We’re welcoming a new researcher; celebrating Black History Month

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Event tomorrow: Social Diversity, Partisan Identity & the 2019 Canadian Election
  • Welcome new Sproul Fellow, Rebecca Wallace
  • Canada and the US celebrate Black History Month
  • Important travel update: Canada implements further air travel restrictions
  • Upcoming event: Film talk on The Blinding Sea
  • Affiliate event in French: “Le système d’immigration canadien”
  • Affiliate event: “The Black Experience in Canada & the US”
Event Tomorrow
Social Diversity, Partisan Identities and the 2019 Canadian Election
February 2 | 12:30 p.m. | RSVP here
Join Professor Allison Harell as she explores the ways in which intergroup dynamics structure vote choice in Canada. Drawing on the 2019 Canadian Election Study, she focuses in particular on how partisan identities and political preferences are anchored in key social cleavages in Canada that structured the way in which the 2019 election campaign played out.
Allison Harell is a professor of political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal and holds the UQAM Research Chair in the Political Psychology of Social Solidarity. She is interested in how social diversity affects the political world, especially the ways in which prejudice influences public opinion formation. Her current research focuses on how intergroup relations influence support for both economic and political solidarity, as well as how intergroup perceptions spill over into electoral politics.
Welcome New Sproul Fellow, Rebecca Wallace
Canadian Studies is pleased to announce that Dr. Rebecca Wallace will be joining our team as a John A. Sproul Research Fellow for the spring semester. Dr. Wallace will assist program director Irene Bloemraad in conducting research and analysis measuring Canadians’ attitudes towards immigration. Friends of the program may remember her from a lecture she gave in March 2020, in which she probed how Canadian media frames the “deservingness” of Indigenous and immigrant welfare recipients.
Dr. Wallace received her Ph.D. in political studies at Queen’s University, and holds a B.A.H. with distinction and an M.A. in political studies from the same institution. Her research focuses on Canadian politics, with a focus on visible minorities and immigrants. She was previously a doctoral fellow at the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations and a research assistant for the Canadian Opinion Research Archive, and held a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council from 2016-2019. Following the conclusion of her term at Berkeley, she will start a faculty appointment as am assistant professor of political science at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia on July 1.
We are thrilled to have Dr. Wallace join the program, and look forward to a productive partnership.
Canada and the US Celebrate Black History Month
Prime Minister Trudeau issued a special statement today recognizing the beginning of Black History Month in Canada. The Prime Minister’s statement encourages citizens “honour the legacy of Black Canadians… and reflect on the many contributions they have made to our country.” At the same time, he emphasizes “the importance of learning about Black experiences in Canada, recognizing and addressing injustices, and building back better together”.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the commemoration in Canada, which was introduced by Canada’s first black female MP, Jean Augustine, in 1995. February was first officially recognized as Black History Month in the United States in 1970; the timing was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
For a topical read, Canadian Studies recommends faculty affiliate Cecil S. Giscombe’s writing on the Black communities of British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Giscombe’s 2000 memoir Into and Out of Dislocation follows the writer’s family through a winter in British Columbia, as he retraces the footsteps of the Jamaican pioneer (and possible relative) John Robert Giscome. The book mixes insights into the province’s history and evocative geographical writing with deep meditations on the meaning of “otherness” and outsider status.
Canada Imposes Further Air Travel Restrictions
On January 29, the Canadian Government announced significantly tighter restrictions on entering the country by air. Most notably, all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean have been cancelled until April 30. Furthermore, all flights from the United States will be funnelled into one of four specially-designated airports beginning February 3. Lastly, all travellers arriving in Canada by air must spend a three-night quarantine in a government-approved hotel at their own cost. Please read the government brief for the full list of regulations.
Upcoming Event
Film Talk: The BIinding Sea
March 9 | 12:30 p.m. | RSVP here
Join filmmaker George Tombs for a discussion of his 2020 documentary The Blinding Sea. The film chronicles the life of Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), the first person to lead a successful expedition through the Northwest Passage. It evokes the joys, sorrows, relationships, and missed opportunities in the life of Amundsen, who disappeared mysteriously during a polar flight in 1928. The film places a special focus on Amundsen’s relations with the Indigenous people he encountered on his voyages, particularly the Inuit.
A free link to the documentary will be sent in advance of the event. We request all participants watch the documentary before joining the discussion.
George Tombs is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Montreal, who works in both English and French. He is currently writing a biography of Roald Amundsen. His past works include Robber Baron, a biography of controversial media tycoon Conrad Black, and his recent humorous novel Mind the Gap.
Affiliate/External Events
Conférence: “Le système d’immigration canadien”
February 3 | 4:30 p.m. | RSVP here
Note: This event will be conducted in French.
L’immigration a joué un rôle très important dans l’histoire et le développement du Canada en tant que pays. Dans ce programme virtuel, l’Alliance française de Berkeley accueillera deux experts pour mener une discussion sur le système d’immigration du Canada. Ils présenteront comment le système canadien se compare à celui des États-Unis, les avantages et les possibilités associés à l’immigration, ainsi que les défis potentiels.
Les panelistes seront Irene Bloemraad, une sociologue politique et directrice du Programme d’études canadiennes à l’Université de Californie à Berkeley, et Yves Beaulieu, le consul pour la politique étrangère et la diplomatie au consulat général du Canada à San Francisco.
The Black Experience in Canada & the U.S.: A Discussion with Debra Thompson
February 24 | 12:00 p.m. | RSVP here
The Black Lives Matter movement has given rise to global conversations on how systems with built in racial inequality continue to affect the lives of people of African descent worldwide. While there is growing awareness of the ongoing legacy of racial inequality in the U.S., the Canadian experience is less well known.
Rana Sarkar, Canadian Consul General in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, will lead a discussion on the Black experience in Canada and the U.S. with Dr. Debra Thompson, associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies at McGill University and a leading scholar of the comparative politics of race. Dr. Thompson previously spoke at a Canadian Studies colloquium in September 2020.
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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