Listserv: Nov 9, 2014

HSA listserv banner

What else can one say here, except that these ideas originate in your own wanton concoctions, or in a drunken dream?

– Martin Luther, On My Last Minute Paper Prospectus (just kidding, it’s from The Keys)

Tweet of the Week! (@HSA_McGill)

14th Century Italian medicine dictated that a woman’s uterus had 8 chambers that decided the gender of your child depending on where the semen rested (right-male, left-female). Therefore texts encouraged women to lie on their right side upon a slanted bed with their legs up for three days after intercourse #nostringsattached

The Preamble

Good evening everyone,

First off, I think a professor on the departmental Curriculum Committee is a second year Desautels marketing student in disguise, because I have been given a SurveyMonkey quiz to disseminate to my fellow history undergrads. However, unlike the management surveys that seek to connect your opinions on Zoroastrian fire worship to your preferred Loréal hair pomade, this survey is actually useful to both yourself and the faculty. Also, it is only one question:

History 399 (History and Historical Methods) is currently a program requirement at the Honors level. Should HIST 399 also be a program requirement at the Majors level?

I personally think that incessantly whining your way through Foucault and Hegel should be a rite of passage for all history students, but that’s because I have no heart. Ignore me, and answer with your honest opinions: the result isn’t going to be legally binding anyways. If you have any questions, or don’t know what HIST 399 is, feel free to contact our wonderful VP Academic/Internal, Eden.

On another note, I know it’s my job to be excited about HSA events, but I’m genuinely excited for our event surrounding the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. These informal round tables with the Department are like a history student’s Sukka Free Mondays: this time the night’s theme is Ego-History. So without further ado, here’s what is happening this week:

The Main Event

Remembering the Wall: Ego-histories of the European Fall of 1989
Monday November 17, Arts Building 160 (6-8PM)

“Where were you 25 years ago when the Berlin Wall fell?”

Personally, in 1989 I only existed as a (later regretted) idea in my parents’ heads. However, Professors Lüthi, Szapor, Beck and Anastassiadis were scattered across Central-East Europe at the time, and experienced the end of the Soviet Union not only as academics, but as European citizens and human beings: one of them was actually driving the “wrong” way into Eastern Europe at the time!

Join the History Students’ Association and four McGill historians as they relive their personal histories with the Iron Curtain. Open to the public, this informal discussion will be an exercise in ego-history: essentially, using memory and experience as a primary source. The professors will also seek to understand the power of memory in shaping history, examining how their lived experiences affected their academic trajectories. As all four are now leading experts on their respective enclaves of Europe, the HSA is extremely excited to see how McGill’s historians lived history.

Coffee, cookies, and possibly some amazing Greek food will be served. Once again, everyone is welcome to the event, so feel free to invite non-McGill students: this is the perfect event to bring your grandma to!

HSA Forum: Fall 2014
Friday November 14, AUS Lounge (6-8PM)

Want to denounce the annoying email spammer who keeps quoting Luther when he can’t find a good line for the listserv? Well, he and the rest of the exec want to hear it! Come to the HSA general meeting and tell us what you think of anything, before we let the limitless power of student departmental government get into our heads.

Open to all students, the HSA general meeting will be an opportunity for us to discuss the goings-on in the HSA this semester and moving forward. Members-at-large will present reports from department committees, members of the executive will report on their portfolios thus far, and the floor will be open for comments, questions, and concerns. If you have ideas for events, speakers etc. we encourage you to attend and share them.

Applications for Important Things

Paid Research Opportunity in History

Deadline: ASAP

Professor Szapor is looking for an undergraduate Arts student to do literature searching and reporting work for a research project. The position is for a total of 35 hours between November 15–December 10. Please see the job posting for more details:

Announcing the Faculty of Arts International Travel Award
Deadline: 30 March 2015

Sent on behalf of the Dean of Arts, Dr. Manfredi:

It is with great pleasure that I announce the new Faculty of Arts International Travel Award established by one of our alumni, Joseph Schull (BA ‘82, MA ’85) and his partner, Anna Yang (BCL, LLB ’88). 

The award is open to all full-time Arts graduate students and to all Arts undergraduates in their final year of study.  

Tenable for one year in a university outside North America, this award recognizes the importance of experiencing different academic traditions and pedagogical approaches to advanced research.

Christopher P. Manfredi

Dean, Faculty of Arts

I’ve attached a PDF of the poster to the e-mail.

Other Events

HSA Presents: Essay Writing Workshop

Wednesday 19 November, 4:30 pm (Arts Building Room 160)

Tinkering with your margins in Microsoft Word is similar to installing cheap extensions in hair: people will notice it, it will not be very pretty, and never as good as putting the time to organically grow your product (this might just be my worst analogy – I’m watching RuPaul’s Drag Race right now). Why not let the HSA and Professor Nancy Partner teach you the tricks of the trade?

If you’ve ever written a paper that was so close to an A, but not quite there, or if you’ve been consistently getting a B and want to up your essay game, then you probably want to come to the HSA’s essay writing workshop! The lovely editors-in-chief of our department publication, Historical Discourses, are going to tell you all about how they approach essay writing, from research to that final bit of editing you do twenty minutes before class. We’ve also invited Professor Nancy Partner to come explain the sort of things your professors are looking for in that grade-A paper you’ve always wanted to write.

The Birth and Evolution of Expressionism

Friday November 14, 15 & 22, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Organized by PACE McGill and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, this course will focus on the birth and evolution of Expressionism; it will examine how this international movement saw artists in Germany and France alike responding with various aesthetic approaches to modern masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Paul Gauguin, among others. Throughout the different sections of the course, insight will be gained into the culturally rich cosmopolitan milieu from which Expressionism came; the exhibitions and key figures of Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, and Fauvism; as well as the artistic movement preceding and emerging simultaneously to Expressionism.

The course will include – besides a general introduction, supported by visual material – visits to the exhibition and discussions with staff (curators, conservators, and museum educators) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. This course will also offer a behind-the-scene view of how such a major exhibition is conceived and organized. The course will make the link with the permanent collection of the MMFA and highlight some of the works in the galleries.

Details and registration are here.

Research Project on Chinese Public Intellectuals: Reading and Writing the Chinese Dream

Friday November 14, SSMU Building/Lev Bukhman Hall (4-5:30PM)
With a special focus on contemporary Chinese “public intellectuals”, a project led by scholars from Canada, China, England, Australia, and the US examines contemporary intellectual life in China.

Public Intellectuals (in Chinese 公共知识分子) refers to academics whose work goes beyond the university or any intellectual who is engaged with charting China’s future. Their works, which are of respectable quality, are little known outside China despite the great value of them. The project “Reading and Writing the Chinese Dream” desire to make these work known to a larger non-Chinese speaking community through its work.

Professor David Ownby will be introducing some facets of this exciting project, i.e. the translation and collaboration of Chinese intellectuals by native Chinese-speakers working on China-related projects in Canada. It is also a great opportunity for students looking for independent study program, a MA thesis, or anyone who wants to contribute to the project to find a way working on it!

About the guest speaker:
David Ownby(PhD Harvard), University of Montreal, Department of History

It’s a free event and refreshments will be served!

For more information about Society of China Studies (SCS) please visit our Facebook page (, and come to our discussion group ( to share your knowledge and thoughts about China!
Calls for Submissions

Deadline: January

Hirundo is currently accepting submissions! This is your opportunity to have your work travel far and wide to reach a large audience and contribute to the development of Classical Studies. Our doors are now open! We welcome submissions of essays, original poetry, plays, Greek or Latin translations, artwork, or original photographs from current students and alumni. Hirundo follows the citation and guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Please attach a full list of references in bibliographical format.

Papers need to be at least 8 pages long and must have received an A or an A-. Only undergraduate papers are accepted. You may submit maximum 2 papers. All submissions must be in Word (or PDF).

Original photographs may be in colour or black-and-white. Submissions should include an informative caption describing the significance of the photo. All submissions must be in JPEG or PNG format. Keep in mind!–all photos will be reviewed for possible publication on the cover of the journal.

Only submissions sent from your official McGill address will be accepted.
E-mail your work to

Also, the journal will be publishing a series of interviews with some of the department’s guest lecturers. Anyone who is interested to conduct an interview is welcome to contact Clara Nencu at It is mandatory to attend the professor’s lecture beforehand.

Tufts Historical Review
Deadline: 15 November

The History Society of Tufts University, in conjunction with the Tufts Historical Review Editorial Board, has announced a call for submissions for the Seventh Edition of the Tufts Historical Review, an academic journal of global history that seeks undergraduate and graduate papers. They are looking for articles between 2,500 and 8,000 words that explore the theme blood from a variety of historical perspectives. Submissions are due to by November 15, 2014.

This year’s theme is BLOOD. Blood is a symbol ubiquitous in the study of history – family, mortality, warfare, medicine – blood binds them together like a thread through the course of human development. As a symbol of war, blood and iron bound Germany; and as a symbol of family, blood crowned King Henry VIII. In a more literal sense, Prince Alexei’s disease of the blood brought Rasputin to court, and Hippocrates’ theory of humors defined medical practice for centuries.

Scientiae Toronto 2015

Deadline: 17 November

Keynotes:Anthony Grafton (Princeton) & Peter Dear (Cornell)

The CFP deadline for Scientiae 2015 (Toronto, 27-29 May) is 17 November 2014. Paper, panel, and round-table proposals are invited for the fourth annual international conference on the emergent knowledge practices of the early-modern period (1450-1750). The major premise of this conference is that knowledge during the period of the Scientific Revolution was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of practices and objects which had yet to be separated into their modern “scientific” hierarchies. Our approach, therefore, needs to be equally wide-ranging, involving Biblical exegesis, art theory, logic, and literary humanism; as well as natural philosophy, alchemy, occult practices,and trade knowledge. Attention is also given to mapping intellectual geographies through the tools of the digital humanities. Always, our focus must be on the subject-matter at hand, rather than on the disciplinary performances by which we access it. Although centred around the emergence of modern natural science, Scientiae is intended for scholars working in any area of early-modern intellectual culture.

Abstracts for individual papers of 20 minutes should be between 250 and 350 words in length. For panel sessions of 1 hour and 30 minutes, a list of speakers and chair (with affiliations), a 500-word panel abstract, and individual abstracts from each speaker are required. Newly at Scientiae 2015, we also invite proposals for a limited number of topic-based round table sessions. These should feature brief presentations from 2 or 3 knowledgeable speakers on a defined but broad issue in early-modern intellectual history, with the intention of opening up multilateral discussion from the floor—the main business of the session.

All submissions should be made by 17 November 2014 using the online form at:

For more information about Scientiae, please see:


Deadline: 20 December

Vielfalt, the interdisciplinary undergraduate journal from the department of German Studies, is looking for submissions for its fifth volume. We’re looking for academic papers, translations, and experimental or creative work on German language, history, culture, and thought, in addition to visual artwork. Previously unpublished work in German, English, or French is accepted, and all graded work must have received at least an A-. The deadline for submissions is December 20th, 2014. Check out our previous issues at, and send submissions and any questions to We want your work!

Graphite Publications

Graphite Publications is looking for writers and editors. Founded at McGill some two years ago, Graphite is a serious source of media—of commentary, analysis and art. Graphite encourages its writers and editors to bridge campus life with the world beyond, and cast a critical gaze upon the most important forces at work in the world today. While Graphite is constantly publishing material, we have a new focus on our Thematic Weeks, in which we tackle a specific issue for one week a month from various perspectives. Our upcoming Thematic Week from November 3 to 8 is on Mental Health: “Contesting Mental Borders.” We are open to article or art submissions related to this issue, as well as to any topic that is of interest to you.

Contact us at:
Check out the website:

Read of the Week

Here’s the thing: I’ve run out of great books to recommend, so I’m opening this section up to anybody who has read any amazing history and would like to share it with the world. So unless you want me to talk about the historical merits of Charlotte’s Web, feel free to send in your personal recs, with a sentence or two about the book. I think we all need some non-academic reading in our lives right now!

The HSA and You

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact your benevolent leaders!

President – Disha Jani

VP Finance – Emma Meldrum

VP Internal/Events – Josie Teed

VP Communications – Ben Wong

VP Academic/External – Eden Rusnell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s