Canadian Studies Center October 2009 Report

 

June 2010 Report

Faculty News


The Center has sixty-five affiliated faculty representing sixteen departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, ten professional schools and all three UW campuses. Each quarter our faculty make marked contributions to Canadian Studies. Following are some of their activities and awards in Spring Quarter 2010.


Simon Fraser Professors engage with UWT Masters of Education students

By Annette Henry

Annette Henry is a professor of Education at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Annette Henry (left) with guest speaker Ozlem Sensoy from Simon Fraser University
Annette Henry (left) with guest speaker Özlem Sensoy from Simon Fraser University

On May 11, 2010, Michelle Pidgeon, assistant professor of Higher Education at Simon Fraser University spoke with my education class at University of Washington Tacoma via a 90-minute video conference, giving a talk entitled "Indigenous Perspectives on Success, Responsibility, and Accountability in Higher Education."

Dr. Pidgeon shared findings from her research that shed light on how universities and colleges can become more successful places for Indigenous peoples. She gave examples from Indigenous research and practice that reframe the conversation to focus on institutional transformation through Indigenous understandings of success, responsibility, and accountability. Her presentation was welcomed by these educators, many of whom work with various marginalized populations in school settings. It allowed them to ask questions and make connections with their own practice. It also provided a broader, comparative and international context for understanding educational success, institutional transformation for Aboriginal youth in Canada.

On May 25th, Özlem Sensoy, also an assistant professor of Social Studies and Multicultural Education from Simon Fraser University, came to the UWT campus and spoke with the same class regarding The Breadwinner, a popular young adult novel about a Muslim girl in Taliban-run Afghanistan, a book embraced by Canadian and U.S. teachers and schools especially since 9/11.

Her talk, entitled "Saving Muslim Girls: The Curricular Construction of a Deficit Discourse," helped teachers examine how novels like The Breadwinner are best understood in a contemporary sociopolitical context in which Muslim girls in developing nations are constructed as the objects of Western interventions on a range of military, economic, humanitarian and educational fronts, and how this construction simultaneously and unproblematically positions Western girlhood as empowered, feminist, and liberated.

Both speakers helped us gain a better understanding of Canadian, North American, and international issues. Both Dr. Sensoy and Dr. Pidgeon helped us examine the ideological underpinnings of marginalized, racialized, and gendered groups and encouraged us as educators to reflect upon our assumptions about curriculum and pedagogy.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.


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First Nations Food Sovereignty

Charlotte with members of the Zapatista Junta (Government) of Oventik who are proud that everything they grow in their region is organic.
Charlotte with members of the Zapatista Junta (Government) of Oventik who are proud that everything they grow in their region is organic.

Charlotte Coté, American Indian Studies, is currently researching Native food sovereignty issues. Her plan is to research how Canadian First Nations and other indigenous groups are making a strong effort to reconnect to their traditional foods as a way to strengthen their communities and identities. “Numerous studies conducted on indigenous peoples globally found that they have the worst health and nutrition of all communities in all countries world-wide,” says Charlotte. “In Canada and the United States, Aboriginal people suffer from chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening illnesses. As a way to overcome these major health problems, Native people are looking at ways to reincorporate traditional foods back into their diets and to restore cultural food practices.” Charlotte’s research took her to Chiapas where the Mayan people have maintained a cultural connection to their foods. This is becoming increasingly difficult as the Mexican Government continues to apply pressure to exploit the resources in the area. Since their revolt in 1994 the indigenous Zapitistas continue to fight for their homelands and for the right to subsist of these lands.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.


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Anne Goodchild joined other prominent scholars at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., to share perspectives on Canada-U.S. trade and to present practical recommendations to federal policy-makers.
Anne Goodchild joined other prominent scholars at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., to share perspectives on Canada-U.S. trade and to present practical recommendations to federal policy-makers.

Managing the Canada-U.S. Border

Anne Goodchild, Civil and Environmental Engineering, presented a paper written with graduate student Matt Klein at the Seminar on Canada-U.S. Border Management Policy Issues, which was sponsored by the Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University, and hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. The paper, entitled, “Near Border Operations and Logistical Efficiency: Implications for Policy Makers,” was part of the panel, “Incremental Changes to Freight Processes.” The paper describes the logistics and practices near the Canada-U.S. border at Blaine, Washington, discovered through a recent survey of border crossers. The research suggests that policy changes would improve border operations, reduce truck miles travelled, emissions, and delays.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.


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Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages

By Julia Herschensohn, Chair, Linguistics; Organizing Committee Member, Linguistics Symposium

Dr. Herschensohn’s research focuses on second language acquisition. She argues that language acquisition is not simply derived through communicative experience, but rather the resetting of parameters and transfer of already acquired grammatical principles within the lexicon of the new language.

The Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages was held at the UW in late March—the third time that the UW hosted this important conference. On its fortieth anniversary, the Symposium featured a special parasession, “Sharing and Differing in Romance Bilingual Contact Environments,” with keynote addresses by internationally recognized specialists in Romance linguistics, Maria-Luisa Zubizarreta, University of Southern California; Donka Farkas, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Jurgen Klausenburger, UW. The conference attracted about one hundred participants from nine countries in Europe and the Americas. Eighteen of the fifty-two presentations were authored by Canadian linguists representing the University of Alberta, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, University of Toronto, and University of Québec, Montréal.

The parasession explored how languages in contact—for example, French and English in Canada, Quechua and Spanish in South America, and standard Italian and dialects—assimilate and dissimilate to each other in phonology, morphology, syntax, and other linguistic domains. For example, Michael Freisner of the University of Québec, Montréal, talked about the influence of English loan words on Montréal French vowels.

The symposium continued a decades long tradition of annual conferences on the topic of theoretical Romance linguistics, sponsored and organized by different scholars at North American institutions each year. Widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious annual conference in Romance linguistics, and funded exclusively by the host institution, the Symposium benefited from the support of the Canadian Studies Center to attract participation from prominent senior scholars and graduate students alike. Finally, the publication of selected and refereed research from the symposium will ensure a broad impact on the fields of Romance and general theoretical linguistics.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, Office of International Education and Graduate Program Service.

From left, Paul Hirschbuhler, University of Ottawa; Marie Labelle, University of Québec, Montréal; Michael Herschensohn; and Julia Herschensohn.
From left, Paul Hirschbuhler, University of Ottawa; Marie Labelle, University of Québec, Montréal; Michael Herschensohn; and Julia Herschensohn.

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