A Tragically Hip Syllabus for Canadian History

Journey through Canadian history with the Tragically Hip.

This syllabus is intended for an upper year seminar course and would focus on various themes in Canadian history. Each class would begin by listening to the Tragically Hip song highlighted that week and would be followed by a discussion about how the content fits into larger subjects and themes in Canadian history.

Week 1: “At the Hundredth Meridian” Fully Completely (1992)

James Daschuk, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life (Regina: University of Regina Press, 2013)

Week 2: “Courage” Fully Completely (1992)

Carl Berger, The Writing of Canadian History: Aspects of English Canadian Historical Writing Since 1990 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986)

Week 3: “Little Bones” Road Apples (1991)

Dan Malleck, Try to Control Yourself: The Regulation of Public Drinking in Post-Prohibition Ontario, 1927-44 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2012)

Week 4: “Three Pistols” Road Apples (1991)

Dimitry Anastakis, “Tom Thomson, Murdered? Canoe Lake, Ontario, 1917: Art, Nationalism, and Americanization in the Interwar Period,” in Death in the Peaceable Kingdom: Canadian History since 1867 through Murder, Execution, Assassination, and Suicide (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015): 104-118.

Ryan Edwardson, Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008)

Week 5: “Bobcaygeon” Phantom Power (1998)

Cyril Levitt and William Shaffir, “Baseball and Ethnic Violence in Toronto: The Case of the Christie Pits Riot, August 16, 1933,” Polyphony 7, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 1985): 67.

Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983)

Week 6: “Fifty Mission Cap” Fully Completely (1992)

John Chi-Kit Wong, Lord of the Rinks: The Emergence of the National Hockey League, 1875-1936 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005)

Andrew Ross, Joining the Clubs: The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945 (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015)

Week 7: “Nautical Disaster” Day for Night (1995)

Jeffrey A. Keshen, Saints, Sinners, and Soldiers: Canada’s Second World War (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007)

Week 8: “Fireworks” Phantom Power (1998)

Gary Marcuse and Reg Whitaker, Cold War Canada: The Making of a National Insecurity State, 1945-1957 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995)

Andrew C. Holman, Canada’s Game: Hockey and Identity (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009)

Week 9: “Montreal” Unreleased song

Gail G. Campbell, “ ‘Are we going to do the most important things?’ Senator Muriel McQueen Fergusson, Feminist Identities, and the Royal Commission on the Status of Women,” Acadiensis 38, no. 2 (Summer/Autumn 2009): 52-77.

Blake Brown, Arming and Disarming: A History of Gun Control in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012)

Week 10: “Wheat Kings” Fully Completely (1992)

Constance Backhouse, Carnal Crimes: Sexual Assault Law in Canada, 1900-1975 (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2008)

Week 11: “Born in the Water” Road Apples (1991)

Matthew Hayday, So They Want Us To Learn French: Promoting and Opposing Bilingualism in English-speaking Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015)

Week 12: “Now the Struggle Has a Name” We Are the Same (2009)

J.R. Miller, Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996)

Ian Mosby, “Administering Colonial Science: Nutrition Research and Human Biomedical Experimentation in Aboriginal Communities and Residential Schools, 1942-1952,” Histoire Sociale/Social History 46, no. 91 (May 2013): 145-172.




About Mike Commito

Mike Commito is a hockey historian and writer from Sudbury, Ontario.
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