The 2017 AGHS will feature an opening keynote presentation by Dr. Ian McKay, who holds the L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History at McMaster University. In his address, Dr. McKay will be discussing his new book (published with Jamie Swift), The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War (Between the Lines, 2016). Dr. McKay’s primary interests are Canadian cultural and political history; the economic and social history of Atlantic Canada; historical memory and tourism; and the history of liberalism, both in its Canadian and transnational aspects.
The opening keynote is part of the conference mixer, held May 11th, 2017 at 7pm. This event will take place at Campbell House Museum, and allows conference attendees to meet University of Toronto History graduate students and faculty in a relaxed environment. The mixer location is a unique feature of Toronto’s local history, as it is the oldest surviving house from the original site of the Town of York. Built in 1822, the Campbell House is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
To RSVP for this event, please click here.
Praise for The Vimy Trap
“McKay and Swift have boldly challenged one of Canada’s most heretofore unassailable historical myths: that Canada became a nation on the battlefield of Vimy Ridge. Their accurate dissection of the actual events of that 1917 battle and their denunciation of the subsequent glorification of the Great War itself are a long overdue rebuttal to the excessively patriotic prose fed to us by the usual Drums & Bugles brigade of historians. A well-written and well-researched commentary.” – Scott Taylor, editor/publisher of Esprit de Corps
“The Vimy Trap shows us with skill and compassion how difficult it is to honor those who die in war without glorifying war itself. A tract for the times.” – Jay Winter, Yale University
“The Vimy Trap is an essential antidote. The poison it seeks to counter is decades of English-Canadian nationalist history, both of the popular and academic variety, which constructs positive meaning out of a bloody, devastating, and pointless conflict. Domestically, the Great War revealed a Canada divided along class, ethnicity and race, gender, and geography. Ian McKay and Jamie Swift, in elegant and engaging fashion, portray how the dominant version of the war eventually became one of “Vimyism” that included a Canada birth narrative.” – Steve Hewitt, University of Birmingham
Location: Campbell House Museum
The Campbell House is located at 160 Queen St. West, near the intersection of University and Queen. Directions and additional assistance will be provided to aid conference attendees in getting from the U of T campus to the Campbell House.