Mennonite Historical Society

of British Columbia

MHSBC Future Events

Important MHSBC Events planned for 2024

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A message from Aileen Friesen Co-director of the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies at The University of Winnipeg

I hope you've had an enjoyable summer. Myself, I spent much of July on the Russlaender 100: Memories of Migration cross-Canada tour, commemorating the centenary of the Russlaender migration to Canada. It was an unforgettable experience!

I met many of you at our conference “The Russlaender Mennonites: War, Dislocation, and New Beginnings,” perhaps our most well-attended Mennonite Studies conference ever. There was an excellent program of scholarly presentations as well as three featured conversations with acclaimed authors Sarah Klassen, Sandra Birdsell, and David Bergen. Video recordings of the entire conference are now available on the CTMS YouTube channel.

The recent issue of Preservings, “The Making of the Russlaender” also picked up the centenary theme, and is now available for viewing online. Our upcoming fall issue will be devoted to the interaction between the Kanadier and the newly settled Russlaender in Canada. An annual subscription to the print edition, published twice a year, costs only $20.

Finally, if you'd like an overview of the Mennonite experience in tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, The Mennonite Story in Ukraine features Paul Toews's Heritage Cruise Lectures and nearly a hundred beautiful historic photos, in coffee table book format. It also makes a great gift.

Stay tuned for more announcements from CTMS in the coming weeks.

— Aileen Friesen
Co-director, CTMS

The fall application deadline for the Plett Foundation's research and publication grants has been extended to September 29. Research grants may be used for research expenses including travel and accommodation, and publication grants may be used for the production of books, documentaries, and exhibits. To qualify, projects must be related to the history of the Mennonites who migrated to Canada from Russia in the 1870s, their descendants, or their ancestors.

Projects funded by the Plett Foundation in the past year include:

A documentary about the immigration of Mennonites from imperial Russia to Manitoba in the 1870s
A history of Menno Colony (Paraguay) and the memoir of historian and archivist Lawrence Klippenstein
Interpretive plaques for the new Peace Trail in southeastern Manitoba
Research trips in Poland, Mexico, and Canada

Visit the Plett Foundation website for more details and to apply.

— Aileen Friesen
Executive Director, Plett Foundation
Co-director, CTMS

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Messages from Ben Nobbs-Thiessen Chair in Mennonite Studies & Co-director of CTMS at the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies at The University of Winnipeg

I'm pleased to share that Felipe Hinojosa, professor of history at Baylor University, will deliver the Eighth Annual CTMS Lecture at the University of Winnipeg Club on Wednesday, April 3, at 7 pm CDT, titled “From Occupation to Sanctuary: The Faith Politics of Latinx Freedom Movements, 1960s to 1980s.”

Dr. Hinojosa's first book was Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical Culture (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). His new book, Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio (University of Texas Press, 2021), tells the story of the clash between Latino radical activists and religious leaders in 1969 and 1970 as they occupied churches to protest urban renewal, poverty, police brutality, and racism.

Join us in person, and stay for refreshments, or tune in to the livestream. The University of Winnipeg Club is located on the fourth floor of Wesley Hall, at 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg.

— Ben Nobbs-Thiessen Chair in Mennonite Studies & Co-director, CTMS

Register to Attend: Register for the Event.

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As a new university year gets underway, I have a few CTMS announcements to share. First, I'm happy to announce our next conference. On the occasion of another significant anniversary, the sesquicentennial of Mennonite settlement in Manitoba, we will hold the conference "Subjects, Settlers, Citizens: The 1870s Mennonites in Historical Context" on October 4 and 5, 2024, at the University of Winnipeg. A call for papers has been posted, and we look forward to receiving submissions from potential presenters. See below for more information.

Second, the new issue of the Journal of Mennonite Studies will soon be arriving in subscriber mailboxes. This issue includes six articles from the 2022 conference "Indigenous-Mennonite Encounters in Time and Space," held at Conrad Grebel University College, as well as other research articles and book reviews. If you're not a subscriber, you can become one! JMS now publishes twice a year.

Finally, my colleagues and I are teaching four courses in the Mennonite Studies program at the University of Winnipeg: the introductory courses Mennonite Studies I and II, a seminar on the history of Mennonites in Russia, and a seminar on Mennonites and the environment. Registration is still open for the fall and winter semesters.

— Ben Nobbs-Thiessen
Chair in Mennonite Studies & Co-director of CTMS

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