Remembrance Day was created as a way to commemorate members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty and those who continue to serve Canada in times of war and peace. The date, Nov. 11, also marks the time when fighting stopped in the First World War.
As Remembrance Day approaches, media are invited to speak with several University of Lethbridge professors who have studied wartime and its effects on those who fought and those who stayed at home:
Dr. Amy Shaw is a history professor who has studied conscientious objectors during the First World War. Conscription laws provided an exemption from military service for members of churches, such as Mennonites and Quakers, with proscriptions against violence. The path they chose was not an easy one as they were often ridiculed in society and had to appear before a tribunal to state their reasons for objecting. Shaw can also discuss the activities of women and girls in Canada and Newfoundland during the First World War. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Kristine Alexander, also a history professor, has studied young people’s experience on the home front during the First World War. The war changed what children learned in the classroom as Departments of Education and teachers developed war-related assignments. Canadian children also played with war-related toys like board games and toy soldiers and toy guns. Alexander has also studied correspondence between soldiers and their families to understand how the war affected wives and children. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Dr. Jo-Anne Fiske, a member of the Faculty of Women & Gender Studies, has studied men like her father, who fought in and survived the First World War, and how they subsequently navigated family relationships. While ‘shell shock’ became a familiar term in the wake of the First World War, Fiske’s experience was different. Her father talked about his experiences in the war and told stories that showed gentle humanity, humour and compassion. Her research revealed other veterans were similar in the types of stories they told. To reach Fiske, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Elizabeth Galway, an English professor, has examined children’s literature in North America and Britain during the First World War. The tone was frequently pro-war and Galway found the war influenced everything from alphabet and craft books to school textbooks. Children were sometimes depicted as innocent victims of war and sometimes as empowered contributors to the war effort. In some literature, authors softened images of warfare but others delivered explicit accounts of violence. Galway can be reached at email@example.com.
Caroline Zentner, public affairs advisor
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