From LCMSDS Productions, The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Host Eric Story sits down with his guests to discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

On War & Society #21–Rural Canada at War with Jonathan Vance

We know a lot about the urban experience during the First World War in Canada but far less about the rural equivalent. Canadian historians sometimes assume––and quite wrongly––that the urban Canadian experience of the war can stand in for the rural. But it can’t. Jonathan Vance’s new book A Township at War shows that the conventional narrative of the First World War in Canada did not match that of East Flamborough from 1914 to 1918. Prohibition, conscription, suffrage, enemy alien internment––these are the issues encountered time and again when writing about the First World War. But in a small rural southern Ontario community, these were not the pressing issues of the day. The issues were starkly different.

Jonathan F. Vance is a Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at Western University where he teaches military history, Canadian history and social memory. He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble (1997), Unlikely Soldiers (2008), Maple Leaf Empire (2011) and A Township at War (2018).

Past Episodes

Episode #1–The War Junk Historian with Alex Souchen

Episode #2–Somewhere Between War and Society with Terry Copp

Episode #3–Complicating History with Mary Chaktsiris

Episode #4–Canada’s Arctic Laboratory with Matthew Wiseman

Episode #5–Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap? with Geoff Hayes

Episode #6–Dunkirk with Terry Copp

Episode #7–The Conscripted with Patrick Dennis

Episode #8–In Search of the Canadian Officer with Geoff Hayes

Episode #9–Treating Wounds of the Mind with Meghan Fitzpatrick

Episode #10–Destruction and Dissent in the Marshall Islands with Martha Smith-Norris

Episode #11–Civil War and Identity with Alec Maavara

Episode #12–A Microhistory of an Ace with Graham Broad

Episode #13–Family at the Front with Kristine Alexander

Episode #14–Rewriting the Great War with Mark Humprhies

Episode #15–Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part I with Amy Milne-Smith

Episode #16–Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II with Amy Milne-Smith

Episode #17–Why Military Families Matter, Part I with Geoffrey Hayes

Episode #18–Why Military Families Matter, Part II with Geoffrey Hayes

Episode #19–How to Write 7,000 Words in a Week with Tim Cook

Episode #20–Uncovering the Secret History of Soldiers with Tim Cook

Contact Information

Matt Baker, Senior Research Associate and Centre Coordinator
[email protected]
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2080

Mailing Address
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada
N2L 3C5

Physical Address
232 King St. N. Waterloo, ON

Business Hours
Monday to Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: Closed


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