Joseph Buscemi

Sessional Instructor

Joseph Buscemi head shot
I completed my History doctorate at UW in 2020 and have been teaching for the History and Arts First departments ever since. My dissertation examined the classified British nuclear civil defence programme Protect and Survive. Apart from the consideration of the recently declassified programme, my dissertation looks to situate itself within the larger historiography of Cold War British culture by examining economic decline, the rise of Thatcherism, and British popular culture, connecting them to post-War commitments to nuclear deterrence over survivability, with particular focus on citizen/government dialogues, the veracity of anti-nuclear survival programs, and the resulting cultural reverberations.

My research and dedication to effective teaching was noted with the 2016 Three Minute Thesis People’s Choice Award. While my dissertation had a specific focus, my teaching experience encompasses a diverse breadth of Twentieth Century politics, economics, and popular culture. My enthusiasm for teaching has developed my reputation for unique and engaging student-centric courses from History and Film to Cold War: ReLIVEd which culminated in a two-week historical roleplay as important global figures. I am tremendously grateful to be able to continue to teach amongst the faculty and students of the University of Waterloo.


  • PhD (Cold War/British History), University of Waterloo
  • MA (Modern Cultural History), York University
  • BA Hons (History, Psychology), York University

Teaching Interests

  • Cold War history and popular culture
  • The rise of consumerism and 20th Century economics
  • Modern Transatlantic (UK, US, Can) history
  • Nuclear war and civil defence
  • Films, Television, and Music
  • Disney theme parks and the communication of history

Courses Taught

  • HIST 200: History and Film
  • HIST 216: The (Long) History of the Internet
  • HIST 250: The Art and Craft of History (with Prof. Ian Milligan)
  • ARTS 130: The Cold War: ReLIVEd (Arts First)
  • ARTS 140: Disney: Nostalgia and Progress (Arts First)

Contact Information