In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reinterpreting the Atlantic World Amy M. Johnson Biography and the Black Atlantic. University of Pennsylvania Press,
This post is being co-published with the fine folks at Borealia. I was asked to give a talk on the future of Canadian history, particularly the ongoing debate over transnational versus national perspectives.
I never did get around to asking why they invited me to speak. As I said in Ottawa, there is still an unfortunate tendency among Anglophone historians of Canada to presume that we are what we study.
Not only am I having a difficult time making up my mind on many of these questions, but I am also coming to value my own uncertainty. All too often, particularly on social media, we succumb to the pressure to appear more confident and more certain than we actually are.
I can see value in both types of history — and in other types of history, of course — and I think that we should try to remain open to borrowing from different approaches, in order to broaden and deepen out perspectives. Like most historians, I see theory as a means rather than an end, a toolbox from which we can draw to solve historical problems thrown up by the evidence we discover.
So I ended up laying out what I see as the pros and cons of national and transnational perspectives. On the one hand, transnational approaches can be extremely useful.
They provide far richer arrays of international contexts and comparisons; they free us from the parochialism of place and regionalism; and they help to combat the anachronisms and ideologies of nationalism. They also help to decentre historical perspectives, to reflect the complex lived realities of historical experiences, to counter enduring legacies of colonialism and racism, and to allow us to create new questions.
On the other hand, broad transnational perspectives, particularly Atlantic world and global frameworks, bring risks for Canadian historians, because demographically smaller spaces can get easily overshadowed. Transnational and international comparisons invariably require the historian to generalize about patterns and trends in Canada or, as some would put it, Northern North America.
This raises the risk of over-simplifying the vast regional, ethnic, and linguistic diversity across Canadian and Indigenous historical experiences.
Another problem is that transnational frameworks, particularly in their new imperial and Atlantic world guises, can end up pouring old American and British wine into new theoretical bottles. For all their talk about the complexities in the Atlantic world, many American historians tend to presume that the American national experience of revolutionary liberalism is essentially normative.
And for all the talk about decentering historical frameworks, I fail to see how we can move forward when so many of us still write so reflexively about peripheries and metropoles.
A global framework that sees London as the historical centre is little better than a national one that sees Ottawa as the centre. Despite this uncertainty, after I gave my talk in Ottawa, I came away more convinced than ever of two things.
First, despite all of the anxious and angry tweets, blog posts, and spilled ink by many of us, myself included, the actual cultural impact of the Harper government appears to be remarkably limited. This is not for a second to diminish the serious damage  wrought by Tory policies, but, now that we have come out the other side, the worry that many of us had about a rightward cultural shift seems misplaced.
Arguably the greatest damage lay with what Harper cut or withheld, particularly funding for social programs and support for a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women. There are, of course, plenty of cultural conservatives out there, across the country, but they were there long before Harper came to power.
He never did, in retrospect, expand much beyond his base. Nor did he do much to change the minds of moderates or politically independent Canadians. He left us much as he came, with a narrow national vision and a royalist nostalgia for an imperial past that already feels decidedly weird.
The biggest worry now, for Canadian historians, is not battling against an ascendant conservative movement but, rather, battling to attract students. We are, as Tina Loo has said, a species at risk .
As tempting as it may be to blame Stephen Harper for this, the drop in enrolments in history courses across the country is due to larger demographic, economic, and cultural factors.
As we recover from the history wars  of the Harper years, we now confront a struggle to maintain the basic viability of our discipline in a morphing university landscape. While the proportion of Canadianists in history departments across Canada continues to drop, universities in the United States remain largely committed to national history.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Which leads me to my second point. As certain as I am that the cultural shadow of Harper is rather short, I am equally certain that the impact of the Indigenous movements across the country will have a large and long-lasting impact on universities and other public institutions.
While this process builds on the Idle No More  movement, it is larger in scope and more complex in nature. I cannot recall the precise time, but somewhere in the past year and a half, I noticed a distinct trend that spanned everything from articles, discussions in seminars, comments from students, and even the emails that filled my inbox each morning.
In a remarkably short period of time, we not only adopted new terms and conventions, but new ways of talking about teaching, research, and learning.
The discussion shifted from the need for new research on Indigenous history to the need for new orientations.Figure 5: Colonialism in This map shows the world's major empires on the eve of World War I.
The focus of European colonialism has shifted to the Eastern Hemisphere, and neo-European United States has become a colonial power in its own right, seizing some of declining Spain's possessions. Drilling down in the 17th Century Atlantic world made by European colonialism through invasions, occupations, ethnic cleansing, and enslavement of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and Africa, historian Gerald Horne reveals the roots of white nationalism and capitalism, the pillars of the United States political-economy today.
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E-mail * Subscribe. Recent Posts. Reading Disability in a Pair of Eighteenth Century Shoes: Mary Wise Farley, ;. Atlantic World In to there were some social and economic changes that occurred between Africa, Europe and the Americas across the Atlantic.
Continuities were the desire of Europeans for raw materials like sugar and spice. Nov 16, · Colonialism and European imperialism (and only European imperialism) are equally damned by the professoriat as the arch-manifestations of racism.
Take, for instance, a scholar like the German-born, Harvard-reared Sven Beckert, whose books claim that capitalism in the Western world is inextricably tied . IMPERIALISM AND COLONIALISM- World History Notes for UPSC, Stage of capitalism, Imperial powers, Notes for UPSC mains, Notes for IAS Exam.
In the tropics most Europeans died or could not sustain self-replicating populations.