The PROFile - Hans Werner

History professor

Photo by Alana Trachenko

Although Dr. Hans Werner never practiced as an engineer, he still wears the iron ring he received upon completing an engineering degree at University of Manitoba.

Now a history professor and previously a farmer, Werner has experienced a wide range of work.

“I’m either eclectic or confused. Take your pick,” he says.

 Werner was a farmer for 20 years in southern Manitoba but gradually developed an interest in his father’s colourful past. This interest led him to bigger and bigger questions about history.

“Like with any passion, you want to take it as far as you can. In world history, that means becoming a professor,” Werner says.  

Interestingly enough, he didn’t know if he could even write an essay when he graduated from engineering, because he was never required to write one. When he returned to school many years later, he was “testing the waters,” he says.

As with just about anyone these days, it is not hard to get Werner talking about Trump. He says his opinion on Trump’s future impact goes back and forth.

“Some days I think it is the end of time,” he says. “Americans seem to think that their system of checks and balances will hold him back from causing too much damage. I hope that’s true.”

Werner is looking forward to a busy semester working on a couple big projects, including a historical atlas of Mennonite settlement migration over 450 years.

AREA OF RESEARCH: Mennonite Studies - Mennonites in Canada as well as Russia.

LOWEST GRADE IN UNIVERSITY: F in an engineering course. It was motivation to become a better student.  

IF YOU COULD MEET ANY HISTORICAL FIGURE: Adolf Hitler. It would be a repulsive meeting, but it would be interesting.

STUDENT PET PEEVE: Not reading the syllabus and asking a question that has already been asked three or four times. However, we all do that from time to time.

Published in Volume 71, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 26, 2017)

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