Category: Past Conferences

Tri-University History Conference 2019


“‘In Small and Large Things Remembered’: Material Culture and History”


Holiday Inn Guelph & Conference Centre

601 Scottsdale Dr, Guelph, ON N1G 3E7

Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1

Please join us for the 2019 annual Tri-University History Conference to be held on 9 March 2019 at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario. This year’s theme is “‘In Small and Large Things Remembered’: Material Culture and History”.

Whether medieval illustrated manuscripts, Manet’s paint box, statuary, or everyday items of the home, material objects have shaped and have had a tremendous influence on history. Physical objects, resources, and spaces reveal a great deal about the time in which they were useful and how people defined their culture. “‘In Small and Large Things Remembered’” invites graduate students and scholars to tell the stories of objects that have been uncovered through their research. The Tri-University History Conference welcomes submissions over a broad area of studies and time periods on the impact of material culture on history.

The organizers consider ‘material culture’ in its broadest definition and are interested in submissions examining (but not limited to) the following:

Business Shopping
Craft Museums/exhibitions
Mementos Memorials
Architecture Music
Art Colour
Repatriation of Indigenous artefacts Photography
Technology Archives
The book Objects
War symbols (e.g. the poppy, medals, etc.) Furniture

The organizing committee also welcomes and invites submissions not explicitly related to the conference theme, particularly from graduate students from the Tri-University Graduate History Program.

Please send a one-page abstract of your proposal and contact information to by January 15.

Tri-University History Conference 2018

The Tri-University Graduate Program in History invites you to the 2018 Annual Conference.

The conference will take place on Saturday, 3 March 2018 at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.


For your information: the conference will be held at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Senate and Board Chamber/Paul Martin Centre. Paid parking is available at the university. Registration has been moved to 30 minutes earlier and so opens at 8:00. Opening remarks will begin at 8:45 and the conference will end at 4:00. After the conference, please join us at Veritas Café for drinks and snacks from 5:00 to 7:00.

Presenter information: You will have 15 minutes to present and a computer and projector will be available in each of the rooms so powerpoints can be presented. If you will be using a powerpoint, please have the presentation on a USB.

Tri-University History Conference 2017


Tri-University Annual History Conference

Communities: Recognition and Remembrance

March 11, 2107

Balsillie School of International Affairs

CIGI Campus, 67 Erb Street W,Waterloo, Ontario

Please join us for the 2017 annual Tri-University History Conference to be held on 11 March 2017 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario. This year’s theme is “Communities: Recognition and Remembrance,” highlighting debates around the various local, national, and international anniversaries in 2017 – such as 150 years since Canadian Confederation, 100 years since the Russian Revolution, or 40 years since the last reported case of smallpox – and examining the politics and performance of commemoration and public memory.

For further information, please contact

Final Tri-U Conference Program 2017


Tri-University History Conference 2016


“Contesting History: Reflections on Perspective and Approach”

22nd Annual Tri-University History Conference
5 March 2016

Best Western Plus Royal Brock Hotel & Conference Centre
716 Gordon St
Guelph, ON

Please join us for the 22nd annual Tri-University History Conference on 5 March 2016 at the Best Western Plus Royal Brock Hotel & Conference Centre in Guelph, ON. Organized by the history departments of Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, the theme of this year’s conference is “Contesting History: Reflections on Perspective and Approach.” To this end, the conference program will feature panels and papers on all aspects of history from both graduate students and faculty.

Please click this link to view the 2016 conference program: Tri-University Conference Program

Should you have inquires, please email



Tri-University History Conference 2015


7 March 2015 TriUPoster2015_Final_RBG

Balsillie School of International Affairs
67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2

Please join us for the 2015 annual Tri-University History Conference to be held on March 7, 2015 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Organized by the history departments of Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph and Waterloo University, the theme of this year’s conference is “War, Memory and Commemoration.” The keynote address will be given by Sir Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor of the History of War at All Souls College, Oxford, UK.

*Please note that the keynote address will take place at 12:45pm at the Delta Waterloo Hotel, 110 Erb St (Silver Lake Ballroom A+B).

This year’s conference will also feature a “showcase” of the best of TriU graduate student papers which are not directly covered by the main theme.

For general conference details, please click on this poster.

For details on panels and presentations, please click here to view the conference programme.



Tri-University History Conference 2014

Histories and Communities

22 March 20142014-TriU-Conf-Poster

Balsillie School of International Affairs
67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2

The Tri-University Conference provides an opportunity for students and faculty to share exciting new insights into the past by engaging in fruitful discussion across all avenues of historical inquiry. This year, the conference will be held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo.

The theme of the conference is Histories and Communities. Please click this link to download the .PDF conference program:


2014 Conference Program




Tri-University History Conference 2013

New Approaches to History

March 23, 2013
Best Western Hotel
716 Gordon Street, Guelph (map)

Tri-University History Conference 2013 Poster

The Tri-University Conference is a wonderful opportunity for students and faculty to get to know each other, to share ideas, and debate the latest developments in our field. This year, the Tri-University conference will take place at the Best Western Hotel in Guelph.

The theme is “New Approaches to History” and to this end, we are featuring a keynote panel with three fantastic historians from the Tri-University.

Ian Milligan, a recent hire at the University of Waterloo, who writes on youth and labour in the 1960s, and new digital technologies, will give a paper on “Preparing for the Infinite Archive: Social Historians and the Looming Digital Deluge.”

Amy Milne-Smith, the author of London Clubland: A Cultural History of Gender and Class in late-Victoria Britain (2011) will be speak on “Queensberry’s Misrule: Exploring honour, duty, and the gentleman in late-Victorian Britain.”

Norman Smith, the author of Resisting Manchukuo: Chinese Women Writers and the Japanese Occupation (2007) will speak on “Sources, Souses and the Writing of Manchurian History.”

Final Conference Program

Tri-University History Conference 2012

Conference Poster

Histories North and South

Saturday, 3 March 2012
Wilfrid Laurier University
Schlegel Building (map)

The 2012 Tri-University History Conference features six panels with graduate students and established scholars in all historical fields, especially, but not exclusively, on topics concerning aspects of the circumpolar arctic.


Adam Crerar

Keynote Speaker: Julia Lajus (European University at St. Petersburg, Russia)

In keeping with the theme of this year’s conference, “Histories North and South,” we are honoured to announce our keynote speaker, Dr. Julia Lajus, Director of the Center for Environmental and Technological History at the European University at St. Petersburg. Dr. Lajus is a specialist in the history of science and environment in arctic Russia, and this will be her first visit to Canada. Her talk is entitled “The Circulation of Environmental Knowledge: Models of Development and Images of Northernness in 20th-c. Arctic Exploration in Scandinavia, Canada, and Russia.”

Preliminary Conference Schedule (PDF)

Conference Registration Form (PDF)

Conference Location and Parking

The Tri-U Graduate History Conference will be held at Wilfrid Laurier
University on the main floor of the Schlegel Building. There is free
parking on Saturdays in the main parking lot that can be accessed just
past the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary on Bricker Street, near the corner
of Albert Street, and facing the WLU Library.

Tri-University History Conference Fall 2010

Cold War Encounters: National, International, and Transnational History in the 20th Century

Saturday, 16 October 2010
University of Waterloo, Arts Lecture Hall (campus map)

This year’s conference focuses on the theme “Cold War Encounters,” which coincides with the recent creation of the Cold War History Field at the Ph.D. level. It will spotlight an exciting diversity of a global scholarship. The preliminary program below will give you a sense of the scope of papers being presented.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Fredrik Logevall, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies at Cornell University and author of several books, including the highly acclaimed Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam. One of the most highly regarded Cold War historians of our time, Dr. Logevall is a popular lecturer at universities around the world and is currently researching a biography of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.


Cold War Encounters – Preliminary Program (PDF)

Tri-University History Conference Spring 2010

Minorities, Rights & the State

Minorities, Rights & the State

27 February 2010
University of Guelph
MacDonald Stewart Hall
(School of Hospitality and Tourism Management)

The preliminary conference schedule is now available:

Final Conference Schedule (PDF)

Conference Travel Information (PDF)

Guelph Campus Map (PDF)

Plenary Speaker: Rashid Khalidi (Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University)

“The History of the 20th Century Viewed from the Middle East.”

Professor Khalidi is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from  October 1991 until June 1993. He is author of Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in  the Middle East (2004); Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1996); Under Siege: PLO Decision-Making  During the 1982 War (1986); and British Policy Towards Syria and Palestine, 1906-1914 (1980), and was the co-editor of Palestine and the Gulf (1982) and The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991).

Tri-University History Conference 2008

15 November 2008

Imperialisms: New and Old

This year’s conference is bigger and more international than ever before and promises to provide students and faculty with opportunities to make new contacts and experience the diversity of a global scholarship.

This year’s keynote speaker, Roderick MacFarquhar, will be speaking on “China’s Struggle with Imperialism”. Dr. MacFarquhar is the Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science and former Director of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. His publications include The Hundred Flowers Campaign and the Chinese Intellectuals (1960), The Sino-Soviet Dispute (1961), China under Mao (1966); Sino-American Relations, 1949-1971 (1972); the three volume The Origins of the Cultural Revolution (1974-1997); and his most recent, jointly-authored book (with Michael Schoenhals), is Mao’s Last Revolution (2006).

Session Topics

Session A:

  • Colonialism and Resistance in Southern Africa
  • Exhibiting Empire
  • Special Tri-University Student Session on War Crimes
  • Empires of Science and Technology

Session B:

  • Protest and Empowerment
  • Religion and Empire
  • Empire by Negotiation
  • Storytelling and the Postcolonial Exotic
  • Special Tri-University Student Session on Modern European Fascism and Communism

Session C:

  • Japan, Russia and Asian Imperialism
  • New Imperialisms
  • The Play of Identities
  • Special Tri-University Student Session: Women and Power in the Middle Ages

Reception music provided by the Bremen String Quartet

Preliminary Conference Program 2008 (.doc)

Tri-University History Conference 2007

10 November 2007

‘Nationalism, Identity and International/Cross-Cultural Conflict.’

The 2007 Tri-University History Conference was held at St. George Hall in Waterloo. Thirty faculty and students from Canadian, American, European and Middle Eastern universities presented at the conference. Topics included, but were not limited to:

  • West and East, “Old Europe”, “New Europe” and the US (dialogues and strains)
  • Imperialism, colonialism, multiculturalism and globalisation
  • Borderlands (ethnicity, culture, religion, migrations and diasporas)
  • Ideologies and their impact
  • Radicalism, violence and war (conventional, religious and ethnic conflicts, genocide, trauma, civil, human rights and peace movements)

In addition, there were two plenary speakers: Professor Francine McKenzie, associate professor of history at the University of Western Ontario, spoke on the subject of ‘Peace, Prosperity and Power: The GATT and Global International Relations 1947-1968.’ Dr McKenzie is the author of two books: Parties Long Estranged: Canada and Australia in the Twentieth Century [with Margaret MacMillan] (2002) and Redefining the Bonds of Commonwealth, 1939-1948 (2002).

The second speaker was Geir Lundestad, professor of history at Oslo University and President and Director of the Nobel Prize Institute. Dr Lundestad addressed the ‘Crisis in American-European Relations Since the End of the Cold War.’ Among Professor Lundestad’s dozen works are: The American Non-Policy towards Eastern Europe 1943-1947 (1975); America, Scandinavia, and the Cold War 1945-1949 (1980); East, West, North, South: Major Developments in International Relations since 1945 (1985); and ‘Empire’ by Integration: the United States and European Integration, 1945-1997 (1998).

Tri-University History Conference Fall 2003

8 November 2003

History, Turning Points, and Ordinary Lives

The University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo present the 2003 Tri-University History Conference in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Lifetime Learning Centre.

This year’s conference theme seeks to explore the interconnections between ordinary people, their ordinary lives and historic moments or grand earth-shaking events and developments.

More than 25 speakers will present papers on topics ranging from aboriginal women to Jews and immigrants in Germany and Canada.

Program Highlights:

Early Morning Sessions:

  • “Lives Lived, Lives Lost: World War One and Its Aftermath”
  • “Hate, Redemption and Devaluation: Jews and Immigrants in Germany and Canada”
  • “Masquerading and Nudity: Cultural Interpretations in Canada and Africa”
  • “Death and Defence: Ireland and the United States”

Late Morning Sessions:

  • “Saints and Sinners? Publicans and Nuns in Ontario’s History”
  • “Subjects and Objects of Imperialism”
  • “Dependents and Trusteeship: Aboriginal Women and International Relations”
  • “Slavery, Captives and Captive Labour”
  • “The Body Alive and Dead: Insane Cadavers, Women Students in Canada and Disease in Angola”

Beverly Lemire, a history professor at the University of New Brunswick and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, will give the keynote address. She will speak on “Accounting for the Household: Gender and Culture of Household.”

Tri-University History Conference Winter 2003

1 February 2003

‘Past Relations, Historical Meetings’

The 2003 Tri-University History Conference was held at Paul Martin Centre and the new Arts C-wing at Wilfrid Laurier University. The three morning sessions focused on the topics “Nazi Perpertrators in WWII,” “Reassessing Gendered Historiography,” and “Contesting the Frontier”, while the three afternoon sessions looked at “Self and Soul in Europe,” “Dilemmas and Contradictions in the Mid- 20th Century,” and “Race and Resistance.”

The keynote speech was from Dr. Margaret Macmillan (Professor of History at the University of Toronto and Provost of the University of Trinity College), with the topic “Making Peace is Harder than Waging War: the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.”

Tri-University History Conference 2001

November 17, 2001

Reflections on the United Nations Year of the Volunteer: Volunteerism, Reform, Resistance & Revolution in History

Keynote Address by Elizabeth Dowdeswell (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme): “The United Nations, Volunteerism & Responsibility”

Tri-University History Conference 2000

October 28, 2000

Race, Slavery and Migration

The 2000 Tri-University Conference was held at the University of Guelph in conjunction with the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Keynote address by Dr. David Eltis (Queen’s University): “Free and Slave Labour Regimes in Europe and the Americas, 1500-1880”.

12th Annual Tri-University History Conference

November 6, 1999

The 12th Annual Tri-University Conference was held at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Keynote Address by Thomas G. Patterson (Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut): “The Forty Years War: The United States and Cuba”

11th Annual Tri-University History Conference

October 31, 1998

University of Waterloo, Hagey Hall (1st floor)

Keynote Speech by A.B. McKillop (Carleton University) “The Spinster and the Prophet: Florence Deeks, H.G. Wells, and the Curious Case of the Purloined Past”

Presentation Topics Include:

  • Ethnic Identities in Canada
  • Coping with Capitalism: Successes and Challenges
  • The Practice and Theory of Medicine
  • The Lives of Nineteenth Century Women
  • Rethinking the Immigrant Experience

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