Making Historical Sense of War

Dr. Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History, University of Toronto; Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor, Green College, UBC

Tuesday, October 17, 5-6:30 pm, with reception to follow
Fireside Chat, 8 pm, Piano Lounge, Graham House

Coach House, Green College, UBC

Vancouver Institute Lecture
Lecture Hall No. 2, Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, UBC
Saturday, October 14, 8:15 pm
A century later we are still puzzling about the Great War. Why and how did it start? Why did it last so long? What are its lasting legacies? The war, which started in Europe, drew in much of the world. It consumed millions of lives and huge resources. It destroyed four empires, shook European civilization, and changed the international order. This lecture looks at those questions and assesses how and in what ways the war changed the world.

Green College Special Lecture
Coach House, Green College, UBC
Tuesday, October 17, 5:00 pm, reception to follow
Too often the history of war has been seeing as a limited, clearly defined branch of historical inquiry, the preserve of military historians more interested in battles, logistics or strategy than in social and cultural history. Yet war is deeply woven into human society and the relationship should be understood as a two-way one. The nature of particular societies—from values to political and social organization—affects the ways in which they approach and fight wars, while engagement in war can bring great change. This talk will examine such issues as how wars start and end, how we understand the experiences of those engaged in war, and how we assess the impact of war. It will also look at the perennial tension between the great forces shaping the past and the role and place of the individual.

Margaret MacMillan is an Honorary Fellow and former Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her books include Women of the Raj (1988, 2007); Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001), for which she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson prize; and Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World (2007); The Uses and Abuses of History and The War That Ended Peace (2013). Her most recent book is History’s People (2016). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and sits on the boards of the Mosaic Institute and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and the editorial boards of International History and First World War Studies. She also sits on the Advisory Board Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and is a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust. In 2006 Professor MacMillan was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2016 she was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada.

The Green Visiting Professors program was founded by UBC Honorary Alumnus Dr. Cecil Green and his wife Ida in 1972, to provide opportunities for UBC students and faculty and members of the wider local public to interact with outstanding scholars, scientists, artists, performers and intellectuals from around the world. Visiting Professors are now appointed by Green College. UBC faculty members wishing to nominate visitors under the program are invited to contact the Principal of the College, Dr. Mark Vessey:

If you wish to stay for dinner at Green College, please make a reservation by noon on the previous day at 604-822-0912 or $16 students $20 others.