New Hildebrand Fellow studies prehistoric extinctions; Canadian films in SF

An item from a fellow Canadian organization in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News & Events
  • Next week: “Future Imaginaries of Abundant Intelligences: Indigenous Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents”
  • New Hildebrand Fellow Joshua Zimmt probes ancient fossils for modern lessons
  • 2022 Thomas G. Barnes Lecture: “‘Practically American’: What a Canadian Schoolteacher’s Fight Against California’s Anti-Alien Laws Reveals About the Boundaries of American Identity”
Other Announcements
  • Call for papers: American Council for Québec Studies 22nd Biennial Conference
  • Call for applications: Cornell University Migrations Summer Institute
External Events
  • Canadian films at the 2022 International Ocean Film Festival
  • Permanent Revolution: A reading and conversation with Gail Scott
Future Imaginaries of Abundant Intelligences: Indigenous Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents
Thursday, April 7 | 12:30 pm PT | 223 Moses | RSVP here
The artificial intelligence (A.I.) industry-academic complex does not have an ethics problem. It has an epistemology problem. The persistent failures with computationally-enabled and -amplified bias are symptoms of a blind allegiance to knowledge frameworks that define the “knower” as a post-Enlightenment individual motivated by selfish utilitarianism while subordinating or erasing ways of understanding the world that imagine people differently. How do we expand the operational definitions of intelligence to account for different epistemologies? In particular, how might we take inspiration from Indigenous knowledge frameworks that situate knowing within a web of relationships amongst humans and non-humans? And how might we consider integrating advanced computational practices, such as A.I., into traditional knowledge frameworks to the benefit of Indigenous communities?
Jason Edward Lewis is the University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary as well professor of computation arts at Concordia University in Montreal. His research explores computation as a creative material, and seeks to understand how our technologies are constituted through explicit and implicit cultural knowledge practices. He is lead author of the award-winning “Making Kin with the Machines” essay and editor of the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper. Lewis directs the Initiative for Indigenous Futures Partnership, and co-directs the Indigenous Futures Research Centre and the Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace research network.
New Hildebrand Fellow, Joshua Zimmt, Probes Ancient Fossils for Modern Lessons
Canadian Studies is pleased to introduce Joshua Zimmt as the latest recipient of an Edward Hildebrand Graduate Research Fellowship. Joshua is a Ph.D. candidate in integrative biology and affiliate of the UC Museum of Paleontology, and is studying the link between climate change and mass extinction in the fossil record.
Joshua’s Hildebrand Fellowship will support his dissertation research on the exceptional fossil and rock records on Anticosti Island, Québec. Joshua hopes to understand how climate change may have caused the Late Ordovician mass extinction, one of the largest known extinction events. Recent studies have linked this disaster, which led to an estimated extinction of 85% of marine species, to a drop in global temperature. By producing a better understanding of this critical interval in the history of life, Joshua’s research will serve as a case study of global change that can be used to better understand our rapidly changing modern world.
Joshua holds a B.Sc. in geology from the College of William & Mary. His work was awarded the American Paleontology Association’s Best Paper Prize in 2021. In addition to his research, Joshua is the student lead on the ACCESS program, an initiative by the UC Museum of Paleontology to bring engaging paleobiology and geology lessons to community college classrooms around the country.
“Practically American”: What a Canadian Schoolteacher’s Fight Against California’s Anti-Alien Laws Reveals About the Boundaries of American Identity
Thursday, April 28 | 12:30 pm PT | 223 Moses | RSVP here
Former Hildebrand Fellow Brendan Shanahan explores the case of Katharine Short, a Canadian immigrant to California who challenged early 20th-century anti-immigrant laws. In 1915, Short found her job as a California schoolteacher at risk when the state began enforcing a law barring non-citizens from public employment. She responded with a vigorous legal, public relations, political, and diplomatic campaign to save her job and those of other non-citizen schoolteachers in the state. Shanahan will discuss what the case shows about the disparate impact of the state’s anti-alien hiring laws, comparing the experiences of favorably portrayed immigrants (like white, middle-class Canadians) vs. less favored non-citizens (such as Mexican blue-collar laborers).
Brendan Shanahan is a socio-legal historian focusing on (North) American immigration and citizenship policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from UC Berkeley, received a Hildebrand Fellowship for work in Canadian Studies, and won the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. He is currently a postdoctoral associate at the MacMillan Center and visiting lecturer in the Yale Department of History.
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Call for Papers: American Council for Québec Studies 22nd Biennial Conference
Submission deadline: April 1, 2022
The American Council for Québec Studies (ACQS) invites proposals for papers and panels for their upcoming conference, to be held October 20-23, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference hopes to give space to multiple openings and exchanges. Proposals related to any aspect of Québec studies will be considered, including Québec’s diasporas and the Francophone presence in the Americas. The conference is open to a wide range of approaches across the social and physical sciences and humanities. Submissions of both individual papers and complete panels are encouraged.
All submissions (abstracts of +/-250 words) are should be made via the ACQS website.
Conference presentations can be made in French or English. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is April 1, 2022. Please visit for more details.
Call for Applications: Cornell University Migrations Summer Institute
Application deadline: April 4, 2022
Cornell University invites advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career scholars to apply now for the virtual 2022 Migrations Summer Institute, “The Ongoing Afterlife of Dispossession in Africa and the Americas.”
From July 11 to 22, 20 participants will join a collaborative virtual space that engages with African studies, Native American and Indigenous studies, and settler colonial studies from a comparative perspective. A stipend of $2,000 supports each participant as they join a dialogue with other migration scholars, activists, and artists, design curricula and digital humanities resources, and contribute to a publication.
This institute is hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and Migrations: A Global Grand Challenge. Learn more and apply here.
Canadian Films at the 2022 International Ocean Film Festival
Saturday, April 9 | San Francisco | Buy tickets here
Two feature-length Canadian films will be showcased at this year’s International Ocean Film Festival in San Francisco. In Coextinction, filmmakers Gloria Pancrazi and Elena Jean travel through the Pacific Northwest to uncover the interlocking environmental issues threatening an endangered pod of orcas. And in Bangla Surf Girls, Elizabeth D. Costa and Lalita Krishna tell the story of three Bangladeshi teenagers who defy tradition and their families’ expectations with their dreams of professional surfing. Check out the full program to discover additional shorts by Canadian filmmakers!
Permanent Revolution: A Reading and Conversation with Gail Scott
Thursday, April 21 | 4:00 pm PT | 4229 Dwinelle Hall
The Montreal writer Gail Scott writes in the interstices of anglophone and francophone traditions, of the novel and theory, of prose and poetry. Scott’s audacious books refuse to divorce aesthetics from politics, and they demonstrate the inseparability of the erotic and the theoretical. Her innovative sentences dramatize the fractured relationship to language of minority subjects (including women, lesbians, and Indigenous people) and the sutured subjectivity that results.
In the 1970s and 80s, living in a French-speaking metropolis gave Scott a kind of privileged access to “French theory,” reading Barthes, Cixous or Derrida in the original. It also was during this period that she participated in Quebec’s feminist and formalist écriture au féminin moment alongside the poet Nicole Brossard. Her continental consciousness later led to her involvement with San Francisco’s New Narrative group in the 1990s and New York’s conceptual poetry scene in the past two decades.
Scott reflects on this trajectory in her essay collection, Permanent Revolution (Book*hug, 2021): “an evolutionary snapshot of [her] ongoing prose experiment that hinges the matter of writing to ongoing social upheaval.” She will read from her new book and then be joined by Canadian Studies faculty affiliate William Burton to discuss the politics and/of form, lesbian sexuality, colonisation, and more.
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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