Thursday, February 18, 2010

French Psychiatry at the Front in the First World War

Hosted by the Department of History and the Medical History Group, Professor Pat Prestwich (University of Alberta) will be speaking on "French Psychiatry at the Front in the First World War".

Date: Monday, March 8
Time: 3:30
Place: Club Room, Faculty Club

For more information, please contact Erika Dyck (

Image: "The Room of Recovery", from F.W. Mott, War Neuroses and Shell Shock (London, 1919).
Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Only Humour Helped

Special guest speaker Dr. Tim Cook (Canadian War Museum) will be talking on "'Only Humour Helped': Canadian Soldiers' Humour and Endurance in the Great War".

Date: Wednesday, March 3
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Place: Convocation Hall (College Building 120)

This talk will examine how Canadian Great War soldiers constructed and consumed humour in the Great War in order to cope with the unending stress on the Western Front. While the Great War is not normally viewed through a prism of jokes, laughter, or pranks, soldiers turned to these outlets to make sense of the war and deal with the unending strain. This is a story of resiliency rather than resignation.

Tim Cook is the First World War historian at the Canadian War Museum and an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University. He has published four books, including the two-volume history of Canadians fighting in the Great War, At the Sharp End, which won the 2007 J.W. Dafoe Prize, and Shock Troops, which won the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. His new book, The Madman and the Butcher: Sam Hughes, Arthur Currie, and the War of Reputations, will be published by Penguin Canada in 2010.

For more information, contact Professor Bill Waiser (

Image: A Canadian enjoying blackberries which he had just gathered in Bourlon Wood. Advance East of Arras. October, 1918.
Credit: Canada Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Frank Klaassen of our department is the editor of new journal Opuscula: Short Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This peer-reviewed and open-access journal, which is published by CMRS, specialises in developing small scholarly editions of pre-modern texts, ranging from letters and notebooks to court documents and literary works.

And you can check out the very first -- and entirely fascinating -- issue ("Three Early Modern Magic Rituals to Spoil Witches") from the comfort of your own home.

The secrets of charming a witch into confession can now be yours ... for free!

Click now for these secrets and more: .

Image: Witches flying on broomsticks, from The History of Witches and Wizards (1720)
Credit: Wellcome Library, London