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Symposium: Children, Youth and War

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While adults begin and end wars, children and youth are often caught in the middle. Join us for a thought-provoking symposium examining the life-changing effects of armed conflict on the young and vulnerable.

Under siege or occupation, children face grave physical and psychological threats. As refugees, they cope with uprooted lives, perilous journeys and resettlement in unfamiliar places. As child soldiers, they are stripped of innocence, exposed to atrocities and shunned once conflict ends. Even children far from the front lines are shaped by propaganda and scarcity, separation from loved ones, and the deaths of parents or siblings.

Each of the symposium’s four sessions will feature speakers who have studied or experienced war’s impact on young people over the past century:

9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The Children of the First World War: Historians Dr. Kristine Alexander (University of Lethbridge), Dr. Carolyn Kay (Trent University) and Dr. Susan Whitney (Carleton University) examine how wartime patriotism, scarcity and occupation affected Canadian, French and German children.

10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Second World War and Youth Experience: Dr. Claire Halstead (Western University), Dr. Barbara Lorenzkowski (Concordia University) and Dr. Dominique Marshall (Carleton University) present oral histories, artworks and other sources of fascinating research that show how children experienced the Second World War.

1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Child Soldiers and Lone Wolves: Dr. Marian Misdrahi (Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence) and Josh Boyter (Dallaire Initiative) discuss young people’s vulnerability to radicalization or recruitment as child soldiers, and possible solutions.

2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Staying Home, Leaving Home: Documentary filmmaker Claire Corriveau delves into children’s struggles with separation from military personnel serving overseas. Ayanda Keith Dubé and Leontine Uwababyeyi share personal stories of surviving genocide, arriving in Canada as refugees following persecution and settling into new lives.

This symposium will appeal to anyone interested in history, social issues, education, refugee resettlement and related topics.

English and French sessions with simultaneous translation

Photo: Stephen Thorne

Dates & Times
English French