Category Archives: Canadian Studies Program UC Berkeley

Prof. Bloemraad interviewed on citizenship & belonging; Migrant worker rights during COVID

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Event next week: Migrant farmworker rights during COVID-19
  • In the news: Prof. Bloemraad interviewed on immigration podcast
  • Upcoming event: Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
NEXT TUESDAY
Social Movements and Legal Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Migrant Farm Worker Rights in Canada
Lecture | October 6 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected migrant farm workers. Former Hildebrand Fellow Vasanthi Venkatesh, a professor of law at the University of Windsor specializing in social movements and immigration, gives context to the crisis by showing how the pandemic has overlaid itself onto existing systemic racial discrimination against migrant farm workers embedded in law and policy. She also shows how migrant farm worker advocates have responded to the crisis by exposing the racial capitalism of the Canadian agricultural economy, using radical narratives to challenge these systems.
RSVP to canada@berkeley.edu to receive a webcast link.
In the News
Prof. Bloemraad Talks Immigration on Popular Podcast
Canadian Studies director Irene Bloemraad recently appeared as a guest expert on the podcast How to Talk to [Mami & Papi] About Anything. The podcast is hosted by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, a former producer of NPR’s Code Switch, and is aimed at adult children of immigrants, with a goal of “help{ing} them with difficult, but necessary conversations.”
Professor Bloemraad appears in Ep. 21, “The Mixed Privilege of Being A White Immigrant”. She provides context to one woman’s experience as the daughter of an immigrant in the United States and later an immigrant herself in Canada, exploring the complex meanings of citizenship and what it means to belong in a country. The official episode summary is below; listen online at talktomamipapi.com.
Vanessa’s mother moved from Germany to the U.S. as an adult. Vanessa, who was born in the U.S., immigrated to Canada and finds herself comparing their experiences in their adopted countries as she watches her home country from The North. Then, Juleyka speaks with a sociologist who puts citizenship and belonging into a larger context.
Upcoming Events
Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
Colloquium | October 20 | 12:30 p.m. | 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 Desirée Valadares, (“Idling No More: Reading Japanese Canadian World War II Road Camps Alongside Specters of Indigeneity on the Hope-Princeton Highway in British Columbia, Canada”) and Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez (“Regionalizing NAFTA: Theaters of Translation in Mexico City and Quebec”).
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Former Sproul Fellow brings internet to remote communities; plus, fellowships & events

An up-coming event from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • 2015 Sproul Fellow Heather Hudson brings internet to remote communities
  • Upcoming event: Migrant farmworker rights during COVID-19
  • Upcoming event: Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
  • Applications Open: International Affairs Fellowship in Canada
  • Call for papers: ACSUS 26th Biennial Conference
2015 Sproul Fellow Heather Hudson:
Why Reliable Internet is Critical for Remote Communities
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the potential of the internet for many aspects of daily life, from health to education. This doesn’t come as a surprise to Canadian Studies affiliate Dr. Heather Hudson: she says communication technology has long been a lifeline for many communities. Dr. Hudson’s research over the past few decades has largely centered on the use of this technology in rural and remote areas, including Indigenous communities in Canada.
Dr. Hudson completed her B.A. at the University of British Columbia, and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford. She has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of San Francisco, and is currently affiliated with the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 2015, Dr. Hudson was a Sproul Fellow with the Canadian Studies Program and a visiting scholar in the School of Information. We sent Hildebrand fellow Kimberly Huynh to catch up with Dr. Hudson and learn more about her work; read the full interview on our website here.
What projects are you currently working on?
My interests are in how we can use communication technology for development, especially in rural and remote areas. At the moment, I’m primarily working with some Canadian Indigenous organizations to get better broadband for remote communities in the North. I’m very interested in comparing developments in Canada and Alaska in terms of communication policy and access to technology.
What are some ways reliable broadband benefits remote communities?
In Canada, many Indigenous students from remote communities must go away to a high school in a distant town or city. Often they drop out, and therefore don’t have the qualifications to apply for jobs or training. With access to the internet, as adults they can finish high school in their communities. In comparison, in Alaska any community with at least 10 school-age students must offer K-12 education. So the schools are there, but there are very few teachers to cover all the grades. Online supplemental material for subjects that aren’t available in the village help high school students complete and enrich their studies. Telemedicine has also been very important in Alaska for a long time. It’s interesting to see how it’s finally taking off elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic, given how important it is for health services in Alaska and northern Canada.
Why is it important to involve locals in these projects?
We want to help small and Indigenous organizations provide information services in their community, so they can be providers and not just consumers. They have developed innovative solutions instead of relying on big outside companies that don’t have an incentive to extend services there or to hire and train local people. The Arctic is getting a lot of attention in involving Indigenous people, not only in using technologies but also developing the skills to invest in or manage their own services, and to get skilled jobs in technology and communication.
How has the Canadian Studies Program helped advance your work?
The John A. Sproul Fellowship fellowship was a great opportunity. I was also a fellow at Berkeley’s School of Information at the time, so it was a very useful combination. The I-School does a lot of work in communication, information policy, and new technology applications and effects. The Canadian Studies Program had connections with other researchers interested in the North, and in other fields in Canadian Studies that I was interested in but hadn’t specialized in. So I think the resources of Canadian Studies helped me extend, connect, keep up to date, and make new connections. And not just the Canadian Studies staff had an impact, but also the friends of Canadian Studies who come to talks and other events. When I gave talks at Berkeley people seemed very interested in Canada’s experience in communication
UPCOMING EVENTS
Social Movements and Legal Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Migrant Farm Worker Rights in Canada
Lecture | October 6 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected migrant farm workers. Former Hildebrand Fellow Vasanthi Venkatesh, a professor of law at the University of Windsor specializing in social movements and immigration, gives context to the crisis by showing how the pandemic has overlaid itself onto existing systemic racial discrimination against migrant farm workers embedded in law and policy. She also shows how migrant farm worker advocates have responded to the crisis by exposing the racial capitalism of the Canadian agricultural economy, using radical narratives to challenge these systems.
Hildebrand Graduate Research Colloquium
Colloquium | October 20 | 12:30 p.m. | 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 Desirée Valadares, (“Idling No More: Reading Japanese Canadian World War II Road Camps Alongside Specters of Indigeneity on the Hope-Princeton Highway in British Columbia, Canada”) and Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez (“Regionalizing NAFTA: Theaters of Translation in Mexico City and Quebec”).
Applications Open: International Affairs Fellowship in Canada
Deadline: October 31, 2020
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)’s International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in Canada, sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between rising generations of leaders and thinkers in the United States and Canada. The program provides for one to two mid-career professionals per year to spend six to twelve months hosted by a Canadian institution to deepen their knowledge of Canada. The program awards a stipend of up to $95,000 for a full twelve month period, as well as a modest travel allowance. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. CFR will work with its network of contacts to assist the fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Canada. CFR cannot guarantee placement at any specific agency or organization.
Applications are due by October 31st, 2020: apply here.
Call for Papers: Canada, Near and Far
Deadline: April 1, 2021
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS), the Association will host its 26th biennial conference, October 21-24, 2021, in Washington, DC. The conference is open to all proposals with a significant Canadian focus. We welcome papers and panel proposals from graduate students, professors, independent scholars, and practitioners on all diverse and critical perspectives related to the theme, ‘Canada: Near and Far’. How is Canada perceived and portrayed from outside its borders, and by the international community? In recognition of ACSUS’s 50 years work, what role do non-governmental agencies around the world play in shaping Canada’s relationships with the world?
Submissions must be received by April 1, 2021. Read the full requirements for the paper and logistical information for the associated conference here. For more information, please contact Dr. Christina Keppie at christina.keppie@wwu.edu.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Tomorrow: A scholar’s take on being Black in Canada & the US; Bogs & climate change

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Tomorrow: Blackness and Belonging in North America
  • Hildebrand Fellow Kim Huynh studies how bog emissions affect climate change
  • Upcoming event: Migrant farmworker rights during COVID-19
Tomorrow!
Return: On Blackness and Belonging in North America
Lecture | September 15 | 12:30 PM | Online – RSVP here
McGill University professor Debra Thompson, an expert on race and ethnic politics, will explore the complex experience of Black people in North America, juxtaposing her deep, ancestral links to the United States with a parallel but at times competing national affinity with the land to which many enslaved Black Americans once fled: Canada. Through the analytical insights of black political thought, Prof. Thompson uses personal narrative to explore the boundaries of racial belonging and identify key facets of Canadian ideas about race and racism; to analyze the transnational nuances and contours of the African diaspora in North America; and ultimately, to think through what it means to be in a place, but not be of that place.
Please RSVP at canada@berkeley.edu to receive a webcast link. You must be signed in to a Zoom account to join. UC Berkeley affiliates can use their CalNet ID’s to sign in to Zoom; other participants can create a free, consumer Zoom account or dial in via phone.
An “Important But Overlooked” Aspect of Climate Change:
2018 Hildebrand Fellow Kimberly Huynh on Wetland Emissions
Kimberly Huynh is a current environmental engineering PhD student at UC Berkeley, and a member of the Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology research group. Originally from Chicago, she earned both a bachelor of science in Environmental Engineering and a master of science in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University through a combined degree program. Her research focuses on combatting climate change through better understanding of natural greenhouse gas sources; she presented preliminary findings at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2016.
In Summer 2018, Kimberly received a Hildebrand Fellowship to support field research into greenhouse gas emissions from wetland areas near Vancouver, British Columbia. We checked in with her to find out more about that experience and what her research has uncovered. Read more below, or on our website here.
What is your research about?
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential many times that of carbon dioxide, and wetlands are its largest natural source. The gas is produced in wetland soils as microorganisms break down organic compounds. Improving how scientists quantify and predict methane emissions from wetlands is important because of its implications on climate change. This gas is released from the soil and travels across the air-water interface through three main pathways: transport through the gas-filled tissue of plants, transport through bubbles, and water-driven (hydrodynamic) transport. Hydrodynamic transport, the focus of my research, is an overlooked pathway that may be very important in some places {like British Columbia}, depending on conditions such as climate and local vegetation.
How did Canadian Studies support your project?
Thanks to the Edward E. Hildebrand Fellowship, I was able to research this topic firsthand in Burns Bog, just outside of Vancouver, BC, in Summer 2018. I collaborated with scholars at the University of British Columbia to measure methane emissions from hydrodynamic transport. I was interested in this site because its oceanic climate and heterogeneous vegetation was a stark difference from the humid Arkansas rice paddy I had researched the previous two summers.
With the funding I received, I prototyped several submersible, programmable cameras that could measure water velocity in very slow-moving wetland waters. Since these cameras automated water velocity measurements, I was able to collect several weeks of data in Burns Bog both in the morning and through the night. This was important because in some wetlands, there have been unexplained nocturnal spikes in methane emission. I wanted to learn whether there were any such spikes in Burns Bog and whether they could be linked to stirring in the water, such as water cooling and sinking during the transition from day to night.
What was your favorite part of your research experience?
As I look through the hundreds of videos and write code to extract velocity information, I am reminded of my fieldwork and feel grateful for the experience. Each day I was in the field, I had the rare opportunity to be in a wetland largely off-limits to the public and surrounded by hundreds of different animal and plant species, including a number of endangered birds. Through the Hildebrand Fellowship, I was given the freedom to explore a research topic of both deep interest and importance. I look forward to unraveling the story behind my rich dataset and appreciate the opportunities afforded to me by the Canadian Studies Program.
UPCOMING EVENT
Social Movements and Legal Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Migrant Farm Worker Rights in Canada
Lecture | October 6 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected migrant farm workers. Former Hildebrand Fellow Vasanthi Venkatesh, a professor of law at the University of Windsor specializing in social movements and immigration, gives context to the crisis by showing how the pandemic has overlaid itself onto existing systemic racial discrimination against migrant farm workers embedded in law and policy. She also shows how migrant farm worker advocates have responded to the crisis by exposing the racial capitalism of the Canadian agricultural economy, using radical narratives to challenge these systems.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Next week: Blackness in North America; a board member explains why Canadian Studies matters

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Next Week: Blackness and Belonging in North America
  • Meet Canadian Studies: Board member Kathryn Exon Smith
  • Upcoming event: Migrant farmworker rights under COVID-19
Next Week:
Return: On Blackness and Belonging in North America
Lecture | September 15 | 12:30 PM | Online – RSVP here
McGill University professor Debra Thompson, an expert on race and ethnic politics, will explore the complex experience of Black people in North America, juxtaposing her deep, ancestral links to the United States with a parallel but at times competing national affinity with the land to which many enslaved Black Americans once fled: Canada. Through the analytical insights of black political thought, Prof. Thompson uses personal narrative to explore the boundaries of racial belonging and identify key facets of Canadian ideas about race and racism; to analyze the transnational nuances and contours of the African diaspora in North America; and ultimately, to think through what it means to be in a place, but not be of that place.
Please RSVP at canada@berkeley.edu to receive a webcast link. You must be signed in to a Zoom account to join. UC Berkeley affiliates can use their CalNet ID’s to sign in to Zoom; other participants can create a free, consumer Zoom account or dial in via phone.
Meet Canadian Studies: Board Member Kathryn Exon Smith
For this week’s “Meet Canadian Studies” profile, we talked to board members Kathryn Exon Smith. We asked her how living in the United States had shaped her identity as a Canadian, and why she thinks Canadian Studies has an important role to play in addressing today’s issues.
Born in England, Kathryn’s family moved to Ontario when she was a child. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto. In 2013, she and her husband moved to California, settling in San Jose. Kathryn is an urbanist and has volunteered for a number of nonprofits in the South Bay and Toronto, with a focus on intelligent planning and sustainable development.
Highlights from our interview are below; read the full piece here.
What’s it like to be a Canadian living in the Bay Area?
I didn’t realize how deep my sense of being Canadian was until we moved away — I think this is common for many expats. In some ways, I feel even more connected to Canada here in California: I now have good friends from across Canada, and I better understand the wide spectrum of experiences being “Canadian” includes. With my family being English, the only sport on our television growing up was football [soccer], but I was persuaded to attend my very first hockey game a few months after moving here.
What makes Canadian Studies at Berkeley special?
Canadian Studies is a unique mix of important scholarship and community engagement. It is a cultural and intellectual home for students, academics, and the broader community. To have a program focused on Canada at Berkeley, one of the world’s premier educational institutions, is a signal of the role Canada can play in the critical issues of the twenty-first century. Canadian Studies has reach into all kinds of disciplines, and this is its strength.
What is your vision for the program’s future?
I am thrilled to be working with Irene, and feel honoured to serve on this board. In the last year, we’ve tried to bring in board members with a diversity of experience and perspectives, who are passionate about Canada and invested in the success of the Canadian Studies Program. I’d also like to continue to strengthen partnerships between the program and the community. One of the silver linings of the last few months is how adept we’ve become at moving things online, which means the program can have a broader reach.
UPCOMING EVENT
Social Movements and Legal Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Migrant Farm Worker Rights in Canada
Lecture | October 6 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected migrant farm workers. Former Hildebrand Fellow Vasanthi Venkatesh, a professor of law at the University of Windsor specializing in social movements and immigration, gives context to the crisis by showing how the pandemic has overlaid itself onto existing systemic racial discrimination against migrant farm workers embedded in law and policy. She also shows how migrant farm worker advocates have responded to the crisis by exposing the racial capitalism of the Canadian agricultural economy, using radical narratives to challenge these systems.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Tomorrow: The Canada-US asylum (dis)agreement; how one grad chose to make an impact

A reminder from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.


Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • TOMORROW: Refugee policy and the Canadian courts
  • Catch up with former Hildebrand Fellow Daniel Suarez
  • Upcoming event: Return: Blackness and Belonging in North America
  • Fellowship: International Affairs Fellowship in Canada
Event Tomorrow
No Safe Country for Refugees? The Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement Before the Canadian Courts
Panel | September 1 | 12:30 PM | Online – RSVP here
Until recently, certain asylum claimants who entered Canada were routinely returned to the United States under the the Safe Third Country Agreement. However, in July Canada’s Federal Court ordered the agreement suspended, asserting that the US is “not safe” for refugees due to the risk of imprisonment and other basic rights violations. Audrey Macklin, an expert in human rights law at the University of Toronto, joins Berkeley Law professor Leti Volpp to unpack the ruling and what it means for migrants and US-Canada relations. The conversation will be moderated by immigration scholar and Canadian Studies director Irene Bloemraad.
Please RSVP at canada@berkeley.edu to receive a webcast link. You must be signed in to a Zoom account to join. UC Berkeley affiliates can use their CalNet ID’s to sign in to Zoom; other participants can create a free, consumer Zoom account or dial in via phone.
“It’s Very Meaningful to Impart What I Know”
Catching Up With 2012 Hildebrand Fellow Daniel Suarez
Early in his academic career, Daniel Suarez knew that he wanted to pursue research that blended science and social science. He earned undergraduate degrees in environmental science and anthropology at the University of British Columbia; a master’s in geography at University of Toronto; and his PhD in environmental science, policy, and management at UC Berkeley. Dr. Suarez wrote his dissertation on the rise of ecosystem services (a framework emphasizing nature’s benefits to humanity), and the people shaping that movement. As part of his research, he received Hildebrand funding to conduct a longitudinal study on the rise and fall of ecosystems services in British Columbia, where he grew up.
Dr. Suarez is now an assistant professor at Middlebury College, a liberal arts college in Vermont. He has become deeply invested in developing his pedagogy and understanding how students from Generation Z engage with environmental education. Canadian Studies asked current Hildebrand Fellow Kimberly Huynh to catch up with Dr. Suarez to learn more about his work and how his experiences shaped his career. Highlights from the interview are below; read the full piece here.
What was your research about?
It was an ethnographic research project which explored the network of practitioners at the forefront of mainstreaming “ecosystem services,” which at that time was really blowing up. The idea marked a remarkable shift in environmentalism, from protecting nature “from” people to protecting nature “for” people. The framing was more about dollars and cents, a kind of “business case” for conservation. British Columbia was a case study for me to examine how these ideas were playing out on the ground.
How did the Hildebrand Fellowship support your research goals?
I got a Hildebrand Fellowship in 2012, near the start of my work in British Columbia. The work that I proposed was pretty ambitious (and expensive). So Canadian Studies being willing to step up for me to actually get started was really key. It was a helpful seed grant that allowed me to produce preliminary findings that then made further rounds of grant proposals much easier to pursue. Other organizations were much more willing to take a chance on me because I was able to demonstrate momentum. I’m very grateful for that.
How did your research develop over the course of your project?
When I started my work, the BC provincial government was really, really keen on ecosystem services. The government talked about it as a sort of game-changing idea. Five years later, and again with the support of the Canadian Studies program, I returned to British Columbia. To my surprise, ecosystem services had fallen out of the picture entirely. Pipeline politics had sort of superseded other aspects of environmental politics in the province, and the debate was much more polarized and adversarial.
Stephen Harper staked a lot of his political capital on turning Canada into what he described as a “natural resource superpower”, and ecosystem services, which at its core meant meeting one another halfway, just wasn’t relevant under these conditions. Environmental groups had their backs to the wall, and no longer courted power nor tried to work with power. Instead, they chose to confront and fight. And the interesting part is that they won. All of these pipelines that the government was advancing just broke on the rocks of fierce political resistance from First Nations, local communities and others, using strategies that really had little to do with ecosystem services.
What was your takeaway from your research experience?
As I was beginning to wrap up my research, which coincided with the seismic 2016 election, I began to engage a lot more deeply with the implications of climate and global change science. I began to question how to be impactful in this incredibly dire and important moment. At Middlebury, I’ve come to appreciate how important teaching is. For many academics, teaching is an afterthought, just this thing that gets in the way of research. It’s been surprising to me how much I have switched from seeing teaching as an obligation to something I really look forward to doing. It’s very meaningful to get to impart what I know, and to help students do what I can – potentially much more consequential than writing esoteric journal articles.
UPCOMING EVENT
Return: On Blackness and Belonging in North America
Lecture | September 15 | 12:30 p.m. | Online – RSVP here
McGill University professor Debra Thompson, an expert on race and ethnic politics, will explore the complex experience of Black people in North America, juxtaposing her deep, ancestral links to the United States with a parallel but at times competing national affinity with the land to which many enslaved Black Americans once fled: Canada. Thompson uses personal narrative to explore the boundaries of racial belonging; to identify key facets of Canadian ideas about race and racism, including the intersection of racial formations and settler colonialism; to analyze the transnational nuances and contours of the African diaspora in North America; and ultimately, to think through what it means to be in a place, but not be of that place.
Applications Open: International Affairs Fellowship in Canada
Launched in 2016, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)’s International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) in Canada, sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between rising generations of leaders and thinkers in the United States and Canada. The program provides for one to two mid-career professionals per year to spend six to twelve months hosted by a Canadian institution to deepen their knowledge of Canada. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. CFR will work with its network of contacts to assist the fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Canada. The duration of the fellowship is between six and twelve months. The program awards a stipend of $95,000 for a period of twelve months as well as a modest travel allowance. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.
Applications are due by October 31st, 2020: apply here.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720