Guest Post | Dare to Compare: Attempting Comparative Transnational and Borderlands History

This post, from Dr Brenden Rensink, was originally published on the Borderlands History Blog, 21 February 2012, and on Dr Rensink’s own blog, July 30 2013. Reposted with kind permission.

I will just come out and say it – I want more borderlands historians to engage in comparative work, to integrate U.S.-Mexican, U.S.-Canadian and countless other transnational histories into new groundbreaking scholarship.  Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Continue reading

Non-Indigenous scholars and Indigenous issues

At the original ‘Culture and the Canada-US Border’ conference held at the University of Kent in June 2009, Kelly Hewson (Mt. Royal University) and I had a conversation about the challenges faced by non-Indigenous scholars interested in Indigenous issues. Such conversations tend to turn on the tension between well-intentioned awareness-raising on the one hand and advocacy ‘on behalf’ of minority groups on the other, with all the attendant dangers of representation, objectification, and even commoditization that implies. How does one go about engaging such issues without speaking for others—potentially (inadvertently?) silencing them in the process? Continue reading