The annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association will take place at the University of Calgary - May 30 & 31June 1.
Call for Papers deadline 15 October 2015.

2016 CHA Annual Meeting


University of Calgary - May 30 & 31, June 1

Call for Papers


“The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” So said Thomas King in his 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth about Stories. How we tell stories about the past shapes our lives and helps us make sense of the world. Historians are taught to “get the story right,” yet how they as practitioners enter the story, develop professional and personal relationship with subjects, and access records influence how they write and present history. Established historical narratives informs the questions historians ask about the past, whether as events, structures, or as part of the longue durée. New archival sources and methodological approaches continually change interpretations of the past. How to make history more inclusive continues to be an important debate in the profession, yet one that is not always shared in public debates about the past.

The program committee is interested in how the study of history involves both research and storytelling. We welcome paper proposals reflecting on new research from all subdivisions in history. Of special interest are papers that inquire into how research is narrated, expressed, or communicated to scholars and to the public. Some questions to consider are:

Telling Stories: What gives one the right to tell a story? How should it be told? What are the strengths and limitations of narrative forms? What shapes the relationship between historians and the people they study and work with? How does the perceived audience determine what we include and exclude from the narrative?

Changing Stories:How can new approaches lead to revised views of what once appeared to be well-trodden ground? How does new research and innovative method result in revised narratives and how have these new stories displaced more traditional narratives and, if not, should they? What are some different interpretations and methodologies among historians working in Canada today?

Untold Stories:What areas of history are currently neglected? How do digital technologies and oral history research offer exciting new ways to present the past, and how does changing technology include and exclude stories in these new narrative forms? How is orality lost in the recording and writing of history? Should stories be left untold?

Personal Stories:What are the strengths and limitations of biography to interpret the past? How does the western tradition of biography impose a new order on Indigenous life stories and what meanings are lost in this process? How do historians work with communities and individuals? How do stories become part of local histories of place and how do stories create landscapes?

Keeping Stories: How are stories collected and preserved in archives and museums? How can we address the silences in the archives? How do current resources support collecting and in what ways do these practices affect under-resourced First Nations and community-based archives?

National Stories: How does national history intersect with regional, transnational, international, and global history? How do narratives in national and community histories establish collective identities and what stories are marginalized in the development of these interpretations of the past?

Single papers are welcome, but we encourage the organization of panels, especially those featuring contrasting interpretations and methods in the interest of healthy debate. The deadline for proposals is October 15. Please send inquiries and proposals to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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British Association for Canadian Studies

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