Jonathan F. Vance - War, Memory & Popular Culture

Jonathan F. Vance is a writer, historian, and holder of the J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at The University of Western Ontario, where he teaches military history, Canadian history, and social memory. He previously held the Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Culture and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008. A native of Waterdown, Ontario, Vance holds degrees from McMaster University, Queen’s University, and York University.

He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (1997), High Flight: Aviation and the Canadian Imagination (2002), A Gallant Company: The True Story of “The Great Escape” (2003), and Building Canada: People and Projects that Shaped the Nation (2006). His most recent books are Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation (2008), A History of Canadian Culture (2009), and Bamboo Cage: The P.O.W. Diary of Flight Lieutenant Robert Wyse, 1942-1943 (2009).

A frequent media commentator on historical issues, Vance is the recipient of the 2009 Lela Common Award from the Canadian Authors Association for the best book in non-fiction (for A History of Canadian Culture), the 1997 Charles P. Stacey Prize from the Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War for the best book in Canadian military history, the 1997 Sir John A. Macdonald Prize from the Canadian Historical Association for the best book in Canadian history, and the 1997 J.W. Dafoe Foundation Book Prize for ‘distinguished writing that contributes to the understanding of Canada’ (for Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War).