Thursday, February 18, 2010

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.