the $2 project

*illustrations rendered by Milo Groundwater

In the fall of 2019, members of the SFU Department of History’s “Historiography” (HIST 300) seminar researched & designed a series of $2 bills highlighting absences/silences in Canadian history, memory & symbols. At the end of the term, they met with artist Milo Groundwater. Milo developed a template for the bills & worked with each group to render a set of five designs based on their chosen images. To see the designs & learn more, click on the links below.

6 thoughts on “the $2 project

  1. What a great project, what gorgeous results!! This is what critical history means: to rewrite history to take account of all that has been left out in those unilinear narratives of progress. Here you’ve reminded us that there are many stories that “make history.” Congratulations to Roxanne Panchasi and these very thoughtful, creative students. Joan W Scott


  2. Congratulations to the SFU Hist 300 students for their selections of topics and the beautifully designed $2 bills. As someone old enough to remember and miss the old $2 bills, I would love to see them come back with your designs on them. My research focuses on the teaching and learning of history in K-12 contexts, and I could see this project working really well with pre-service teachers, and K-12 students. One of the things that I am interested in is the process by which historiography and new research findings from historians makes its way into K-12 classrooms.

    Over the last 5-10 years I have worked on designing K-12 learning resources and curriculum focused on two of the topics selected:

    1. Chinese Canadian history
    ( (

    2. First World War Internment

    Click to access developing_understanding_arts.pdf

    It would be great to see more curriculum projects focused on the other three topics and other stories/topics that are not told in Canadian social studies history classrooms.


  3. These are wonderful creations of artwork and scholarship – the students’ explanations were compelling and well-researched, and the bibliographies they created are a wonderful resource in themselves. Kudos to Roxanne Panchasi for bringing forward such a meaningful project and for giving students a unique cv and portfolio contribution! Congrats to you all!
    Sarah Walshaw


  4. What an inspiring and compelling project! It underscores just how important history is in the view of those in power…they literally make us carry ideological history lessons in our pockets. The scholars and artists here offer up a smart and provocative counter and help “weaponize” history for social progress. Well done, everyone!


  5. Such a fabulous project and look at those examples! There is so much to like about this, from the creativity of the students, what they see as missing from the historical record, and the mix of art and history. It provides yet another example of how history matters, and the role students can and do play in shaping it.


  6. These are impressive and powerful projects. Doing history means making tough choices and defending those choices. All of the teams did this successfully. Kudos to the students and their instructor!


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