Dr. Barbara Powell Memorial Lecture uncovers experiences of Canadian wives during First World War

Posted: April 9, 2017 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Martha Hanna is a professor of history at the University of Colorado and the author of several publications on the Great War.
Dr. Martha Hanna is a professor of history at the University of Colorado and the author of several publications on the Great War. Photo courtesy of University of Colorado

As more than 80,000 men from Canada marched to the Great War, they left behind their wives and children.

Those family members, who lived day to day wondering if their loved ones were still alive, suffered great stresses and hardships. Their stories will be told by Dr. Martha Hanna, esteemed First World War historian and speaker at the 2017 Dr. Barbara Power Memorial Lecture.

Hanna will present a lecture entitled Anxious Days and Tearful Nights: Canadian War Wives During the First World War on Wednesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Luther College Rex Schneider Auditorium at the U of R   

Drawing on historical documents that include service records and letters to and from the home front, her lecture will explore how the wives of Canadian soldiers coped with the practical, economic, and emotional stresses foisted upon them by war.  

Hanna, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, is the author of several publications about the First World War, including Your Death Would be Mine: Paul and Marie Pireaud in the Great War. This book won the J. Russel Major Prize from the American Historical Association for best book in French History, as well as the Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History.

Born in Oshawa, Ontario, and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hanna says her connection to the subject of Canadian war wives is academic as well as personal. She recounts that her interest took root in a long-standing curiosity about her great-grandmother’s experience as a wartime wife and ultimately, a war widow.  

The Dr. Barbara Powell Memorial Visiting Lecture is presented annually by the University of Regina’s Humanities Research Institute in honour of the late Dr. Barbara Powell, founding Co-ordinator of the Women’s Studies Program, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Regina.

The series commemorates her seminal role in the founding of the Humanities Research Institute, the ongoing aim of which is to foster, coordinate, and promote the humanities at the University of Regina.

Event:       The 2017 Dr. Barbara Powell Memorial Lecture
Date:         Wednesday, April 12.  
Time:         7:30 p.m.
Location:   Rex Schneider Auditorium, Luther College, University of Regina main campus

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