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Course Description

Sepia image of bullets and photo of soldier on ground

This course examines Canada’s role in the First World War. The question of how much the war was a transformative experience for Canadians will be central to students’ learning, as they grapple with issues pertaining to race, ethnicity, class, gender, militarism, pacifism, religion, age, and memory.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the major social, political, and economic events that affected Canada, as they unfolded over the period between 1914 and 1918;
  2. Take a position and argue about a controversial topic by analyzing different explanations and claims resulting from alternative perspectives during the debate;
  3. Use material culture analyses to critically assess primary sources, such as photographs, artifacts, and diary entries, and explain their usefulness to studies of Canada’s wartime experience; and
  4. Critically evaluate historical arguments and assess contemporary historians’ interpretations of historical events.

Course Topics

  • Introduction: The ‘Great’ War in History and Today
  • Off to War: August 1914
  • Recruitment
  • The Soldier’s Life
  • Gendering the War
  • Fighting from the Home Front
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Dissent
  • The Politics of Wartime
  • Propaganda, Literature, and the Canadian Media
  • Health, Medicine, and Technology
  • Peace!
  • Conclusion: A Century of Consequences and Commemoration

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 7.50 credits


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Unit Knowledge Quizzes 30% 1, 4
Major Battles Research Paper 20% 1, 3, 4
Group Debate: Conscription 15% 1, 2, 4
Primary Source Research Assignment 20% 3, 4
Weekly Assigned Readings Discussions 15%  
Total 100%  


Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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