Historiographic Hassles: Class and Gender, Evidence and Interpretation


  • Bryan D. Palmer


Historiographic controversy in Canada has produced concentric circles of often quite charged disagreement. Two relatively new areas of Canadian historiography — the serious scrutiny of labour and gender and their significance in the past — have been central to ongoing challenges to historical interpretations and evidence. Some curious, largely unacknowledged chains link the critiques provided by working- class histories from the 1970s and 1980s to newer 1990s gender perspectives. A scrutiny of two major texts of gender history, Gender Conflicts edited by Franca Iacovetta and Mariana Valverde and Lynne Marks’s Revivals and Roller Rinks, reveals the tensions that connect as well as separate labour and gender historians. We need to reconstitute a dialogue, not through surrender, pique, overblown claims, or caricatures, but on the basis of parallel, if sometimes divergent, projects of modest accomplishment.






Social History and Postmodern and Postcolonial Theory