This lecture explores the changing roles of history since the province’s economic downturn. It traces patterns in political culture and collective memory from the Williams era to the present day, as the province experienced the end of triumphalism and the return to a politics of loss. In discussing the causes and consequences of the Muskrat Falls crisis, it examines the ebb and flow of Newfoundland nationalism over the past twenty years. In doing so, it questions whether the province is now returning to its twentieth-century narrative or breaking with its past.
Dr. Jerry Bannister is an associate professor of History and Acting Director of the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University. Born and raised in Newfoundland, he is a past member of the Executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Historical Society. With Melvin Baker and Christopher Curran, he co-edited Essays on the Legal History of Newfoundland and Labrador before Confederation (2019).