Tag

history

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Adrian Johns on the Cultural Origins of the Printing Revolution: a TRB Podcast

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In this talk, “The Cultural Origins of the Printing Revolution,” celebrated book historian Adrian Johns reveals his transformative view of Gutenberg’s origins and impact and offers a “novel account of what remains one of the most resonant episodes in Western history.” The Toronto Centre for the Book presented this Jackson Lecture on October 3rd, 2013, in association...

Wild Food Spring #3: A Feast of Weeds

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In this series, Dylan Gordon considers cookbooks, memoirs and fictions about wild, foraged foods. Reviewed in this essay: A Feast of Weeds by Luigi Ballerini, University of California Press, 2012. Field guidebooks often overwhelm me with their formidable erudition. First in each entry come the botanical descriptors, identifying features of leaf and root that mostly escape my untrained eyes. Last...

Colonial India for a post-colonial world: A review of the ROM’s latest photography exhibition

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The scores of photographs in the newest exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) are all the more revealing because we know what happened in the century after they were captured. Between Princely India & the British Raj: The Photography of Raja Deen Dayal records nineteenth-century colonial India but tells a story that continues long after Victoria’s imperial rule. Raja Deen Dayal was born...

The History Wars in Canada

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Jack Granatstein’s 1998 jeremiad Who Killed Canadian History? was the opening shot of the History Wars, a fierce conflict about the meaning and purpose of our nation’s past. Academic historians, he satirically concluded, had abandoned traditional military and political history in order to specialize in topics like “the history of housemaid’s knee in Belleville in the 1890s.” The general public...

Streamed Theatre, History Mapped Online, and James Reaney’s First Play: Inbox No. 1

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We get lots of notices about intriguing events and projects each week. Here’s a sampling. ▶ Nathan Ng describes the Historical Maps of Toronto as follows: “If you’ve ever wondered what ‘Muddy York’ looked like 200 years ago, and then wanted to trace the city’s development over the following century, this ought to pique your interest. Each map in the collection has its own unique story...

TRB Podcast: Dr. Pamela Palmater speaks about Indigenous rights and Idle No More

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Listen here: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Lawyer, Ryerson professor and member of the Mi’kmaq community Dr. Pamela Palmater has been one of the key organizers of the Idle No More movement in Toronto. On Jan. 17, 2013 she spoke to a packed room...

Staging history: A review of Susan Steudel’s poetry collection, New Theatre

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Reviewed in this essay: New Theatre by Susan Steudel, Coach House Press, 2012. A high school teacher once passed an antique book of fairy tales around our creative writing class, asking us to make new poems by blacking out and decorating the printed words. Susan Steudel’s debut book of poetry, New Theatre, reminds me of turning the pages of that illuminated book, from which new voices arose out...

Musical hockey, the dark side of kitsch, and classic Canadian TV: Bookishness, Jan. 21, 2013

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MOCCA is alright Starting Feb. 1, Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art will be showing “ARE YOU ALRIGHT? New Art From Britain.” The exhibition’s works portray “allusions tothe grotesquely beautiful and explor[e] the darker side of kitsch… reveal[ing] a trend of disillusionment with contemporary British society.” Find out what all that means with a perusal of paintings by Boo Saville, one...

TRB Podcast: James Danky on the Future of Print

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On November 15, the Toronto Centre for the Book and the Centre for the Study of the United States invited Professor James Danky to deliver his lecture entitled “Protest on the Page and the Future of Print, Lecture in Two Parts.” Listen and enjoy! Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to...

Slavery, cinema, and sensitivity: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained

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Reviewed in this essay: Django Unchained. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Running time 165 minutes. Now playing in Toronto theaters. In recent weeks, moviegoers have been treated to two radically different films about American slavery, each of them trying to unpack the burden of that violent historical episode in their own...

The AGO’s “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting”: Something for everyone

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Let’s face the obvious first. Surrealism isn’t everyone’s bag, especially in its more nightmarish forms. And if that’s true of you, if the darker Dalis make you cringe and the chilling Ernsts give you the sweats, taking in the work of Frida Kahlo may not be the optimal way to spend an afternoon. Kahlo’s art, while compelling, rates a Nine on Surrealism’s scale of grotesquerie, on which One is a...

History, true and fictional: A review of poet Kate Cayley’s “When This World Comes to an End”

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When This World Comes to an End By Kate Cayley Brick Books, February 2013 $20 A first book of poems is a beautiful thing. But while this is Kate Cayley’s first poetry volume, she is no newcomer to writing. Her short stories and poems have appeared in journals across the country, she has authored a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror (Annick Press), and she’s also an accomplished...