Saturday, August 18, 2012

I miss the Underhill Room!

Perhaps surprisingly, I actually enjoy reading the monthly magazine sent out by my Alma mater, Carleton University. An article in this months edition pictures a dingy little reading room tucked away in the corner of history department, the Underhill Reading Room. Named for Frank Underhill, the influential 20th century left wing politician who played a hand in strengthening academic freedom in Canada as a professor at the University of Toronto in the 1930's-1950's and as an early stalwart of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. Underhill is the bald old gentleman in the picture behind the group. He was also an influential political history professor at Carleton in his later years. It seems that Underhill and Carleton represent the more open and progressive academic spirit that followed the second world war, as was so well expressed in the post-war university boom. To me, Carleton still carries on with this tradition of liberalism as seen in the article on a new project focused on social media and history. Jennifer Evans, described as an 'academic envelope pusher' is featured in the article. One of her works, fitting her envelope pushing reputation, was reviewed on this blog last year.

I do miss the Underhill room. It was always a bit of a secret quiet place for history students at Carleton.

Carleton celebrates it's 70th anniversary this year.

Happy summer!

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