World historians to explore WW1 and commemoration efforts for 100th anniversary of the Great War


TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2014: Several thousand women around the world – including 2,504 from Canada – left their home countries for the first time to join the First World War (WW1) as nurses. Did they take such bold steps to serve their country and express their patriotism, or with the hope of caring for their men in the combat zone? Or, did they find that nursing offered a passport to travel as free spirited and adventurous women of the day?

Historians from around the world are converging at York University to reflect on this and other historic topics commemorating the war’s centennial at a day-long international conference, The First World War: History, Memory and Commemoration, on Sept. 18, 2014.The conference has been organized jointly by York U's Department of History, the Avie Bennett Historica Canada Chair in Canadian History, and the Archives of Ontario.

“Speakers from Australia, Belgium, England, Portugal, the United States and from Canada will talk about the war experience overall, but in particular, the scholars will analyze how the war is being commemorated in countries around the world,” says Professor Marcel Martel, Chair of the Avie Bennett Historica Canada Chair in Canadian History, and a lead organizer.

Margaret McMillan, noted historian and the award-winning author of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, will offer the annual Avie Bennett Public Lecture – the highlight of the conference. In her presentation, “Canada and the Great War”, MacMillan will delve into the literary, aesthetic, critical, political and historical perspectives of Canada’s participation in the war.

WHAT: The First World War: History, Memory and Commemoration, an international conference, followed by Canada and the Great War:Avie Bennett Historica Canada Public Lecture in Canadian Historyby Margaret MacMillan

WHERE: Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Boulevard(conference); and Room 001, Accolade East (public lecture), York University, Keele Campus, building number 95 and 92, respectively, on map

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, 9am-4:30pm (conference); 7pm-8:45pm (public lecture)

For program highlights and complete schedule, click here.

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