Wednesday, September 16: Tabitha Renaud: “Without Words: The Communication Barrier between Indigenous Peoples and the Earliest European Explorers in North America.” For hundreds of years historians have glossed over how First Peoples and the earliest European explorers communicated with one another during their first meetings. How did they convey information back and forth? How effectively was this process? This talk returns to famous episodes of “first encounter” to closely examine how people communicated, how it changes traditional interpretations and why it ammeters today.
Tabitha Renaud completed her PhD in history at Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Jane Errington and specialized in studying early encounters between Indigenous peoples and European explorers in the Americas. Tabitha serves as the chair of the Murney Tower Museum Committee and a Councillor of the Kingston Historical Society. She has also volunteered with the Kingston Association of Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites (KAM), Kingston Regional Heritage Fair, Beyond Classrooms Kingston, Smiths Falls Heritage house Museum Advisory Board and the Lower Burial Ground Restoration Society.
Wednesday, October 21st Paul Robertson: “In Memory of Those Who Fell — A Legacy in Glass.”
This talk will be held in City Hall
Paul Robertson, the Curator of the City of Kingston’s heritage collection, will present a talk in Memorial Hall on the second floor of the City Hall. Paul will discuss the magnificent stained glass windows that surround the hall. Financed by local citizens and produced by the world-famous Robert McCausland Glass Company of Toronto, the windows commemorate the battles of World War I in which Kingston men and woman played a role. Paul will highlight the artistry and symbolism embedded in each of these magnificent windows.
Paul Robertson became the City of Kingston’s first City Curator in 2011. He holds a BA degree in journalism and an MA in Canadian history. Working as material history specialist and social historian for 30 years, he has curated collections, created exhibitions and published in print and on the web. He learned his trade working in federal institutions such as the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and at the Museum of Health Care here in Kingston. In 2019, he assumed the presidency of the Ontario Museum Association.
Wednesday, November 18th Dr. Erika Behrisch Elce: “Writing the Franklin Expedition: History, Fiction, and Lady Franklin”
In the 1850s, the search for the lost Franklin Expedition was considered England’s “Modern Odyssey,” and Lady Franklin nothing less than the “Penelope of England.” Today, she is still often portrayed as a symbol, but now also as a conniving strategist whose own ambition propelled her husband to his tragic end. This presentation considers the life of one of the Victorian period’s most compelling women in a new light: not as Penelope or conniver, but as a master of narrative. Moving between history, biography, and fiction, Erika Behrisch Elce explores how Lady Franklin’s character continues to fascinate, rile, and inspire as much as the lost Franklin Expedition itself.