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Historical Identities

Historical Identities: The Professoriate in Canada

Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 450
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  • Book Info
    Historical Identities
    Book Description:

    Including the best and most recent critical research in the field of the social history of higher education and professors,Historical Identitiesexamines fundamental and challenging topics, issues, and arguments on the role and nature of intellectualism in Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2803-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction: ‘Have You Ever Looked into a Professor’s Soul?’ Historical Constructions of the Professoriate in Canada
    (pp. 3-28)

    In the December 1942 issue ofActa Victoriana, a student-run journal at Victoria College at the University of Toronto, Obviously Anonymous wrote a brief diatribe on the vacuousness of the professoriate, vitriolically remarking that professors were ‘ivory towerists’ who were ‘horribly egoistic,’ characterized by ‘intellectual snobbishness,’ ‘amusing forgetfulness,’ and ‘basic impracticability,’ possessing an ‘inaccurate approach to life’ and promoting an environment that was ‘stultifying to one’s intellect.’ ‘These rulers of our fate,’ the student lamented, ‘generally fall short of the inspirational.’ ‘Professors are a rather sorry lot.’¹

    The next issue included a response by Sober Senior, who lamented that the...

  5. Section 1: The International Professoriate

    • 1 ‘Quiet Flow the Dons’: Towards an International History of the Professoriate
      (pp. 31-60)

      For Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, the slow-moving Don River was theme, symbol, and ineluctable force in Russian life.¹ Analogously, the professoriate has been a constantly moving but substantial factor in the history of North Atlantic communities and states. For Sholokhov, the Don could and should be understood in several perspectives at one time: as a line on a map, a great physical mass, and a broad, brown horizon for several million minds and eyes. It would need literary, historical, scientific, political, and aesthetic insight to grasp the ungraspable, the great river.

      So, too, the professors who have helped to constitute the...

  6. Section 2: The Professoriate and the State

    • 2 Running for Office: Canadian Professors, Electoral Politics, and Institutional Reactions, 1887–1968
      (pp. 63-83)

      In his classic study of social class and power in Canada,The Vertical Mosaic(1965), the sociologist John Porter wrote: ‘It would probably be difficult to find another modern political system with such a paucity of participation from its scholars.’ Canadian academics, he stated, were generally loath to become involved in party politics, whether as candidates for office or as party insiders. What or who was responsible for this state of affairs? Porter discerned the towering academic stature and legacy of the University of Toronto economic historian Harold Adams Innis (1894–1952).

      ‘No one played a more important role in...

    • 3 The Professoriate and the Police during the Cold War
      (pp. 84-104)

      Samuel Levine’s academic career at the University of Toronto ended before it really began. Arrested in September 1940 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) under the Defence of Canada Regulations, the fellow in geophysics was sentenced to six months in prison for possessing communist literature. Even after his release from prison, freedom proved elusive – he was confined to an internment camp until October 1941. Once released from the camp, he had no job to return to, and eventually he made his way to the United States. In his study of academic freedom in Canada, Michiel Horn rightly calls this...

  7. Section 3: Institutional Development, Society, and the Professoriate

    • 4 ‘The Trail of the Serpent’: The Appointment of a ‘Professor of Didactics’ at Acadia College, 1883
      (pp. 107-130)

      During its first forty-five years the selection and hiring of professors at Acadia College had usually been accomplished with little fanfare and less controversy. Never had the establishment of a new department or chair raised serious opposition, or even comment, in the Baptist denomination of the Maritimes, which had founded the college in 1838. Nothing in the institution’s past, therefore, had prepared the governors for the outpouring of anger that met their establishment of the Chair of Didactics or Education² and the appointment of the well-known educationist Dr Theodore Harding Rand during the summer of 1883. The controversy that raged...

    • 5 Crossroads Campus: Faculty Development at Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1950–1972
      (pp. 131-157)

      As the 1940s ended, Memorial College at St John’s, Newfoundland, was a sleepy, subdued place just recently promoted to the status of university. A staff of thirty offered fifteen predictable subjects. Just over two decades later, the faculty at bustling Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) had expanded by 2,000 per cent. In 1972 a staff of 634 offered thirty-five subjects, including music, full professional preparation for teaching, engineering, business, nursing, and social work, plus all the intricate specialties associated with the study of medicine. As the first class of medical students entered its last courses before graduation, 1972 marked the...

    • 6 The Social Sciences at Bishop’s University: The Professoriate and Changes in Academic Culture, 1950–1985
      (pp. 158-182)

      Academic culture at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, underwent a fundamental change in the late 1960s and 1970s as the ‘old’ Bishop’s was transformed into the ‘new’ Bishop’s. The transformation emerged from the interaction among a whole range of external and internal forces, not least of which was the establishment of the social science departments. The most important external factors included the socio-political climate in Quebec, the student movement, and the democratization of university governance. These structural trends were accompanied by the rise of what Weaver has called ‘disciplinary professionalism’ as academics struggled to establish their own disciplines and their...

    • 7 Teacher Training in Turmoil: The Experience of Professors in Normal Schools and Faculties of Education during the Quiet Revolution in Quebec
      (pp. 183-204)

      Quebec universities have had the mandate to train primary and secondary school teachers since the late 1960s. Following the recommendations in theReport of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education in the Province of Quebec,¹ normal schools, which had carried out this task for over a century, were abolished. In the case of Quebec, this happened very rapidly, resulting in changes similar to a Copernican revolution. Within a decade, the transition was made from some one hundred institutions scattered across the province to a few universities, which were from then on responsible for training future teachers. Carried out in...

  8. Section 4: Gendered Voices in the Professoriate

    • 8 Sister-Professors: Roman Catholic Women Religious as Academics in English Canada, 1897–1962
      (pp. 207-224)

      As part of the proceedings of the 1960 National Conference of Canadian Universities and Colleges, a group photograph was taken (see plate 8.1). When it is examined today, two features are striking. The first is the presence of only one woman. She is Dr Margaret McCarthy, president of Mount St Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The second is how the woman is dressed. Dr McCarthy is wearing the habit of a Roman Catholic woman religious. A Sister of Charity of Halifax,¹ she is known in her community as Sister Francis d’Assisi. Dr McCarthy is a member of a unique...

    • 9 ‘Woman of Exodus II’: Irene Poelzer, the Women’s Movement, and Teacher Education
      (pp. 225-247)

      These words were penned by Irene Poelzer during the early years of her career as Professor of Educational Foundations at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, where she taught from 1970 to 1993. They form part of the poem that opens her collection of poetry published in 1975, poetry that she wrote to help assuage the pain she felt when she heard stories of exclusion, loss, abuse, and betrayal told to her by women in her courses and at work who sought her understanding ear. These words say much about what it meant (means) to be a feminist woman...

    • 10 Gendered Careers: Women Science Educators at Anglo-Canadian Universities, 1920–1980
      (pp. 248-270)

      Women have taught science at Anglo-Canadian universities since the 1890s, but their opportunities remained limited throughout most of the twentieth century. If we compare their professional paths with those of their male colleagues, we find that women faced a variety of genderspecific obstacles. Historical research by Margaret Rossiter, Nessy Allen, and others in the United States and Australia, and Alison Prentice and myself in Canada, has shown that many questions should be asked about the historical and contemporary situation of women in science in general, and women science educators in particular.¹ These questions should not simply revolve around numbers.² Indeed,...

    • 11 Boosting Husbands and Building Community: The Work of Twentieth-Century Faculty Wives
      (pp. 271-296)

      On 17 February 2001, theGlobe and Mailran a feature article focusing on the fact that the University of Toronto’s Mary Catherine Birgeneau was to be the first Canadian university president’s spouse paid a salary for her work as a wife. ‘Here Comes Mrs Big,’ subtitled ‘Spouses on Salary,’ noted that Toronto had ‘come under attack for being the first Canadian university to put its president’s wife on the payroll.’ But, it went on, ‘when you are expected to fly anywhere to talk business on a moment’s notice, troop thousands of guests through your home, raise funds and give...

  9. Section 5: Subjectivity, Identity, and the Making of the Professoriate

    • 12 Constructing ‘Intellectual Icebergs’: Visual Caricature of the Professoriate and Academic Culture at the University of Toronto, 1898–1915
      (pp. 299-331)

      Writing in 1921 for the first issue of the satirical magazine theGoblin, humorist and university professor Stephen Leacock entertained his readers by pillorying the popular image of the professor, noting that ‘[the university] … lends itself to the purposes of easy ridicule. The professor stands ready as its victim.’ In his essay, Leacock casts the professor as a man (the professor is always coded as male), unfettered with the daily cares of the world and even campus life, living, as he does, in a world of exalted ideas. The putative ‘absent-mindedness’ that results because of this intellectual alienation causes...

    • 13 ‘Two Middle-Aged and Very Good-Looking Females That Spend All Their Week-Ends Together’: Female Professors and Same-Sex Relationships in Canada, 1910–1950
      (pp. 332-350)

      In his magnum opus,Studies in the Psychology of Sex, the first parts of which were published in 1898, Havelock Ellis wrote that the movement for women’s emancipation was ‘on the whole, a wholesome and inevitable movement. But it carries with it certain disadvantages.’¹ The main disadvantage, in his view, was that ‘while men are allowed freedom, the sexual field of women is becoming restricted to trivial flirtation with the opposite sex, and to intimacy with their own sex; having been taught independence of men and disdain for the old theory which placed women in the moated grange of the...

    • 14 Identity in the Making: The Origins and Early Experiences of the Faculty of Arts Professoriate at the University of Toronto, 1935–1945
      (pp. 351-380)

      Between 1935 and 1945 the University of Toronto underwent rapid, intensive, and considerable change – from constrictive financial and hiring policies in the 1930s, to wartime mobilization, to plans for reconstruction and eventual expansion in a postwar world. This transformative period saw the beginning of the university’s ‘modernization.’ The university evolved from the Second World War and immediate postwar years in political outlook, curricular offerings, research emphases, disciplinary fragmentation and specializations, student voice, and other characteristics that were later to constitute the ‘multi-university’ starting in the 1960s.²

      The intellectual and academic cultures at the University of Toronto in the 1930s and...

  10. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 381-412)
  11. Contributors
    (pp. 413-416)
  12. Index
    (pp. 417-437)