The History Department is delighted to announce the addition of two new faculty members, Dr Mark Humphries and Dr Lianne Leddy, both Laurier alumni. Mark, who has both a BA and an MA from Laurier’s History Department, will hold the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience and will serve as the incoming Director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic Disarmament Studies. The Dunkley Chair was made possible as a result of a $1.5 million gift from the Dunkley Charitable Foundation. Laurier alumni Brad Dunkley (BBA ’98), co-founder of Waratah Advisors, and Sara Dunkley (BBA ’99), president of Stellar Outdoor Advertising, created the foundation. “We believe that researching and teaching Canada’s military history is important,” said Brad Dunkley. “Nearly 115,000 Canadians have lost their lives while in service for our country. Telling our veterans’ stories, learning the lessons of war, and understanding how soldiers, their families and our society have been affected by war, is one way to honour those who have given us so much.”
Mark returns to Laurier from Memorial University in Newfoundland, where he was an Assistant Professor of History. Mark is widely regarded to be the finest young military historian in the country, and his record of research achievement is stellar. His area of specialization is health and war, and he is currently collaborating with two distinguished Laurier professors, Drs Terry Copp and Cynthia Comacchio, on a major project to digitize Canadian World War One veterans’ health records. His most recent book, The Last Plague (2013), is about the so-called Spanish flu that was brought to North America by returning American soldiers who were not subject to standard quarantine measures. Dr Humphries offers a nuanced study of the impact of the influenza pandemic – which raged from 1918 to 1919 – on public health policy in Canada. Expanding on his interest in the psychological aspects of war, Mark is at the same time completing a book on shell shock in WWI.
Lianne graduated from Laurier in 2011 with a PhD in History, and she also returns to us from Memorial University. At Memorial Lianne was an Assistant Professor of History and Coordinator of the Aboriginal Studies Program. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of indigenous history, environmental history, and Canadian social history. Her forthcoming book, The Serpent River Anishinaabek and Uranium Mining, will be out with University of Toronto Press very soon. Next year Lianne will offer Laurier Arts students a comparative History course on “Empires of the New World” which will explore the rise and fall of the Inca, Aztec and Mayan empires. In addition she will contribute to the Department’s new offerings in the growing field of Digital Humanities, an area of research defined by the use of digital tools for creating, collecting and analyzing data.
Welcome Mark and Lianne. Laurier Arts students are looking forward to working with you!