High School History Day

History, Herstory, Theirstory...Our Story.  Western History welcomes high school students and teachers

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Thank you for your interest in History at Western. We are excited for the chance to meet you and to give you a glimpse into what studying History at university is like!

Registration is closed.  If you have any questions please contact history-inquiries@uwo.ca


Anka to Alanis 
This week’s great song becomes next week’s “Whatever happened to …?” – we look at the evolution of popular music, from your grandparents’ favourites to yours. 

Disability History
More than a billion people in the world experience some form of disability. We’ll consider how to incorporate disability into historical research and engage with questions that are central to the humanities, like “What does it mean to be human?” 

Hitler Goes to the Movies
The Producers, Jojo RabbitDownfall – Adolf Hitler keeps popping up in the movies we watch. Join us to consider issues like historical accuracy, emotional reaction, and public perceptions of evil. 

Killing Fields: Genocide in Modern History
Explore the causes, elements, and consequences of genocide in modern history through historical case studies and multidisciplinary perspectives.

Microscopes and Amputation Saws
Torture device or medical gadget? Sometimes you’ll wonder as you see how doctors’ tools have changed over the centuries in this hands-on session. 

Some of My Best Friends are Werewolves …
You’ve heard of witch hunts but centuries ago, Europeans were also gripped by fears of werewolves in their midst. Find out what they were so afraid of, and learn how to tell if your neighbour is really a werewolf! 

X Marks the Spot: Pirates & Their Buried Treasure
If you like Relic Hunter or The Curse of Oak Island, you’ll love exploring the historical myths and realities of buried pirate treasure. No shovel necessary. 

Your Life Story as Academic History
What will future historians say about you, your family, and your friends? What sources will they use to understand what your life was like? Remember – the present is the past for historians of the future! 


From Death Trap to Moving Billboard: F1 Motor Racing as a Metaphor for the Modern World
In its earliest days, the high-performance racing car was regarded as little more than a metal can that carried its unfortunate driver to a grisly death. Now it’s a carbon-fiber can that carries advertising messages to the world. What does the history of the sport tell us about changing times? 

Getting Away with Murder
In seventeenth-century England, a man and his servant were tried three times for murdering the man’s brother-in-law, father-in-law, and wife. Although everyone thought they were guilty, they were acquitted each time. But when they stole a horse and were arrested for trying to sell it, they were found guilty and sentenced to death. Read the original court records, learn about early modern attitudes towards crime, and see how a trial was conducted and how two men got away with murder … but not horse-thieving. 

Looking for Franklin? Ask the Locals!
When Sir John Franklin left England in 1845 on a voyage through Arctic waters to find the North-West Passage, it began a mystery that would last for more than a century. Join us in exploring Franklin's expedition, the search for his wrecked ships, and the involvement of Indigenous people in the eventual discovery. 

Making Canada Multicultural
During the Second World War, Canada became known as the “aerodrome of democracy” because of its role in training aircrew for battle. But these training bases were also agents of multiculturalism, because they exposed dozens of small towns to visitor from around the world. Explore one of the processes by which Canada became more cosmopolitan. 

Over the Top
War games have existed for centuries, and have never been as sophisticated and complex as they are today. But what do they teach as about history? Is playing a war game a kind of learning? Join us as we talk about war games through history – and play them too! 

Paleography: Learning How to Read Your Teacher’s Handwriting
Students will be introduced to the art and science of paleography: the study of handwriting. Working with documents from the National Archives of the United Kingdom, students will learn about some practical challenges of being a historian by attempting to transcribe and read sources created hundreds of years ago. 

Plague Doctors and Sanitary Police, Mask-Slackers and Anti-Vaxxers
COVID-19 wasn't the first major pandemic to strike the world, and it won't be the last. Explore how previous generations have dealt with the threat of epidemic disease by mobilizing religion and science, superstition and reason - often with unexpected consequences. 

Public Health FAQs – 2022 or 1349?
If you that the COVID pandemic was unprecedented, come and learn about the kinds of advice that people were getting at the height of the Black Death – can you tell the difference between what we’ve been told recently, and what they were told in the 14th century? 

Selling War
Is convincing people to fight a war the same as convincing them to buy a certain car or hamburger? Using examples from different nations at war, we explore how advertising has been used to promote the deadliest kind of commodity – war. 

Squatters, Swagmen, and Jolly Jumbucks: Settler Folklore in Australian History
Together we'll journey Down Under to explore a few key features of Australian colonial culture, looking at where they come from, and who they leave behind. 

The Trial of Marie-Josèphe Angélique: An Enslaved Women in Montreal
Montreal, 1734. A fire, a trial, a public execution. Matters of race, slavery, gender, power, and violence all come together as we examine one of the most intriguing trials of 18th-century Canada. 

Vimy Ridge – Is it What You Thought it Was?
If a Canadian knows only one thing about the First World War, usually it’s the Battle of Vimy Ridge. But what have we been taught about Vimy over the years, and does it stand up to scrutiny? Join us to discuss how national icons become national icons. 

Who are the big ‘M’ Métis and who are the small ‘m’ métis?
Métis are recognized as one of Canada’s three groups of Indigenous peoples, but definitions of who these people are will vary depending on where you live in Canada. Come learn about the history behind these regional interpretations that remain a source of debate in the Indigenous community today.  


The day will begin at 10am with a general introduction.  After that, students and teachers will break into their sessions.  A free lunch will be provided, as well as drinks and snacks throughout the day.  Sessions will end at 1:45 to allow teachers and students to regroup and board buses between 1:45-2pm. 

Introduction: 10:00am-10:30am

Session A: 10:40am-11:20am

Session B/Lunch group 1: 11:30am-12:10pm

Session C/Lunch group 2: 12:20pm-1:00pm

Multimedia Interactive Historical Extravaganza: 1:10pm-1:40pm

Transfer to buses: 1:45-2pm

In accordance with Western’s current Covid-19 policy, the Department of History will provide attendees with the required medical-grade (ASTM level 3) masks.

If you have any questions, please email history-inquiries@uwo.ca.

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Western Campus Map


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