Mark Humphries

Mark-HumphriesCampus: Laurier
Office: LCMSDS (232 King St., Waterloo)
Email: mhumphries@wlu.ca

Education

  • BA Wilfrid Laurier University
  • MA Wilfrid Laurier University
  • PhD University of Western Ontario

Research

  • First World War
  • Medical history
  • History of mental illness

As a researcher, I am primarily focused on the First World War and its aftermath, exploring the medical and social effects of war on people’s lives and the development of the state. I have written on the 1918 influenza pandemic, shell shock, self-inflicted wounds, and domestic discontent as well as the operational history of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, including the life of Arthur Currie, tactics, and the experience of soldiers in the trenches. I am also co-editor of a five-volume series of translations from the German official history of the Great War, Der Weltkrieg, titled Germany’s Western Front.

I am currently working on a book on shell shock in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), specifically examining how the concept of shell shock evolved from the masculine culture of the trenches and became a site of negotiation between soldiers, doctors, and senior officers. This is the first of two volumes, the second of which will look at how shell shock and wartime trauma shaped the life experience of veterans and their families through to the 1970s. Both are funded by a major SSHRC Insight Grant, Through Veterans’ Eyes, which will allow us to digitize more than 12 million pages of records documenting the lives of Great War veterans.

Awards and Achievements

  • SSHRC Insight Grant — $405,000 (2013-2018)
  • Canadian Historical Review Prize (2010)
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2009-2013)

Publications

Books

  • Mark Humphries. The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013, 323 pp.
  • Mark Humphries, John Maker (editors), Wilhelm J. Kiesselbach (translator), with a foreword by Hew Strachan, Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1914 Part I. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013, 620 pp.
  • Terry Copp and Mark Humphries, Combat Stress in the 20th Century: the Commonwealth Experience. Kingston: Canadian Defence Academy, 2011, 595 pp.
  • Mark Humphries, John Maker (editors), with a foreword by Hew Strachan, Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1915. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010, 413 pp.
  • Mark Humphries (editor), The Selected Papers of Sir Arthur Currie: Diaries, Letters, and Report to the Ministry, 1917–1933. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press/LCMSDS Press, 2008, 407 pp.

Selected Articles

  • Mark Humphries, ‘Between Commemoration and History: The Historiography of the Canadian Corps and Military Overseas,’ Canadian Historical Review 95, 4 (September 2014): 384-397.
  • ‘This is the Time to Mobilize Forces to Resist the Invader’: War, Public Health, and the 1918 ‘Spanish’ Influenza Pandemic in Alberta,’ In Jeffrey Keshen and Adriana Davies (eds.), Alberta and the Great War (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2014) – Invited Contribution.
  • ‘Willfully and With Intent: Self-Inflicted Wounds and the Negotiation of Power in the Trenches,’ Histoire Sociale/Social History XLVII, 94 (June 2014): 369-97.
  • ‘Paths of Infection: The First World War and the Origins of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,’ War in History 21, 1 (January 2014): 55-81.
  • ‘A Calamity from which no Relief can be expected’: Empire, Authority, and Civilian Responses to the French Occupation of Newfoundland, June–September 1762,’ Acadiensis XLIII, 1 (Winter/Spring 2014): 35-64.
  • ‘Terry Copp’s Approach to History,’ in Canada and the Second World War: Essays in Honour of Terry Copp, Geoffrey Hayes, Michael Bechthold, and Matt Symes, eds. (Waterloo: WLU Press, 2012), 15–32.
  •  ‘The Limits of Necessity: Public Health, Dissent, and the War Effort during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,’ in Esyllt Jones and Magda Fahrni, eds. Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918–20 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012), 21–47.
  •  ‘War’s Long Shadow: Masculinity, Medicine and the Gendered Politics of Trauma, 1914–1939,’ Canadian Historical Review 91, 3 (September 2010): 503-531.
  • Mark Humphries with Kellen Kurchinski, ‘Rest, Relax, and Get Well: Re-Conceptualising Great War Shell Shock Treatment,’ War & Society 27, 2 (2008): 89–110.
  •  ‘Old Wine in New Bottles: A Comparison of Canadian and British Preparations for the Battle of Arras,’ in Geoff Hayes, Andrew Iarocci and Michael Bechthold, (eds.) Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007, 65-86.
  • ‘The Horror at Home: the Canadian Military and the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918,’ Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 16 (2005): 231–265.