University of Toronto Press Blog

  • World Environment Day: June 5th, 2018

    University of Toronto Press Journals World Environment Day

    Celebrated in over 100 countries since its beginning in 1974, the UN’s World Environment Day (WED) has developed into a global platform for encouraging awareness, action and, of course, learning. This year’s timely theme pledges to show the many ways that we can help beat plastic pollution.

    Over the years, journals from across our collection have contributed to this important conversation, publishing articles that tackle everything from fracking to pollution, from sustainability to ecofeminism, to changes in policy. Naturally, we couldn’t resist sharing with you some of our top articles on the environment. This WED, see what our scholars are saying on the subject.

    Canadian Historical Review Volume 99 Issue 2 CoverIn the latest issue from the Canadian Historical Review, Mark Kuhlberg and Scott Miller offer insight into pollution in Sudbury, Ontario. Learn how the government granted mining firms practical impunity to pollute the local environment in “‘Protection to the Sulphur-Smoke Tort-feasors’: The Tragedy of Pollution in Sudbury, Ontario, the World's Nickel Capital, 1884–1927.”

    How are the various ways that people think about water’s relationships to their lands and lives being confounded? Drawing on interviews with 31 concerned residents of Ohio, Anthropologica’s Anna J. Willow discusses the cultural meaning of water in “Troubling Water: Shale Energy and Waterscape Transformation in a North American Extraction Zone.”

    Journal of Canadian Studies Volume 51 Issue 3How are the longstanding systematic problems with the provision of safe drinking water on Northern Ontario’s reserves being addressed? In “Boil-Water Advisories and Federal (In)Action: The Politics of Potable Water in Pikangikum First Nation,” from the Journal of Canadian Studies, Lori Chambers suggests that the lack of care reflects colonialism, racism, and a fundamental failure of the federal government to live up to its constitutional responsibilities.

    In “Meat-ing Demand: Is In Vitro Meat a Pragmatic, Problematic, or Paradoxical Solution?” the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law’s Angela Lee takes a critical, ecofeminist perspective on how, in the midst of an ecological crisis, science has been working toward making in vitro meat a commercial reality.

    IJFAB Volume 11 Issue 1Kristen Abatsis McHenry takes us to the fracking sites of Pennsylvania in the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, and sheds light on the negative impacts of fracking on women’s health. “Fracking Women: A Feminist Critical Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing in Pennsylvania” is part of an important discussion about advocacy, environmental politics, and gender.

    As oil and gas activity intensifies, so too do its environmental risks and impacts, which in turn signal a need for stronger environmental policy. So how did a five-year research project assess environmental policy trends in Canada’s four leading oil- and gas- producing provinces? Canadian Public Policy’s Angela V. Carter, Gail S. Fraser, and Anna Zalik share their findings in “Environmental Policy Convergence in Canada's Fossil Fuel Provinces? Regulatory Streamlining, Impediments, and Drift.”

    For more information about WED and to see how you can join the millions of people who participate each year and help make a difference, please visit:

  • Moving to Online Publication: Canadian Journal of History / Annales canadiennes d'histoire

    For over fifty years, the CJH / ACH has produced first-class historical scholarship that reaches a wide audience. That audience is increasingly accessing our content wholly through digital platforms. Last year alone, 10,000 readers downloaded articles and book reviews. In response to this reality, and to rapid changes in academic publishing, our Editorial Board has decided that starting in 2019 the CJH / ACH will be published online only. The shift to digital-only production will allow us to produce higher-quality copy that is more accessible to low-vision readers, while also enabling us to include full-colour, high resolution images. And, if you are already an online subscriber, you know that this means you get the journal sooner than the mail can deliver it!

    We thank you for your continued support!

    CJH/ACH Covers Read Online

    Want to see what’s been making impact online? Here are our some of most downloaded articles!


    Raven Plays Ball: Situating “Indian Sports Days” within Indigenous and Colonial Spaces in Twentieth-Century Coastal British Columbia

    Since Skyscrapers: New Histories of Native-Newcomer Relations in Honour of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of J.R. Miller’s Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens

    The Adoption of Frances T: Blood, Belonging, and Aboriginal Transracial Adoption in Twentieth-Century Canada

    Commerce, Industry, and the Laws of Newtonian Science: Weber Revisited and Revised

    Difficultés Économiques et Réaction Seigneuriale au Terroir de Beaucaire: La Commanderie des Hospitaliers de Saint-Pierre de Campublic aux XIVe et XVe Siècles

    “He was neither a soldier nor a slave: he was under the control of no man”: Kahnawake Mohawks in the Northwest Fur Trade, 1790–1850

    The Queen’s Jews: Religion, Race, and Change in Twentieth-Century Canada


    The Fascist Challenge and the Policy of Appeasement, edited by Wolfgang J. Mommsen and Lothar Kettenacker

    Histoire des industries françaises. Les industries lainères de Colbert à la Révolution, par Tihomir J. Markovitch

  • Making of a Monster (Studies Article)

    Written by guest blogger, Christopher McGunnigle.

    Comic page - Tales to Astonish 17Image courtesy of Marvel.

    Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, even Thor: a secret behind these household superheroes is that, once upon a time, they were all monsters. The Marvel superhero, ever the outsider filled with doubt and heroic flaws, was built from the mold of an earlier age known as the Monster Era.

    My article on “Marvel Monsters and Their Transition into the Superhero Genre” came about, honestly, from a formulaic approach. Coming from a generalist doctoral program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I studied in numerous fields, including rhetoric, graphic narrative (i.e. comic books), and linguistics. When coming up with ideas for conferences or articles, I apply the formula (one of my scholarly fields) + (another scholarly field).

    While browsing through the Penn State Call for Papers website, I was excited by a call for an MLA panel on Monster Studies that would later become my article. The topic easily fit into my creative formula: (comic books) + (monsters) = the Marvel Monsters of the 1950s and 60s!

    Of course, my creative formula required more specification to avoid being too broad. As a rhetorician, I look into the heart of what makes a topic popular – its rhetorical appeal. As a graphic narrative scholar, I focus on visual and verbal rhetorical appeal. As a linguist, I developed a knack for finding patterns in massive amounts of data. My topic further solidified into a rhetorical analysis of the visual and verbal characteristics of the Marvel Monster – what traits of the medium and genre made the Marvel Monster so popular and influenced the formation of the new Marvel superheroes that followed the Monster Era.

    Comic page - Tales to Astonish 20Image courtesy of Marvel.

    But it was not enough to merely note that Marvel Monsters came in certain colors or shapes or had certain types of names – what about these colors and shapes and names was monstrous? I still needed more of the MONSTER in my research.

    My glue came from Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s theses on Monster Theory, which discuss the ambiguity and re-iteration of the monster figure. Multimedia rhetoric thrives on ambiguity of content to promote transmissive value, while the superhero comic book sustains itself throughout decades of storylines through constant re-iteration of content. From there, everything fell into place!

    We are always looking for the monster, whether in the closet or under the bed, but despite this search, academia has only begun to touch upon the monster’s many appearances – both where it appears and what it looks like. As the foundations of Monster Studies are being set, its future promises to find the monster in new locations and in new fields – in the social sciences, in computer and information technology, in business, in the hard sciences and who knows where else. With each new field, we will find a new interpretation and version of the monster.

    Christopher McGunnigle is a professor at Northampton Community College. His article “The Difference between Heroes and Monsters: Marvel Monsters and Their Transition into the Superhero Genre” can be found in the special Monster Studies issue of University of Toronto Quarterly. Read it online here (open access for a limited time).

  • The Story Behind Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD

    In the lead-up to this year's Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, where authors Loleen Berdahl and Jonathan Malloy will be leading a Career Corner for graduate students, we are pleased to present some background information on their new book, Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD. Pick up your copy at Congress or order it online today!

    Jonathan Malloy, Professor and Chair, Political Science, Carleton University

    The issue of career paths for PhD students has received increasing attention in recent years. As someone who has been engaged on this topic since the 1990s, I am excited to see this conversation moving forward and to add my voice to them with a new book, Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD (University of Toronto Press, 2018). In this short and accessible volume, my co-author Loleen Berdahl and I offer practical advice to on how to navigate a social sciences or humanities doctoral program in Canada to lead to career success. It is both about doing a PhD and what to do with a PhD—and thinking about both from the start. One of the things that makes our book distinct is that we strongly advocate a seamless approach to PhD career development that does not require having to decide between "academic" and "non-academic" tracks.

    We developed this approach based on our own personal experiences. While we only met in 2014, both of us pursued PhDs in the 1990s being open to the idea of non-academic careers and taking a proactive approach to publishing, networking, and overall career development. After finishing her PhD, Loleen worked outside academia in a public policy role, a career path she greatly enjoyed. For my part, as a PhD student I worked in government briefly and began to write materials for doctoral student audiences, authoring a guide for incoming students in my program and an essay for The Bulletin (the now-defunct official University of Toronto newspaper) on the need for more work and attention to non-academic jobs for PhDs.

    I ended up in a position as a faculty member in a department with a large PhD program. Every year, I saw new waves of PhD students constantly struggling with the same issues over and over—not just about academic careers, but every aspect of their programs. I also realized that the mentality I had developed back in my own PhD years gave me a broad perspective and a lot of tacit and relevant knowledge that could be passed on. A particular moment for sharing this knowledge was in 2010, when “rumour blogs” became popular among many PhD students and junior academics, including some devoted specifically to Canadian political science (my discipline). These unmoderated bulletin boards responded to the genuine need and desire for career information and guidance in the sprawling and often opaque world of academia, but were ugly and disreputable—aggressive, often sexist, and defamatory. I decided to counteract this by creating my own blog, “Advice and Discussion about Canadian Polisci Jobs,” and for a year made weekly posts of career advice for Canadian political science PhD students and junior academics. The blog was well-visited and attracted commentary and discussion. I eventually ran out of fresh things to say every week, but the blog stayed up for years and continued to attract visitors.

    Loleen was mostly out of the academic world for ten years and while her work connected her to other PhDs working in a variety of non-academic environments, she was not actively engaged in doctoral career mentorship issues. But she later returned to academia with her position at the University of Saskatchewan, and in 2014 we were both elected to the board of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) and met for the first time. After discovering our shared mentality and approach to PhD education and job opportunities, I sent Loleen a link to the blog. Loleen has a strong applied background in knowledge mobilization, and saw the potential for the blog to be expanded and updated to help promote much-needed discussion on the issue. She suggested it could be the foundation of a book, an option I had not previously considered. The idea for Work Your Career came together easily at that point, and Mat Buntin at University of Toronto Press was instantly receptive and supportive.

    Our engagement on this topic goes beyond the book to include research and outreach initiatives on career mentoring and development. Of particular note are our conference workshops for PhD students and recent graduates, doctoral supervisors, and interested faculty. After two decades of thinking about PhD education and academic mentoring, I find it encouraging to see a growing number of students and faculty looking at opportunities for doctoral students to prepare for multiple career paths. We will be discussing these ideas further at our Career Corner session at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences on Wednesday, May 30, and welcome all Congress participants interested in PhD careers to attend.

    Doctoral students, individual faculty, academic disciplines, and universities are paying growing attention to the career training and futures of Canada’s social sciences and humanities PhD students and graduates. I am happy to have Work Your Career: Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD as part of the larger discussion.

    Jonathan Malloy is Professor at Carleton University.

  • Julia Pyryeskina: Historical Junctures & Gaps in the Archives

    Written by guest blogger, Julia Pyryeskina.

    Julia Pyryeskina holding a black catPhoto Credit: Giselle Gos

    My field of study is contemporary activist history, with a focus on the Canadian gay and lesbian liberation. I am now starting to look at trans organizing in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s.

    In Becki L. Ross’s words, the winter of 1977-78 was a complicated “historical and political juncture” of several key events in the history of the gay and lesbian community in Toronto: the murder of twelve-year old Emanuel Jacques and The Body Politic’s publication of an article about adult-child relationships and its subsequent raid by the police had coincided with the short-lived victory of an ordinance to protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in Dade county, Florida, USA. With Anita Bryant’s Save the Children organization at the helm, a furious campaign by right-wing evangelical Christians had overturned the ordinance. Bryant was invited to tour Canada with her message, alarming Canadian activists — what were the repercussions of Bryant’s proselytizing North of the border, and what did this mean for the provincial campaign to include “sexual orientation” as a discrimination rubric in the Ontario Human Rights Code?

    I came across the Anita Bryant protests when reading The Body Politic in the CLGA archives. In 1978, TBP’s Michael Merrill had offered an incisive analysis of the relationship between Anita’s homophobia, the election of a populist President and the rise of the far-right in US politics, which seemed oddly timely.

    Issues that already divided gay activists from TBP and lesbian feminist mothers were again brought into stark contrast: Was freedom of the press more important than bad press for the gay liberation movement? Lesbian mothers struggling to retain custody of their children had little sympathy for gay men nostalgic about their own underage sexual encounters. In return, some gay men compared lesbians’ outrage about the sexual abuse of children with Bryant’s appeal to the institution of family as the basis for her homophobic rhetoric.

    Because it was a complicated moment in time, it generated a lot of arguing – and, if documented, arguments make for really good archival material. Putting these things together helped me create a more detailed snapshot of what was happening. However, I still had trouble placing the events in the wider context. While the Bryant protests illustrated the divisions in the community, what relevance did they have for later political organizing?

    CJH’s peer reviewers pushed me to expand the scope of my article to contextualize these events, and to analyze why it was important. With their feedback, and with advice from Dr. Gary Kinsman, I expanded the article to connect the organizing against Bryant with the short-lived, gay anti-right organizing in the early 1980s. Rilla Friesen’s support and insight led me the rest of the way.

    However, the snapshot is limited. As Marcus Syrus Ware and Rinaldo Walcott have argued, The Body Politic and the CLGA documented white and cisgender gay histories, and have marginalized and erased voices of cis and trans Black and Indigenous people of colour. Moving forward, my goal is to engage meaningfully with critiques of the whiteness of mainstream gay and lesbian history in my work. As a historian, I strive both to work within the archives and to see their gaps.

    Julia Pyryeskina was awarded the Linda F. Dietz Prize for the 2017-2018 academic year by the Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire. Her award-winning article, “‘A remarkably dense historical and political juncture’: Anita Bryant, The Body Politic, and the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Community in January 1978” is open access for a limited time.

    The Linda F. Dietz Prize is awarded annually for the best article submitted by a graduate student registered at a Canadian university, or by a Canadian graduate student studying internationally.

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