Dr. Christopher Dummitt wants Canadians to know that history is about so much more than recalling a list of dates and names. With that in mind, the History professor has launched a new podcast, 1867 and All That, which is breathing new life into the memorable moments and fascinating figures of a foundational chapter of Canadian history spanning from 1837 to 1885.
Part audio-book and part old-fashioned radio play, the podcast is geared to listeners ranging from high-schoolers to retired history buffs. The podcast is also a key component of the Trent experience as Professor Dummitt is finding ways to incorporate it into the classroom as a way of engaging students.
“I want to connect with students in an interesting way, and history comes alive when you’re telling a story,” explains Prof. Dummitt.
Working on the project alongside the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Trent, Prof. Dummitt has been able to add tremendous production value to his compelling narratives. He was connected with a producer to incorporate sound elements so listeners can ‘hear’ the past come alive, which will allow him to create a “flipped class”, focused on interactive learning rather than lectures, in a newly-created Trent course, “The Almost Kingdom: Canada 1837 – 1885” (CAST-HIST 2235). With the time that students would typically spend in lectures and readings, Prof. Dummitt has created a learning environment that focuses on developing research skills. Students will “read more primary documents, talk about the debates of the time and really get into it in a more conversational style,” explains Prof. Dummitt.
1867 and All That will span three seasons, with the first season now streaming. The first season will focus on two big topics: the rebellion of 1837-38, followed up by a number of episodes on the 1840s and the development of responsible government in Canada, showcasing interesting personalities including Louis Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin.
When asked what he hopes listeners take away from the podcast, Prof. Dummitt notes that he wants people to realize “Canadian history is not boring. The stories that I will cover are fun, they’re fascinating and they’re important.”