Deadline for Submission - Extended to July 1, 2020

Between Postwar and Present Day: Canada 1970 – 2000

Local, National, Global 
6-9 May, 2021
University of Toronto 


"Historians who for many years ignored the historiographic no man's land between the charismatic upheavals of the 1960s and the world historical events of the [late] 1980s, have come to recognize the 1970s as the foundry of our current world order."

● Nils Gilman. "The New International Economic Order: A Reintroduction," Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 6, 1 (2015): 1-16.

Late twentieth century historical sources are increasingly becoming available to Canadian historians. Yet, Nils Gilman’s metaphor of a “historiographic no man’s land” continues to be relevant. Temporal and politically laden frameworks such as the “long sixties” and “the just society” are not easily applied to the decades that followed. Between 1970 and 2000 a series of significant economic, cultural, and social shifts destabilized the contested post-war liberal consensus. The repatriation of the Constitution and passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provided hard-won platforms for Indigenous peoples, women, queer communities, people with disabilities, and immigrants and refugees to have a greater influence on politics and society; many of these movements had strong connections to struggles elsewhere. At the same time, global neoliberal policies were having an impact on the economy and on national politics, with the result that support for programs that fostered inclusion, equality, and high rates of well-paying employment diminished. Culturally, Indigenous politics rooted in international decolonization movements, tensions between Quebec and Canada, Canada and the United States and challenges to Canada’s recently redefined identity as an inclusive and multicultural nation made “Canadian identity” an increasingly fraught subject. These decades, which laid the foundation for present day Canada, require further analysis from historians and other scholars.

“Between Postwar and Present Day” brings together scholars exploring political, economic, cultural, and social change in Canada from 1970 through the 1990s. The conference organizers invite proposals from scholars interested in understanding these decades and identifying the tendencies of the era. How were these shifts shaped by global politics? How did local, national, and international histories “overlap” to shape individual and collective experiences? What frameworks might be most effective for understanding the changes and continuities of this period? We welcome individual papers, panels, and roundtables that examine aspects of Canadian culture, politics, and society in the last decades of the twentieth century. This period, falling between the present day and the postwar “boom,” is essential to our understanding of Canada in the twentieth century.

Please submit proposals for single papers, panels and other types of presentations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 May, 2020, including a 250-500 word abstract for each proposal and panel. Please also provide a 1-2 page CV, including contact information and any affiliation of each of the presenters. We intend to apply for a SSHRC Connections Grant to support this conference.

Follow the event on Twitter at @BetweenPostwar

Organizing Committee
Dimitry Anastakis (University of Toronto)
Ben Bradley
Kevin Brushett (Royal Military College of Canada)
Petra Dolata (University of Calgary)
Jenny Ellison (Canadian Museum of History)
Matthew Hayday (University of Guelph)
Nancy Janovicek (University of Calgary)
Sarah Nickel (University of Saskatchewan)