Former Sproul Fellow brings internet to remote communities; plus, fellowships & events

An up-coming event from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • 2015 Sproul Fellow Heather Hudson brings internet to remote communities
  • Upcoming event: Migrant farmworker rights during COVID-19
  • Upcoming event: Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
  • Applications Open: International Affairs Fellowship in Canada
  • Call for papers: ACSUS 26th Biennial Conference
2015 Sproul Fellow Heather Hudson:
Why Reliable Internet is Critical for Remote Communities
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the potential of the internet for many aspects of daily life, from health to education. This doesn’t come as a surprise to Canadian Studies affiliate Dr. Heather Hudson: she says communication technology has long been a lifeline for many communities. Dr. Hudson’s research over the past few decades has largely centered on the use of this technology in rural and remote areas, including Indigenous communities in Canada.
Dr. Hudson completed her B.A. at the University of British Columbia, and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford. She has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of San Francisco, and is currently affiliated with the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 2015, Dr. Hudson was a Sproul Fellow with the Canadian Studies Program and a visiting scholar in the School of Information. We sent Hildebrand fellow Kimberly Huynh to catch up with Dr. Hudson and learn more about her work; read the full interview on our website here.
What projects are you currently working on?
My interests are in how we can use communication technology for development, especially in rural and remote areas. At the moment, I’m primarily working with some Canadian Indigenous organizations to get better broadband for remote communities in the North. I’m very interested in comparing developments in Canada and Alaska in terms of communication policy and access to technology.
What are some ways reliable broadband benefits remote communities?
In Canada, many Indigenous students from remote communities must go away to a high school in a distant town or city. Often they drop out, and therefore don’t have the qualifications to apply for jobs or training. With access to the internet, as adults they can finish high school in their communities. In comparison, in Alaska any community with at least 10 school-age students must offer K-12 education. So the schools are there, but there are very few teachers to cover all the grades. Online supplemental material for subjects that aren’t available in the village help high school students complete and enrich their studies. Telemedicine has also been very important in Alaska for a long time. It’s interesting to see how it’s finally taking off elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic, given how important it is for health services in Alaska and northern Canada.
Why is it important to involve locals in these projects?
We want to help small and Indigenous organizations provide information services in their community, so they can be providers and not just consumers. They have developed innovative solutions instead of relying on big outside companies that don’t have an incentive to extend services there or to hire and train local people. The Arctic is getting a lot of attention in involving Indigenous people, not only in using technologies but also developing the skills to invest in or manage their own services, and to get skilled jobs in technology and communication.
How has the Canadian Studies Program helped advance your work?
The John A. Sproul Fellowship fellowship was a great opportunity. I was also a fellow at Berkeley’s School of Information at the time, so it was a very useful combination. The I-School does a lot of work in communication, information policy, and new technology applications and effects. The Canadian Studies Program had connections with other researchers interested in the North, and in other fields in Canadian Studies that I was interested in but hadn’t specialized in. So I think the resources of Canadian Studies helped me extend, connect, keep up to date, and make new connections. And not just the Canadian Studies staff had an impact, but also the friends of Canadian Studies who come to talks and other events. When I gave talks at Berkeley people seemed very interested in Canada’s experience in communication
Social Movements and Legal Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Migrant Farm Worker Rights in Canada
Lecture | October 6 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected migrant farm workers. Former Hildebrand Fellow Vasanthi Venkatesh, a professor of law at the University of Windsor specializing in social movements and immigration, gives context to the crisis by showing how the pandemic has overlaid itself onto existing systemic racial discrimination against migrant farm workers embedded in law and policy. She also shows how migrant farm worker advocates have responded to the crisis by exposing the racial capitalism of the Canadian agricultural economy, using radical narratives to challenge these systems.
Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
Colloquium | October 20 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
Learn about the research Canadian Studies funds through our Edward Hildebrand Graduate Research Fellowships, as recipients present short overviews of their projects. Participating scholars are Desirée Valadares, (“Idling No More: Reading Japanese Canadian World War II Road Camps Alongside Specters of Indigeneity on the Hope-Princeton Highway in British Columbia, Canada”) and Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez (“Regionalizing NAFTA: Theaters of Translation in Mexico City and Quebec”).
Applications Open: International Affairs Fellowship in Canada
Deadline: October 31, 2020
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)’s International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in Canada, sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between rising generations of leaders and thinkers in the United States and Canada. The program provides for one to two mid-career professionals per year to spend six to twelve months hosted by a Canadian institution to deepen their knowledge of Canada. The program awards a stipend of up to $95,000 for a full twelve month period, as well as a modest travel allowance. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. CFR will work with its network of contacts to assist the fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Canada. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.
Applications are due by October 31st, 2020: apply here.
Call for Papers: Canada, Near and Far
Deadline: April 1, 2021
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS), the Association will host its 26th biennial conference, October 21-24, 2021, in Washington, DC. The conference is open to all proposals with a significant Canadian focus. We welcome papers and panel proposals from graduate students, professors, independent scholars, and practitioners on all diverse and critical perspectives related to the theme, ‘Canada: Near and Far’. How is Canada perceived and portrayed from outside its borders, and by the international community? In recognition of ACSUS’s 50 years work, what role do non-governmental agencies around the world play in shaping Canada’s relationships with the world?
Submissions must be received by April 1, 2021. Read the full requirements for the paper and logistical information for the associated conference here. For more information, please contact Dr. Christina Keppie at
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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