I am originally from Gravenhurst, Ont., and completed my Honours BA and MA in history here at Wilfrid Laurier University. I then received my PhD in history from the University of Western Ontario in early 2009.
Prior to joining Laurier, I taught for three years at Mount Royal University in Calgary (2008-2011), an undergraduate university, and then went to the more research and graduate oriented Memorial University of Newfoundland (2011-2014) as an assistant professor. In July 2014 I accepted a tenured position in Laurier’s Department of History as the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience and also took over as Director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) from my long-time mentor, Terry Copp.
As a researcher, I am primarily focused on the First World War and its aftermath, exploring the medical and social effects of war on people’s lives and the development of the state. I have written on the 1918 influenza pandemic, shell shock, self-inflicted wounds, and domestic discontent as well as the operational history of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, including the life of Arthur Currie, tactics, and the experience of soldiers in the trenches. I am also co-editor of a five-volume series of translations from the German official history of the Great War, Der Weltkrieg, titled Germany’s Western Front.
I am currently working on a book on shell shock in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), specifically examining how the concept of shell shock evolved from the masculine culture of the trenches and became a site of negotiation between soldiers, doctors, and senior officers. This is the first of two volumes, the second of which will look at how shell shock and wartime trauma shaped the life experience of veterans and their families through to the 1970s. Both are funded by a major SSHRC Insight Grant, Through Veterans’ Eyes, which will allow us to digitize more than 12 million pages of records documenting the lives of Great War veterans.
As part of our Through Veterans’ Eyes project, we are looking to recruit MA and PhD students as well as post-doctoral fellows to work on aspects of the medical or social history of the First World War and the life experience of veterans and their families. Research assistantships and volunteer opportunities are available to students at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies that will help you acquire skills and build your resume working in our archives; on designing or managing our publications, including the journal Canadian Military History; organizing conferences; and conducting important research.
For more information, please refer to both the Tri-University Graduate Program in History website as well as canadianmilitaryhistory.ca.
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