I took my B.A. Hons. in History and French at the University of Alberta in 1981. My interests in history were initially primarily British and German; I wrote my honours thesis on “The German-Russian Trade Treaty of 1894”, using a wide selection of published German diplomatic documents, and sat three comprehensive examination papers in modern British history (1485-1960) in my final year.
The following year I took my M.A. at the University of Toronto, writing a research essay entitled “Romain Rolland, Interwar Pacifism, and the Problem of Peace.” A few years later, this became my first major publication, albeit greatly reduced in size to a chapter in a book published in the United States.
The year at Toronto was pivotal in other ways for my future development as an historian. Not only did my interests in history and French literature come together, but my approach to history changed completely. Whereas until this point my interests had lain in fairly traditional diplomatic history, now they were focused on the history of the margins, and specifically on the nature of pacifism in interwar France. I was intrigued by the complete dearth of studies on French pacifism. Perhaps the French really were different. My M.A. seemed to indicate that they were not.
This preliminary impression was more than confirmed the following year when I began my Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh as a Commonwealth Scholar in Modern European History under the supervision of Professor Maurice Larkin. An initial four-month research trip to Paris in my first year at Edinburgh demonstrated the existence of a huge variety of sources on French pacifism which had never been used by historians. I had stumbled, almost by accident, on the perfect Ph.D. topic, one that was quite literally virgin territory. I returned to Paris for two full years of research, and then began the writing up process. Within four months of my Ph.D. viva in February 1988, my Ph.D. thesis had been accepted for publication by the Clarendon Press, the academic imprint of Oxford University Press.
I came back to Canada to take up a Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowship and subsequently a Canada Research Fellowship at the University of Alberta from 1988 until 1992, at which point I was appointed to the History Department at Concordia. I served as Graduate Programme Director in the department from 1999-2002, and was an Adjunct Professor of History at McGill from 2000-2010. From 2000-2003 I was a member of the editorial board of French Historical Studies. In 2010 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in the United Kingdom. I have been a Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, and at the University of St Andrews.
B.A. University of Alberta, M.A. University of Toronto, Ph.D. University of Edinburgh
2017: Visiting Fellow, Magdalen College, Oxford (1 January-31 March)
Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh (1 April-30 June)
2010: Elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in the United Kingdom.
2009: Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
2009: Visiting Fellowship, Martinmas (Autumn) Term, Centre for French History and Culture, School of History, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
2004 - 2008: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant ($60,00).
2001: Concordia Council on Student Life Merit Award.
1993-1997: Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et l'Aide à la Recherche (FCAR) Subvention de recherche, Programme d'établissement de nouveaux chercheurs ($47,223 over three years, extended into fourth year.
1991-1995: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) Research Grant ($49,000 over three years, extended into fourth year).
My most recent book has just been published by Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom. It is entitled The War Guilt Problem and the Ligue des droits de l'homme, 1914-1944, and is based on research in both French and German archives.
My first book, The Politics of Dissent: Pacifism in France, 1919-1939, was also published by Oxford University Press (Clarendon Press, 1991 and 2011). It was widely reviewed in newspapers and academic journals on both sides of the Atlantic, ranging from Die Zeit to the Times Literary Supplement.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, I have a non-teaching term from September to December followed by a sabbatical leave from January to June.
I am interested in supervising MA and PhD candidates on topics dealing primarily with 20th century French history, although comparative topics involving Germany and Great Britain are also welcome. PhD candidates especially should come with the necessary linguistic skills necessary for research in English, French or German. Three quarters of the PhD theses I have supervised have been written in French.
Robert Parker, PhD Concordia in progress. Winner of the Geoffrey Adams Scholarship in French History. Working on “Maurice Gamelin and the Fall of France, 1940”
Audrey Mallet, PhD Concordia and the Université de Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne (2016). Co-tutelle PhD co-supervised with Henry Rousso. “Vichy against Vichy:History and Memory of the Second World War in the Former Capital of the État français from 1940 to the Present”. Winner of an FRQSC doctoral fellowship, the Geoffrey Adams Scholarship in French History, and the Faculty of Arts and Science Graduate Fellowship.
Sebastian Döderlein, PhD Concordia (2016). “Un pivot de l’histoire?: - la société alsacienne-lorraine et les sorties ambigües de la Première Guerre mondiale(1918-1919)”
Winner of the Natalie Zemon Davis Prize for the best graduate student paper at the 2015 conference of the Society for French Historical Studies. Winner of an SSHRC Doctorial Fellowship, a Faculty of Arts and Science Doctoral Fellowship, a Concordia Fellowship, the Geoffrey Adams Scholarship in French History, and a Daghobert Broh Ph.D. Entrance Scholarship.
Marie-Eve Chagnon, PhD Concordia (2012).“Nationalisme et internationalisme dans les sciences au XXe siècle : l’exemple des scientifiques et des humanistes français et allemands dans la communauté scientifique internationale (1890-1933)”. Winner of an SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, winner of the Daghobert Broh Ph.D. Entrance Scholarship, winner of a Campaign for Concordia Bursary. Dr. Chagnon went on to an FQRSC post-doctoral fellowship (2012-2014) at the Centre d’études allemandes et européennes at the Université de Montréal. Dr Chagnon was Valedictorian at Convocation. Winner of the Natalie Zemon Davis Prize for the best graduate student paper at the 2010 conference of the Society for French Historical Studies.
Emmanuelle Carle, PhD McGill (2005). “Gabrielle Duchene: une vie militante”. Winner of an FRQSC Doctoral Fellowship
Cylvie Claveau, PhD McGill (2000). Thesis title: “L’Autre dans les Cahiers des droits de l’homme, 1920-1940:une sélection universaliste de l’altérité à la Ligue des droits de l’homme et du citoyen”. Dr. Claveau was an SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship holder.
Andrea Levy, PhD Concordia (1999). Thesis title: “Reframing Socialism from the Fifties to the Fin-de-Siècle: The Intellectual Odyssey of André Gorz.” Winner of an SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Dr. Levy won the Governor General’s Gold Medal for this thesis.
Nicholas Tosaj (2014), Original Essay title: “Edible Imperialism: Escoffier, Empire and French Foodways”
Robert Parker (2013), Thesis title: “‘Où est la Masse de Manoeuvre?’ Maurice Gamelin and the Lessons of Blitzkrieg in Poland”
Andrew Lynes (2009), Original Essay title: “Action Française, Alsace, and the undoing of the Republic”
Andrew Welsch (2009), Original Essay title: “John Steinbeck’s Cold War”
Marek Brzezinski (2008), Original Essay title: “The Ligue des droits de l'homme and the colonial question between the world wars”. Winner of the E. E. McCullough Prize for the best M.A.
Paul Sischy (2008), Thesis title: “Two Visions of the Nation-State: A Comparative Analysis of Heinrich von Treitschke and Ernest Renan’s Conceptions of the Nation-State and Nationality”
Evan Dokos (2007), Thesis title: “The ‘Metternichian’ Worldview of the Early Nineteenth Century”
Katie Edwards (2004), Original Essay title: “Repression of things past: French memory, the Indochinese War and l'Express, 1953-54”. (Dr Edwards was winner of an SSHRC M.A. Canada Graduate Scholarship, winner of a Concordia Fellowship, and winner of the Richard and Carolyn Renaud Teaching Assistantship. She went on to a PhD at the University of Toronto and is now a tenure track assistant professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana)
Mark Wilson (2004), Thesis title: “Candide ou camouflé, partout ou nulle part? Art and Anti-Semitism in Candide, Gringoire and Je suis partout”.
Anthony Tring (2002), Original Essay title: “Who won the German war guilt debate? : the question of German responsibility for the First World War, 1914-2002”
Andrew Hrycaj (2000), Thesis title: “Challenging the United States: French Foreign Policy, 1944-1948”
The Politics of Dissent: Pacifism in France, 1919-1939. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991 and 2011), 366pp.
The War Guilt Problem and the Ligue des droits de l'homme, 1914-1944. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 294pp.
Pacifism and the Peace Movement in France. Special number of French History 18, 3 (September 2004).
“The Crucible of War:The Ligue des droits de l’homme and the Debate on the ‘Conditions for a Lasting Peace’ in 1916” in French Historical Studies 39, 2 (April 2016), pp. 347-371.
“Les Retombées de la Grande Guerre et la création du pacifisme européen” in Cahiers de la Méditerranée, no. spécial sur le thème “Du Pacifisme à la culture de la paix: Les apports des peace studies à la construction de la paix”,No. 91 (December 2015), pp. 17-20.
“Pacifism, the Fascist Temptation, and the Ligue des droits de l’homme”, in Samuel Kalman and Sean Kennedy, eds., The French Right between the Wars: Political and Intellectual Movements from Conservatism to Fascism(Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2014), pp. 81-94.
"The Enduring Legacy of 1914: Historical Dissent, the Ligue des droits de l’homme, and the Origins of Pacifisme nouveau style”, in Synergies: Royaume Uni/Irlande no. 4 (2011), pp. 85-94.
“La Ligue des droits de l’homme et le problème allemand”, Revue d’histoire diplomatique 124, 2 (June 2010), pp. 119-131.
“A la Recherche d’une guerre gagnée: the Ligue des droits de l’homme and the War Guilt Question (1918-1922), French History 24, 2 (June 2010), pp. 218-235.
“Romain Rolland”, in Nigel Young, ed., The Oxford International Encylopedia of Peace (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
"Selbstmord or Euthanasia? Who Killed the Ligue des droits de l'homme?", in French History 22, 3 (September 2008), pp. 337-357.
"Qui a tué la Ligue des droits de l'homme? La LDH, les nazis et la chute de la France en 1940," in Emmanuel Naquet and Gilles Manceron, Être Dreyfusard, hier et aujourd'hui (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2009).
"Gender and the Politics of Pacifism: Feminist Pacifism and the Case of the French Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom," in Eva Schöck-Quinteros, Anja Schüler, Annika Wilmers and Kerstin R. Wolff, eds., Politische Netzwerkerinnen: Internationale Zusammenarbeit von Frauen, 1830-1960 (Berlin: Trafo Verlag, 2007), pp. 267-285.
"Les Pacifistes et Aristide Briand," in Jacques Bariéty, ed., Aristide Briand, la Société des Nations et l'Europe, 1919-1932. Préface de Jean-Robert Pitte, Président de l'Université Paris-IV-Sorbonne, (Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2007), pp. 200-213.
"Pacifism and the Ligue des droits de l'homme," in Joel Blatt, ed., "Roundtable" on William Irvine, Between Justice and Politics: the Ligue des droits de l'homme, 1898-1945 (Stanford University Press, 2007) in H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews, vol. VIII, no. 11 (2007), pp. 25-29.
“Pacifism” in The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought, ed. by Lawrence D. Kritzman. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006).
“Le Pacifisme de guerre: refus de l’Union sacrée et de la synthèse républicain?”in Rémy Cazals, Emmanuelle Picard, and Denis Rolland, eds., La Grande Guerre: pratiques et expériences (Toulouse: Editions Privat, 2005), pp. 77-86.
“Repressed Memory Syndrome: Interwar French Pacifism and the Attempt to Recover France’s Pacifist Past,” in French History 18, 3 (September 2004), pp. 315-330.
“Introduction” to the Special Number of French History on “Pacifism and the Peace Movement in France,” for which I was the Guest Editor, in French History 18, 3 (September 2004), pp. 253-55.
“‘Nous allons vers les monastères’: French Pacifism and the Crisis of the Second World War” in Martin S. Alexander and Kenneth Mouré, eds., Crisis and Renewal in Twentieth Century France (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2002), pp. 132-151.
“Defending the Rights of Man: the Ligue des droits de l’homme and the Problem of Peace” in Peter Brock and Thomas Socknat, eds., Challenge to Mars: Essays on Pacifism from 1918 to 1945 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), pp. 117-133.
“Ambivalence in the Post-World War II French Peace Movement” in Harvey L. Dyck, ed., The Pacifist Impulse in Historical Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), pp. 397-412.
“Pacifism and the Liberation” in Roderick Kedward and Nancy Wood, eds., The Liberation of France: Image and Event (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1995), pp. 209-23.
“Rolling the Rock of Sisyphus: Peace Movements, Militarism, and Changes in the European Mentality in the Twentieth-Century” in Claude Morin, ed., Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Historical Sciences/Actes du XVIIIe Congrès international des sciences historiques.(Montréal: Comité international des sciences historiques, 1995), pp. 492-94.
“L’Envers de l’entre-deux-guerres en France, ou à la recherche d’un passé pacifiste”, in Maurice Vaisse, ed., Le Pacifisme en Europe des années 1920 aux années 1950. (Brussels: Editions Bruylant, 1993), pp. 17-42.
“Pacifisme ancien style, ou le Pacifisme de l’Association de la paix par le droit”, in Matériaux pour l’histoire de notre temps , no. 30 (January - March 1993), pp. 2-5. (No. spécial sur le pacifisme préfacé par René Rémond).
“The Circulaire Chautemps, 1933: The Third Republic Discovers Conscientious Objection”, in French Historical Studies 17, 2 (Fall 1991), pp. 387-409.
“Ni droite, ni gauche? ... Or pacifism versus antifascism in late interwar France” in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, Vol. 17 (1990), 472-80.
“Romain Rolland, Interwar Pacifism and the Problem of Peace”, in Charles Chatfield and Peter van den Dungen, eds. Peace Movements and Political Cultures. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988), pp.143-164.
14-16 October: Invited paper to an international conference on “Pratiques et Imaginaires de la Paix en Temps de Guerre,1914-1918” at La Flèche, France, organised by the Université du Mans and the Université de Paris-I, under the aegis of the Mission du Centennaire de la Grande Guerre. Paper title: “La Ligue des droits de l’homme et la naissance d’un pacifisme “nouveau style”
28-30 June: Paper read to a session on “The Great War, Pacifism and the Left” at the 29thannual meeting of the Society for the Study of French History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Paper title:“The Big Bang Theory: the Great War and the Origins of pacifisme nouveau style”.
16-19 April: Paper read to a session I organised, entitled “Getting Into and Out of a War: France and the Disputed Legacy of the Great War, 1914-1925” at the 61st annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies at Colorado College, Colorado Springs. Title of my paper: “The Union sacrée, the Ligue des droits de l’homme and the Contested Origins of the Great War”.
26-28 September: Paper read to an international conference on “The Great War’s Shadow: New Perspectives on the First World War”, hosted by the University ofCalgary at the Château Lake Louise. Paper title: “A Not-so-Sacred Union? The Ligue des droits de l’homme and the debate on War Origins and War Aims, 1914-1918”.
14-16 August: Paper read to an international conference on “The Academic World in the Era of the Great War”, Trinity College Dublin (for which I was also on the programme committee). Paper title:“Women’s History, Feminist History, Gendered History? Feminist Pacifism and the Paradoxes of the Great War in France”.
24-27 April: Co-Organiser of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, co-hosted by Concordia University and the Université du Québec à Montréal. Theme of the conference: “War and Peace in French History with particular reference to the centenary of the First World War”.
15-17 January: Member of the programme committee for a Colloque international on “Les Défenseurs de la paix, 1899-1917: approches actuelles, nouveaux regards”, held at the Institut historique allemand, Paris. Presented “Concluding Remarks” in a “Table ronde de conclusion” with Werner Wintersteiner (Universität zu Klagenfurt),Carl Bouchard (Université de Montréal) and Sandi E. Cooper (City University ofNew York).
4-7 April 2013: Session I organised and chaired for the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies at Harvard/MIT. Session title: “Demobilisation, Remobilisation and Ending Two World Wars: New Approaches in French History”.
6 December: Invited lecture given to a course on the Great War taught by Dr. Marie-Eve Chagnon at the Université de Montréal. Title: “Les Retombées de la Grande Guerre et la création du pacifisme européen”.
11-13 October: Paper read to the 40th annual conference of the Western Society for French History, Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta (sponsored by the University of Calgary). Paper title:“The Limits of Liberalism: the Ligue des droits de l’homme and the French Peace Movement, 1914-1944”.
4 April: Paper read to the visiting speakers’ colloquium series in the Department of History at the University of Alberta. Paper rtitle: “Looking at Things from the Other Fellow’s Point of View: British ‘Pacifism’, the Nazis, and the Origins of Appeasement, 1933-1937”
20 October: Paper read to the Montreal British History Seminar, McGill University. Title of paper: “Nazism and British ‘Pacifism’,1933-1937”.
14 July: Paper read at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of French History, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Paper title: “ ‘Bridge over the Abyss’?: The Ligue des droits de l’homme, the Deutsche Liga für Menschenrechte, and the Debate over War Origins and War Responsibilities”.
28 April: Invited Lecture in Honour of the Retirement of Professor William D. Irvine, York University, Toronto. Title: “Burying the Pinkney Thesis? Non-French Historians, les gros bonnets de la Sorbonne, and the Unspoken Assumptions of French History”.
23 February: Invited lecture given in the School of History and the Centre for the study of the Two World Wars, University of Edinburgh. Title: “Nazi Germany and British ‘Pacifism’, 1933-1937”.
24 February: Invited paper read to a research seminar at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Title: “Nazi Germany and British ‘Pacifism’, 1933-1937”.
30 April: Invited paper read to a Workshop on “Cultures de la guerre froide: repenser l’histoire européenne, 1946/47-1989/90” at the Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes, Université de Montréal. Paper title: “Cold War Worries, Old World Fears: French Pacifism in the Early Cold War”.
8-11 April: Paper read to the 56th Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Paper title: “Human Rights and the Legacy of 1914: the Ligue des droits de l’homme and the Question of Conscientious Objection”. This was part of a session I organised entitled “Les Fleurs du Mal: The Enduring Legacy of 1914”.
© Concordia University