Laurier Military History Speaker Series
The Laurier Military History Speaker Series has been running for twenty-five years and is part our mandate to make the latest scholarship in Canadian military history available to the public in an accessible format. The Series runs each Fall and Winter, featuring a total of six historians throughout the calendar year.
Events are hosted at 232 King St. N, Waterloo, ON. Admission is FREE.
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Winter 2018 Lineup
First World War British Imperial Defence | Thursday Jan. 18th, 7 pm at the Guelph Civic Museum
Alexander Maavara, Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy
How did modern nations deal with the carnage and bloodshed that came with the First World War? Alexander Maavara discusses these issue in his presentation on the Origins of the British Home Front: The Invasion Scare of 1914.
Alec Maavara is a student research assistant at LCMSDS. He is currently studying for his Masters in history at Wilfrid Laurier University, with a specialization in First World War British civil defence policy.
Legacies of US Cold War Policies: The Quest for Justice in the Marshall Islands | Wednesday Jan. 24th, 7 pm at LCMSDS
Martha Smith-Norris, University of Saskatchewan
In the race against the Soviet Union for nuclear supremacy during the Cold War, the United States tested a vast array of powerful nuclear bombs and missiles in the Marshall Islands while conducting studies on the effects of human exposure to radioactive fallout. Based on extensive archival research, Smith-Norris will discuss the health and environmental consequences of these American policies and the Marshall Islanders’ ongoing quest for justice in Washington and the United Nations.
Martha Smith-Norris is a Cold War historian with an interest in US foreign policies in the Asia Pacific region. An Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan, she is the author of Domination and Resistance: The United States and the Marshall Islands during the Cold War (University of Hawaii Press, 2016). Her current research project is a study of the relationship between Nuclear Weapons Proliferation, the Nation State, and the Environment.
The Canadian Corps at Passchendaele 100 Years On | Wednesday Feb. 7th, 7 pm at LCMSDS
Mark Humphries, Laurier Centre for Military Strategic & Disarmament Studies
For more than a century, Passchendaele has been the battle which best captures the horrors and futility of the Great War. Yet the Canadian role in this pivotal fight has strangely received little attention. Professor Humphries re-examines the battle using British, Canadian and German sources to try and understand why Canadians fought there and what the battle tells us about the state of Sir Arthur Currie’s Canadian Corps at the end of 1917.Mark Humphries is the Director of the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies and the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has published five books and more than a dozen articles on the medical, social, and operational history of the Great War. His most recent book is The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada (UTP, 2013), he is in the final stages of a monograph on shell-shock during the war.
A Plague of Diseased Soldiers | Thursday Feb. 15th, 7 pm at the Guelph Civic Museum
Lyndsay Rosenthal, Wilfrid Laurier University
Venereal disease became a problem for the Canadian Expeditionary Force soon after they arrived in England. While VD was initially treated as a moral problem, the military was forced to treat it as a medical problem when the punitive polices aimed at controlling sexual behaviours failed to address the problem. To combat the disease, the C.E.F. implement a VD management system that focused on prevention and treatment. This paper will explore the evolution this system by examining the creation Etchinghill VD hospital, the controversy over 606 treatments and the debate surrounding demobilization.
Lyndsay Rosenthal completed her BA through Athabasca University in partnership with Mount Royal University and her MA at Memorial University where she examined the experiences of shell-shocked veterans in the interwar period. Since September 2014 she has been pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Mark Humphries at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her current research on sexuality in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
The (Royal) Flying Canadian: Eddie McKay and Early Air Warfare, 1915–16 | Wednesday March 14th, 7 pm at LCMSDS
Graham Broad, King’s College, Western University
In late 1915, Eddie McKay of London, Ontario became one of the first Canadians to join the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Using McKay’s experience as a lens, early pilot training in the RFC and the development of aerial tactics during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 will be explored and assessed.
Graham Broad is an Associate Professor of History at King’s University College at Western University. He is the author of two books, A Small Price to Pay: Consumer Culture on the Canadian Home Front, 1939-1945 (UBC Press, 2013) and One in a Thousand: The Life and Death of Captain Eddie McKay, Royal Flying Corps (UTP, 2017).
Katrina Pasierbek, WIlfirid Laurier University
Katrina Pasierbek began her doctoral studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Mark Humphries. Her research focuses on First World War battlefield tourism throughout the interwar period. Working alongside Eliza Richardson, Katrina oversees digital content for the Laurier Military History Archives.
Katrina graduated with a BA (Hons.) from King’s University College and earned her BEd and MA from Western University. Before joining LCMSDS, Katrina worked in the museum and heritage field as an education coordinator and exhibit researcher. Most notably, her research is featured in Canadigm’s “Souterrain Impressions,” a First World War exhibit currently touring Canada.
“We are very lonely without him:” Children and Families in Canada’s Great War | Wednesday Apr. 11th, 7 pm at LCMSDS
Kristine Alexander, University of Lethbridge
For tens of thousands of Canadian families, the First World War was a moment of rupture. Like their counterparts around the world, Canadian soldiers and the loved ones they left behind used written correspondence to try to maintain their relationships and understand the war’s effects on their lives. This presentation will analyze the letters exchanged between members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and their parents, siblings, sweethearts, wives, and children to assess the material and emotional effects of total war on Canadian young people and families.
Dr. Kristine Alexander is Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge. She is the current Director of the U of L’s Institute for Child and Youth Studies. Her research seeks to improve our understanding of young people, colonialism, and war in the early twentieth century. She is the author of a number of articles and chapters, as well as the monograph Guiding Modern Girls: Girlhood, Empire, and Internationalism in the 1920s and 1930s (UBC Press, 2017). Her current book project is a study of Canadian families and letter writing during the First World War.
For details on our previous speakers, click here.