Wednesday: How the Pacific Northwest shaped Canadian identity

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

Canadian Studies Announcements

In This Issue:

Upcoming Events

  • Book talk: Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945
  • Graduate student discussion with Prof. Andrea Geiger

Canadian News

  • UC Berkeley center publishes report on Canada’s “Islamophobia industry”

External Events

  • “The Diversification of Agroecosystems: Uncovering Indicators and Outcomes”


Book Talk: Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945

Wednesday, October 19 | 12:30 pm | 223 Moses | RSVP here

Andrea Geiger will discuss her new book, Converging Empires: Citizens and Subjects in the North Pacific Borderlands, 1867–1945 (University of North Carolina Press, 2022). Making a vital contribution to our understanding of North American borderlands history through its examination of the northernmost stretches of the U.S.-Canada border, the book highlights the role that the North Pacific borderlands played in the construction of race and citizenship on both sides of the international border from 1867, when the United States acquired Russia’s interests in Alaska, through the end of World War II. Imperial, national, provincial, territorial, reserve, and municipal borders worked together to create a dynamic legal landscape that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people negotiated in myriad ways as they traversed these borderlands. Adventurers, prospectors, laborers, and settlers from Europe, Canada, the United States, Latin America, and Asia made and remade themselves as they crossed from one jurisdiction to another.

Within this broader framework, Geiger pays particular attention to the ways in which Japanese migrants and the Indigenous people who had made this borderlands region their home for millennia negotiated the web of intersecting boundaries that emerged over time, charting the ways in which they infused these reconfigured national, provincial, and territorial spaces with new meanings. To see the North Pacific borderlands only as a remote outpost that marked the westernmost edges of the U.S. or British empire, is to miss not only the central place it occupied in the lives of the Indigenous peoples whose home it continues to be, but the extent to which it functioned, in the eyes of Japanese entrepreneurs, as an economic hinterland for an expanding Japanese empire, as well as the role it played in shaping wartime policy with regard to citizens and subjects of Japanese ancestry in both Canada and the United States.

Andrea Geiger is professor emerita of history at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include transpacific and borderlands history, race, migration, and legal history. She received a J.D. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington, and is the author of the award-winning Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885–1928.

This event is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI), the Center for Race and Gender, and the Department of History.

Graduate Student Discussion with Andrea Geiger

UC Berkeley students with a research interest in Professor Geiger’s work are welcome to attend a small group discussion with the speaker following her public presentation. For more information, please email


UC Berkeley Center Publishes Report on Canada’s “Islamophobia Industry”

Muslims make up just under 4% of Canada’s population, and are generally considered well-established in Canadian society. Yet, in recent years, the country has suffered several high-profile, violent attacks targeted at Muslims, and police data shows a steady increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes over the last ten years. What explains this trend in a country that prides itself on diversity and multiculturalism?

A new report from the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley posits answers to that question, and argues that unique among other forms of oppression, anti-Muslim prejudice is fueled by a wealthy and well-connected “Islamophobia industry” that stretches well outside Canada’s borders. Written by Jasmin Zine, a professor of sociology and religion & culture at Wilfrid Laurier University, The Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive attempt to map a network of individuals and organization within Canada that promote anti-Islam rhetoric.

At over 200 pages, the report provides a deep dive into the structure and funding of key public figures and organizations active in fomenting fear of Muslims in Canada. These include far-right and White nationalist groups and media, ex-Muslim and Muslim dissident activists, and national security experts and think tanks. They range from the ideologically committed to those who merely utilize anti-Islam rhetoric to achieve their political or social aims.

The report also investigates the rhetorical tactics used in anti-Islam propaganda. Such groups are united in portraying Islam and Muslims as a threat which must be limited wherever possible. They suggest that Islamic religion and its associated cultural practices are incompatible with liberal Canadian values, and sow fear about the threat that Islamic extremists (jihadists and terrorists) pose to Canadian society. These arguments paint Muslims as an un-assimilable demographic threat, whose uncontrolled growth will inevitably lead to the inevitable Islamization of Canada.

The report also connects actors in Canada with a global anti-Muslim network, not just within the United States and Europe but also linked to Asian powers such as India and China. Narratives like those above are shared along these networks, often between ideologically unlikely allies, and frequently along with funding or logistical support.

Ultimately, the report hopes that by identifying these networks, the Muslim community and its allies will be better-able to combat their influence. It also calls on the government of Canada to do more to address anti-Muslim hate speech and challenge the rise of global Islamophobia.

The project was sponsored by the CRG Islamophobia Research and Development Project and the Islamophobia Studies Center, led by Hatem Bazian.

Image: Muslim woman at a Canada Day parade in Toronto, 2018. Source: Bruce Reeve, Wikimedia Commons.


The Diversification of Agroecosystems: Uncovering Indicators and Outcomes

Monday, October 24 | 12:00 pm | 114 Morgan | Learn more

The Berkeley Food Institute invites you to a lecture and discussion with Dr. Marney Isaac, a sustainable agriculture researcher from the University of Toronto. Around the world, food production systems that rely on intensively managed single crops have tended to disrupt local and global biogeochemical cycles, reduce biodiversity and make farming risky for ecosystems and for people. Simple strategies such as including trees and other sources of biodiversity in the agricultural landscape can curb many of the negative impacts associated with current food production systems. Dr. Isaac will explain how her group assesses agroecosystem function, drawing on her own research from Ontario and Ghana.

Marney Isaac is a professor in the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences and the Department of Global Development Studies at the University of Toronto. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Agroecosystems & Development and is the Director of the University of Toronto’s Sustainable Food and Farming Futures Cluster. Her research develops novel social-ecological methods to generate contemporary insights into sustainable agroecosystem policy and practice. She leads an interdisciplinary research lab that explores plant-soil interactions, nutrient cycles and ecosystem function in diversified agroecosystems and agroforestry systems, and the social processes that lead to agroecological transitions. Dr. Isaac serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology, Agronomy for Sustainable Development and Biotropica, and she publishes widely in environmental science, agronomy, ecology, and multidisciplinary sustainability science journals.

Canadian Studies Program
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Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley213 Moses Hall #2308Berkeley, CA 94720

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