Grenfell history professor will travel to England this summer to share a
Newfoundland perspective of the Great War.
Dr. Bonnie White
of Grenfell’s historical studies program will deliver a talk titled “‘Sorrow,
Gratitude, and Pride’: Newfoundland's Cultural Memory of the Great War” at the
National Archives in Kew, UK.
Her talk focuses
on how Newfoundland commemorates the war and its contribution to
Newfoundland's identity both prior to and after confederation.
“I'll be looking
at various dichotomies, such as war front and home front, urban and rural
reactions, personal accounts and public memorials,” said Dr. White. “And on
this last point, I'll be talking about the Danger Tree monument in Corner Brook
and the establishment of Memorial University as a whole, which together bridge
the gap between the immediate aftermath of the war and the centenary.”
Dr. White sees
the conference, titled “The First World War and The Americas: From the Arctic
Circle to Tierra del Fuego,” as an opportunity to present the Newfoundland
experience as separate and distinct from the Canadian experience.
As the only
presenter from Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. White welcomed the invitation to
participate, “both because it was about public engagement and because
it was a unique opportunity to highlight Newfoundland's Great War
experiences outside of the province and for an international audience.”
the date of the conference – July 1 – as “interesting.” It marks 101 years
since the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel.
Dr. White said
that rather than commemorating the battles as its central focus, the conference
will examine its influences on those at home.
the enduring cultural legacy of the war, at a time when loved ones at home had
to come to terms with the war's impact on their families, communities and
nation,” she said, “but also now, as we retrospectively think back on the
war and what it meant to us over the course of a century.”