Papers on Canadian Historical Topics at ABH 2012

11 04 2012

The Association of Business Historians is the leading organization of business historians in the United Kingdom. Most of the presenters are based in Britain, although every year academics from the United States, continental Europe, and elsewhere attend.

It seems to me that people outside of Canada don’t pay that enough attention to Canadian business history. Non-Canadians may be quite right to ignore, say, the history of theatre in Canada or Canadian military history, since those aren’t really activities for which Canada is known. But Canada has long punched above its weight in business matters and there are all sorts of interesting lessons that can be drawn from studying the Canadian business experience. Environmental history is another area where the relevance of Canada to international historians is also disproportionate.

I was therefore quite pleased to see that two people will be presenting on Canadian topics at the 2012 meeting.

The Significance of Imported Technology for Economic Development: The Canadian Case- Bruce Smardon, York University

Medical Risk vs. Financial Reward: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Asbestos Trade, 1930-1977- Jessica van Horssen, McGill University

For the entire provisional programme, see here.

P.S. Jessica, an environmental historian who is currently doing a postdoc at McGill, is quite skilled at disseminating her research to non-academic audiences using new technologies. She has created an online graphic novel based on her dissertation about the environmental and social history of the town of Asbestos, Quebec. (See here).

She has also created a number of YouTube videos about her research findings. I’ve put a link to episode one below:

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