Keynote Biographies and Abstracts

Dr. Tim Cook

Historian, Canadian War Museum

Director, Canada’s History Society


Tim Cook is an historian at the Canadian War Museum and a director for Canada’s History Society. He was the curator for the First World War permanent gallery at the CWM, and has curated additional temporary, travelling, and digital exhibitions. He is the author of 11 books and over 60 academic articles. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to Canadian history and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award. He is a member of the Order of Canada.


The Great War forever changed Canada and Newfoundland. More than a century later we are still dealing with its legacy and grappling with its meaning. Award-winning Canadian War Museum historian Tim Cook will give a keynote that explores the legacy of the war, from the impact of the terrible death toll to the reintegration of veterans. Canada, Newfoundland, and its peoples stepped forward on to the world stage, even as the dominions struggled with deep fissures across society caused by the unlimited war effort. The war stimulated the need to remember and to forget, and it cast a dark shadow across political, social, and cultural history. The Great War haunt us to this day.

Dr. Dean Oliver

Senior Director (Research) and Chief Curator

Canadian Museum of History


Dean F. Oliver is a Newfoundlander by birth and inclination, who probably broke your parents’ window with a street hockey ball. He is a Breezeway graduate, who also attended MUN and, inexplicably, graduated. In between trout fishing trips, from Cappahayden to Gullbridge Mine, he has worked at various universities and museums in a place called Canada, where he has taught a little, learned a lot, and published some. He is currently in charge of all typographical errors at the Canadian Museum of History. His last book, co-authored with J.L. Granatstein, The Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History (2010), won an annual prize for the best work of military history published in Canada, which is a LOT of qualifiers for a single award!


A hundred years on, the Great War is still a great quarrel. It changed everything, or nothing. It caused another war, or didn’t. It was someone else’s fault, or ours alone. It was sadly accidental, or cleverly premeditated; wasteful, or necessary; idiotically run or victoriously managed. What was it, actually? What is it now? What will it be again, in time? This talk is about the war we fought, and the one we think we did. It is about the dangers of remembrance, the perils of forgetting, and the certainty of change. Perhaps, in the end, the war should shame us. But prudance dictates withholding judgement until we know it well, and teach it better. One is humbling; the other, just plain hard.


WW100 Commemoration Program

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000