly panel on Dalhousie’s History on Slavery and Race. An accomplished poet, Dr. Cooper was recently awarded the Portia White Prize for artistic and cultural excellence. On April 9, 2021 Dalhousie University announced that Dr. Cooper will be leading a three-year $1M+ federally funded project entitled ‘A Black People’s History of Canada.’ See the Dalhousie University announcement for more information.