Friday, February 29, 2008

Michael Bliss festschrift

Massey College last night held a launch for a volume of essays in honour of Michael Bliss. Handsome volume, edited by Elspeth Heaman, Alison Li, and Shelley McKellar, is called Essays in Honour of Michael Bliss: Figuring the Social. The subtitle sounds not at all like something Bliss would say or write, but the book is substantial.

Along with scholarly essays by his students, there's an amused preface by his friends John Fraser and Elizabeth McCallum, a bit of memoir by Bliss himself, consideration of Bliss as scholar by Heaman and as teacher by Richard White, and a essay that starts "Michael Bliss sells newspapers" by Jonathan Turley-Ewart, a former student now at the National Post, reflecting on Bliss's role as public intellectual and why so few academic historians succeed in that role.

I'll be profiling Bliss in my Beaver column later this year.
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