War, Close-Up and Big Picture: A Lecture by Gwynne Dyer

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War, Close-Up and Big Picture: A Lecture by Gwynne Dyer

The war in Ukraine is not a unique event. It gives us a standpoint to look at war as a whole. Where did it come from? How has it evolved?

By SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement

When and where

Date and time

Wed, May 3, 2023 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM PDT


SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts 149 West Hastings Street Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4 Canada

About this event

  • 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement acknowledges the unceded traditional territories including, the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, on which SFU Vancouver is located.

The war in Ukraine came as a shock because it was so stupid. How could the Russians think they could just drive some tanks down the freeway to Kyiv, fly in some troops to a local airport, and capture or kill the whole government – when the Ukrainians had had eight years to prepare since the previous invasion? The ‘special military operation’ was almost certain to fail.

However, the war in Ukraine is not a unique event. It gives us a standpoint from which we can look at war as a whole. Where did it come from? How did it evolve into the different kinds of war people fight nowadays?

Ending war is at least a hundred-year project. It’s not looking that healthy at the moment.

Following Gwynne's lecture, respondent Svitlana Matviyenko from SFU's School of Communication will speak in conversation with Gwynne about the war in Ukraine, amongst other related topics.

About the Speakers

Gwynne Dyer, speaker

Gwynne Dyer has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for most of his adult life, but he was originally trained as a historian. He was born in Newfoundland and received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, finishing with a Ph.D. in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London. He served in three navies and held academic appointments at the Canadian Forces College, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford University before launching his twice-weekly column on international affairs, which is published in more than 20 countries.

Dyer has written numerous books, such as ‘War’ (1983), ‘Ignorant Armies: Sliding into War in Iraq’ (2003), and ‘The Shortest History of War’. His first television series, the 7-part documentary 'War', was aired in 45 countries in the mid-80's. One episode, 'The Profession of Arms', was nominated for an Academy Award.

COVID-19 Safety:

Masks are encouraged on our campuses, particularly in spaces where people are in close proximity. Masks are not mandatory.

Further information on SFU's Return to Campus policy can be found here.

About the organizer

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement supports creative engagement, knowledge mobilization and public programming in the theme areas of arts and culture, social and environmental justice, and urban issues through public talks, dialogues, workshops, screenings, performances and community partnerships. SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement provides community educational opportunities for local residents, access to artist talks and cultural events and builds partnerships with community organizations. The Office opened in December 2010 and engages over 9,000 people per year. Working with students, faculty and community, the Office is committed to long term relationship building and creative collaborations between the university and the community, in all its diverse formations and recognizes the arts as a catalyst in social change and transformative community engagement.