The society meets monthly from September to May to hear and to discuss individual papers about personalities, places, and events integral to the history of Nova Scotia. Lectures are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. and, until further notice, will be held via Zoom. For upcoming lectures visit here.
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 sparse and scattered. Join Susan for her look at Acadian society from a female lens.
Wed., April 20, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Sara Beanlands, Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc.
Abstract: Georges Island is a cultural landscape that reflects centuries of change in military strategy and defense technology. During the late 19th century, a highly secretive technology for manufacturing and deploying mines emerged, and the Island became the site of a Submarine Mining Establishment. In 2020, as Parks Canada prepared to open the island for public visitation, archaeologists uncovered a portion of the historic SME infrastructure. This talk will explore the history and archaeology of the Submarine Mining Establishment on Georges Island.
Wed., March 16, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Dr. Hilary Doda, Dalhousie University
Abstract: ‘Overshot’ is a textile form that has been produced in Cape Breton from the early days of Scottish migration. Despite the loss of the skill elsewhere, overshot’s popularity persisted in Cape Breton through the mid-20th century as part of a larger theme of nostalgic identity formation. The patterns carry narratives of longing that developed new importance in a time already fraught with antimodernist sentiment, as signifiers in turn of respectability, hospitality, and lineage.
Wed., February 16, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
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.
Wed., January 19, 2022, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Abstract: Beginning in the mid-1800s, Silver Sands Beach enjoyed local and non-local fame as a summer destination. However, in the mid-20th century, it succumbed to the adverse effects of commercial sand and gravel mining. This lecture will examine the competition between 19th and 20th century notions of recreation and leisure, versus the environmental pressures of the resource extraction industry. It will also examine the present significance of Silver Sands, as both a coveted coastal access point and as a heritage landmark.
Wed., December 8, 2021, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Abstract: The contribution to the black community in Halifax of two girls named Blanche was recognized in the April 1915 issue of the short-lived Atlantic Advocate. Blanche Roache was identified as “the first coloured young lady to enter the Conservatory of Music” and, the reporter noted, by “a singular coincidence, Miss Roache’s mother…was the first coloured lady to enter the Halifax Academy,” the city’s public high school. This paper explores some features of these ‘firsts.’
Wed., November 17, 2021, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Steven Schwinghamer: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Abstract: Pier 2 was the busiest historical immigration site in Halifax, serving the Atlantic passenger trade during the peak years of Canadian immigration before the First World War. Despite this significance, Pier 2 is invisible or distorted in public and academic histories. Exploring the development of the immigration sheds at Pier 2 illuminates the state of the port and city of Halifax, and of Canada’s immigration system, during a transformative period in Canadian history.
Wed., October 20, 2021, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Paul Armstrong: Maritime Institute for Civil Society
Abstract: The recovery of the late 19th century Church maps, and the genealogy related to them, exposes the particularities of a different form of life, now lying in a road not travelled. In this talk, Paul Armstrong will discuss the significance of the maps and offer a defence for the value of parochialism.
Wed., September 15, 2021, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), via Zoom
Wade Pfaff: Cape Breton University
Abstract: Eastern Canada has contributed many talented Black jazz musicians to the stages and pages of music history. This presentation highlights a few ground-breakers and Black influencers from the prewar period, the heyday of Jazz. In our collective subconscious, Black music and dance inspires African Canadians to strive for greatness and unite under the banner of music culture. Often controversial and political, Black music culture is a tangible manifestation of spiritual freedom and an invaluable outlet for Black Canadians to express their selfhood and boundless creativity.
Afua Cooper Professor of Black and African Diaspora Studies, Dalhousie University
Abstract: Afua Cooper examines the correspondence between Lieutenant Governor Dalhousie and the Earl of Bathurst, administrator of Britain’s colonies. Setting the historical context of slavery, war, and settlement, Cooper shows how the letters reveal Dalhousie’s biases. His prejudices contributed to the cruel and unjust treatment of one of Nova Scotia’s founding Black communities, people who had escaped enslavement on American plantations for freedom with the British during the War of 1812.