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  • Wilson Institute Prizes

    The Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University is proud to, once again, award the Viv Nelles Essay Prize and the Wilson Book Prize.

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  • Canada’s History with Slavery with Dr. Maxime Dagenais

    On September 21, 2020, McMaster Alumni and the Wilson Institute partnered on a talk about the history of slavery in Canada. Dr. Maxime Dagenais, the Coordinator for the Wilson Institute, a historian of 1750-1850 Canada and the United States, tackled the myth that there was no slavery in Canada.

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  • Programme Repenser Octobre / Rethinking October

    On the 50th Anniversary of the October Crisis, in Montreal on 15 and 16 October 2020, and in
    collaboration with McMaster University, Université Laval, Bulletin d’histoire politique, and McGill-Queen’s University Press, we are holding a ground-breaking event on this divisive and contested moment in Canadian history.

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  • Wilson Visiting Speaker: Dr. Liz Ellis

    Please join us and Indigenous Studies for our first visiting speaker of the 2020-21 school year. Our first speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Ellis (New York University) will present a paper titled The Border Crossed us too: The Overlap between the Struggles for Migrant and Indigenous Justice.

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  • The Americas Online: A Digital State of the Field for Early American Studies

    The Wilson Institute for Canadian History, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies are seeking proposals on innovative digital approaches. Check out the attached CFP for more details!

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  • Catching Up with Jennifer Bonnell

    In the 8th, and for now, final episode of our Wilson Institute Speaker Series, Self-Isolation Edition, we catch with former Wilson Institute fellow Jennifer Bonnell.

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  • 2020-2021 Wilson Institute Visiting Speaker Series UPDATE

    As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, our 2019-20 Speaker Series on Racialized People and the Color of Democracy was unfortunately cut short. However, we have decided to reboot our cancelled Spring 2020 series and invite a few extra guests in the process. These talks will be live via zoom.

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  • The McMaster History Department and Racial Justice

    We support those protesting anti-Black racism and demanding justice for racialized and discriminated against groups in the United States and here in Canada.

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  • The Origins of the Mass Incarceration of Racialized Peoples

    Learn more about the origins of the mass incarceration of racialized peoples here. 

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  • Slavery in Canada

    There was slavery in Canada and you can learn more about it here.

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The Wilson Institute for Canadian History

Re-imagining Canada in the World

From its inception in 2008, the Wilson Institute for Canadian History has been committed to doing history differently. It is the place where Canada’s legacy of white settler colonialism can be evaluated and transcended. Where the transnational consequences of unrestrained capitalism can be critically appraised. Where environmental science and environmental history can mutually enrich each other. And where scholars of gender, race, class, sexuality and culture can come together and ask their own distinctive questions about the Canadian past—and share their insights with the broader public.

In 2020, in the context of a planetary pandemic,  the Institute’s central mission—to help Canadians interpret their country’s history afresh through transnational lenses, from subaltern perspectives, and in ways accessible to ordinary people—takes on a new urgency.

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The Wilson Institute for Canadian History and the L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History are supported by a generous donation from the Chancellor, L.R. Red Wilson, and McMaster University.

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