What's Old is News

by Sean Graham

Exploring how current events are shaped by history. Each week, Sean Graham will be joined by historians, journalists, and experts to discuss some of the biggest questions in history and how the connect to major policy and cultural decisions being made today. There's also our 'Historical Headline of the Week' segment, where we look at how old news continues to resonate.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Disability Activism

    Disability Activism

    Sean Graham talks with Dustin Galer, author of Beryl: The Making of a Disability Activist. They talk about Beryl Potter's entry into activism, how the 1970s public debates influenced her campaigns, and the financial challenges faced by disability activists. They also chat about Beryl Potter's personality and public encounters, her television program, and how many of the challenges she fought against persist in 2023. For further context, be sure to visit some of the activist organizations that continue to push for disability rights and accessibility. Historical Headline of the Week Rhianna Schmiunk and Michelle Ghoussoub, "Air Canada Makes Changes After Passengers with Disabilities Share 'Dehumanizing' Experiences.' CBC News, November 9, 2023.

  • Food Security in the North

    Food Security in the North

    Sean Graham is joined by Kristin Burnett and Travis Hay, authors of Plundering the North: A History of Settler Colonialism, Corporate Welfare, and Food Insecurity. They discuss the geographic parameters of the 'North,' the challenges faced by northern communities, and the origins of food insecurity. They also chat about the colonial structures that have created the problem, how communities are trying to challenge these systems, and the resulting political and economic implications. Historical Headline of the Week "U.N. Reviews High Food Insecurity Rates in Canada's Northern Territories," APTN News, August 31, 2023.

  • Chaotic '35 Campaign

    Chaotic '35 Campaign

    Sean Graham talks with David MacKenzie, author of King and Chaos: The 1935 Canadian General Election. They talk about the value of studying elections in history, the economic conditions leading into the election, and the fractured political environment at the time. They also discuss the leadership of R.B. Bennett, William Lyon Mackenzie King, J.S. Woodsworth, and William Aberhart, how foreign policy influenced the campaign, and the election's legacy. Historical Headline of the Week Michael Gates, "History Hunter: Martha Black - Yukon Lady Parliamentarian," Yukon News, April 16, 2023.

  • Residential Schools in Labrador & Newfoundland

    Residential Schools in Labrador & Newfoundland

    Sean Graham talks with Andrea Procter, author of A Long Journey: Residential Schools in Labrador and Newfoundland. They talk about how the residential schooling system there differed from Canada's in the early 20th century, student experiences at the schools, and how communities responded. They also discuss reconciliation in Labrador, why the province wasn't included in the initial national apology, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Healing and Commemoration Project. And be sure to check out the Them Days archives, where all the royalties for the book are being donated. Historical Headline of the Week Healing and Commemoration Portal, The Rooms, St. John's. Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015 If you’re experiencing trauma, a National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former residential school students. You can access information on the website or access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419.

  • The Asianadian

    The Asianadian

    In this episode, Sean Graham talks with Angie Wong, author of Laughing Back at Empire: The Grassroots Activism of The Asianadian Magazine, 1978-1985. They talk about the magazine's origins, its regular features, and how it built community across the country. They also discuss how it was funded, how it fit within the rise of conservatism in the 1980s, and its legacy nearly 40 years after its final edition. Historical Headline of the Week Winston Ma, "I Was Ashamed of Being Chinese Until I Learned About my Ancestors' First Years in Canada," CBC, May 30, 2023.