Podcasts

The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Guests discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

On War & Society E44: In the Path of War with David Borys

On War & Society E44: In the Path of War with David Borys

Canada’s military history in Northwest Europe has been told many times. On 6 June 1944, Canadian forces landed on Juno Beach as part of Operation Overlord, before quickly establishing a bridgehead and moving inland where they encountered, but ultimately overcame,...

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Great Battles in History: The Battle of Agincourt

Great Battles in History: The Battle of Agincourt

The first five parts of an all-new episode of Professor Darryl Dee’s Great Battles in History podcast has been released. In previous episodes, Professor Dee examined the Battle of Thermopylae and its legacy, followed by the bloody Battle of Cannae during the Second...

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On War & Society E41: A War of Emotions with Lucy Noakes

On War & Society E41: A War of Emotions with Lucy Noakes

The first half of Britain’s twentieth century was shaped by death. Between 1914 and 1918, over 700,000 men died in the First World War, followed by another 250,000 between 1918 and 1919 from the influenza pandemic. Over three decades later, another 380,000 were killed...

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On War & Society E40: The Great War at Home with Martha Hanna

On War & Society E40: The Great War at Home with Martha Hanna

For a long time historians studying the First World War had to rely on the memoirs of soldiers, but over the last several decades, more and more letters have made their way into the archives as family members inherit and donate the written material of their relatives....

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Great Battles in History: The Battle of Agincourt

Great Battles in History: The Battle of Hattin

The first four parts of an all-new episode of Professor Darryl Dee’s Great Battles in History podcast has been released. In the inaugural episode, Professor Dee examined the Battle of Thermopylae and its legacy, followed by the bloody Battle of Cannae during the...

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On War & Society E35: Writing Public History with Tim Cook

On War & Society E35: Writing Public History with Tim Cook

Tim Cook is a former archivist at the National Archives of Canada and currently a historian at the Canadian War Museum. He is the curator of over a dozen permanent, temporary, travelling, and digital exhibitions. He is also the author of 12 books, over 80...

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Great Battles in History: The Battle of Agincourt

Great Battles in History: The Battle of Cannae

An all-new episode of Professor Darryl Dee's Great Battles in History podcast has been released. In the inaugural episode, Professor Dee examined the Battle of Thermopylae, its origins and its legacy, now he sets his sights on The Battle of Cannae: On August 2, 216...

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On War & Society E34: The Medic’s Tale with Ted Barris

On War & Society E34: The Medic’s Tale with Ted Barris

At the age of 13, Ted Barris asked his father a common question: “Dad what did you do in the war?” This began a fifty-seven-year investigation into his father’s war experiences as a sergeant medic in the US Army during its bloodiest campaign during the liberation of...

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On War & Society E29: Making a Historian

On War & Society E29: Making a Historian

On this month's episode Of On War and Society, Kyle Pritchard sits down with Dr Roger Sarty to discuss the life and career of C.P. Stacey. Sarty explains how Stacey went from being a young student with no interest in research to the founding father of Canadian...

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On War & Society E27: Assault on the Winter Line

On War & Society E27: Assault on the Winter Line

The Italian Campaign during the Second World War remains a subject of controversy—whether it was “Normandy’s Long Right Flank” or a costly stalemate continues to be debated by historians to modern day. Terry Copp, director emeritus of the Laurier Centre for Military...

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On War & Society E25: Ted Barris and the Dam Busters

On War & Society E25: Ted Barris and the Dam Busters

Sometimes we find Canadians in the most unlikely of places. During the Second World War, within the crews of airmen responsible for breaching the Ruhr dams of Nazi Germany, there were thirty Canadians. In 1943, these men, along with about a hundred others, took to the...

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On War & Society E24: Ambitions Unrealized with Linda Quiney

On War & Society E24: Ambitions Unrealized with Linda Quiney

The contribution of nurses to attend to the wounded was essential to military care and recovery during the First World War. Less noted is the role of the middle class and educated, though largely unqualified, women who assisted in filling in the gaps at overburdened...

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On War & Society E23: Stalin’s Gulag

On War & Society E23: Stalin’s Gulag

Sometimes we forget that the field of war and society encompasses so much more than Canada. Many of the guests we've had on our show study the history of war and society in Canada, but in this episode, Wilson Bell speaks about the Soviet Gulag system during the Second...

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On War & Society E22: Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

On War & Society E22: Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

Shell shock has become a stand-in for the experience of all soldiers of the First World War. And it has also become one of the most popular topics of inquiry for historians of the First World War. Mark Humphries, associate professor history at Wilfrid Laurier...

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On War & Society E21: Rural Canada at War with Jonathan Vance

On War & Society E21: 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....

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On War & Society E35: Writing Public History with Tim Cook

On War & Society E20: Uncovering the Secret History of Soldiers

Since the late 1990s, Canadian historian Tim Cook has carved out a niche in the field of First World War history. In his two-volume social history of the war, he spoke of a soldiers’ culture, which bound Canadians together on the battlefields and helped them cope with...

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On War & Society E18: Why Military Families Matter, Part II

On War & Society E18: Why Military Families Matter, Part II

Military families are essential to the care of veterans in both the past and present. Yet current veteran policies and programs do not fully provide the necessary services military families require for the process of healing and recovery. For the final episode of our...

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On War & Society E18: Why Military Families Matter, Part II

On War & Society E17: Why Military Families Matter, Part I

Soldiers returning from the battlefield rarely return unscathed. Yet veterans’ families continue to be inadequately prepared for the difficulties of military life. For episode three of four on the past and present experiences of veterans in Canada, two scholars and...

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On War & Society E16: Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II

On War & Society E16: Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II

Wars often time come home. Reintegration into civilian life comes with a whole new set of challenges for veterans. For the second part of our four-part series on the past and present experiences of veterans in Canada, two historians and two veterans discuss the...

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On War & Society E16: Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II

On War & Society E15: Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part I

Too often we forget the casualties of war. Whether on film, in novels and even in writing history, scenes of soldiering and warfare pervade while the aftermath is ignored. Nationalism is deeply intertwined with many twenty and twenty-first century wars, making it...

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On War & Society E22: Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

On War & Society E14: Rewriting the Great War

Since 2014, there has been an outpouring of literature on the First World War that has moved the field in exciting new directions. Over thirty books have been released by Canadian academic presses over the past almost four years, including titles on conscription,...

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On War & Society E13: Family at the Front

On War & Society E13: Family at the Front

Nearly 660,000 bags of mail were sent to Canada from soldiers in France and Belgium during the First World War. In this episode, Dr. Kristine Alexander sits down with Kyle Pritchard to discuss her research on the topic of families, children, and letter-writing during...

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On War & Society E12: A Microhistory of an Ace

On War & Society E12: A Microhistory of an Ace

Billy Bishop is one of the most recognizable names in the military history of Canada. He was Canada’s top ace during the First World War, credited with over seventy victories during his career as a pilot with Royal Flying Corps. But there were many other pilots whose...

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On War & Society E7: The Conscripted

On War & Society E7: The Conscripted

The Conscription Crisis was the central political conflict of the First World War, affecting not only the Canadian government but having an immediate impact on over 400,000 Canadians who were registered for conscription with the intention of being sent overseas....

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On War & Society E6: Dunkirk

On War & Society E6: Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk hit theatres this past summer. It was met with critical acclaim and made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. It is arguably one of the greatest war films Hollywood has ever produced and certainly gave its viewers an...

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On War & Society E5: Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap?

On War & Society E5: Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap?

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought in April 1917 during the First World War. Four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force attacked the German stronghold of Hill 145 on the morning of 9 April, and three days later, had successfully pushed the German army off of...

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On War & Society E4: Canada’s Arctic Laboratory

On War & Society E4: Canada’s Arctic Laboratory

Dr. Matthew Wiseman just finished his Ph.D. on Canadian science during the early Cold War. And he is a bit concerned about the developing nuclear crisis between the United States and North Korea, as many of us are too. President Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric has...

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On War & Society E3: Complicating History

On War & Society E3: Complicating History

Who is Wilfrid Laurier University’s Cleghorn Fellow in War and Society? Mary Chaktsiris dropped by the studio this month to talk about her new position, teaching in a different environment, and her research into Toronto and the Great War. Mary became the Cleghorn...

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On War & Society E2: Somewhere Between War and Society

On War & Society E2: Somewhere Between War and Society

What happened to Montreal during the Great War? For the past three years, distinguished military historian Terry Copp has been researching Canada’s metropolis––Montreal––from 1914 to 1918. In our conversation, Terry discusses the various social, religious and...

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On War & Society E1: The War Junk Historian

On War & Society E1: The War Junk Historian

Eric Story sits down with Dr. Alex Souchen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies in Waterloo, ON, to discuss his research on munitions dumping in Canada during the 1940s. Alex helps explain the destructive...

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