Canada and the Second World War (HIST*3490) | College of Arts

Canada and the Second World War (HIST*3490)

Code and section: HIST*3490*DE

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Matthew Hayday



This course is offered in distance education format. There are no synchronous meetings.

Course Synopsis:

This course examines Canada’s experience with the Second World War. Topics include: Canada’s changing roles in the world; the role and growth of the state; gender and sexuality; conscription and English-French relations; race, ethnicity and the experiences of Indigenous peoples during the war; the homefront and social transformations; military engagements and soldier experiences; nationalisms, citizenship and identity; wartime legacies and post-war ramifications; public history and the memory of the war.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the social, cultural, political, economic, and military transformations and continuities that shaped Canada and its relationships with other countries both during and in the aftermath of the Second World War;
  2. Explain why the Second World War was experienced differently by various groups in Canada, depending on their race, gender, sexual orientation, class, Indigeneity, and other determinants of identity;
  3. Interpret and analyze primary source materials pertaining to Canada’s Second World War experience, including diaries, newspapers, government documents, newsreels, Hansard parliamentary transcripts, advertisements, and propaganda materials;
  4. Summarize and critically evaluate historical arguments presented by historians in their assessments of aspects of the wartime experience;
  5. Present and defend an argument about a controversial topic by analyzing a variety of primary and secondary sources reflecting different positions on the issue; and
  6. Communicate your ideas and arguments clearly in written form, and demonstrate your analytical abilities through the skills developed in your written assignments.

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

  1. Response Papers (10% each) = 20-60%*
  2. Essay Proposal = 10%*
  3. Essay = 30%*
  4. Discussion Participation (2 @ 10% each) = 20%
  5. Take-Home Final Exam = 20%

*The in-course written assignments submitted during the semester add up to 60% of your final grade, but you may opt to complete this component of your grade in one of the three following ways:
A)    Submit 6 response papers (10% each);
B)    Submit 2 response papers (10% each), the essay proposal (10%), and the essay (30%); or
C)    Submit 5 response papers (10% each) and the essay proposal (10%).


7.50 credits

Texts Required:

None. All materials will be provided through Courselink.

*Please note: This is a preliminary website description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.