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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Why History?

More than ever, we need to be connected to the past to understand our present and future. The history program at our Brantford campus will introduce you to the people, events and ideas that have shaped our reality. More than we realize, the current challenges facing humanity – and how we approach these challenges – are grounded in historical events.

History students develop exceptional writing, research, and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to understand events and issues in their proper historical and cultural contexts.

History at Laurier Brantford

Laurier’s History program is designed with multiple opportunities for students to enhance their acquirement of historic knowledge and skills through a rigorous curriculum which includes traditional classroom learning through lectures and seminar discussions and hands-on training to be a historian.

  • Go behind the scenes of museums and historic sites in Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations of the Grand River, Hamilton, and Toronto to learn how historic artefacts and documents are collected, preserved, and displayed.
  • Get certified to collect oral history interviews and tell the stories of your ancestors and local community members.
  • Discover and analyze historic records and objects in archives, libraries, and private collections.
  • Communicate the results of your research and learning in essays, podcasts, local and digital exhibits, theatre and film, blogs, conference presentations, and reports.

Research Areas of Expertise

This program engages students in the history of North America, Europe, Britain, and Asia with faculty who have expertise in military history, indigenous history, social history, women’s and gender history, and the history of art and pop culture.

Some recent student research projects include:

  • “The Japanese Balloon Bomb: A Failed Potential”
  • “Colonial Korea through Postcards: Images, Commodities and Japanese Imperialism”
  • “Miss Canadian University Pageant and Protest, 1960s-70s”
  • “Transgenderism in Germany in the Interwar Period”
  • “A Revisionist Account of the 2nd Italo-Ethiopian War”

Field Course: Two World Wars: History, Memory, and Experience

Travel to Belgium and France on a two-week battlefield tour. You'll visit memorials, cemeteries, museums, and battlefields important to Canada’s experiences in the World Wars, including Vimy Ridge, Ypres, Dieppe, and Normandy. Walk in the footsteps of soldiers and nurses, as you explore the ethics of war, the interplay of history and memory, and the implications of battlefield tourism.

Community Service-Learning Placement

As part of the course HI323: Memory, Monuments, and Museums, you'll participate in a placement with a local heritage organization and contribute research or other expertise towards a local history project. You'll work alongside professionals and volunteers in the heritage community and develop public history skills and networks. Past placements included the Brant Museum and Archives, the Bell Homestead, and the Great War Centenary Association. (This is a required course for students pursuing the Public History specialization or Public History minor.)

People Make History Lecture Series

This program hosts a biannual People Make History lecture series, sponsored by Mary B. Stedman, which brings the participant of a major historic event to campus each term to share their story. You are invited to meet with the speaker in small groups and learn from their experiences. Previous speakers included:

  • Nobel Peace Prize winner and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow
  • Holocaust educator Pinchus Gutter
  • anti-Apartheid activists Yola Grant and Yolisa Dalamba
  • residential school survivor Theodore Fontaine
  • Canadian naval veterans Andy Barber, Ron Kirk, and Mike Venzel

Program Options

Honours History majors can opt to specialize in Public History, which includes a Community Service-Learning placement in a local heritage site, archive, or museum.

Students may also combine their honours History major with another major, or take History as a minor.

"I often say that Laurier’s Brantford campus spoiled me. I had the opportunity to learn from passionate, engaged faculty who knew me by name and were genuinely invested in my academic success."

– Catherine Brunskill (BA '10)

More Testimonials

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