New Hildebrand Fellow studies non-binary French; Queen’s Jubilee; Are appeals to rights effective?

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

Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News
  • New Hildebrand Fellow, Jennifer Kaplan, studies development of gender-neutral French in Quebec
  • Director Bloemraad and Nicholas A. R. Fraser present new research on limitations of rights-based persuasion
News from Canada
  • Canada celebrates Platinum Jubilee, reflects on monarchy’s past & future
External Events
  • DML Throwback Canada Day Picnic
New Hildebrand Fellow, Jennifer Kaplan, Studies Development of Gender-Neutral French in Quebec
This Pride Month, Canadian Studies is pleased to welcome a new Hildebrand Fellow who will contribute to our understanding of the diversity of human gender and sexuality: Jennifer Kaplan, a doctoral student in romance languages and literatures. Her research focuses on sociolinguistics, with a particular focus on grammatical gender and queer linguistics.
Jennifer’s Hildebrand Fellowship will fund her research into how non-binary or gender variant Francophone Canadians grapple with the dualistic grammatical gender inherent in French (masculine and feminine). Specifically, she seeks to document the emergence of new grammatical gender markers and neo-pronouns as used by gender non-conforming people in Quebec. She will also explore how Quebec’s complicated relationship with Anglophone Canada has complicated attitudes towards non-binary French today. Jennifer’s fellowship will support her for six months of fieldwork in Montreal, where she will conduct ethnographic fieldwork while attending classes at the Université de Montréal.
Jennifer holds a B.A. in comparative literature from Barnard College and a B.A. and M.A. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. She is currently also working on the Corpus of New York City English (CoNYCE) project, which examines New Yorker’s attitudes towards the classic “New York accent”.
Director Bloemraad and Nicholas A. R. Fraser Present New Research on Limitations of Rights-Based Persuasion
Canadian Studies director Irene Bloemraad and Sproul Fellow Nicholas A. R. Fraser spoke Friday at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, as part of a session titled “National Identities and Values: New Research on their Roles in Supporting and Relating to Others”. Their presentation discussed their unpublished paper, “Categorical Inequalities and the Framing of Positive and Negative Rights: National Values versus Human Rights”. The paper was co-authored by Allison Harell, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal who joined them for the panel. Former Sproul Fellow Rebecca Wallace, now a professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, also contributed to the project.
The research itself looks at how Canadians draw boundaries around who is entitled to civil and social rights. It looks at both “negative rights” (a protection from government action, such as state violence) and positive rights (access to a government benefit, such as healthcare or other welfare state provisions). While the former category are typically considered “universal” human rights, the latter are usually reserved for citizens and are not generally regarded as human rights. The research examines how and when Canadians perceive instances of rights violations in these contexts; it also asks whether framing these rights in terms of “national values” or “universal human rights” creates a more effective frame for prompting recognition of violations. Finally, it explores these questions through a lens at the intersection of race and citizenship, asking how these factors address the recognition and redress of rights violations.
Their findings, based on survey data from thousands of Canadians, suggest that framing rights in terms of national values is effective at promoting recognition of positive rights, but that it does not encourage people to be more generous in expanding access to such rights. Appeals to human rights had little effect on participants. Racial differences were also apparent, as a problem of food insecurity was most likely to be recognized and a remedy accepted by survey takers when the recipient was portrayed as a white citizen. Conversely, violations of civil rights, measured by reactions to arbitrary police stops, raised more concern when the person being stopped was described as a Black citizen, but not if they were a visa overstayer from Haiti or Jamaica, or a white citizen.
Professor Bloemraad underscores, “The findings from this research clearly reveal the limits of rights-based appeals, even appeals to human rights. And they demonstrate, in the minds of the Canadian public, continuing inequality in people’s access to various rights.”
Canada Celebrates Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Reflects on Monarchy’s Past and Future
People across Canada gathered over the weekend to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary as Queen of Canada. Few Canadians now remember a time before Elizabeth, who ascended the throne in 1952. But in her seven decades on the throne, Canada has undergone enormous change, and this Jubilee has many wondering what the future holds for their nation’s monarchy.
The 96-year-old Elizabeth is the world’s oldest living sovereign, and holds several world records for the length of her reign. Elizabeth is first British or Canadian monarch to reach 70 years on the throne. She has surpassed the second-longest reign, that of Queen Victoria, by almost seven years. In just six days, she will overtake King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand for the second-longest reign in history. And in two years, she will take first place from the longest-reigning sovereign in recorded history, King Louis XIV of France, who ruled for 72 years. That monarch has his own important place in Canadian history for his role in establishing the Province of New France.
While the largest Jubilee celebrations were of course held in London, provinces and municipalities across Canada also held their own festivities, including parades, fireworks, and light shows. The Government of Canada provided grants of $2.14 million for over 360 Jubilee community improvement projects. A chief focus was on tree-plantings, part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative, meant to increase and improve the quality of forest coverage across the world. The city of Toronto, for instance, planted 70 large trees in Rowntree Mills Park, one for each year of Elizabeth’s reign.
Nevertheless, official recognition of the anniversary at the federal level has been more muted than previous jubilees. Governor General Mary Simon traveled to London, where she participated in several ceremonies and met with other Indigenous leaders from the Commonwealth. But to monarchists’ chagrin, there were few official ceremonies in Canada, and while the Government released a commemorative coin and stamp, they declined to award Jubilee medals, a longstanding tradition honoring Canadians for outstanding acts of service.
Political scientists say this demonstrates Canada’s often-ambivalent attitude towards the monarchy. Ever since Canada began to develop a distinct national identity in the years after WWI, the role of the monarchy and Canada’s ties to Britain have been a relationship in transition. This is especially true in recent years, where many have called for a re-examination of Canada’s colonial legacies. Moreover, while the Queen remains personally popular, for some the very idea of “royalty” runs counter to what they consider Canada’s egalitarian ideals. Though the monarchy is sure to continue in Canada for the time being, it remains to be seen whether Prince Charles, who quietly visited Canada for a Royal Tour of Canada last month, can replicate his mother’s successes.
DML Throwback Canada Day Picnic
Saturday, July 2 | 11:30 am | Woodside, CA | Buy tickets
The Digital Moose Lounge invites you to join your fellow Northern California Canadians for a throwback Canada Day picnic. This event will bring together a diverse community, from the Consulate of Canada in SF, government, tech, culture, sports and entertainment. Meet new SF Bay Canadians and reconnect with old friends while celebrating Canada Day at the family-friendly picnic!
Enjoy a tasty Flamin Dog BBQ plate, cold Canadian beers, wine tasting with Kascadia Wine Merchants, snacks and Kona Ice snow cones!
Activities will include crafts, trivia, street hockey, beanbag toss, water balloons, tug o’ war, a donut-eating contest and more surprises! Prizes will include 2 Air Canada tickets to anywhere in Canada for one lucky raffle winner. Author Jocelyn Watkinson will also read from her children’s book The Three Canadian Pigs: A Hockey Story.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children, and can be purchased here.
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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