Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


October 24, 2013

One of the pleasures of being a Canadian in Europe in October was to walk by the newsstands and see a smiling Alice Munro on the front pages of all the foreign-language papers. You wanted to tell the person next to you, "she won the Nobel Prize and she's one of us."

Speaking of being "one of us," the book publisher Howard White has blogged over at the Encyclopedia of BC site that while she is usually called an...

October 23, 2013

It was our first day in the south of France and we had stopped for lunch at an outdoor cafe in the lovely little town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. It was market day. The vendors in the square, who had been selling cheese, olives, spices, salami, fresh produce and helpings of paella topped with the largest shrimp I had ever seen, were beginning to pack up.

At the neighbouring table a group of about a dozen Brits were enjoying a boisterous meal, lubricated by a steady supply of beer and...

September 25, 2013


Nothing much besides Rick Steves, Lonely Planet guides and French train timetables.

That's right, I'm off to see the world. As a result, not much posting here for a few weeks.

À toute à l'heure...

September 23, 2013



Here are two not-very-good photos of the Reconciliation Walk in downtown Vancouver yesterday.

The heavy rain did little to dampen the spirits of any of the people I saw. The CBC estimates 10,000 marchers; the...

September 19, 2013

The folks at ActiveHistory.ca have posted a podcast of a roundtable that took place in Victoria back in June. The Canadian Historical Association and the Canadian Political Science Association brought together a dozen academics from both disciplines to discuss "History Under Harper", i.e. the present government's attempts to manipulate what one participant called "the new symbolics of Canada."

I'm probably not spoiling anything by telling you that...