Attendance - Algoma University

Algoma University
The Entrepreneur and Canadian Business History: Capitalism,
Consumerism, and the Environment
HIST 3226
Fall, 2010
Room: EW 204
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00-2:30
Dr. Robert Rutherdale
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30-1:00
Office: SH 406
Ph. 705-949-2301, ext. 4340
Course Content and Approach:
This course builds on previous approaches to the scholarly field of ‘business history’ in
Canada. Whereas previous course offerings in this subject in the 1960s through to the
1980s tended to focus on ‘great men’ and ‘large-scale’ entrepreneurship, newer
approaches incorporate cultural and social histories connected to production and the
allocation of scarce resources: land, labour, and capital. If we take Canadian business
history to encompass the impacts and effects of economic activity in Canada, then
consumption (and histories of consumerism) and its impact on the environment (and
histories of resource use and exploitation) must be taken into account. Thus, traditional
course themes—industrial capitalism and entrepreneurial histories— are now expanding
into newer areas: consumerism and environmental history. The production and cultural
consumption of goods and services, and their corresponding connections to resource use
(with emphasis on Canadian staples exploitation), will be incorporated in our lectures,
readings, and in-class activities.
Each meeting will provide you with a variety of activities, from small-group
projects and workshops, with a focus on primary documents, to interactive lectures.
Taken as a whole, the lectures, and our 'hands-on' learning exercises, provide diverse
opportunities to examine essays, primary documents, and other source materials drawn
from your course readers. Film screenings, guest speakers, and research-based
workshops will supplement my efforts to vary the learning environment. In our
discussions you will be learning actively, in student-centred contexts. Themes, detailed
below, will be integrated with your writing assignments and within specific research-inprogress workshops.
Required Edited Collections
*Douglas McCalla, ed., The Development of Canadian Capitalism: Essays in Business
History (Toronto: Copp Clark, 1990)
*Alan MacEachern and William J. Turkel, Method & Meaning in Canadian
Environmental History (Toronto: Nelson, 2009)
*Alan Gedalof, et al., Cultural Subjects: A Popular Culture Reader (Toronto:
Thompson Nelson, 2005)
Critical Review (15%) Due end of Week 7 (27 Oct.): Prepare a critical review (4-6
typed pgs.) of any two articles drawn from the edited collections listed above. Part of
your task will be to select articles that are related, and to develop an overarching theme in
discussing thematic and conceptual connections between them. In essence, you will be
writing about a critical aspect of the writing of Canadian business history. A handout of
useful questions and approaches will be provided, and ample discussion time will be
devoted to exploring possible strategies.
Course Paper (Proposal 5%; Paper, 40%) Proposal due Week 5 (13 Oct.); Term
Essay due end of Week 12 (1 Dec.)
*Your term essay will become integral part of the course and discussions that will engage
you all term. From the beginning, your task will be to select materials and develop
conceptual and methodological approaches for a project drawn from secondary and, if
possible, primary source materials. A detailed course paper guide will be provided.
*The proposal (1-2 typed pgs.) must outline your central question, proposed sources,
secondary and primary, and the proposed tools (key questions, methods, and concepts)
that you will bring to your course paper (2,500 words., endnotes or footnotes included)
Each of you will have an opportunity to present your research-in-progress to the class as a
whole during the term.
Participation (15%)
Each class you will be responsible for preparing for discussions. In effect, this means
completing an average of two readings per meeting. In each case, I will offer questions,
perspectives, and other comments in the preceding seminar that should help focus your
reading and note-taking. I will also mention any particular group exercise we might
experiment with to facilitate discussion and active learning. Expect a varied learning
environment, from individual presentations to film screenings and subsequent discussion.
A certain amount of goodwill and a genuine desire to contribute to discussions invariably
leads to an active seminar of critique, inquiry, and shared contribution.
To engage sequentially in the accumulated experiences this course offers requires regular
attendance. Students who miss a significant number of classes, more than 20 percent 5
classes, will not be eligible to write the final exam (unless there are extenuating
circumstances I am informed of in advance). An attendance sheet will be circulated
Final Exam (25%): This will allow you, as a student of Canadian business history with
a developed interest in the course areas, to interpret key events, relationships, and
processes through the exam essays you select. You will be encouraged to take positions
and to defend them, not simply to demonstrate factual recall. Reviews of key themes and
issues will be incorporated in our final classes, a useful exercise for connecting and
integrating different topics rather than approaching each in isolation of the others.
Grading policies for essay-writing courses in
English, Fine Arts, History, Modern Languages, Music, and Philosophy
The following regulations for grading provide students with a clear understanding of
policies supported by the faculty in the Humanities Division at Algoma University. This
outline determines standards for all essay-writing courses and includes submission of
essays and written projects (i.e. critical response journals, book reviews, final writing
portfolios, seminar write-ups, etc.)
1) According to Algoma University regulations, students who miss more than 20% of
classes will fail the course and will be excluded from participation in the course
evaluation (at the instructor’s discretion). Class participation is particularly important in
Humanities since much of the education concerning critical analysis and responses to
texts is not contained in textbooks. Articulating critical responses to texts is considered
part of the discipline.
2) All formal assignments must adhere to standard style formatting. Depending on the
discipline, students will use the ‘Chicago Style’ for all endnotes/footnotes (a style guide
will be provided by the instructor and must be used). Grades may be deducted from an
assignment if the student fails to cite sources in precise and professional manner.
3) Plagiarism is unacceptable. Students caught cheating on a test or exam; stealing an
essay from another student, internet, publication, or essay-service will be penalized by the
division. Students must also give credit when taking ideas from lectures, others’
research and/or publications when they apply them to their essays. Please see the
University calendar for penalties for plagiarism.
4) Students must make every effort to have assignments in on time. Adhering to
deadlines shows respect for other students and for the professor who allots time for
assessing each essay within the context of a class standard. Meeting deadlines is an
important part of the discipline.
Late assignments are subject to deductions of 2% per day. Assignments will not be
accepted two weeks after the deadline date, and will be awarded a grade of 0%.
Exceptions to this rule include students who i) have negotiated an extension with the
professor at least one week prior to the essay’s due date; ii) provide evidence of an
legitimate emergency within the 48 hour period prior to the essay’s due date; or iii)
submit a medical note. In all of these cases, students must strive to notify the professor as
soon as possible. Students must provide doctor’s note within two weeks of the essay’s
due date.
5) Students must keep hard copies of all assignments (and be able to produce them upon
request) until final course grade has been assigned.
Topics and Readings
Week 1 (13 and 15 Sept.)
Lecture: ‘New Approaches to Production, Consumption, and Business History in
Historical Studies’
Course Introduction: (incorporates introduction of course themes, aims, assignments, etc.)
For Discussion:
*Douglas McCalla, ‘Introduction’ in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
*Alan MacEachern, ‘An Introduction, in Theory and Practice’ in Method and Meaning in
Canadian Environmental History
Week 2 (20 and 22 Sept.)
Lecture: ‘From Early Staples Exploitation to Colonial Business: Part I’
For Discussion:
*Donald Worster, ‘Ice, Worms, and Dirt: The Power of Nature in North American
History,’ in Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History
*Peter E. Pope, ‘Historical Archaeology and the Maritime Cultural Landscape of the
Atlantic Fishery’ in Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History
Week 3 (27 and 29 Sept.)
Lecture: ‘From Early Staples Exploitation to Colonial Business: Part II’
For Discussion:
*T.W. Acheson, ‘The Great Merchant and Economic Development in Saint John, 18201850’ in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
*Françiose Noël, ‘Chambly Mills, 1784-1815’ in The Development of Canadian
Week 4 (4 and 6 Oct.)
Lecture: ‘Railway Era Transformations: Part I: Upper Canada’
For Discussion:
*Peter Baskerville, ‘Americans in Britain’s Backyard: The Railway Era in Upper
Canada, 1850-1880’ in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
Week 5 (Wednesday 13 Oct. Thanksgiving on Monday)
Lecture: ‘Railway Era Transformations: Part II: Commerce in the Transportation
For Discussion:
*John F. Varty, ‘Trust in Bread and Bologna: Promoting Prairie Wheat in the Twentieth
Century,’ in Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History
Week 6 (18 and 20 Oct.)
Lecture: ‘National Policies: Government, Business, and the New Dominion of Canada’
For Discussion:
*Hugh G.J. Aitken, ‘Government and Business in Canada: An Interpretation’ in The
Development of Canadian Capitalism
*Ken Cruikshank, ‘The Transportation Revolution and its Consequences: the Railway
Freight Rate Controversy of the late Nineteenth Century’ in The Development of
Canadian Capitalism
*Ben Forster, ‘The Coming of the National Policy: Business, Government, and the
Tariff, 1876-1879’ in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
Week 7 (25 and 27 Oct.)
Lecture: ‘Public Resources: The Business of Conservation, Hydro-Electricity, and Urban
Planning Policies’
For Discussion:
*Michèle Dagenais, ‘The Urbanization of Nature: Water Networks and Green Spaces in
Montreal’ in Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History
*Christopher Armstrong and H.V. Nelles, ‘Contrasting Development of the HydroElectric Industry in Montreal and Toronto Regions, 1900-1930’ in The Development of
Canadian Capitalism
Week 8 (1 and 3 Nov.)
Lecture: ‘Modern Capitalism and Mass Manufacturing: Infrastructures and
Bureaucracies in the Private Sector’
For Discussion:
*Donald F. Davis, ‘Dependent Motorization: Canada and the Automobile to the 1930s’
in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
*Graham S. Lowe, ‘”The Enormous File”: The Evolution of the Modern Office in Early
Twentieth Century Canada’ in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
Week 9 (8 and 10 Nov.)
Lecture: ‘Modern Capitalism and Mass Manufacturing: Labour Inputs and
Environmental Impacts Critically Assessed’
For Discussion:
*Craig Heron and Robert Storey, ‘Work and Struggle in the Canadian Steel Industry,
1900-1950’ in The Development of Canadian Capitalism
*William J. Turkel, ‘It Costs Something to Learn Something: Property Rights,
Information Costs, and the Struggle at Fish Lake’ in Method and Meaning in Canadian
Environmental History
Week 10 (15 and 17 Nov.)
Lecture: ‘Mass Manufacturing and the Making of Canada’s Consumer Society:
Approaches to Consumerism in the 1920s’
For Discussion:
*Walter Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ in Cultural
*Raymond Williams, ‘Advertising: The Magic System’ in Cultural Subjects
*Paul Rutherford, ‘Made in America: The Problem of Mass Culture in Canada’ in
Cultural Subjects
Week 11 (22 and 24 Nov.)
Lecture: ‘'Marketing and Consumer Cultures: Transitions from the Interwar to the Postwar Period’
For Discussion:
*Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer, ‘The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass
Deception’ in Cultural Subjects
*Cecily Devereux, ‘”Canadian Classic and “Commodity Export”: The Nationalism of
“Our” Anne of Green Gables’ in Cultural Subjects
Week 12 (29 Nov. and 1 Dec.)
Lecture: ‘Post-war Patterns: From Domesticity and Consumerism to the Ordinary
For Discussion:
* Karen Dubinsky, ‘The Second Greatest Disappointment: Honeymooning and Tourism
at Niagara Falls’ in Cultural Subjects
*Rob Shields, ‘Social Spatialization and the Built Environment: The West Edmonton
Mall’ in Cultural Subjects
*Lynn Joyrich, ‘Good Reception? Television, Gender, and the Critical View’ in Cultural
Week 13 (6 Dec.)
Lecture: ‘Baby-Boomer Business and the Body’
For Discussion :
*Ann duCille, ‘Dyes and Dolls: Multicultural Barbie and the Merchandizing of
Difference’ in Cultural Subjects
*Lina Mizejewski, ‘Action Bodies in Futurist Spaces: Bodybuilder Stardom as Special
Effect’ in Cultural Subjects
*Naomi Klein, ‘Alt.everything: The Youth Market and the Marketing of Cool’ from No
Logo in Cultural Subjects
And review and completion of Research-in-Progress workshops and course review
for final examination