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Anne Clendinning Memorial Lecture

​Photo by David Lewis

The Third Annual Anne Clendinning Memorial Lecture

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 7:00 p.m.

Weaver Auditorium (B200), Nipissing University

​The History department is very pleased to announce that Dr. Steven High will give the annual Anne Clendinning Memorial Lecture on Monday, April 3, at 7:00 pm in B200 (the Weaver). His talk is titled “The Life and Death of the Sturgeon Falls Mill: an Oral History” (abstract below). A reception will follow the talk.

Dr. High is Professor of History at Concordia University and a founding member of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. He is an interdisciplinary oral and public historian with a strong interest in transnational approaches to working-class studies, forced migration, community-engaged research, oral history methodology and ethics, and living archives. His major areas of expertise are deindustrialization and on the post-industrial transformation of North American cities; oral accounts of mass violence; and race and empire in Newfoundland, Bermuda, and the British Caribbean during the Second World War. Dr. High is also a former member of the Department of History at Nipissing University.

For more information contact Jamie Murton at

Everyone is welcome!


With Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, the political aftershocks of deindustrialization are of pressing concern to us all. Working-class voters, mainly white, in “rust belt” areas proved key to these results raising questions about the relationship between class and racial identity in declining areas. This year’s Clendinning Lecture explores the extent to which the culture of industrialism in Northern Ontario was a product of wider processes of Euro-Canadian colonization and the racial exclusion of Indigenous peoples. Historically, mine and mill towns in Ontario’s Northland were white settlements, as employers hired few Indigenous people except in seasonal woods operations or as occasional labourers. Language and faith also mattered, as there was a sharp class divide between Anglo-Protestant managers and Franco-Ontarian (and Catholic) workers. At its peak in the early 1960s, the Sturgeon Falls mill employed six hundred workers, but one production line after another was terminated until the mill closed altogether in December 2002. Oral history interviewing began while efforts to reopen the mill persisted, and continued as these efforts faded and the mill was demolished. This rapidly changing context profoundly shaped the conversations with mill workers and managers that we recorded, and the emotions unleashed were often incredibly raw. Deindustrialization has marked a crucial rupture in the lives of tens of millions of working-class families around the world, including my own.

Anne Clendinning

The faculty of the Department of History established the Anne Clendinning Memorial Lecture in 2015 to celebrate and honour the memory of their outstanding colleague, teacher, and scholar of Victorian Britain, Anne Clendinning.

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