RNSHS Winter/Spring 2017 Lecture Series

Click here for a downloadable programme brochure.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Designing Nova Scotia's History

Andrew Steeves, Gaspereau Press

 The printing trade has always been closely associated with the organization and dissemination of scholarly texts. In modern times, scholarly publishing has evolved into an area of specialization most often undertaken by university presses, but for a range of reasons (and to varying degrees of success) trade publishers continue to take on scholarly projects in an attempt to present them to a wider readership.
 In his illustrated talk, Gaspereau Press's Andrew Steeves will discuss a few representative examples of works of historical scholarship published in Nova Scotia since 1752, paying specific attention to the ways in which the design and production of these publications succeed or fail in answering the requirements of their text.

Click here for a bio of Andrew Steeves.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

‘after planting their few potatoes they wander about the Island’: The Mi'kmaq and British Agricultural Policies in Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia.

Courtney Mrazek, Doctoral Student, University of New Brunswick

 Beginning in the early eighteenth century, British colonizers in Nova Scotia, a portion of the territory known by its indigenous inhabitants as Mi’kma’ki, sought to reform Mi’kmaw people’s concepts and utilization of land through agricultural policies. They hoped that in doing so, the Mi’kmaq would become stationary instead of transient, and ultimately be “civilized.” While the Mi’kmaq never became the agriculturalists the British envisioned, they did participate in sporadic farming activities and made active use of the British legal system to petition the government for various aids and rights. This presentation will argue that although the agricultural policies the British hoped would “civilize” the Mi’kmaq fell short of their intended outcome, Mi’kmaw communities negotiated their pressures and possibilities, managing to use agricultural opportunities to alleviate difficult social and economic circumstances through a myriad of treaty expectations and negotiations, friendships, petitions, and gift-giving.

Click here for a bio of Courtney Mrazek.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Training of the Jewish Legion at Fort Edward during the First World War

Sara Beanlands, Principal and Senior Archaeologist, Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc.

 In 1917, the British War Office approved the raising of a Jewish military contingent for active duty in Palestine. This Jewish fighting force, which included the 38th, 39th, 40th and 42nd Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers, became known as the Jewish Legion. The Imperial Recruiting and Training Depot was established at Fort Edward, in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1918, to serve as a basic training centre and point of departure for all North American recruits. Among the Jewish soldiers that underwent basic training at Fort Edward were David Ben‐Gurion and Yitzhak Ben‐Zvi, later to become the first Prime Minister and second President of the State of Israel. This talk will look at the training of the Jewish Legion in Nova Scotia — a brief but important episode in the sequence of events that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and the formation of the modern geo‐political world.

Click here for a bio of Sara Beanlands.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nebooktook — In the Woods

Mike Parker – author, research associate affiliated with the Gorsebrook Research Institute

Note: This lecture takes place at our Annual Banquet at the Dalhousie University Club. Tickets will be available to purchase in March.

 A richly illustrated presentation focusing upon an eclectic mix of history, heritage and nostalgia that celebrates the traditions, natural beauty and intrinsic values of Nova Scotia’s woods and waters.

Click here for a bio of Mike Parker.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The “Fort Point Frasers” and the Great War

Bruce MacDonald

 This presentation provides an overview of the Great War service of three siblings from a prominent Pictou County family. Alistair, Margaret Marjorie “Pearl”, and James Gibson Laurier Fraser were the children of Duncan Cameron Fraser, Member of Parliament for Guysborough (1891–1904), Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice (1904–06) and Lieutenant‐Governor (1906–10) and Elizabeth “Bessie” Graham, New Glasgow. The family has a lengthy connection with Guysborough County, through Duncan Cameron Fraser's service as its MP, as well as the family's ownership of a tract of land at Fort Point, near the town of Guysborough. Alistair and Pearl crossed the North Atlantic to England with the First Canadian Contingent in October 1914, while their youngest sibling, Laurier, enlisted for service in 1916. Their stories encompass the entire course of the war, and highlight the service and sacrifice that was sadly typical of the experiences of many Nova Scotian and Canadian “Great War” families.

Click here for a bio of Bruce MacDonald.

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