Warrior or Peacemaker? The Battle over Canada’s Identity, 1914-2014

Warrior or Peacemaker? The Battle over Canada’s Identity, 1914-2014

39th Annual British Association for Canadian Studies Conference

British Library Conference Centre, London, 25–26 April 2014

Opening Keynote Address: 24 April 2014, Canada House, London

General John de Chastelain

Call for Papers 

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, a conflict in which several hundred thousand Canadians participated and 60,000 lost their lives.  Governments around the world, including Canada’s, will be actively looking to commemorate key battles and other moments of the war.  In the Canadian case, these efforts follow after an extensive campaign by the government of Stephen Harper to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. 

Controversy, criticism and contestation have abounded over not just the specific commemoration of the War of 1812, but around the place of war and the military within dominant definitions of Canadian identity.  Emphasizing Canada’s military heritage and involvement in past conflicts directly challenges a strong element within a version of the Canadian identity that has emerged since the 1950s. In this identity, Canada is viewed as a “peacekeeping nation” involved in ending conflicts and ensuring peace, not participating in conflicts.  Are these identities fundamentally in conflict with each other or is there room for both to coexist? And do internal conflicts such as the October Crisis or the Oka Crisis fit within either dominant definition?

The British Association for Canadian Studies for its 39th annual conference in London invites papers with direct relevance to the conference theme or the wider field of Canadian studies. Potential topics could include the politics around commemoration and identity, the history of commemoration in Canada, the relationship between Canadian identity and Canada’s foreign policy, gender and constructs of national identity, differences in perceptions of national identity between Quebec and English-speaking Canada  or First Nations and non-indigenous Canadians, the impact of multiculturalism on definitions of Canadian identity, literature and cultural depictions  of war, peace, and identity, spatial depictions of conflict and identity, and comparisons of Canada with other nations in terms of how conflicts are commemorated.  

The conference will take place in London over three days beginning with an opening evening reception and keynote address. The second and final days will feature additional keynotes and panels related to the conference themes or to the wider field of Canadian studies.

The deadline for paper or panel proposals is Tuesday 31 December 2013.

Enquiries and proposals to:
Jodie Robson – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Conference website: https://sites.google.com/a/canadian-studies.org/bacs-2014/
BACS Website: www.canadian-studies.net

Proposals (panel and individual) and deadline:
Email abstract(s) of 200–300 words and brief CV (please do not exceed one side of A4) which must include your title, institutional affiliation, email and mailing address by 31 December 2013. Submissions will be acknowledged by email. Postgraduate students are especially welcome to submit a proposal and there will be a concessionary conference fee for students. BACS regrets that it is unable to assist participants with travel and accommodation costs.

Crediting Canada: Canada as an Economic World Leader?

38th Annual British Association for Canadian Studies Conference

London, 3–5 April 2013
Call for papers

Late proposals received by 31 December will be considered.
(For BACS Literature Group Call for Papers see here)


Canada was widely credited with avoiding the worst of the (ongoing) 2008 sub-prime recession by virtue of a prudent and robust banking system. A further combination of factors has led to booming demand for resource exports and the Canadian dollar has risen noticeably against weaker currencies.


Annual conference

Since 2009 each BACS Conference has had its own, dedicated website.

2012: Sustaining Canada

2011: Peace and (In)Security 

2010: Diplomacy as a Work in Progress

2009: Being, Becoming and Belonging 

British Association for Canadian Studies

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