Category Archives: Canadian Studies Program UC Berkeley

It’s the start of summer! Asian Heritage Month; grant deadline extended

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.  And thank you to our colleagues in the Canadian Studies Program at UC Berkeley for their continued support and promotion of our Legion events.


Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News & Events
  • A special thanks to everyone who made our 2022 conference a success!
  • Deadline extended: Hildebrand Fellowship & Ross Prize
In the News
  • Celebrating Asian Heritage Month in Canada and the US
External Events
  • Memorial Day Service
Please note: Beginning this week, our newsletter is moving to our summer schedule, with publication once every two weeks.
PROGRAM NEWS & EVENTS
A Special Thanks to Everyone Who Made our 2022 Conference a Success!
Canadian Studies would like to extend our sincere thanks to the panelists and guests who attended our conference on global migration policy last Monday and Tuesday – our first conference since 2019. The in-person interaction facilitated by this event was irreplaceable, and over those two days, we sustained an in-depth discussion that placed Canada’s immigration system in a global context. Importantly, we shed light on lesser-known factors that influence a country’s policy at a subnational level, including bureaucratic culture, civil society groups, and the work done by local and regional governments. Thank you again for your support, and we hope to see you again soon!
Deadline Extended: Hildebrand Fellowship & Ross Prize
The Canadian Studies Program has extended the deadline to apply for UC Berkeley students to apply for graduate and undergraduate research funding. Applications for AY 2022-23 will close this Friday, May 13, 2022. Learn more and apply by clicking the links below.
The Edward E. Hildebrand Graduate Research Fellowship provides travel and research support for Berkeley graduate students whose work focuses primarily, or comparatively, on Canada. Fellowships average around $5,000.
The Rita Ross Undergraduate Prize in Canadian Studies provides a cash prize of $250 to the Berkeley undergraduate who has produced the best research project engaging with a Canadian topic for a class or independent study program.
Please circulate this information to your students, peers, and networks!
IN THE NEWS
Celebrating Asian Heritage Month in Canada and the US
May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada and the US! During this month, we celebrate the many contributions made by members of the Asian-Pacific Islander community to our countries and societies.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the month’s official celebration in Canada. Originally established through the advocacy of a number of Asian-American congresspeople in the United States, President Jimmy Carter approved the first official US Asian Heritage Month in 1978. The commemoration was adopted unofficially in Canada the 1990s to recognize the Asian-Canadian community. The Canadian government officially recognized the celebration in 2002 thanks to a campaign led by Vivienne Poy, the country’s first-ever senator of Asian descent.
The official theme for this year’s Asian Heritage Month in Canada is “Continuing a legacy of greatness“. Canada Heritage encourages you to join the official celebration on Facebook Live today at 3:30 pm PT (6:30 pm ET). This live event will celebrate the month’s 20th anniversary with performances, tributes, interviews, and much more!
EXTERNAL EVENTS
Memorial Day Service
Sunday, May 29 | 11:00 am PT | Colma | RSVP here
Join Branch 25 of the Royal Canadian Legion (representing the San Francisco Bay Area) for their annual Memorial Day Service, supported by our U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Arkansas Division. The service will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion plot in Greenlawn Cemetery at 1100 El Camino Real in Colma.
This event will be webcast live; if you are unable to attend in person and wish to view the online stream, please register above.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Last chance! Our conference starts today! 📣 Plus: Canada’s role in a changing global order

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News & Events
  • 2022 conference: “Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation”
In the News
  • Opinion: “The War, the Reckoning, and its Aftermath”
  • Google honors birthday of Black Canadian-American inventor Elijah McCoy
External Events
  • Albright Lecture: Climate Justice and the Question of Reparations
  • Canadian authors at the Bay Area Book Festival
PROGRAM NEWS & EVENTS
TODAY & TOMORROW
2022 Conference: Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation
May 2-3 | 1:00-5:00 pm PT | IGS Library, Moses Hall | Learn more and RSVP here
The question of how to effectively manage international migration is one of the most difficult tasks facing governments in today’s globalized world. While much attention is paid to the ways politicians and activist groups influence immigration policy, commentators have often ignored the importance of administrative actors, such as bureaucrats, tasked with implementing these decisions. Often hidden from public view, these individuals operate behind the scenes to transform formal policy into on-the-ground practices which impact migrant populations in a variety of ways.
This conference will bring together acclaimed senior and emerging scholars to evaluate different immigration policies in a global context. Participants will discuss how bureaucratic agencies and civil society organizations influence immigration policy and resettlement in developed countries in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Comparisons will be drawn between countries with relatively liberal immigration policies, such as Canada, with those that maintain more restrictive regimes. The conference will be organized into the following sessions:
May 2:
May 3:
The panel discussion portions of this event will be livestreamed. For in-person attendees, a public reception will also be held on the evening of May 2. To view the full list of speakers and RSVP, please visit our conference page.
IN THE NEWS
Opinion: The War, the Reckoning, and its Aftermath
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced the West to radically reassess its view of the contemporary global order. A new opinion piece published in Canada’s Policy magazine argues that the invasion marks a historic turning point in the post-Cold War political landscape, one where Canada can play an important role. Written by Jeremy Kinsman, a former diplomat who has spoken at Canadian Studies events multiple times, the piece argues that Canada’s distinctive internationalist and consensus-driven outlook makes it an ideal ambassador for a rules-based global order.
While Canada has a responsibility to support Ukraine and its NATO allies, it should also reach out to non-aligned countries hesitant to take sides in the current conflict. Many are skeptical of the current UN diplomatic framework, often hobbled by conflicts between the US, Russia, and China. Canada should encourage the formation of a strong global network with medium powers and small countries based on multilateral dialogue and cooperation. By convincing these nations that a rules-based order is in their interest, Canada can play a critical role in fostering a “constructive global mindset” that promotes human rights globally without the burdens of great-power rivalries.
Google honors birthday of Black Canadian-American inventor Elijah McCoy
Visitors to Google’s homepage today will be greeted with a Google Doodle horing an innovate Canadian-American engineer with a famous name – even if many people don’t know it belongs to him. Recognized as one of the foremost Black inventors of his time, Elijah McCoy invented 57 patents, including crucial advancements that helped trains operate for longer periods without maintenance. And his legacy of superior products lives on today in our everyday language – read on to find out how!
McCoy was born in Colchester, Ontario, on May 2, 1844, to parents who had fled enslavement in Kentucky. He attend his early years of school in Canada. At age 15, he was sent to Scotland, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Edinburgh. McCoy then returned to his family, who by this point had relocated to Michigan.
Failing to find employement as an engineer, McCoy took a job with the Michigan Central Railroad. McCoy noticed how inefficient it was that train would have to be stopped regularly in order to lubricate the engines. Inspired, McCoy began tinkering with methods to solve this problem. In 1872, he created his first patent, an automated device that would allow engines to be lubricated while in motion. Over the next few years, McCoy continued to refine and develop lubricating systems. In 1909, he was praised by Booker T. Washington for having developed more patents than any Black man up to that time, and by the 1920s he was running his own company manufacturing lubricators.
McCoy was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2001. However, his most famous contribution to the world may be in loaning his name to the phrase “the real McCoy”, first published in an Ontario newspaper in 1884. It is thought to originate from railway engineers asking whether engines were outfitted with a “real McCoy system”, as opposed to one of his numerous inferior copycats.
EXTERNAL EVENTS
Horace Albright Lecture in Conservation: Climate Justice and the Question of Reparations
Thursday, May 5 | 12:00 pm | Berkeley | RSVP here
As the world burns, it’s time to get serious about climate justice. But the climate emergency isn’t just an environmental crisis – it’s also a crisis of racial capitalism and colonialism. The people and countries that have benefitted the least from deforestation and fossil fuel combustion are the most vulnerable to climate change and its impacts. How can we address these harms, and prevent even worse?
Moderated by Canadian Studies faculty affiliate Daniel Aldana Cohen, the panel will feature Canadian journalist and activist Naomi Klein alongside Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Sabrina Fernandez, and Jackie Fielder. This event is sponsored by UC Berkeley Climate Equity and Environmental Justice Roundtable, Rausser College, and the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative.
Canadian Authors at the Bay Area Book Festival
Saturday, May 7 | Berkeley | View full schedule here
The Bay Area Book Festival is one of the world’s premier celebrations of writers, readers, and the written word. Now back in person after two years online, the festival line-up includes two exciting literary voices from Canada thanks to the generous support of the Consulate General of Canada San Francisco.
“We Read in Order to Come to Life”: Grief, Joy, and the Magic of Literary Form
2:00 pm | Buy tickets here
In this panel, Pik-Shuen Fung will discuss her acclaimed debut novel Ghost Forest, which explores the narrator’s grief for her “astronaut” father, one of many such fathers who remained in Hong Kong while the rest of the family emigrates to Canada.
What’s New in Native American Literature for Kids
2:45 pm | More information
Cree children’s author David A. Robertson (On the Trapline, The Great Bear), two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, will participate in a panel on exciting new trends in Native American literature for young people.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Thursday: A Canadian teacher fights American nativism; One week to immigration conference!

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News & Events
  • 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”
  • 2022 conference: “Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation”
External Events
  • Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Displacement
  • Canadian authors at the Bay Area Book Festival
PROGRAM NEWS & EVENTS
THIS THURSDAY: 2022 THOMAS GARDEN BARNES LECTURE
“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 Department of History at Yale.
NEXT WEEK
2022 Conference: Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation
May 2-3 | 1:00-5:00 pm PT | IGS Library, Moses Hall | Learn more and RSVP here
The question of how to effectively manage international migration is one of the most difficult tasks facing governments in today’s globalized world. While much attention is paid to the ways politicians and activist groups influence immigration policy, commentators have often ignored the importance of administrative actors, such as bureaucrats, tasked with implementing these decisions. Often hidden from public view, these individuals operate behind the scenes to transform formal policy into on-the-ground practices which impact migrant populations in a variety of ways.
This conference will bring together acclaimed senior and emerging scholars to evaluate different immigration policies in a global context. Participants will discuss how bureaucratic agencies and civil society organizations influence immigration policy and resettlement in developed countries in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Comparisons will be drawn between countries with relatively liberal immigration policies, such as Canada, with those that maintain more restrictive regimes. The conference will be organized into the following sessions:
May 2:
May 3:
The panel discussion portions of this event will be livestreamed. For in-person attendees, a public reception will also be held on the evening of May 2. To view the full list of speakers and RSVP, please visit our conference page.
EXTERNAL EVENTS
Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Displacement
Monday, April 25 | 5:00 pm PT | Zellerbach Hall | RSVP here
Canadian Studies faculty affiliate Daniel Aldana Cohen joins other faculty members in Berkeley’s new cluster in climate equity and environmental justice for a special panel of the global impacts of climate change. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, 216 million people from the developing world will be forced to leave their homes due to climate-induced disasters and social unrest caused by scarcity. This conversation, moderated by University of Toronto professor Karen Chapple, will discuss the adaptation challenges facing both the sending and receiving regions from the perspectives of sociology, city planning, geography, engineering, and urban policy.
This event will be livestreamed and recorded for later viewing; learn more here.
Canadian Authors at the Bay Area Book Festival
May 7 | Berkeley | View full schedule here
The Bay Area Book Festival is one of the world’s premier celebrations of writers, readers, and the written word. Now back in person after two years online, the festival line-up includes two exciting literary voices from Canada thanks to the generous support of the Consulate General of Canada San Francisco.
“We Read in Order to Come to Life”: Grief, Joy, and the Magic of Literary Form
2:00 pm | Buy tickets here
In this panel, Pik-Shuen Fung will discuss her acclaimed debut novel Ghost Forest, which explores the narrator’s grief for her “astronaut” father, one of many such fathers who remained in Hong Kong while the rest of the family emigrates to Canada.
What’s New in Native American Literature for Kids
2:45 pm | More information
Cree children’s author David A. Robertson (On the Trapline, The Great Bear), two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, will participate in a panel on exciting new trends in Native American literature for young people.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Cal Day & Earth Day events; more Canadian films & lit

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News & Events
  • Canadian Studies is coming to Cal Day!
  • 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”
  • 2022 conference: “Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation”
External Events
  • Celebrating Earth Week across North America
  • Run Woman Run Virtual Screening
  • Permanent Revolution: A reading and conversation with Gail Scott
  • Canadian authors at the Bay Area Book Festival
PROGRAM NEWS & EVENTS
Canadian Studies is Coming to Cal Day!
Saturday, April 23 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Dwinelle Hall
Canadian Studies is pleased to announce that we’ll be manning a booth this Saturday at Cal Day, UC Berkeley’s annual open house! While this year’s event is only open to new students and their families, we’ll be happy to welcome both Canadians and friends of Canada at our booth in Dwinelle Hall with some tasty Canadian candy. Stop by and say hi! We also welcome Berkeley student volunteers: write to us at canada@berkeley.edu for information.
Photo: Sather Gate on Cal Day. (Peg Skorpinski)
2022 THOMAS GARDEN BARNES LECTURE
“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 Department of History at Yale.
2022 Conference: Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation
May 2-3 | 1:00-5:00 pm PT | IGS Library, Moses Hall | Learn more and RSVP here
The question of how to effectively manage international migration is one of the most difficult tasks facing governments in today’s globalized world. While much attention is paid to the ways politicians and activist groups influence immigration policy, commentators have often ignored the importance of administrative actors, such as bureaucrats, tasked with implementing these decisions. Often hidden from public view, these individuals operate behind the scenes to transform formal policy into on-the-ground practices which impact migrant populations in a variety of ways.
This conference will bring together acclaimed senior and emerging scholars to evaluate different immigration policies in a global context. Participants will discuss how bureaucratic agencies and civil society organizations influence immigration policy and resettlement in developed countries in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Comparisons will be drawn between countries with relatively liberal immigration policies, such as Canada, with those that maintain more restrictive regimes. The conference will be organized into the following sessions:
May 2:
May 3:
A public reception will also be held on the evening of May 2. To view the full list of speakers and RSVP, please visit our conference page.
EXTERNAL EVENTS
Celebrating Earth Week Across North America
April 18-25
This Friday, people around the world will come together to celebrate Earth Day, the global holiday promoting the environment, conservation, and sustainability. First celebrated in the United States in 1970, the holiday spread to Canada in 1980.
Visit EarthDay.ca to find a wide variety of fun and educational events (many online) that celebrate Canada’s rich natural heritage. CBC will also be debuting a slate of original shows on nature and climate chance across multiple platforms. And if you’re in Berkeley, don’t miss these great events:
Image: Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta. (Gorgo, Wikimedia Commons)
Run Woman Run Virtual Screening
Wednesday, April 20 | 1:30 pm PT | Online | RSVP here
In honor of National Canadian Film Day 2022 (April 20), join the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. for a virtual screening of Run Woman Run. Directed by Heiltsuk/Mohawk filmmaker Zoe Leigh Hopkins, this drama-comedy follows a single mom who learns to reclaim her dreams with the help of an unlikely running coach. The screening will begin at 4:30 pm ET and will be followed by a Q&A. Attendees will receive a link to view the film that will be live on April 20 and will be available for viewing for 48 hours.
Permanent Revolution: A Reading and Conversation with Gail Scott
Thursday, April 21 | 4:00 pm | 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 Authors at the Bay Area Book Festival
May 7 | Berkeley | View full schedule here
The Bay Area Book Festival is one of the world’s premier celebrations of writers, readers, and the written word. Now back in person after two years online, the festival line-up includes two exciting literary voices from Canada thanks to the generous support of the Consulate General of Canada San Francisco.
“We Read in Order to Come to Life”: Grief, Joy, and the Magic of Literary Form
2:00 pm | Buy tickets here
In this panel, Pik-Shuen Fung will discuss her acclaimed debut novel Ghost Forest, which explores the narrator’s grief for her “astronaut” father, one of many such fathers who remained in Hong Kong while the rest of the family emigrates to Canada.
What’s New in Native American Literature for Kids
2:45 pm | More information
Cree children’s author David A. Robertson (On the Trapline, The Great Bear), two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, will participate in a panel on exciting new trends in Native American literature for young people.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Announcing our 2022 immigration conference! Plus: will banning foreign buyers fix Canada’s housing problem?

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


Canadian Studies Announcements
In This Issue:
Program News & Events
  • Announcing our 2022 conference: “Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation”
  • 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”
In the News
  • Canada announces two-year ban on foreign homebuyers
Other Announcements
  • Applications open for General Idea Fellowship at the National Gallery of Canada
External Events
  • Canadian film at the San Francisco Indie Fest Green Film Festival
  • Permanent Revolution: A reading and conversation with Gail Scott
PROGRAM NEWS & EVENTS
2022 Conference: Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation
May 2-3 | 1:00-5:00 pm PT | IGS Library, Moses Hall | Learn more and RSVP here
Canadian Studies is pleased to officially announce the dates for our 2022 conference, our first since the start of the Pandemic. Hosted on the afternoons of May 2-3, 2022, this conference will bring together acclaimed senior and emerging scholars to evaluate different immigration policies in a global context.
The question of how to effectively manage international migration is one of the most difficult tasks facing governments in today’s globalized world. While much attention is paid to the ways politicians and activist groups influence immigration policy, commentators have often ignored the importance of administrative actors, such as bureaucrats, tasked with implementing these decisions. Often hidden from public view, these individuals operate behind the scenes to transform formal policy into on-the-ground practices which impact migrant populations in a variety of ways.
This conference will discuss how bureaucratic agencies and civil society organizations influence immigration policy and resettlement in developed countries in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Comparisons will be drawn between countries with relatively liberal immigration policies, such as Canada, with those that maintain more restrictive regimes. The conference will be organized into the following sessions:
May 2:
May 3:
A public reception will also be held on the evening of May 2. To view the full list of speakers and RSVP, please visit our conference page.
2022 THOMAS GARDEN BARNES LECTURE
“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.
IN THE NEWS
Canada Announces Two-Year Ban on Foreign Homebuyers
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a long-expected two-year ban on the purchase of Canadian real estate by foreign citizens. The new ban comes as Canada faces an overheating real estate market, and is part of a raft of policies unveiled by the government to improve affordability, including major financial commitments for new affordable housing construction.
The rising costs of housing have become a major concern for many Canadians over the last few years, as well as a major political liability. In the last election, Trudeau’s Liberal Party promised strong action to curb prices as Canada faced a 20% increase in housing prices. Provincial governments, including Ontario and British Columbia, have also implemented their own taxes on foreign homebuyers in the face of public pressure. Ontario’s foreign speculation tax was recently expanded outside Toronto to cover the entire province, and increased to 20%.
The effects of the housing crises have been especially acute effects on young, first-time homebuyers. Recent research from Statistics Canada shows that 62% of Canadians 18-34 are waiting for prices to drop before purchasing. Many rely on relatives to help cover down payments; some young Canadians are even turning to unorthodox strategies like co-ownership to afford property in urban markets.
However, experts are skeptical that Trudeau’s foreign purchaser ban will have a significant impact on housing prices. Some argue foreign speculators are a scapegoat for a larger problem. While data show that investors made nearly 20% of home purchases in Canada in mid-2021, foreign buyers represented a small portion of that number, mostly concentrated in high-end real estate in urban cores. The remainder was purchased by Canadian individuals and corporations. Hildebrand Fellow Molly Harris is currently researching this dynamic, and the role of private equity firms and investment trusts in commodifying the housing market in Vancouver.
There are also concerns about the legal and ethical aspects of the ban. Some legal analysts question whether targeting buyers on the basis of their national origin violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; likewise, some American politicians assert the move would violate the recently-signed USMCA trade agreement. And some worry the taxes could affect Canadian foreign residents. This summer, Hildebrand Fellow Taesoo Song will be in Toronto studying the effects of Ontario’s speculation tax on low-income immigrant households.
Economists suggest that targeting speculation more broadly, as well as following through on promises to construct more housing, are more effective strategies to increase availability. Rising interest rates stemming from attempts to control inflation are also likely to bring down home prices, although without increasing affordability as mortgages become more expensive. But given the outsized impact of the housing sector on the Canadian economy, the government will be cautious about doing anything that could radically lower prices at the risk of causing a recession.
Image: House for sale in Burnaby, BC. Philippe Giabbanelli, Wikimedia Commons.
Applications Open for General Idea Fellowship at the National Gallery of Canada
Deadline: Friday, April 15
The National Gallery of Canada invites applications for its General Idea Fellowship, which encourages and supports advanced research in contemporary art. Research will relate to any aspect of contemporary art, and emphasize the use and investigation of the collections of the National Gallery of Canada.
The fellowship is open to art historians, curators, critics, conservators, graduate students and independent and other professionals working in the visual arts or in museology and related disciplines, and is open to international applicants. Each award is limited to a maximum of $15,000. The term of each award is one calendar year beginning May 30, 2022. Please visit the National Gallery’s site above for full terms and application details.
EXTERNAL EVENTS
San Francisco Indie Fest Green Film Festival
Friday, April 15 | 6:45 pm | San Francisco | Buy tickets here
This film festival will screen Forest for the Trees, the first feature film by award-winning Canadian war photographer Rita Leistner. Leistner goes back to her roots as a tree planter in the wilderness of British Columbia, offering an inside take on the grueling, sometimes fun and always life-changing experience of restoring Canada’s forests. The rugged BC landscape comes to life magically in Leistner’s photography, while the quirky characters and nuggets of wisdom shared around the campfire tell a sincere story of community.
Permanent Revolution: A Reading and Conversation with Gail Scott
Thursday, April 21 | 4:00 pm | 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