Donald Higgins Memorial Lecture: Dr. Ian McKay

Dr. Ian McKay will present the Donald Higgins Memorial Lecture at Saint Mary’s University on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm, in room 260 of the Sobey Building. All are welcome to attend the lecture and following reception.

The title of the lecture is "Pax Britannica and the White Man’s Burden: Is Canada Re-Embracing the Empire?"

In today's right-wing rebranding of Canada as a 'Warrior Nation,' rather than a 'Peaceable Kingdom,' Canadians are being systematically encouraged to embrace militarism as one of their core values, and to honor and celebrate as heroes all the Dominion's soldiers and their deeds -- even those who fought before Confederation. This rebranding entails an embrace of the traditions of the British Empire and a celebration of the 'Anglosphere,' the North Atlantic union of the English-speaking peoples. By way of an exploration of the life and times of Halifax-born and -raised soldier William Stairs -- honored by Haligonians in 1891 as the heroic Canadian who accompanied Stanley across Africa and helped to safeguard the Empire -- Dr. McKay will explore some of the moral and political complications of this re-embrace of the imperial tradition. Should we honor everyone and everything associated with our military history? What are the choices affecting the future involved in this celebratory approach to our military past?