A compelling anthology of diverse and historically marginalized perspectives on war and peace in Nova Scotia, including El Jones, Sylvia Parris, Catherine Martin, and Juanita Peters.
The story of Nova Scotia's history is usually presented through the lens of military history. Lost in that narrative are the less visible stories of war and peace: contemporary stories told from outside the military community; anti-militarist stories; and stories of soldiers who don't fit the white, cisgender male, heterosexual norm.
Speaking Up: New Voices on War and Peace in Nova Scotia brings many previously neglected voices to the fore — voices of current members of the Canadian Armed Forces and military veterans, members of the African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaw communities, refugees and immigrants displaced by war, historians and other academics who study war and militarization, artists who reflect on war's impact, and peace activists who vigorously protest against the militarization of the region.
These fresh perspectives on war and peace in Nova Scotia — from voices that include Darl Wood, El Jones, Sylvia Parris, Peter Dykhuis, Jessica L. Wiebe, Paige Farah, Catherine Martin, and Juanita Peters — light the way to a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of war on our province. Through more than thirty unique stories carefully curated by an expert editorial team from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Speaking Up: New Voices on War and Peace in Nova Scotia sets out to challenge the dominant military narrative on war and peace in Nova Scotia.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Telling Stories of War and Peace in Nova Scotia - Maya Eichler, Reina Green, and Tracy Moniz
Chapter 1— Military Veterans
Introduction - Maya Eichler
Vagabonds Among You - John Whelan
Finding a New Purpose - Ken Hoffer
Creating the Veteran Farm Project - Jessica Miller
Feminist Military Veteran and LGBT Purge Survivor - Darl Wood,
with Carmen Poulin and Lynne Gouliquer
Being Gay and Ex-Military in Nova Scotia - Frank Letourneau
and Maya Eichler
Chapter 2 — Military Families
Introduction - Leigh Spanner
I Knew What I Was Getting Into, Right? Reflections from a
Military Spouse - Catherine Littler
Never in a Straight Line but Always in the Right Direction: The Story of a Military Family Researcher - Deborah Norris
Chapter 3 — Refugee Communities
Introduction - Catherine Baillie Abidi
Confronting the Past: Remembering Memuna - Amara Bangura
Don?t Lose Hope: You Never Know What Tomorrow May Bring
- Nareen Haj Ali and Catherine Baillie Abidi
My Story - Viyan Ali
No Red Poppies for Colombia - Marianela Fuertes
Chapter 4 — African Nova Scotian Communities
Introduction - Susan M. Brigham
Canadian Military History and the Black Atlantic - Claudine Bonner
My Voice and My Daddy's Story: His Time in the No. 2
Construction Battalion - Sylvia Parris-Drummond
Chapter 5 — Military Histories Across Communities
Introduction - Tracy Moniz
Soul of a Nation in the Heart of Halifax - Ken Hynes
We Were There: Remembering Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaw
War Veterans - Don Julien and Jenna Stewart
Baie Sainte-Marie Goes to War: Experiences of Nova Scotia
Acadians, 1916–1921 - Gregory Kennedy
Chapter 6 — Halifax Explosion
Introduction - Barbara Lounder
Resolve and Rebirth: The Narrative Environment of Fort Needham
Memorial Park - John deWolf
My Explosion - Catherine Martin, Juanita Peters, and Paige Farah,
with Barbara Lounder
"Walking the Debris Field": Narratives for Peace - Robert Bean
and Angela Henderson
Chapter 7 — Peace Activism
Introduction - Maya Eichler
Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace: From Cold War Origins to a Hot Planet - kathrin winkler
Giff Gifford: From Second World War Bomber to Veteran
Against Nuclear Arms - Brian Gifford
Yes to Canada! No to War! - Roger Davies
We Built This City - El Jones
Chapter 8 — War and Art
Introduction - Reina Green and Jessica Lynn Wiebe
Hallowed Ground - Wendy Elliott and Andria Hill-Lehr
(untitled) - Angela Henderson
The Space Between: Endurance, Exhaustion, and Remembrance
- Jessica Lynn Wiebe
Pure War and Mixed Messages - Peter Dykhuis
Conclusion: Weaving Communities Together Through Storytelling
- Reina Green, Maya Eichler, and Tracy Moniz
About the authors
Maya Eichler holds the Canada Research Chair in Social Innovation and Community Engagement and is an Associate Professor of Political and Canadian Studies and Women's Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is also the director of the Centre for Social Innovation and Community Engagement in Military Affairs at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her current research focuses on gender and the armed forces, military sexual violence, military-to-civilian transitions, and community stories of war and peace.
Reina Green is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Mount Saint Vincent University where she teaches courses in early modern literature, including the drama of the period, and in contemporary Canadian drama. Her research reflects the range of her teaching and focuses on performance and the actor-audience relationship. One of her recent projects has been on memorialization and performance. She has published in several book collections and academic journals.
Tracy Moniz is an Associate Professor in Department of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. She teaches courses in writing, gender and media, and health communication. Her research has engaged with questions about gender ideology in news discourse, particularly in times of war. She is the editor of Writing History: A collection by new writers, volume 3 (Life Rattle Press 2013). She currently explores the role of narrative and reflective writing in professional education and practice.
Speaking Up: New Voices on War and Peace in Nova Scotia is a thoughtful, nuanced, comprehensive, compendium on what war — and peace — mean. We live in a community where we celebrate military history at the annual Nova Scotia International Tattoo but also champion the "dialogue across divides" work of the iconic Pugwash conferences to bring "insight and reason to bear on the catastrophic threat posed to humanity by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction."
But Speaking Up explores more than those obvious divides. In this progressive Nova Scotian reimagining of the issues around war and peace, we learn the stories of soldiers who don't fit the norms of sex/gender, sexuality, race, or ethnicity. We hear voices from African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaw communities whose stories of service and sacrifice have long been marginalized. We learn what it's like to be displaced by war from refugees and immigrants who've lived it. We meet the peace activists who continue to protest the increasing militarization of our region. And explore art and war and remembrance. Among many other perspectives.
Many of the voices in Speaking Up are new, previously unheard, but the editors have done an excellent job of connecting them with the more traditional narratives. Collectively, these voices and stories offer new patterns of understanding and challenge us to think differently about the vital issues of war and peace.
— Stephen Kimber, author of Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs: Halifax at War
Speaking Up is an insightful anthology that explores Nova Scotia's complex relationship with the military. While Canadian military stories typically focus on an overseas battlefield, with soldiers, sailors, and aircrew fighting the enemy, Speaking Up instead relates the often-overlooked narratives of women, men, and LGBTQ2S+ peoples fighting against racism, sexism, colonialism, and homophobia to join, belong to, remain in, and resist the military. By forefronting diverse everyday voices, Speaking Up asks readers to reconsider and broaden how they think about war and the military. These compelling stories — framed by accessible academic introductions — are ideal for educational contexts, particularly high school and undergraduate courses, drawing readers into the lives of military members, military family members, refugees, peace activists, and artists. As a whole, the volume offers a nuanced and critical perspective that illuminates societal interconnections by blurring the binaries of military/civilian, friend/foe, national/international, war/peace, and patriotism/pacifism.
— Dr. Nancy Taber, Professor, Adult Education Program Director, Brock University
Speaking Up: New Voices on War and Peace in Nova Scotia takes a critical lens to the military-industrial complex that permeates North America. With first-hand stories of people—from refugees to those in military service—the reader gets to peek behind the curtain to see a different perspective of war; one that goes beyond news tickers and Remembrance Day memorials. This book shows the human experience and consequences of a country and a province built on a foundation of colonialism and trimmed with patriotic rhetoric. Speaking Up is a challenging read but a must for everyone if we are to see the full scope of war and how it impacts our perceptions of society and people.
— Rebecca Thomas, Mi'kmaq author