Alex Souchen | College of Arts

Alex Souchen

Assistant Professor
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ex. 53214
2004 MacKinnon Extension

Twitter: @AlexSouchen
Google Scholar:


Ph.D., University of Western Ontario, 2016
M.A., University of Ottawa, 2010
B.A., University of Ottawa, 2008


Assistant Professor, History of Science, University of Guelph, 2022-Present
    > Cross-appointed with Bachelor of Arts and Science Program
Humanities Instructor, University Studies, Northern Lakes College, 2021-2022
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, Royal Military College of Canada, 2020-2022
AMS Postdoctoral Fellow, Trent University, 2019-2020
SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2016-2018

Research Fields & Graduate Supervision

History of Science and Technology
War and Society
Environmental History
Consumption, Waste, and Pollution
History of the Oceans
First and Second World Wars
20th Century Canadian History

Current Research Projects

Underwater Munitions and Military Pollution: This project's goals are to explore the operational, scientific, logistical, and policy contexts that enabled the dumping of munitions into the oceans after the First and Second World Wars. By extension, I am also interested in the environmental history of disarmament, waste disposal, ocean history, unexploded ordnance, and the contamination and pollution of military activities.

Health and Environmental Hazards on Canada’s Industrial Front: This project examines munitions procurement, contamination and exposure, and slow violence in Canada’s military-industrial complex. It focuses on the history of industrial hygiene, health science, chemistry, TNT poisoning, and workplace safety in Canada’s chemicals and explosives factories during the Second World War.

Courses Taught

ASCI*3100, Case Studies in Arts and Science Research: Science Communication 

ASCI*4020, Topics in Arts and Science Research: Past, Present, and Future of Waste 

ASCI*4030, Topics in Arts and Science Research: Environment, Climate, and Society

HIST*1250, Science and Technology in a Global Context

HIST*4250, Topics in Environmental History: Global Histories of Climate Change 


with Matthew S. Wiseman, eds., Silent Partners: The Origins and Influence of Canada's Military-Industrial Complex (University of British Columbia Press, 2023).

UBC Press | Ubc Press Imprint

War Junk: Munitions Disposal and Postwar Reconstruction in Canada (University of British Columbia Press, 2020).

UBC Press | War Junk - Munitions Disposal and Postwar Reconstruction in  Canada, By Alex Souchen

Articles & Book Chapters

with Matthew S. Wiseman, “Introduction: A Canadian Military-Industrial Complex?” in Silent Partners: The Origins and Influence of Canada’s Military-Industrial Complex (UBC Press, 2023).

“Victory at All Costs: Canada’s Munitions Industry and the Environment during the Second World War,” in Silent Partners: The Origins and Influence of Canada’s Military-Industrial Complex (UBC Press, 2023).

“Missing from the Record: Historians, Archival Research, and Underwater Munitions.” Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice 25, 3 (2021): 347-371.

“An Exceptional Mortality: Dumped Munitions, Inconclusive Science, and the Mass Death of Oysters in the Thames Estuary after the First World War.” Environmental History 26, 4 (October, 2021): 696-723.

“The Use of Historical Evidence in Studies on Underwater Munitions.” Marine Pollution Bulletin 167 (June 2021): 1-5.

“Killing Time, Not Germans: Reserve Positions in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during the Battle of Normandy.” Canadian Military History 30, 1 (2021): 1-33.

“Chemical Weapons Disposal and the Scuttling of LST 3521 in 1946.” Canadian Naval Review 16, 3 (2021): 14-19.

“Recycling War Machines: Canadian Munitions Disposal, Reverse Logistics, and Economic Recovery after World War II.” Business History 64, 5 (2020): 984-1000.

“Something Fishy? Underwater Munitions and Unexplained Die Offs in Marine Environments.” International Journal of Maritime History 30, 2 (2018): 355-361.

“‘Under Fathoms of Saltwater’: Canada’s Ammunition Dumping Program, 1944-1947.” Canadian Military History 26, 2 (2017): 1-34.

“The Culture of Morale: Battalion Newspapers in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, June-August 1944.” The Journal of Military History 77, 2 (2013): 543-67.

Select Blog Posts & Podcasts 

“Finding a Toxic History in the Archives.” NiCHE, 16 December 2021.

“War Junk Munitions Disposal and Postwar Reconstruction in Canada with Alex Souchen.” OTD Canadian Military History, 5 October 2021.

“Dumped Munitions, Science, and… Oysters?” NiCHE, 13 September 2021.

“Special Video Edition: War Junk with Alex Souchen.” On War & Society, 15 September 2020.

"War Junk with Alex Souchen." Juno Beach and Beyond Podcast, Juno Beach Centre, 5 August 2020.

“History Slam Episode 154: War Junk.” Active History, 16 July 2020.

“Underwater Munitions and the Pollution of Military Activities.” NiCHE, 30 January 2020.

“The Dark Side of Disarmament: Ocean Pollution, Peace, and the World Wars.” Active History, 4 December 2018.

“The War Junk Historian.” On War & Society (Episode 1), 4 May 2017.

“Reflections from the Field: A Historian Attends a Science Workshop on Underwater Munitions, 27 June to 1 July 2016.” LCMSDS, 12 September 2016.

Area of Research

Canada - HIST