Alex Souchen | College of Arts

Alex Souchen

Assistant Professor
History
Email: 
asouchen@uoguelph.ca
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ex. 53214
Office: 
2004 MacKinnon Extension

Twitter: @AlexSouchen
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-souchen/
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?hl=en&user=shsoFasAAAAJ
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alex-Souchen

Education

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

Professional

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

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

ASCI*3100, Case Studies in Arts and Science Research: Science Communication (F 2022)
ASCI*4020, Topics in Arts and Science Research: Environmental History of Waste (W 2023)
HIST*1250, Science and Technology in a Global Context (W 2023)

Publications

   Books

co-edited with Matthew S. Wiseman, Silent Partners: Historical Perspectives on Canada’s Military-Industrial Complex (University of British Columbia Press, forthcoming 2023).

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

   Articles & Book Chapters

with Matthew S. Wiseman, “Introduction: A Canadian Military-Industrial Complex?” in Silent Partners: Historical Perspectives on Canada’s Military-Industrial Complex (University of British Columbia Press, forthcoming 2023).

“Victory at All Costs: Canada’s Munitions Industry and the Environment during the Second World War,” in Silent Partners: Historical Perspectives on Canada’s Military-Industrial Complex (University of British Columbia Press, forthcoming 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.
 

   Selected Blog Posts & Magazines

“Munitions Dumping in the Great Lakes: A Photographic History.” Canada’s History, forthcoming October/November 2022.

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

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

“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.

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

   Selected Media, Podcasts, & Interviews

Andrew Duffy and Blair Crawford, “‘Now boys, we’re gonna charge.’ The life story of unknown Canadian hero: Lt. Robert James McCormick.” Ottawa Citizen, 12 November 2021.

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

“The Surprising History of War Junk.” The Tattooed Historian, 10 May 2020.

Reid McCarter, “The hidden historical value of ‘Battlefield V’ and its take on World War II’s overlooked tales.” Washington Post, 12 December 2018.

Vincent Brousseau-Pouliot, “Avro Arrow histoire d’un avion – et d’un échec – emblématique.” La Presse, 22 Juillet 2017.

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

   Selected Invited Lectures

"How Canadians Reduced, Reused, and Recycled Military Surplus after the Second World War." Probus Club of Perth, Remote, 1 June 2022.

“The Death and Life of War Machines: How Canadians Reduced, Reused, and Recycled Military Surplus after the Second World War.” London & Region Garrison Community Council, Remote, 10 November 2021.

“The Surprising History of War Junk.” Royal Canadian Regiment Museum Speaker Series, Remote, 20 May 2021.

“The Surprising History of War Junk.” Royal Canadian Military Institute, Remote, 10 March 2021.

“The Surprising History of War Junk.” Military Lecture Series, Guelph Museums, Remote, 26 November 2020.

“The Surprising History of War Junk.” Military History Speaker Series, Remote, Wilfrid Laurier University, 11 November 2020.

“The Diplomacy of Disposal: The Canadian Army Overseas, Military Surplus, and Postwar Reconstruction.” The Military Communications & Electronics Museum, 4 December 2019.

“Unexploded Legacies: Canada’s Underwater Munitions and the Environmental History of Disarmament.” Royal Canadian Military Institute, 7 March 2018.

“Tools of Peace: Munitions Disposal and Postwar Reconstruction in Canada.” Military History Speaker Series, Wilfrid Laurier University, 25 January 2017.

“The Challenge of Archival Research: Historians and Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons.” 21st Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague, Netherlands, 1 December 2016.
 

   Select Conference Presentations

“Underwater Munitions: Military Pollution and the Legacies of Disposal.” The Discard Studies Conference: Exploring Disposal’s Past, Present, and Future, New York University, Remote, 15-17 September 2022.

“What Can War Junk Teach Us? Waste, History, and the Climate Crisis.” Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting, Remote, 16-18 May 2022.

“Victory at All Costs: War Workers, Workplace Hazards, and Environmental Contamination on Canada’s Industrial Front, 1939-1945.” 31st Military History Colloquium, Wilfrid Laurier University, Remote, 14-15 May 2021.

“Drowned at Sea: Slow Violence, Public Health, and the Pollution of Underwater Munitions.” Perennial Problems: Histories of Health and Environment across Borders, McMaster University, 20-21 September 2019.

“Unlimited Liability: Towards an Environmental History of Canada’s Second World War Experience.” 30th Military History Colloquium, Wilfrid Laurier University, 3-4 May 2019.

“Were Dumped Munitions the Culprit? Disarmament, Path Dependency, and the Mass Death of Oysters in the Thames Estuary, 1918-1928.” American Society for Environmental History, Ohio State University, 10-14 April 2019.

“Recycling War Machines: Munitions Disposal and Economic Recovery in Britain, Canada, and the United States, 1944-1947.” Waste Recycling, War, and Occupation, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 14-15 June 2018.

“The Death of War Machines: Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Canada’s Weapon Systems in Peacetime, 1944-1946.” 29th Military History Colloquium, Wilfrid Laurier University, 4-5 May 2018.

“Unexploded Legacies: The Past, Present, and Future of Canada’s Underwater Munitions.” 85th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History, University of Louisville, 5-8 April 2018.

“The Pollution of Peace: Underwater Munitions and the Environmental Legacy of Disarmament.” American Society of Environmental History, University of California-Riverside, 14-18 March 2018.

“Barnyard Bombers and Parachute Dresses: Hybridity, Thrift, and Military Technologies in Postwar Canada, 1945-1950.” Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association, University of Western Ontario, 3-5 November.