Keith Donaldson

PhD Candidate - Teacher's Program

MA, University of Calgary, 2008
BA, Simon Fraser University, 2006

Supervisors: Roxanne Panchasi

Follow me on Twitter: @klgdonaldson

Research Interests

Modern European History, Modern Canadian History, Military History, Social History, Memory and Commemoration

Research Description

I am fascinated by the ways in which peoples of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds interact in times of conflict, and how these relations continue to resonate in their memories long afterwards. My MA research examined the successes and failures of 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in support of Canadian and Indian infantry in Italy during the Second World War. My current research explores interactions and relations between Canadian soldiers and French civilians during the First World War, and particularly how these encounters made impressions on the participants, helped them cope with the conflict raging around them, and were reflected in their wartime and postwar writings, memories, and commemorations. Focusing on soldiers from Western Canada and French civilians in the departments of the Nord, the Somme, and the Pas-de-Calais, I am curious to see whether regional identities or affiliations made an impression on the other group through these interactions, or whether any distinctiveness was lost in translation amid the cacophony of war.


Born and raised in the Lower Mainland, I live and work in Surrey on the traditional and unceded territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, and Semiahmoo First Nations with my wife and our two boys. Outside of my graduate studies, I teach full-time in the Surrey School District, guiding secondary students through courses in twentieth-century Canadian and World History, Genocide Studies, and French. I love traveling and visiting new places, reading science fiction or fantasy when not immersed in a history book, and playing all kinds of board games.


  • “Breaching the Gustav Line: The 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade and the 8th Indian Division, May 1944.” In Canadians and War, Volume 3, edited by Jeremy Lammi, 55-84. Coaldale, AB: Lammi Publishing, Inc., 2018.


  • 2020-21 Graduate Fellowship
  • 2020-21 William and Jane Saywell Graduate Scholarship
  • 2019-20 Graduate Fellowship
  • 2019-20 William and Jane Saywell Graduate Scholarship