Have a Question? Contact the Humanities Office or an Academic Unit

HISTORY 3N03 Cdn Poverty,Privilege,Protest

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Amanda Ricci

Email: riccia1@mcmaster.ca

Office: L.R. Wilson Hall 2008

Phone: 905-525-9140 x


Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Course Objectives:

Course Description

This course examines issues surrounding poverty, privilege, and protest in 20th century Canadian history. By doing so, the class will analyse questions related to inequality and advantage, “insiders” and “outsiders,” as well as how Canadians from all walks of life fought against marginalization and exclusion. Although not strictly a course in social movements, “Poverty, Privilege, and Protest” will discuss many of the most important forms of contestation that emerged over the course of the 20th century. For example, the class will talk about, among others, the labour movement, feminism, Black Power, and Quebec neo-nationalism. We will consider human rights in Canada, in terms of progressive legislation at the state level as well as setbacks and violations. We will also talk about the positions taken by political parties or groups on important issues defining the country. Overall, students will continue to improve their critical thinking skills. They will be asked to take into consideration the experiences and perspectives of various communities in Canada, asking fundamental questions regarding the distribution of economic and social resources. Who is a first-class citizen? Who is left out or left behind? Through lectures, discussions, and readings, we will come to an understanding regarding how Canadian citizens as well as historians thought about social inequality during the time period in question.


Learning Outcomes

            This is a lecture- and discussion-based course, with lectures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and class discussions on Fridays. PowerPoint presentations will provide basic information such as lecture outlines, important names and dates as well as audio-visual aids. That being said, it is imperative that students take their own notes and attend all lectures. The information provided on the slides will be too scarce to do well on the final exam. Note taking is an important skill. Students will hone this skill over the course of the semester. My expectation is that you will come to all classes prepared to ask questions as well as actively participate with ideas and opinions inspired by the assigned materials. Through the discussions and class presentations towards the end of the semester, you will improve your public speaking skills and ability to engage in respectful debate. In preparing reflection pieces and undertaking a research paper, you will also hone your research, writing, and analytical thinking skills. The lectures and readings complement each other, but are, of course, not identical in content. The final exam will thus evaluate students’ historical knowledge as well as their capacity to synthesize large amounts of information. It is impossible to get a good grade in this class without attending the lectures, completing the required readings, and handing in all assignments.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

All readings can be found on Avenue to Learn.

Method of Assessment:


Annotated Bibliography: 10 percent

Research Paper: 35 percent 

Reflection Pieces and Class Discussion: 20 percent

Class Presentation: 5 percent

Final Exam: 30 percent

Please note: Students will be marked on the logic of their argument, the quality of their written and oral expression and the depth of their research. They will never be evaluated negatively or positively based on their perceived political views. 


Annotated Bibliography and Research Paper (10% and 35%)

Students will choose a topic that interests them and touches on the themes of the course. They will then research and write a paper on this topic. They will do so in two parts.

The first assignment, due February 14th, will be to produce an annotated bibliography in Chicago Style, outlining the topic of the research project and preliminary hypotheses in a few sentences. Students will also list and describe the relevance of at least 10 secondary sources and 5 primary sources.  This assignment will serve as the basis for a fully footnoted (in Chicago Style), 8-12 page research paper due March 28th 2018 in class, in order to then be returned to students before the exam period. Students are strongly encouraged to work on the paper throughout the semester and consult with the professor during office hours as needed.

Reading Responses and Class Participation (20%)

In preparation for the class discussion, and as part of your participation, please bring to class on Fridays a short written response (250 words) to the readings assigned for that week. These responses will serve as a form of reading journal. They should take the form of notes you keep for yourself, and should contain a brief discussion of the readings’ arguments, questions these arguments evoke, and general reflections on the subject matter. Do not simply summarize the readings. The responses should also be word processed, double spaced, and include the your name. Although these responses are to be submitted at the end of every class on Friday (without exception), they will not be graded individually. Instead, you will receive a grade for Weeks 1 through 6, and a separate grade following Weeks 7 through 12. These grades will take into consideration both the written responses and participation in the discussion.

All readings can be found on Avenue to Learn

Class Presentations (5%)

During Week 11, students will briefly present the major findings of the paper and discuss important conclusions to the entire class. You present your research for approximately 5 minutes and field questions and suggestions for approximately 10 minutes. This will be an opportunity to share your research with the class and, with the assistance of your classmates, hone your arguments and gain new insights. This is a mandatory exercise and worth 5 percent of your final grade. Your presentation will be marked for clarity and preparedness. It will neither negatively nor positively affect the mark you receive on your paper. You are to outline your thesis statement, describe your sources, and share interesting information with your fellow students. The point of these presentations is to improve your public speaking skills as well as the overall quality of your paper and to gain practice, in a low stakes setting, with discussion academic research with colleagues. Please place your name on the sign-up sheet (January 20th). Speaking Notes are permitted.

Final Exam (30%)

The final exam will consist of short and long essay questions. The exam will be held during the exam period.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties

For late work: students will receive a 5 percent reduction, per day off the final grade. Saturday and Sunday count as two days. If a student fails to hand in an assignment, he/she/they will receive a mark of zero. In order to request an extension, please contact the professor in writing at least 72 hours before the deadline or provide written documentation, for example a doctor’s note. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:



Week 1:

F Jan. 5th: Course Introduction


Week 2:

T Jan. 9th: Confederation and Its Discontents

W Jan 10th: Guest Speaker from Archives and Rare Books

F Jan 12th: Residential Schools and Early Canadian Immigration Policy


Week 3:

T Jan. 16: The Rise of Labour

W Jan 17th: Social Reformers

F Jan 19th: Class Discussion (Reading Response #1)



Suzanne Morton, “The June Bride as the Working Class Bride: Getting Married in a Working-Class Neighbourhood in the 1920s,” in Canadian Family History: Selected Readings, ed. Bettina Bradbury (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd., 1992): 360-379

Carolyn Strange, “Citizens, Workers, and Mothers of the Race” (chapter 7), Toronto’s Girl Problem: Perils and Pleasures of the City, 1880-1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995): 175-208.


Rhonda Hinther, “Raised in the Spirit of the Class Struggle: Children, Youth, and the Interwar Ukrainian Left in Canada,” Labour/Le Travail, 60 (2007): 43-76.



Week 4:

T Jan 23rd: The Limits and Possibilities of First-Wave Feminism

W Jan 24th: WWI and Civil Liberties

F Jan 26th: Class Discussion (Reading Response #2)




Esylit Jones, Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007. Chapter 2: pgs. 24-39.


Mary Ellen Kelm, “Manly Contests: Rodeo Masculinities at the Calgary Stampede,” Canadian Historical Review 90, 4 (December 2009), 711-751



Week 5:

T Jan 30th: WWI: Social Possibilities and Social Conflict 

W Jan 31st: Responses to the Great Depression I

F Feb 2nd: Class Discussion (Reading Response #2)



Esylit Jones, Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007. Chapter 2: pgs. 24-39.


Mary Ellen Kelm, “Manly Contests: Rodeo Masculinities at the Calgary Stampede,” Canadian Historical Review 90, 4 (December 2009), 711-751



Week 6:

T Feb. 6th: Responses to the Great Depression II

W Feb. 7th: The Rise of the Welfare State

F Feb. 9th: Class Discussion (Reading Response #3)




Lara Campbell, ‘If He is a Man He Becomes Desperate’: Unemployed Husbands, Fathers, and Workers,” (Chapter 2), Respectable Citizens: Gender, Family, and Unemployment in Ontario’s Great Depression (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009): 57-83.


Denyse Baillargeon, “Indispensible But Not a Citizen: The Housewife in the Great Depression” in Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History, fifth edition, eds. Mona Gleason and Adele Perry (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2006): 179-194.


Week 7:

T Feb. 13th: WWII and “Internal Enemies”

W Feb. 14th: The Making of a Cold War Security State (Annotated Bibliography)

F Feb. 16th: Class discussion (Reading Response #4)




Ian Mosby, “Administering Colonial Science: Nutrition Research and Human Biomedical Experimentation in Aboriginal Communities and Residential Schools, 1942-1952,” Histoire sociale/Social History 46, 91 (May 2013): 615-642


Gary Kinsman, "'Character Weaknesses' and 'Fruit Machines’: Towards an Analysis of The Anti-Homosexual Security Campaign in the Canadian Civil Service," Labour/Le Travail, 35 (Spring 1995): 133-161


Pamela Sugiman, "Passing Time, Moving Memories: Interpreting Wartime Narratives of Japanese Canadian Women," Histoire sociale/Social History 37, 73 (2004): 51-79






Week 8

T Feb. 27th: Prosperity and Poverty post-1945

W Feb. 28th: The New Left in Canada

F March 2nd: Class Discussion (Reading Response #5)



Joan Sangster, “The Polish ‘Dionnes’: Gender, Ethnicity, and Immigrant Workers in Post-Second World War Canada,” Canadian Historical Review 88, 3 (2007): 469-500.


Asa McKercher, “Sound and Fury: Diefenbaker, Human Rights and Canadian Foreign Policy,” Canadian Historical Review 97, 2 (2016): 165-194.


Tina Loo, “Africville and the Dynamics of State Power in Postwar Canada,” Acadiensis 2 (2010): 23-47.





Week 9: Quebec’s Quiet Revolution

T Feb 28th:  The “Quiet Revolution”

W March 1st:  Documentary: Black October

F March 3rd: Class discussion (Reading Response #6)



Introduction and Chapter 3 from Sean Mills, The Empire Within: Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010.


Donald Cuccioletta and Matin Lubin, “The Quebec Quiet Revolution: A Noisy Evolution,” Quebec Studies 36 (2003-2004): 125-138.




Week 10:

T March 6th: “New” Social Movements I

W March 7th:  “New” Social Movements II

F March 9th: Class Discussion (Reading Response #7)




Elise Chenier, “Rethinking Class in Lesbian Bar Culture: Living ‘the Gay Life’ in Toronto, 1955-1965.” Left History 9, 2 (2004): 85-118.


Sean Mills, “Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Québécoises Déboutte! Nationalism and Feminism in Quebec, 1969-1975.” In Contemporary Quebec: Selected Readings and Commentaries. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011.


Judy Wu, “Rethinking Global Sisterhood. Peace Activism and Women’s Orientalism,” In No Permanent Waves. Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism, edited by Nancy A. Hewitt, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2010.



Week 11:

T March 13th:  Poverty and Exclusion in the Late 20th Century

W March 14th:  Canada and the International Community

F March 16th: Class Discussion (Reading Response #8)



David Austin, “All Roads Led to Montreal: Black Power, the Caribbean, and the Black Radical Tradition in Canada” The Journal of African American History 92, 4 New Black Power Studies: National, International, and Transnational Perspectives (Autumn 2007), 516-539.


Scott Rutherford, “Canada’s Other Red Scare: The Anicinabe Park Occupation and Indigenous Decolonization,” In The Hidden 1970s. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010.


Primary Document: Excerpt from Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society (Vancouver & Toronto: Douglas and McIntyre, 1969, 1999)



Week 12: Class Presentations

T March 20st: Class Presentations

W March 21nd: Class Presentations    

F March 23th: Class Presentations




Week 13:

T March 27th: Canada and the International Political Economy

W March 28th: Contemporary Social Movements

F March 31st: No Class (Good Friday)



Week 14:

T April 3rd: Canadian Historians in the Late 20th Century

W April 4th: Wrap-Up and Overview

F April 6th: Class Discussion (Reading Response #9)




Catherine Carstairs, “Roots Nationalism: Branding English Canada Cool in the 1980s and 1990s,” Histoire Sociale/Social History 39, 77 (2006): 235-255.

Francesca D’Amico, “‘The Mic Is My Piece’: Canadian Rap, the Gendered “Cool Pose” and Music Industry Racialization and Regulation,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 26, 1 (2015): 255-290.


Madeline Rose Knickerbocker, “What We’ve Said Can Be Proven In The Ground:Stó:L? Sovereignty And Historical Narratives At Xá:Ytem, 1990-2006," Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 24, 1 (2013): 297-342.