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
Legacies of US Cold War Policies: The Quest for Justice in the Marshall Islands | Wednesday Jan. 24th, 7 pm
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 (Royal) Flying Canadian: Eddie McKay and Early Air Warfare, 1915–16 | Wednesday Feb. 7th, 7 pm
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).
Canada, the British Expeditionary Force, and the German Spring Offensives, 1918 | Wednesday Mar. 14th, 7 pm
“We are very lonely without him:” Children and Families in Canada’s Great War | Wednesday Apr. 11th, 7 pm
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.