Bringing the past to life: “I Was Here” review

So guys, tonight I watched a play written by my fellow public historian Emily Keyes, and I’m feeling compelled to fangirl about it because it was Just. That. Good. Bear with me for a moment and let me tell you why it rang true for me in so many ways.

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“Tokugawa Day” and the Rebuilding of Nagoya

The Tokugawa Art Museum and Nagoya Castle

While my last two posts were based on destinations in Kyoto, the majority of my time in Japan was actually spent on the country’s eastern coast in Nagoya. Today I’m sharing a small part of this city’s big story.

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A whirlwind tour of Central Japan

So this is just a quick post to say I’m back from my trip to Japan and I’m ready to write about it! (I think the last vestiges of jet lag are finally gone, anyway.) It’s hard to believe that less than two weeks ago, I was still there. I miss it already…

The main purpose of the trip was a wedding, which is kind of a cool story in itself. 15 years ago, my parents and I hosted a Japanese exchange student for a year. We kept in touch off and on, and a few months ago she told us she was engaged and invited us to the wedding. I had always hoped that I might get to visit her one day, so when a serious opportunity arose I decided to go for it. And I am so glad I did! It was my first trip to Japan (or to Asia at all, for that matter), but given how much I enjoyed my time there, I am sure it won’t be the last. Over the next few posts, let me take you on a whirlwind tour of some of my favourite destinations from the trip:

Stay tuned!

Making Freelancing Work

Over the past few weeks I’ve had some colleagues and recent graduates ask me about the current employment landscape for public history. Well, it’s no secret: today’s job market is capricious with us recent grads, especially in the arts and humanities. After our years of education, we’re ejected into this place called “the real world” where most jobs are contract-based and every position seems to be either low-level or executive. (And that’s without considering the issues in academia.)

Knowing this, myself and many others have sought out university programs that offer practical components and professional development opportunities. One option that doesn’t get discussed often, however, is freelancing. During my studies we often talked about being “entrepreneurial,” but almost never about actually becoming an entrepreneur.

Freelance can take many forms. Some people take contracts / produce material to supplement their income, while others are entirely self-employed. But the fact is, there are people out there who are making freelancing work. Continue reading

Reclaiming spaces: new post on

This is just a quick note to say that I have a new post published on! This time I discuss some of the incredible work showcased at this year’s Canada’s History Forum and Governor General’s History Awards, with an emphasis on “reclaiming spaces.” Scholars and communities across the country – especially communities that have historically been denied the right to tell their own history – are focusing on space and place as a vehicle to share their stories. Visit to learn more, and don’t forget to check out the full list of award winners.

Going corporate in the Capital

Hello again, world. It’s been a while!

So for those of you who remember my last couple posts, I recently came back from the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities all fired up and inspired and ready to rock whatever employment opportunity came my way. As it turns out, not one but two employment opportunities came out of that conference. And I am pleased to say that I am now ending my third week in Ottawa as a freelance historian and cartographer/research associate at one of Ottawa’s private historical research firms.
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