Grad research showcase; Happy Hanukkah; Why Canadian unis are attracting more students

A newsletter from a fellow Canadian organization in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Upcoming event: Hildebrand Graduate Research Showcase
  • Happy Hanukkah from Canadian Studies!
  • In the News: More UK students choosing Canadian universities
  • External events:
  • “Canadian Brass: Making Spirits Bright for 50 Years and Counting”
Hildebrand Graduate Research Showcase
December 7 | 12:30 pm | 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 below; RSVP to
Caylee Hong, Ph.D. can., Anthropology
“Orphaned Wells: The Impact of Corporate Bankruptcy on Energy Infrastructures and Municipal Futures”
Mass bankruptcies of energy companies have “orphaned” thousands of oil and gas wells across Canada and the United States in recent years. Without solvent owners to plug and decommission them, such wells pose serious environmental, financial, and health and safety concerns, especially in urban areas. Caylee examines the ways that cities and their residents grapple with these oil and gas wells in their midst. In this talk, Caylee will draw upon her comparative research from several diverse urban environments in British Columbia, Alberta, and California.
Sophie Major, Ph.D. can., Energy & Resources Group
“Engaging with Indigenous Political Thought From British Columbia”
Sophie’s research examines the marginalization of Indigenous people and Indigenous knowledge in political theory discourses and asks if and how political theorists ought to engage with Indigenous political thought. Incorporating original ethnographic work with First Nations peoples in British Columbia, Canada, Sophie’s dissertation introduces a number of case studies, illustrating the strengths of an ethnographic, historicist, genealogical, and interpretive approach to the study of Indigenous political theory.
Happy Hanukkah from Canadian Studies!
Sunday marked the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish “festival of lights”. The eight-day-long celebration commemorates the recapture of Jerusalem by Maccabee rebels fighting against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. Families celebrate by lighting one candle on a nine-branched candelabrum called a menorah every day of the celebration; they also exchange gifts, eat symbolic oil-fried foods, and play traditional games with a top called a dreidel.
Surprisingly, the popularity of Hanukkah among contemporary Jews is largely an American phenomenon. Originally a minor religious holiday, it gained increased prominence over the 20th century as an alternative to Christmas during the North American “holiday season” between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. With the world’s first- and fourth-largest Jewish populations residing in the US and Canada, many municipalities now erect large menorahs alongside their official Christmas trees. (Charlottetown, P.E.I. celebrated its first-ever official menorah lighting yesterday.)
From all of us at Canadian Studies, chag Hanukkah sameach!
Image: Hanukkah vector created by Freepik on
Canadian Universities Attract Growing Numbers of Top UK Students
Great Britain is well-known as the home of some of the world’s greatest universities. However, a growing number of Brits are looking across the Atlantic for their education. The CBC reports that in 2019, the number of British international students at Canadian universities jumped 10%.
While the total population remains modest at around 2,500, government officials say the increase represents a much-desired breakthrough. Top-tier British schools such as Oxford and Cambridge have long been top choices for Canadian students, but until recently very little attention was paid the other direction. Canadian diplomats in London welcome the trend, which they say “evens out” a formerly unidirectional exchange of knowledge and increases the country’s international profile.
So, what’s behind this change in perception? Education specialists say that students are discovering Canadian universities offer several advantages. First, several of Canada’s universities are now considered globally competitive (with University of Toronto ranked #16 globally by US News). Many Canadian universities often offer more educational flexibility than those in Britain, allowing for greater creativity in combining courses and developing custom degree programs. And while US universities retain a global advantage, students are attracted by the significantly lower cost of education in Canada, where even top schools can cost up to 50% less than mid-level US competitors.
Image: McGill University’s Arts Building. Paul Lowry, Wikimedia Commons.
Canadian Brass: Making Spirits Bright for 50 Years and Counting
December 11 | 8 pm | Zellerbach Hall | Buy tickets
For half a century, the lighthearted but seriously virtuosic Canadian Brass has been luring listeners of all ages to the rich, exciting, exuberant sound of brass music. The Grammy-winning quintet, with more than 100 recordings to its name, has charmed audiences from Moscow and Beijing to Boston and Tokyo, playing a dizzying range of repertoire including music of the Baroque, Dixieland, Broadway, and John Philip Sousa.
This very special holiday program features originals like “Bach’s Bells”; favorite songs such as “White Christmas,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Christmas Time Is Here”; and familiar classical, choral, and popular music arranged to make brass instruments sing.
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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