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Saki and Michael Dockrill Memorial Lecture - Diplomatic Intelligence

28 Nov
Photo credit: Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Dr John Ferris will give this year's Saki and Michael Dockrill Memorial Lecture on the nature of "diplomatic intelligence" and the question of how diplomatic historians have used it.


John Ferris is a Professor of History at The University of Calgary, where he also is a Fellow at The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He received an MA (1980) and a PhD (1986) in War Studies, from King's College, the University of London, United Kingdom. He has published 4 books and 110 academic articles or chapters in books, on diplomatic, intelligence and military history, as well as contemporary strategy and intelligence. His books have been published in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom: they also have been translated into French, Hebrew and Japanese. He comments in national and international media, on Canadian and American foreign and military policy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence, and nuclear weapons. He is currently completing an official history of the British signals intelligence service, GCHQ.

Professor Saki Dockrill

This lecture is given annually in memory of Professor Saki Ruth Dockrill, who first came to the Department of War Studies in 1983 as a research student supervised by successive Heads of Department, Wolf Mendl and Lawrence Freedman. She went to Yale University as a John M. Olin Fellow in 1988-89 before returning to the Department as a MacArthur Fellow and then in 1992 as a lecturer in war studies; promotion to senior lecturer followed in 1997 and then appointment to a personal chair as Professor of Contemporary History and International Security in 2003. Professor Dockrill was a leading international historian, with four substantial, well researched books to her credit and five edited or co-edited. One of her best books was a study of the defence policy of Harold Wilson's two Labour Governments, 1964-70, and she made a notable contribution to the revival of Wilson's reputation as Prime Minister that had begun in the early 1990s.

Professor Mike Dockrill

Professor Mike Dockrill joined the Department in 1971 and remained until his retirement in 2001. He was one of only a handful of staff who sustained the Department for the better part of two decades. In the early 1980s, he met Saki Kimura, a postgraduate student in the War Studies Department, who had her own keen interest in post war European history. Saki went on to make her name as a leading international historian. Both were at the heart of departmental life and did much to promote the study of international history and foreign policy in the department. They inspired a generation of students with their deep knowledge of 20th-century international history and with genial good humour.

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