Vance, Jonathan F(ranklin) 1963-
VANCE, Jonathan F(ranklin) 1963-
PERSONAL: Born June 26, 1963, in Burlington, Ontario, Canada; son of J. P. (a lawyer) and Margaret (Starr) Vance; married Cheryl Hemstreet, August, 1987; children: Gordon, Julia. Education: McMaster University, B.A. (with honors), 1985; Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, M.A., 1987; York University, Ph.D., 1993. Hobbies and other interests: Motor racing, carpentry.
ADDRESSES: Home—767 Colborne St., London, Ontario N6A 3Z8, Canada. Offıce—Department of History, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5C2, Canada; fax: 519-661-3010. Agent—Linda McKnight, Westwood Creative Artists, 94 Harbord St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 1G6, Canada. E-mail—[email protected] uwo.ca.
CAREER: Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, lecturer in history, 1994-97, faculty associate of Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic, and Disarmament Studies, 1997; University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, assistant professor, 1997-99, associate professor, 1999-2001, holder of Canada Research Chair in Culture and Conflict, 2001—. University of Guelph, lecturer, 1995; Brock University, lecturer, 1997. Member of awards juries. Carling Heights Optimists Mini-Soccer League, coach, beginning 1998; London Public Library, member of Historic Sites Committee, beginning 1998; volunteer with Heart and Stroke Foundation, Cancer Society, and Kidney Foundation.
MEMBER: Canadian Aviation Historical Society, Canadian Historical Association, Organization for the History of Canada, Canadian Military History Group, Colditz Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, fellowship, 1993-95, grant, 1997-2000; Charles P. Stacey Prize, Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War, Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association, and J. W. Dafoe Foundation Book Prize, all 1997, for Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War; Premier's Research Excellence Award, 2003.
A Gallant Company: The Men of the Great Escape, Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic, and Disarmament Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), 1997, revised edition, Pacifica Military History (Pacifica, CA), 2000.
Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the FirstWorld War, University of British Columbia Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1997.
Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment, American Bibliographical Center-Clio Press (Denver, CO), 2000.
High Flight: Aviation and the Canadian Imagination, Penguin Books Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
Contributor to books, including Prisoners of War and Their Captors in World War II, edited by Bob Moore and Kent Fedorowich, Berg (Oxford, England), 1996; and World War II: Variants and Visions, edited by Thomas O. Kelly II, Diane Publishing (Collingdale, PA), 1999. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Canadian Studies, Ontario History, Material History Review, Journal of Military History, Journal of Contemporary History, War and Society, and American Review of Canadian Studies. Editor, National History: Canadian Journal of Enquiry and Opinion, 1995-2000; editor of book review supplement, Canadian Military History, beginning 1994; member of editorial board, Oxford Companion to Canadian History, 2001—.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Building Canada: Projects That Made a Nation, for Penguin Books Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), completion expected in 2005; A History of Canadian Culture, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006; research on World War I in rural Canada.
SIDELIGHTS: Jonathan F. Vance commented to CA: "Why did I become a writer of history? Probably because I spent my childhood playing with toy soldiers and building plastic models, and I never really grew out of it!
"I've always been fascinated by the 'story' part of history. I always try to give my work a strong narrative element, because that's what interested me in history in the first place. Historians have a responsibility to interpret the past for current and future generations, but they have to do it in a way that is engaging and readable. For me, the test of good history is not only its content, but its readability.
"I've always considered myself very lucky to be able to combine vocation and avocation, and to spend my days visiting other times and places. Years ago, someone mentioned to me that it would be fascinating to have a time machine and be able to go back in time. I immediately responded that I get to go back in time every day. That's why I think I have the best job in the world.
"I tend to spend a long time researching, and then I write very quickly. After that, I agonize over minor stylistic matters, but rarely make any significant changes to the overall shape of the book. I think that if you do enough research, the manuscript should essentially write itself."