Swipes #53: Fishy Cartouches


Left Herman Moll, circa 1715. Right Veduta d’un palco, e della maniera colla quale si pesca acconcia e secca il Baccala in Terra nuova,” circa 1763.

PS “Happy birthdays” to Nunavut (today) & Newfoundland and Labrador (yesterday). More on birthdays soon…

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#AHA19: Reflections

This is my 250-word reflection about the American Historical Association conference in Chicago (January 2019), written in exchange for a travel grant to attend the conference. “Reflections should not be a summary but rather a provocative and interesting reaction,” so hopefully I delivered.

At #AHA19, I was able to reconnect with colleagues, forge new connections with other historians of cartography, and score some free books in the Exhibition Hall. I also attended several fascinating panels and had an invigorating poster presentation session.


After reading Dr. Owens’s call for land acknowledgements on Twitter, I was pleased to note that two of the speakers in Panel 100: “Indigenous People, Colonialism, Sovereignty, and Dam Projects in the Americas” offered territorial acknowledgements during their talks. Drs. Bauer, Stunden Bower, Garza, and Huettl presented a transnational panel about Indigenous removal and resistance to water projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, I appreciated their use of photographic archives, oral histories, and cartography. As a transnational scholar, I enjoyed the broad range of their case studies, which covered ground from the Round Valley Indian Reservation in California to Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Reservation and Historyland in Wisconsin to Métis communities in the Canadian Prairies to Mexico City.

This panel offered excellent examples of oral history, “red-lining” the archive (offering an Indigenous [a play on the trope “red Indians”] reading of official government documents – looking for who is present and who is absented), personal experiences, and Indigenous counter-mapping. Much more work remains to be done in these areas, and I look forward to AHA’s continued involvement in supporting local, transnational, and Indigenous historical research.


While I was impressed with the facilitation, presentations, and audience engagement during the question and answer period, I echo Dr. Owens’s request for stronger Indigenous involvement at future AHA conferences, including land acknowledgements beyond Indigenous-topic panels as well as local community engagement.

As a Twitterstorian, I enjoyed connecting with various digital personalities at the Twitterstorians reception on Thursday evening.


On a personal note, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to avail myself of the plentiful hors d’oeuvres at the reception for Graduate Students. It was a fun kick off the conference.

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Swipes #52: First Welfare Recipients

Everett Soop and Marty Two Bulls are both fantastic cartoonists. Although they are separated by several years, they cover a lot of similar topics, possibly because settler colonialism just keeps manifesting in the same ways over and over…

Both point to the original welfare recipients:

Left: Marty Two Bulls, 2003. Right: Everett Soop, 1980.

Left: Everett Soop, January 1970. Right: Marty Two Bulls, November 2018.

And, in more recent events:

Left: Everett Soop, November 1969.
Right: Colten Boushie, 2016, from “I am Colten Boushie. Canada is the all-white jury that acquitted his killer.” by Julian Brave NoiseCat.

Left: Kaya Taitano, January 2019. Right: Everett Soop, July 1976.

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Swipes #51: CAN’t do it without Quebec

CANS SWIPES Oct5 1977 02 17 Quebec

17 February 1977, The Daily News, St. John’sCANS SWIPES 1964 09 22 Quebec

22 September 1964, Peter Kuch, Winnipeg Free Press

Images courtesy of the Begbie Society Contest.

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Stars & Stripes 4 Evah

Because I love, love, love Banal Nationalism by Micheal Billig, I’m going to talk about it some more. I love it. (I’m trying to keep things professional here in case anyone from the American Historical Association conference next month ends up reading through my recent archives. Hello! I love Banal Nationalism and researching banal nationalism in visual culture.)

Anyhow, there are so many USAmerican maps everywhere all the time that I doubt that anyone can keep track of them, but here are some more items to throw into the fray regarding, what else, statehood and the US flag:

Library of Congress

“Waiting for their stars.” Udo Keppler, 23 July 1902 via the United States Library of Congress

“I bought a forty-eight-star American flag, from the 1940s. The flag would remind MDash that his adoptive nation is never finished building itself—that good citizens have a place somewhere in her fruited plain just as more stars can fit in the blue field above those red and white stripes.” – Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (yeah, that Tom Hanks wrote a book of short stories!)

Mauldin - Stop whistling and move over - 13 March 1959

“All right, all right! Stop whistling and move over!” Bill Mauldin, 13 March 1959, via the United States Library of Congress.




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Cabotia & Fredonia


If you like maps, I have a guest post up at Borealia about Cabotia and Fredonia, alternate names suggested for Canada and the USA, respectively.

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Thanksgiving Special

We’ve seen plum pudding and pies, so today I bring you another mash-up of political cartoon delicacies:


28 November 1957, Jim Berryman.


1874 (Benjamin Disraeli)

1926 04 01 ask2 Begbie.jpg

1 April 1926 via the Begbie Society Contest.

1931 03 01 2relief355 Begbie.jpg

March 1931 via the Begbie Society Contest.

N.B. It is only Thanksgiving in one country today, as far as I know.

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Swipes File #50: O / Owe Canada


(Vance Rodewalt, 20 February 2018)

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The Donner Party & The Franklin Expedition…

… Two times when Indigenous people saw white people cannibalizing each other and noped right out of there.

Julie Schablitsky on the Donner Party:

Taking pity on the pioneers, the northern Washoe attempted to feed them, leaving rabbit meat and wild potatoes near the camps. Another account states that they tried to bring the Donner Party a deer carcass, but were shot at as they approached. Later, some wel mel ti observed the migrants eating human remains. Fearing for their lives, the area’s native inhabitants continued to watch the strangers but avoided further contact.

And, always in good taste, Robin Williams:

John Rae on the Franklin Expedition:

From the mutilated state of many of the corpses and the contents of the kettles, it is evident that our wretched countrymen had been driven to the last resource – cannibalism – as a means of prolonging existence…

“Don’t be a Charles Dickens about this” is probably my new favo(u)rite phrase.


For more about people eating people, check this out:



For choice lines like “the broiled meate that I had was a piece of such a mans buttocke,” as well as critical analysis of the man-eating trope, see Philip Levy (2005) “MAN-EATING AND MENACE ON RICHARD HORE’S EXPEDITION TO AMERICA,” Atlantic Studies, 2:2, 129-151, https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820500224376.

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