|►||Center in the Media|
|►||Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium|
|►||Annual Graduate Symposium|
|►||Canada Study Tour|
|►||FLAS Guidelines & Applications|
|►||Former FLAS Fellows|
|►||Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies|
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|►||Arctic Task Force 2013|
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Following is a focus on some of the Center’s most innovative courses, many of which take students to Canada as part of a true “field” experience. Read about these courses, their impact on the students, and the innovative faculty that have truly internationalized the UW student experience.
Urban Design Students Field Course to Québec
Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture
Arctic Change! A New Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Class for University of Washington
Center and Kentridge High School Partnership Builds Canadian Content in Advanced Placement Courses
Center Partners with Foster School of Business to Enhance Canadian Content in International Business Courses
Building a Green Recovery: EU-US-Canada Contemporary Policy Challenges, International Study Program
Tiffany Grobelski, Geography
Québec Has a Film Industry? Mais Oui!
Natalie Debray, Communication
UW Design Students Visit the Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Christopher Ozubko, Director of the School of Art and Professor of Design
La Culture québécoise contemporaine
|Summer Quarter 2009
Québec Studies: An Urban Studies Perspective
Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture
|Spring Quarter 2009
Field Course to Québec
Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture
Winter Quarter 2009
Winter Quarter 2009
Fall Quarter 2008
|Fall Quarter 2008
SISCA 600: Readings in Québécois History and Identity
Natalie Debray, Communication
|Spring Quarter 2008
CFR 519: Conducting an Industry Performance Review
By Dorothy Paun, Forest Resources
|Spring Quarter 2008
SISME 420: International Humanitarian Law
By Rick Lorenz, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
|Spring Quarter 2008
UrbDP 470: Introduction to Urban Design
By Daniel Abramson, Urban Design and Planning
|Winter Quarter 2008
SOC WF 405: Fieldwork Seminar
By Stanley de Mello, Social Work
|Winter Quarter 2008
COM 478: Intercultural Communication
By Natalie Debray, Communication
|Fall Quarter 2007
ENVIR 496: Special Topics: Comparing/Contrasting Two Rural Forest-Based Communities
By Thomas Hinckley, Forest Resources
|Summer Quarter 2007
L ARCH 495: Comparative Urban Planning and Urban Design
By Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture
Students in the course take a little rest while visiting Québec City.
In June Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture, took 10 U.W. students to Québec as part of the field course, URBDP 498 Summer Course to French Canada. This comparative Urban Design and Planning course was co-led by Dr. Régent Cabana. It examined the similarities and differences between US and Canadian cities with a focus on the current urban issues confronting communities in the Canadian province of Québec. Students studied the physical layout of cities, urban design, urban growth, problems related to the environment and governmental institutions as well as historical, social and cultural factors specific to Québec cities. Students traveled to Québec, visiting Montreal, Québec City and Ottawa and attended tours and lectures given by area professors and other experts. At the end of the course, students wrote a paper on a topic related to urban issues encountered in Canada. Following are notes from the students regarding their experiences in Québec.
"As an engineering student interested in Transportation, the visit to the three Canadian cities (Montreal, Québec and Ottawa) showed just how far behind US cities are in terms of public transportation. The "bixie" bike system that is currently in Montreal, Ottawa and Québec is not free, but cheap enough that its a very useful way to travel. Not only are bikes readily available, but the roads and trails are designed to handle large amounts of bikers. Seattle is not a good city for biking like Canada because the roads are not kept up well enough for bikes and the topography of Seattle is difficult to bike. Incorporating bikes into a main transportation type is good for environmental issues, congestion, and it promotes a healthy lifestyle. The US in general is designed for ease and seems to incorporate less value to environmental impacts and even less value to health. We have metro's and busses running through many US cities that aid in public transport, but they seem to be less advanced and useful that those in Montreal. To work on Seattle transportation systems, adding bike lanes on the sides of roads, especially downtown, and creating new bike paths like the trails around Montreal would promote less vehicles in the area and a safe travel method. Along with this plan, more bike racks need to be added to many locations throughout the city. Americans can look at the successful system in Canada to improve the transportation system as well as reduce environmental impacts and promote a healthy lifestyle." -Renee Koester, Engineering
"The most interesting aspect of the trip, brief as it was, was the unique struggle that older cities face, maintaining their historical and architectural integrity while supporting innovation and expansion. I come from Portland and Seattle, and the sheer "newness" of those cities is striking when compared with Quebec and Montreal. I regret not being able to spend more time in Canada because I would be interested in delving deeper into the administrative compromises and zoning regulations that help dictate how each city has developed. The sole parallel that I can find in Seattle is the tight restriction placed on new development in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, a source of frequent frustration and consternation among some club and bar owners.
Marie-Odile Trépanier’s lecture on some of the unique issues that have cropped up in Montreal’s history provided an illuminating perspective as to some of the differences between Canadian (particularly Quebecois) governments and American governments. But it is hard to say how valuable the classes would have been had they not been taught in the city, so that we, the students, could combine the academic presentations with experiential learning from the city beyond. Learning about Quebecois history while being there seems much more vital than learning about it abstractly, from a classroom in Seattle.
Finally, the difference in roles that the private sector plays in the US and Canada was particularly interesting. If I were to pursue an Urban Planning or Real Estate development graduate degree, I would be interested in investigating some of the causes and effects of the disparate power that each respective government enjoys." - Robert Franco-Tayar, Community, Environment, and Planning
"As a student of public policy, I joined the class to see first-hand how Canada, a country that is shares many similarities with the US, approaches and attempts to solve its own urban issues. What I ended up seeing, though, is just how different Canada really is. The province of Quebec, especially, is a region that I had to visit before I could understand and appreciate it. Practicing my French was an added bonus, though I could have gotten along in English without any trouble. The speaking list was full of professionals and professors that were both knowledgeable and personable. If I had any complaint, it would be that our time in Canada was too short. I feel that this trip has exposed me to a different way of doing things. This breadth of approaches is sure to be an asset in public policy or in any other field." -Kyle Frankiewich, Public Affairs
"I believe this trip to Canada will expand my perspective as a future city planner. I am studying to get my Master's in City and Regional Planning, and currently my academic coursework has been focused in the US. This trip will allow me to understand other cities, and other systems of planning. Québec is a unique place, and this exposure should make me consider planning in a wider context. I think in the future this will be valuable to my profession. Further, I think the trip will help me understand more about Canada in general. Currently, my understanding of Canada is only through visiting British Columbia. This trip will reveal the diversity and complexity of the country." -Jenna Rose Higgins, City and Regional Planning
"The experience of traveling to Québec and Montreal has reinforced my understanding of the importance of urban planning for the future of our cities and countries. As two of the largest cities in the Province of Québec, Québec City and Montreal are great examples of how urban planning can effectively be used to solve major urban issues. Although both cities are very different they both provide a strong understanding of the french-Canadian culture and Canada as a whole. Québec city is very unique as it balances being a predominantly tourist city, while also being home to a large population of french-canadians. One of the major issues we focused on was how Old city provides a healthy environment for residents living there among the strong tourist culture. Because of the history of Québec, the Old city is a major tourist draw and the commercial businesses within the walls of the old city cater to tourists, which leaves out many of the necessary amenities for residents. Montreal on the other hand is much different than Québec. Montreal is a much more diverse city with cultural enclaves all over the city. From the Village, to Chinatown, to the Latin Quarter, all within walking distance, the city of Montreal is hard to define. After traveling to both cities, I found that an important distinction between the two cities is the idea of identity. Whereas Québec is mostly defined by their history and their Old City, Montreal's identity is much harder to define. The individual neighborhoods have very strong identities, but there are so many different areas of Montreal that it is almost impossible to find one definition. Another lesson I found from traveling to the two cities was that cities all over the world deal with many of the same issues regardless of the culture, time, environment, and country. Urban issues such as gentrification, homelessness, traffic, stormwater management, cultural divides, and transportation issues exist in all major cities. The same issues we have discussed in the city of Seattle, are the same issues Montreal and Québec are dealing with, it is how they deal with these issues that remains very different. These two Canadian cities have also exemplified the Canadian commitment to social services. One example is the city-wide bike share program in Montreal called bixi, which was originally free for residents for the first 30 minutes, which shows the city's commitment to providing affordable sustainable transportation.
After my experience on this trip I have become much more interested in pursuing a degree in Urban Planning, with an emphasis on creating city-wide programs for stormwater management. I have found that a huge part of planning is the ability to think critically about our environment and the relationships between our social structures and our built environment. I am particularly interested in planning because it is about problem solving and improving upon what has already been created versus just winning a game or making profit." -Katherine Stultz, Community, Environment, and Planning
"Having traveled only to BC before within Canada, my trip to Québec greatly contributed to my understanding of the country. I gained a lot learning about the governmental structure within the country, and how provincial government differs from the role of states within the US. I learned about significant cultural differences between Québec and my home that contribute to different approaches to urban planning. I hope to use this new knowledge in my future career as a planner." -Amy Taylor, Community, Environment, and Planning
"The French Canadian experience has been an eye opening experience. Most of my travel has been to the western side of the country, and being able to experience Québec and Montreal has been fantastic. I feel I have a better understanding the dynamics that Canada experiences between the french speaking and english speaking communities. I know feel I have a much greater understanding of the struggles surrounding the preservation of culture with French language. This trip will greatly influence my future research and projects by helping me understand the importance of language and regional planning." -Mori Wallner, Public Affairs
This program was supported, in part, by funding from a Canadian Studies Center Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Government of Canada.
Rebecca Woodgate t
Spring 2011 marked the start of a new Arctic class at the University of Washington. Led by Oceanography professor Rebecca Woodgate, this class aimed to introduce students of any discipline to the wonders and challenges of the Arctic.
As described on the course website: "The Arctic is no longer remote. Arctic sea-ice loss, shipping through the legendary Northwest Passage, the international land-grab for the North Pole and the Arctic sea floor, Arctic oil and gas exploration, the fate of the polar bear – these and more are all household terms. Yet, many people’s understanding of this system and the reality of the issues is based primarily on news and media coverage. The UW houses a remarkably wide range of world-class Arctic research – this course will access that knowledge base and provide an interdisciplinary, science-based introduction to Arctic science and topical world issues that are at the forefront of understanding how the Arctic works today, how the Arctic is changing, and what impacts those changes may have on us."
The course covered the ocean-ice-atmosphere system, extending into Arctic ecosystems (from ice-algae to the "charismatic megafauna"), and from this base, looked into topics ranging from the challenges faced by communities that live in the Arctic to the various roles the Arctic plays in the world. Guest lecturers from UW covered their own specializations, including Jody Deming (on Life In the ice), Sue Moore (on Life on and under the Ice, the Megafauna), George Hunt (on the Ecosystems of the Bering Sea, home of 50% of the US fish catch), Vince Galluci (on the Politics of the Arctic) and finally the Canadian Studies Center's own Nadine Fabbi, introducing Arctic Indigenous political mobilization particularly in Arctic Canada.
Woodgate and Deming also teach a graduate oceanography class - The Changing Arctic Ocean - but this new class was aimed much broader. Indeed, the 2011 class drew students in widely varying subjects, including oceanography, biology, engineering, astronomy, computer science, environmental science, aquatic and fisheries science, languages, psychology, sociology, architecture, ethnic studies, communications, law, political science, anthropology, art, international studies, health sciences, human design, and comparative religion - a true cross-section of the University, and a living example of the breadth of interest in the Arctic from communities at lower latitudes.
For more about "Arctic Change" see the course website at http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticChange11.html
The Canadian Studies Center is the Council Representative for the University of Washington's membership in University of the Arctic. UW students are eligible to apply for a major in Circumpolar Studies via UArctic membership.
Reflections from the Evaluator of the SIS 495A Task Force on Arctic Governance
By Julie Gourley, U.S. Senior Arctic Official, Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State and Expert Evaluator, Task Force
Julia Gourley, (second from right, front), U.S. Senior Arctic Official, Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State, poses with the Task Force class at the end of the Expert Evaluation.
On March 10, 2011, I served as the evaluator for the Task Force 2011 project entitled, “Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance.” The undergraduate participants in this project did an outstanding job with their research and policy recommendations. They clearly put a lot of work into their individual topics, and each student or group of students gave an excellent presentation.
The students exhibited creativity in developing their recommendations to governments. Some of the recommendations were very similar to policies the U.S. State Department has already pursued or is considering pursuing. Others were insightful and creative even if not practical (which they would not know without the full picture across government). It was clear from their work that they were intellectually interested in the subject and learned a lot from their research and their excursion to Canada where they met with a number of key players in Arctic policy both in Canada and the U.S.
The experience was also valuable for me. It is always good for government policymakers to be exposed to fresh thinking on key issues we handle on a daily basis. It is good to learn that college students are now studying the Arctic and thinking about policy for the region. An Arctic-focused program of study would hopefully encourage students to consider careers in the federal government, particularly in foreign policy. The government needs smart, energetic, creative thinkers to make the best policy for the United States, and foreign policy is not something most college undergraduate students think about for their future careers. This program at the Jackson School is very unique in that it targets undergraduate students – something very few American colleges and universities are doing to my knowledge.
The Task Force on Arctic Governance is a joint program between the Canadian and Global Studies Centers in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and part of the Canadian Studies Center and Makivik Corporation, Nunavik, Canada, Educational Initiative. The 2011 Ottawa Research Trip was sponsored by the Canadian and Global Studies Title VI grants, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education; Government of Canada; Hellmann Fund for Innovation and Excellence; Maxwell M. and Julia Fisher Endowment; International Studies Program Discretionary Fund; Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Wilburforce Foundation, Seattle; and Makivik Corporation.
|Morna and Michael Papritz.
At Kentridge High School in Kent, I have been teaching an Advanced Placement human geography course for juniors and seniors for the past six years. One of our major units in geography during the year is a focus on cultures around the world. I have been fortunate to have established a relationship with the Canadian Studies Center that provides guest speakers for the classes. My students have had the opportunity to listen to valuable information about Canada far beyond the scope of what they realized cultural elements of Canada to be. From learning about the Inuit language and culture and understanding how the political border between the U.S. and Canada has altered cultural traits of certain people, my students have received a wealth of information about our neighbors to the north.
In December Morna McEachern, Social Work and Affiliated Faculty of the Center, showed clips from Travels Across the Medicine Line and then talked about the effect of the Canadian-U.S. border on social welfare outcomes, policies and practices as they pertain to two disproportionately poor groups that are often divided by the border and thus social services – Indigenous peoples and refugees.
|Morna addresses a cultural geography class at Kent Meridian High School.
All these guest speaking engagements were made possible from the ongoing presentations I went to while attending the numerous social studies leadership conferences that took place over the years at Lake Chelan in March. Nadine Fabbi did a tremendous job of bringing Canada to life while presenting and then she later became a vital liaison in coordinating guest speakers for my geography courses. The Canadian Studies Center and Nadine have given my high school students a greater depth of understanding regarding Canada that they would not have otherwise been exposed to. I look for to using individuals at the center in the future to continue to give my students exposure on the importance of Canada.
Morna’s visit was funded by the Center’s Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Government of Canada and Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.
|Stephen Blank (right), Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation, is introduced by Douglas MacLachlan, Chair, Department of Marketing and International Business, Professor of Marketing, and Marion Ingersoll Endowed Professor.|
Visiting professor Stephen Blank provided a lecture to the students in Professor Mike Giambattita’s International Marketing course, MKTG 470 International Marketing entitled, “The Interface of Local, National and Global Production Systems: The North American Auto Industry". As the focus of his presentation, Dr Blank asked the students to examine a diagram of a module that becomes part of a finished car – a rear suspension assembly produced by Martinrea, a Canadian Tier I auto supplier, for a number of GM cars. Looking at this diagram, the students and Dr. Blank discussed changes in the structure of the auto industry including the decentralization of the supply chain network, the impact of logistics in this new system and factors that currently affect the North American freight transportation system, and the globalization of the auto supplier network. The class concluded with a discussion of the likely future of the auto industry in North America.
Giambattista’s course introduces the importance and management issues of international marketing. Students build on fundamental marketing concepts and their practical applications. Knowledge is used to analyze and understand international marketing as an integrated system. Most of the students in the course are candidates for the Foster Business School's highly regarded Certificate of International Studies in Business Program. The students felt that Blank’s lecture was informative and that it offered a new perspective on the high degree of integration of the Canada-U.S. auto industry.
|Dr. Blank explains the interconnectedness of the North American auto industry to students.|
The materials used in the class can be found on the Portal for North America website.
Dr. Blank is a Senior Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation that supports the Portal.
This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service as part of the North American Economic Partnerships initiative with the Global Business Center, UW Foster School of Business.
|Tiffany enjoys poutine while on Commercial Drive during the study tour.
Tiffany Grobelski is a graduate student in the Geography Department, and she recently finished her master’s thesis, The Dynamics of Scale in EU Environmental Governance: A Case Study of Integrated Permitting in Poland. She is interested in the political aspects of environmental policy, especially the opportunities for the public to pursue environmental goals and express environmental grievance using the unprecedented legal infrastructure laid out by the EU. In future work, she hopes to incorporate other case studies, in order to have a more comparative approach.
The Canadian Studies Center, along with the Center for West European Studies, piloted an exciting new study abroad program this summer. The goal of the program was to take a comparative look at environmental policy approaches of Europe, the US, and Canada—at national, regional, and municipal levels. The program brought together a diverse group of ten students—five master’s students from Europe, as well as three undergraduates and one graduate student from UW. What transpired over the five weeks was not only a cultural exchange among the students themselves, but also a cultural immersion experience in Canada.
|The group at UW Tacoma. Back row, left to right: Martin Su, Emily Cousins, Stefan Goetz, Britta Tunestam, Lisa Kastner, Tiffany Grobelski, Will Kelly, Greg Shelton (program director). Front row: Victoria Choe, Andrea Lode, Naomi Van Loon|
We were bombarded with different perspectives on environmental policy. We spent two weeks at the University of Washington, followed by three weeks at the University of British Columbia. During those five weeks we engaged with policymakers, city planners, environmental consulting firms, private sector and NGO representatives, public officials, and academics from a variety of disciplines. We wrestled with difficult questions, such as what terms like “sustainability” and “green” actually mean when it comes to on-the-ground implementation. What political realities stand in the way of “greening” public policy? What are the unintended consequences of even the best-intentioned policy?
Among the highlights of the program was a glimpse at the policy initiatives at all three ports in the region (Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver), a meeting with the mayor of Whistler to discuss the city’s sustainability policies, and lectures coupled with a walking tour detailing Vancouver’s profile as a “green” city. I think my classmates and the instructor, Greg Shelton, would agree that this program was an invigorating one. It was a productive, rewarding experience for all involved.
Regarding the course, Tiffany said: "I was attracted by finally being able to do an actual course on all the "green stuff" instead of just muddling through by myself by turning off lights and the like. The program's most attractive feature must be the combination of European and American / International students and the two places of the program (Seattle / Vancouver). The topic was interesting to me, especially the prospect of traveling to and learning more about Canada.
This program was instructed by Greg Shelton, Canadian Studies affiliated faculty member and Instructor and Managing Director of Global Trade, Transportation, and Logistics Studies. Greg's area of expertise is international trade and US-Canada cross-border trade and transportation issues. This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.
Natalie Debray is a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington.
|Students from Natalie Debray's course; from left, back row: Carrie Dulisse, Eileen Schoener, Irina Safaryan, Bryden McGrath, and Ashika Chand (front)|
Although the Québec film, Barbarians Invasions, won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2004, few Americans have seen it. In fact, many are unaware that a thriving film industry exists north of the border in the 6 million strong francophone province of Québec.
When given the opportunity to develop a special topics course I did not have to look far for inspiration. Creating COM 495 (Film, Culture, and Society) was a risky proposition. In the class description I left out the fact that all films we would view would be in French—and from Québec. Most students have very little knowledge of Canada and even less of the French-speaking province of Québec. Since the class is not listed as a film class or a language class per se, it would have scared off quite a number of students.
|“I sure am glad I stuck around because this class turned out to be a real gem in my university experience.” —(comment from COM 495 message board)|
As it turns out there were a few skeptical faces in the crowd on the first day of class this quarter. “But, I don’t speak French’! “A foreign film?” I am confident that quite a few of the 41 students in the class wanted out after week one. But I urged them to stay and embark on this journey—reassured them that they would be fine. And they were better than fine. Their enthusiasm and passion for the topic blossomed over the ten week course and surpassed even my own lofty expectations.
This class introduced the students to Québec and its unique, critically acclaimed, and prolific film industry. Along the way they learned even more about themselves. As a contextual course we focused on what makes Québec society distinct by examining the themes inherent in Québec film that shed light on our understanding of the people, history, and culture.
Each Monday a different topical area was discussed through lecture and readings including French and English language issues, aboriginal peoples, the decline of religion, and the sovereignty movement. On Wednesdays we watched a film which explored these various issues. After each viewing the students had to post a 2-3 page reflection on the course message board and comment on at least two of their classmate’s postings.
This exercise was intimidating at first due to its public nature. However, with each passing week the students opened up a little bit more and began looking forward to the opinions and musings of their colleagues. At times spirited debates ensued revealing the subjective nature of the film viewing experience. It was truly exciting to witness the learning, growth and camaraderie taking place in this forum.
|“I feel like I got on a ride that seemed like a good time from afar, but I wasn't really sure, and by the end I had become more aware of my peers, of myself, and, of course, of the history of Québec and its incomparable cinematic contributions. We were all smashed up against one another, and, frankly, I didn't mind it.”—Josh Williams|
Our first film, Le Chat dans le Sac (1964) is an artistic and probing look at a nascent Québec in the throes of the Quiet Revolution. Shot in black and white, this film gave insight into 1960s Montreal and for many in the class was the first foreign film experience! Some had difficulty watching this film without comparing it to the fast-paced Hollywood fare to which we are accustomed.
Students honed their film analysis skills over the course of the quarter becoming less ethnocentric with each passing week. We moved through the decades watching films by renowned directors, Denys Arcand, Robert Lepage, and Claude Jutra. A highlight of the course was watching the hockey biopic Maurice Richard: the Rocket (2005). Although a film showcasing the talents of one of the greatest hockey players of all time, it also revealed the linguistic discrimination faced by many French Canadians better than any textbook or lecture could. Coincidentally we watched this film on the same day that the Montreal Canadiens played in the NHL finals. The excitement was palpable on the message board as the students robustly cheered on their newly adopted team!
|“I knew very little about Canada prior to taking this course, and it has been amazing to learn and appreciate reflections of Québec history and identity through the medium of film. I developed greater critical thinking skills and understanding for not just Canadian films, but the cultural expression through films overall.”—Kate Clements|
Although the course focused on Québec as a case study, many of the topics including minority culture, post-colonialism, and globalization can be broadly applied. For their final project student teams explored a national film industry and presented their findings to the class. Some of the industries showcase included the films of India (Bollywood), Nollywood (Nigeria), Hong Kong and (English) Canada. The diverse projects showcased the student’s ability to critically analyze and discuss foreign films in their unique historical and cultural context.
Students came away from this course not only more aware of their neighbors to the north, but also newly minted foreign film aficionados, keenly interested in learning about other cultures. So, while for many Hollywood reigns supreme in the global marketplace, the students in COM 495 learned that a rival is in their own backyard.
|Students in Natalie Debray's class; from left, Cammy Yu, Elizabeth Simmons, Nadia Gunduc, Josh Lackey, Rowdy Sargent|
“Now I have the satisfaction of knowing a bit about the history and culture of this diverse region of Canada and I have already been able to apply this knowledge outside of class in different social settings. I have to admit that I am now whole heartedly intrigued with Québec and hope to someday visit and see for myself the culture of the Québécois.”
“I have learned so much by being open and putting myself in another culture’s shoes. What a gift!”
“I have come out of this class as a changed person. It is not only in the way I now watch movies, identifying themes and such, but also in the way I see people. There is so much to be learned from other cultures or backgrounds that having an open eye and mind to different experiences, ways of life, and beliefs/opinions are now a part of me like a gift or blessing that I am truly grateful for.”
UW Design Students Visit the Emily Carr University of Art and Design
By Christopher Ozubko
Christopher Ozubko is the Director of the School of Art and Professor of Design. He recently took six students in the School of Art's Design Studies program, accompanied by Assistant Professor Sang-gyeun Ahn, to visit the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia.
|The students at Rivera Design Group LTD, the firm that designed the emblem for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Elena (center) gave us a presentation on Saturday morning which was a great opportunity to learn a little more about the art of branding.|
On Friday 07 May 2010, our group of six students and two faculty left early from the University of Washington and headed north to Vancouver, British Columbia, for our arranged appointment with faculty and students of Emily Carr University of Art + Design on Granville Island. Luckily, we passed through the border without any problems, had no traffic issues, and arrived around 11:30 am, having one hour to peruse the famous Granville Market, get a snack, and visit a number of shops on the island before our meeting at 1:00 pm.
We were happily greeted at Emily Carr by students and lead to the conference room where students enjoyed a wonderful lunch, arranged by Professor Louise St. Pierre. For the first two hours, students discussed their academic experiences, some of the projects they were working on, and their concerns of what is to come after graduation with job pursuits and graduate school applications. Following this discussion, we then proceeded to the extensive Graduation Exhibition, where students from Emily Carr gave individual presentations about the projects that were installed in the thesis show. There was clearly great interest of both parties in discussing the projects, as well as suggestions and further opportunities that students might explore. Students from the Univeristy of Washington were taking copious notes and with the final summation, invited their Canadian counterparts to the Design Exposition at the University of Washington opening on Tuesday 08 June 2010.
We then proceeded to the industrial design firm, White Box Design, where founder Greg Corrigan took two hours of his time to discuss his circuitous route to becoming an industrial designer, and surviving as an industrial designer in a city possessing little manufacturing. Students were very impressed with the firm’s work, which specialized primarily with telephonics, and especially the recently designed WiFi router for Sprint USA, which we were able to test. He gave students tips on preparation for getting into the industrial design career, as well as being adaptable and flexible in this particular job climate. All in all, it was a great way to end our first professional part of the day.
|"The design field trip to Vancouver was incredibly enriching and informative. We were able to visit our Canadian counterparts and form partnerships for future interactions. I believe that these relationships and communications will be beneficial for all parties involved."—Naomi Tsukuda-Doering, senior, Industrial Design|
We then went back to the hotel and checked in. We then walked from the Granville Bridge to Robson Street, where we found a nice Japanese restaurant, had some snacks, then walked over to the Olympic Flame site, took a lot of pictures, re-enacted some Olympic feats, and walked into Gas Town, where we avoided the crowds that were intently watching the Vancouver Canuck game in every bar in the city. This was an eye-opener for many of the American students on how passionate Canadians are about their hockey. One remarked, “It’s even scarier than the Italians and their soccer!” We then walked back to the hotel and called it a night.
The next morning we headed over to visit the office of Elena Rivera, only a few blocks away, where she kindly met us on Saturday morning and took two hours of her time to relay her story about how her design was accepted as the Olympic logo. It was a fascinating story to hear about the selection process and how it effected her business and professional life when propelled into a world showcase, and all the pros and cons that entailed.
|I want to thank you for working to get the grant for us to visit Vancouver. I thought it was a great experience; learning the similarities and difference between the different design worlds, and even the differences between the design education at Emily Carr vs. UW. Seeing their show really sparked a few ideas of my own for our show!—Kelsey Boyce, senior, Design Studies|
By this time, we were quite hungry, so we headed back to the hotel, checked out, did some sight-seeing through the downtown area and Stanley Park. We stopped at Vista Point and checked out the Lion’s Gate Bridge and the spectacular view.
At the suggestion of Professor Ahn, we went to a wonderful Korean restaurant where we ate traditional Korean food. The students remarked on how internationally diverse Vancouver is. Numerous languages were being spoken everywhere. After lunch, we proceeded to Point Grey and University of British Columbia, where students discovered and explored the wonders of Arthur Erickson’s Museum of Anthropology. That was a terrific way to end our trip as we headed back to Seattle, and got back into town around 8:30 pm.
This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Government of Canada.
In the Spring 2010 quarter, The Canadian Studies Center and the Division of French and Italian studies worked together to create a 2-credit advanced conversation course, La Culture québécoise contemporaine. Sponsored by the Center’s Québec Initiative, this course introduced students to some key historical moments in Québécois society, such as the passage of la loi 101 and the Independence Movement, as well as contributors to Québec’s literary, political, and cinematic worlds.
The course material had an interdisciplinary aspect in order to accommodate the range of interests of French language students, which includes International Studies, literature, and cultural studies. In particular, literary texts from different genres, such as autobiography, short-story, and science-fiction, movies by iconic filmmakers such as Denys Arcand, and the rhetoric and theories of political activists such as Pierre Vallières helped structure the course discussions. Moreover, every week course participants found newspaper articles on-line and shared them with a partner.
By researching and presenting current events, students had the chance to learn not only about different social issues shaping Québec, but also the cultural links between Québec and the United States as well as France. Ultimately, in addition to providing a general point of departure for learning about this vibrant region of the French-speaking world, this course enabled students from across disciplines to come together in an intimate classroom environment to develop their conversation abilities.
|"I greatly appreciated the opportunity to travel to Québec to experience the geographical layout and culture of the cities of Montréal and Québec City and of the province as a whole. It is always beneficial to use study tours to gain knowledge to apply to our current studies and gain perspectives on different issues that we are facing in our own living environment." - Gilbert Wong (left in photo), graduate student in Landscape Architecture|
During our study tour this summer, in the province of Quebec, we visited two cities – Montréal and Québec. In each city, a number of professors, government officials and other urban experts gave lectures and tours. The course examined similarities and differences between US and Québec cities. We looked more particularly at current urban issues confronting communities in Québec. We studied the physical layout of cities, urban design and urban growth, problems related to the environment, governmental institutions as well as historical, social and cultural factors specific to Quebec cities. Students wrote a paper on a topic related to urban issues encountered in Québec.
The course also introduced the logic of comparative research in the social sciences and applied its theory and methodology to the study of Québec cities as compared to US cities. Its multidisciplinary and comparative character developed the ability to interpret and understand urban changes, changing demographics, and to analyze appropriate and sustainable strategies and policies to address urban problems in Québec and the US. Students gained a better understanding of economic, political, social, and cultural differences between Québec and the US.The course also helped them better understand the diversity of the contemporary urban world in Québec and the US and the importance of the social-cultural factors specific to each region and city in finding solutions to common urban problems. By the end of the course, students were more conversant in cross-border urban issues in Québec and the US.
|Fritz Wagner, Landscape Architecture (center), with students and faculty from the NEXOPOLIS research seminar in Québec City in May 2008. NEXOPOLIS is a consortium of six universities from Canada, the US, and Mexico. Students spend one quarter or semester abroad studying urban issues and problems from an urban planning perspective.|
Fritz Wagner is Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and manages the Northwest Center for Livable Communities in the College of Built Environments. He has a long-standing interest in French-speaking Canada.
Fritz Wagner visited Montréal and Québec City this spring to discuss with faculty his Summer 2009 class to Québec. Because Canada's national and provincial urban and regional planning laws differ considerably from those in the US, it is important for US students to understand these differences and how they have created different living environments for Canadians. Moreover, the urban and rural forms developed from the various Canadian laws have, in many instances, created more sustainable and livable communities from the perspective of many urban critics. Students of urbanism need to understand these differences in planning US cities and how the Canadian regulations could possibly be used in the US context.
The field trip allowed Fritz to discuss details of the class with faculty members of the University of Laval and the University of Montréal. The discussions firmed up the course content on the comparative aspects of urban planning and design. This course adds yet another vehicle for curricular content enhancement at the Canadian Studies Center. While at the University of Laval, Fritz also gave a lecture on the cultural context of urban planning and design. It was well received.
This research trip was funded, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education and Graduate Program Services.
Winter Quarter 2009
Social Work Sojourn to Vancouver, British Columbia
by Stan de Mello, Professor and Morna McEarchern
|Students in SOC WF 312/405 spent a day in Vancouver visiting social service agencies and gaining a greater understanding of Canada-US differences in social welfare policy. At the end of the day the students relaxed at the Katmandu Café in Vancouver’s East Side where the owner introduced them to how food is a key component of social activism.|
Stan de Mello has been offering an annual student study-in-Canada opportunity to undergraduates in the School of Social Work since 2005. This year 27 students in SOC WF 312/405 Social Work Policy Practice/Fieldwork Seminar, travelled to Vancouver on 19 February 2009 where they visited numerous social service agencies. This year the courses were co-taught with Blake Kaiser, School of Social Work and Morna McEachern, doctoral candidate, School of Social Work. Morna is also serving as this year’s chair for the annual Canadian Studies Graduate Student Symposium.
Last month seniors from the School of Social Work headed to Vancouver to explore the differences between US and Canadian social services. The two of us, and Blake Kaiser, also with Social Work, accompanied the students.
We were met in Chinatown by Hayne Wai, a University of British Columbia instructor and President of the Chinese Historical Society. He gave us a walking tour of historic Chinatown while sharing his personal history with the students. Hayne introduced us to Alex Liu, executive director of Strathcona Employment Assistance Services, an agency that serves immigrant and refugee population immigrants in the Greater Vancouver. Alex, who is legally blind, described the complexity of being a immigrant with a disability in a leadership role in the Chinese community. We lunched in Chinatown at a vintage Vancouver Chinese village-style restaurant. During lunch Patsy George, CM, OBC, MSW, an inspirational social worker and community activist, spoke to the group. She encouraged the students to frame their daily social work practice within a larger global context.
Next we drove to the Native Education Center. We were welcomed with traditional First Nation singing. Our group was treated to bannock and tea and a tour providing the history of the school. The students exchanged ideas and gifts. The warm welcome, music, art, and architecture (the school is modeled on the traditional long house), were enhanced with moving personal stories. Kathleen MacKay, a social worker who leads a domestic violence prevention at Vancouver Hospital, also spoke to the group.
Finally, we had dinner at the Katmandu Café, on Commercial Drive. Owner Abi Sharma prepared a Nepali feast and described how his café serves as a community action center. An inspiring speech over dinner by David Cadman, Vancouver City Councillor, enlightened the group on issues of social and environmental sustainability and of community organizing and activism on a city-to-city level worldwide.
The students have been creating photo voice essays about the field trip describing how social services are organized and delivered quite differently in Canada. This trip provided a great opportunity to witness a direct international comparison.
This project was supported, in part, by funding from a Canadian Studies Center Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
|The Task Force students were extremely fortunate to attend a lecture by former Nunavut premier, Paul Okalik, at a Carleton University alumni event during the Fact-Finding Mission to Ottawa. From left, front row, Nadine Fabbi (co-faculty), Jamie Stroble, Paul Okalik, Alison McKay, Patrick Lennon, Gus Andreasen, Andrew Schwartz. Back row, from left, Marta Schwendeman, Naama Sheffer, Julia Troutt, Kristen Olson, and April Nishimura. Mike Pinder Photography
Patrick Lennon is a newly-minted alumnus of the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He was one of 13 International Studies students enrolled in SIS 495C Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty taught by Canadian Studies Center Associate Director, Nadine Fabbi and Center Affiliate, Vincent Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. After graduation, Patrick plans to work and consider his options for graduate school.
During this past fall quarter, I was faced with the question that awaits every student in International Studies – which Task Force do you want to take? Task Force is our senior capstone project, where we work in groups to write a policy paper about a current issue. When I looked at the list of choices, one jumped out at me immediately – Arctic Sovereignty. It was a topic that I didn’t even know existed, but it encompasses several of my interests including international law and human rights, particularly the rights of indigenous peoples. And so, after an interview in which I correctly answered the entry exam question, that Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister, not President, of Canada, it began.
Most of us came to the course with little knowledge of the Arctic region. We received a brief but intensive introduction to the issues through a series of readings assigned over winter break. In the first weeks of the quarter, our group discussed the issues we had learned about and how we wanted to split up the topics. I was assigned, along with Emily Epsten, to write the chapter on North America and the Arctic. Canada and the United States both have significant interests there, so Emily and I dove in to the wealth of information from governments, academics, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We chose to focus on the Northwest Passage, which runs through Canada’s Arctic archipelago, and is slowly opening to increased shipping as ice cover melts. The US and Canada dispute the legal status of the Passage, so we thought it would make the most interesting case study for our chapter.
Our thoughts about the Northwest Passage were supported when we visited Ottawa, Canada, as a part of the course. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade funded this fact-finding mission for the students of the Task Force to enable us to meet with a variety of diplomats, government officials, and NGOs to learn more about their perspectives on Arctic sovereignty issues. While on the Ottawa trip, we heard about the Northwest Passage from every embassy we met with, as well as several Canadian federal departments. This made Emily and I even more certain that although the Northwest Passage is not a dispute that could turn violent, it is certainly the hottest issue for North America in the Arctic.
The Ottawa trip definitely refined our thoughts on the issue, because of the broad variety of perspectives we heard. But the trip was an amazing experience beyond just that. I had never been anywhere so cold, for starters! But we also learned a great deal about Canadian culture and politics. I have Canadian family, which is a large part of my interest in the topic of Arctic sovereignty, but even having grown up visiting Canada often, there was a lot to learn in this beautiful, bilingual capital city.
Since the trip, which took place at the end of January, we have all worked feverishly to write our chapters that, combined, created a 300-plus page report on how to resolve competing interests in the Arctic. Climate change, as it is impacting the Arctic, will affect the rest of the world, so we should all be involved in dealing with it. This course was a great introduction to the problem, and is a good start for exposing more Americans to what is going on in the North.
Task Force has been part of the International Studies major since the program’s inception in 1982. It operates much like a Presidential Commission or other investigating group whose object is to arrive at a set of policy recommendations. Arctic Sovereignty was one of seven Task Force issues offered in Winter Quarter 2009 and only the second Task Force to offer a fact-finding mission abroad to facilitate “on the ground” research. This program was funded, in part, by a grant from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and by a Title VI Grant, International Education Programs Service, US Department of Education.
|Professor Vlad Kaczynski (far left) and several of the students in the course SMA / SISRE 555: Comparative Marine Business in the North Pacific. From left, Ellis Moose, Jennifer Harkins, Anthony Kenne, Dawn Golden, Heather Lapin, Alisa Praskovich, and Jongseong Ryu.|
Professor Vlad M. Kaczynski is with the School of Marine Affairs and the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, and is an Affiliated Faculty with the Canadian Studies Center. He specializes in comparative socio-economic and strategic studies of marine resource use and human activities in the ocean space. His specific interests have to do with polar issues, particularly with respect to changes taking place in the Arctic Ocean.
Marine economic relations in the North Pacific among Canada, Japan, Russia, and the US contribute to growing international economic integration, enhanced commercial cooperation, and collaboration in finding positive resolutions to emerging ocean resource use problems in the northern seas and coastal regions. The Arctic Ocean is increasingly an integral part of such relations and adds to their complexity.
In recent years, the extraordinary retreat of Arctic sea ice has focused renewed attention on the Arctic Ocean as a potential waterway for marine operations, both coastal and regional, and on the possibility of trans-Arctic navigation. With the acceleration of climate change in the Arctic, there is a growing emphasis on studies of marine resources and shipping as they play a vital role in protecting strategic interests of the Arctic coastal states, including Canada, US, Russia, Norway, and Denmark. Each nation must now define and defend its sea borders or claims to sea bottom areas in the Arctic Ocean, including off-shore oil and gas deposits, waterways, coastal lands, islands, and other natural assets.
Recognizing the importance of the region in UW’s academic curriculum, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies and the Canadian Studies Center in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, along with the School of Marine Affairs, launched a graduate research seminar entitled “Comparative Marine Business in the North Pacific” in 2005. The seminar discusses the increasing economic interdependence between countries, changing business opportunities, and strategies adopted by the North Pacific coastal states, and also responds to student demands for more business-oriented courses.
The seminar attracts students from fields as diverse as Political Science, Geography, Global Trade, Transportation and Logistics Studies, Marine Affairs, and Russian Studies. Students develop research skills and study Pacific and Arctic issues while taking into consideration the role of Canada, as well as Canada’s marine relations with the US and other countries.
During Fall Quarter 2008, Meaghan Brosnan, Marine Affairs, studied potential climate impacts on the accessibility of Arctic energy resources and on boundary issues between the US and Canada. Susan Albrecht, International Studies, researched the Canadian Port of Prince Rupert, arguing that transport from this small Canadian community via rail to the US Midwest and Chicago would be considerably shorter than from US ports. Ellis H. Moose and Alisa L. Praskovich, Marine Affairs, also discussed the competitive edge of the Port of Prince Rupert in comparison to other ports, including Yokohama (Japan), Vostochnyi (Russia), and Tacoma.
The course was a great success, offering UW students the opportunity to expand the scope of their research to encompass the Arctic region, as well as to consider Canada’s unique role in the dialogues and disputes over Arctic shipping routes.
|Canadian Studies FLAS students attend the first inaugural Foreign Language and Area Studies Reception for the Jackson School of International Studies. From left, Erin Maloney, FLAS Fellow, Ethnomusicology, French; Daniel Hart, Chair, Canadian Studies; Dvorah Oppenheimer, Administrator, Jackson School; Tim Pasch, FLAS Fellow, Communication, Inuktitut; Julia Miller, FLAS Fellow, Linguistics, Dane-Zaa.|
In Fall Quarter 2008, Natalie Debray, Communication and former FLAS Fellow, provided an independent study to 2008-09 FLAS Fellow, Erin Maloney, Ethnomusicology to enable Erin to gain enhanced language acquisition while developing a stronger foundation in Québec history and culture.
This course examined key readings in Québécois identity construction, paying particular attention to the Québec-France relationship and how this has played in role in Québec nation-building efforts since the 19th Century. This course also provided definitions and concepts germane to Québec identity construction as discussed by significant scholars in the field of Québec studies, including La Survivance, Québecois de Souche, Pure Laine, La Conquete, among others. The aim of the course was to provide a foundation on which to build further research in Québec culture and identity. The course combined seminal readings in both French and English. Discussions of the readings were held in French.
Spring Quarter 2008
Graduate Research Team Explores Sustainability Performance in Canada, the US and Beyond
by Dorothy Paun, Professor and students Sean Cappello, Katie Fulkerson, Laura Pollan, Ravi Manghani, Carolyn Chen, Angie Gaffney, Brianna Noel Hughes, Eric Knoben, Violeta Orlovic, Elizabeth Tran, and Emil Morhardt.
|Dorothy Paun and CFR 519 students. Front row: Professor Dorothy Paun, Katie Fulkerson, Liz Tran, Ravi Manghani. Back row: Violeta Orlovic, Laura Pollan, Sean Cappello, Carolyn Chen, Angie Montgomery, Brianna Noel Hughes, and Eric Knoben.|
Dorothy Paun's annual spring quarter research seminar, College of Forest Resources 519: Conducting an Industry Performance Review, provides a forum for UW students to affect positive change. Students unite under a common interest to explore financial, environmental, and social responsibility business activities and performance. The team includes undergraduate, master, and PhD students majoring in business, environmental science, law and a Hubert Humphrey Fellow.
Canada and the US share more than a long-standing, substantial bi-lateral trade relationship, and both share a concern about sustainability. As noted by Pettenger (2007), the Canadian government advocates that “no one country, acting alone, can solve the problem of climate change, but by working together towards a common goal the nations of the world can successfully address the challenge.” To explore cross-cultural dimensions of US and Canadian approaches to sustainability performance reporting, a pilot study was done in 2007. Two primary findings emerged: Canadian firms scored higher social responsibility performance while US firms scored higher environmental performance. Encouraged by these cross-cultural differences, the 2008 research seminar was designed to broaden the context of inquiry to include firms from around the world.
Increasing acknowledgement of climate change, emerging economies, population growth, and consumer awareness and activism have coalesced to make even the most conventional businesses think about new approaches like sustainability. Sustainability is meeting the current needs of people, businesses, and organizations without compromising Earth’s capacity to provide for future generations. This requires balancing environmental stewardship, financial prosperity, and social responsibility, an integration called the “triple bottom line.” Sustainability, previously considered more an ethical issue, has become a “business” issue. Businesses may be hesitant about adopting sustainable initiatives without sufficient information on financial implications like profitability and shareholder value. This research uses a triple bottom line approach in hopes of providing new business insights as well as incentives for more sustainable business practices.
Over the past two years, Dr. Paun’s research has worked on building a quantitative model of triple bottom line performance in order to provide a foundation for operationalizing the constructs of financial (e.g., return on equity, gross profit margin, debt to equity) social responsibility (e.g., occupational health and safety protection, employee equal opportunity, anti-corruption practices, community development and investment), and environmental performances (e.g., renewable energy use, recycling programs, water and waste reduction). The primary goal of her model is to investigate whether sustainable business practices influence corporate financial returns, and, if so, how (i.e., positively or negatively).
The 2008 spring quarter research seminar is in collaboration with Professor Emil Morhardt, Director of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont College. Morhardt developed the Pacific Sustainability Index (PSI), an assessment instrument for sustainability performance. From this PSI sample, we chose a sub-sample due for data access and consistency. Our sample consists of 78 firms from 18 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and the US) and twelve industries (banking and insurance, chemicals, computing and office equipment, electronics, energy, food, forest products, metals and mining, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, transportation, and utilities).
The research findings, if analyses suggest correlations among financial, environmental, and social performance, could provide incentives for corporations to deepen commitments to business practices that lower environmental impacts, enhance corporate social responsibility, and improve shareholder value.
Spring Quarter 2008
Canada: Morality and Justice in the 21st Century
by Shirley Henderson and LinhPhung Huynh
|Professor Andy Knight (front row), Political Science, University of Alberta, provides Canada’s perspective on humanitarian law in Professor Rick Lorenz (back row) course, SISME 420 International Humanitarian Law. Rick and Andy are joined by the members of the “Canada Team.” From left: Shirley Henderson, LinhPhung Huynh, Erina Aoyama, and Fiona Gillan.|
Morality and justice are frequently discussed norms in SISME 420, a UW course about International Humanitarian Law. Not coincidentally, Canada’s role in promoting humanitarian values has been part of this discussion. Canada is a world leader in promoting and establishing institutions that foster international humanitarian norms, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Ottawa Convention to ban landmines.
Erina Aoyama, Fiona Gillan, Shirley Henderson, and LinhPhung Huynh did extensive research on Canada’s leadership in the aforementioned international institutions for their SISME 420 class presentations. As part of their research, the students met with Professor Andrew Knight of the University of Alberta. Professor Knight stressed Canada’s strength as a “norm entrepreneur.” He stated that Canada is heavily involved in many organizations, treaties, and conventions that promote human security as a norm. This is especially important as human security becomes increasingly threatened by the changing face of conflict in the 21st century, leaving women, children, and the unarmed vulnerable.
Canada and other medium-sized states are rallying the world around these moral standards. In contrast to the United States’ use of hard power, Canada believes in the effectiveness of soft power, motivating others through ideas, values, and persuasion. This is an important lesson for the future of US foreign policy as soft power is proving itself increasingly effective, showcased in the achievements of the ICC and the Ottawa Convention.
Professor Andy Knight’s visit was made possible by funding from the University of Alberta and the Center’s US Department of Education, Title VI grant.
Spring Quarter 2008
Urban Design and Planning Course Studies Vancouver Models
|Vancouver city planners and community leaders take their Seattle counterparts and UW students in the Urban Design and Planning course on a tour of Vancouver's historic Chinatown.|
Dan Abramson, Assistant Professor in Urban Design and Planning, led his class in Urban Design and Planning 470: "Introduction to Urban Design," to the Historic Chinatown of Vancouver, BC, on Friday-Saturday, April 25-26. Sixteen out of 20 enrolled students in the course attended, most of them at the Masters level. The class was accompanied by representatives from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority, and the International District Housing Alliance, as well as postdoctoral visiting scholar from Israel.
The activity was the latest in a series of exchanges Professor Abramson has coordinated between the Chinatown communities of Seattle and Vancouver, and groups of students from the UW. The exchanges have focused on how preservation and revitalization planning and policy for historic Chinatowns in North America can better include the perspectives and experience of ethnic Chinese immigrant associations.
On this exchange, UW and Seattle visitors toured a number of Vancouver's historic Chinatown Society Buildings, heard presentations by the Society owners, by the Vancouver city planning staff on policy for Chinatown, and by Canadian architects Sandra Moore and Inge Roecker on preservation and rehabilitation design strategies for the buildings. The Canadians completed this round of the exchange by visiting Seattle in early June and making presentations to a larger Seattle audience.
This field course to Canada was made possible, in part, from a Center Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs, Canada.
|School of Social Work students pause for a group photo in Vancouver where they were able to compare Canadian social work approaches with US models (far right, Stan de Mello).|
Stan de Mello teaches in the School of Social Work and takes students on regular field trips to Canada (British Columbia and Alberta) to explore social work practices across the 49th parallel. Stan is interested in community-based practice in First Nations communities and cross-cultural social work in Canada. The course is co-taught with Blake Kaiser also with the School of Social Work. As a clinical social worker Blake has a keen interest in how social work practice has evolved in Canada. She has been involved in several field trips to Vancouver that have enriched her teaching and research interest in cross-border social work practice.
This past Winter Quarter Blake Kaiser and I took 21 students from the School of Social Work to Vancouver, British Columbia, on a field trip. We wanted the students to explore the multicultural roots that bind our two nations and to compare social work approaches across the 49th parallel.
After crossing the border we headed to Chinatown where we were met by our host, Hayne Wai, President of the Historical Society of Chinatown. Hayne is an instructor with University of British Columbia’s School of Social Work and is on the faculty of Education. In addition, he has been a long-time community activist in Vancouver. This was a historically opportune time to visit Chinatown as one hundred years ago Vancouver was rocked by race riots. The city was founded in the early 1900s as destination for Asian and European communities who arrived to make a new life. (Of course, First Nations people were already well established on the West Coast.) The riots were the result of a history of anti-Asian sentiment. For example, the Asiatic Exclusion League protested the presence of migrants from China, Japan and India. In 1907 the Labour Day weekend march rapidly deteriorated into violence and extensive property damage in Chinatown and Japantown. The origins of these riots can also be traced to Bellingham where earlier five hundred Punjabi workers were attacked by white protesters in an effort to drive them back into Canada.
Our group was able to retrace some of the key sites of the riot and visit Shanghai Alley and Canton Alley that were the economic and cultural centers of the early Chinese community. Hayne described how subsequent waves of Asian migration (including a moving account of his own family’s experiences) left unique contributions to the social and cultural fabric of the city. At the same time the stress and strains of multiculturalism have given rise to the ongoing challenges to both Canadian-born and immigrant populations. Our tour continued with a wonderful lunch in Chinatown and then a visit to the eastside of the city and a tour of Britannia Community Center, a multi-purpose social service facility. Once again we examined how contemporary social services approaches have been mediated by our respective social, cultural and political contexts. Our visit concluded with a dinner at the Katmandu Café where we heard from Vancouver Hospital social worker Kathleen Mackay, explaining how the hospital works on issues of domestic violence within a multicultural context.
In reflecting upon their visit, students seemed impressed with the diversity and differences between our countries as well as many similarities that both enrich and challenge us.
“The trip was amazing! I was surprised at how large and culturally expressive their [Vancouver’s] Chinatown was especially as I am a resident of Seattle’s international district … What I found most useful … was the group talk we had … about the current status of Canada’s racial and political positioning.” – Joshua Johnson, student participant
“Prior to our visit I was completely unaware of the deep rooted history the Chinese have in Canada … I hope that what I have learned from this trip to Canada will continue to motivate me to become a better social worker and a better person.” - Suzanna Chen, student participant
Funding - This field course to Canada was made possible thanks to a Canadian Studies Center Program Enhancement Grant from Foreign Affairs, Canada.
|"Professor Debray’s lectures and in-class discussions on Québec illustrated how language can shape histories and identities. It was moving to experience the evolution of our class from a textbook environment into a study of how people communicate their values and interact with one another… and what is at stake for those individuals, communities and nations."
- James-Olivia Avigail, double major in Humanities and English in the Evening Degree Program
Stan Natalie Debray earned her doctorate in Communication at the UW in 2007 and also holds an MA in International Studies. Her area of expertise is International Communication with an emphasis on media and cultural identity, intercultural communication, and communication and international relations. Her dissertation compared Canadian and Québécois media coverage of significant historic events to determine their influence on cultural and political identity. Natalie has received numerous awards including a Foreign Language and Area Studies award from the Center to study French and Québec culture and history.
How do Canadian and American citizens differ in their values? Is the French spoken in France the same as the French spoken in Québec? These are just some of the questions raised by students this quarter in the course, COM 478: Intercultural Communication.
The course examined the theoretical components of Intercultural Communication by putting the spotlight on our Canadian neighbors. The students are often quite surprised at how different Canadians and Americans really are. Through dynamic examples gleaned from my years traveling and researching Québec and Canada, I let the students know that we do not have to look very far to experience a completely different world. Multicultural and bilingual Canada is fertile ground for studying cultural diversity.
Set against the backdrop of globalization, the course examined the various ways that culture influences communication; how cultural identity is formed, and how this knowledge can foster an appreciation of diversity while creating savvy and culturally competent communicators. The students especially appreciated the lectures on history and language, where I used the concept of diaspora to illustrate how the vastly different histories of Canada and Québec contributed to the Canadian society that exists today – and the conflict that this has often engendered. For example, the students learned that Canada recognizes two distinct Canadian histories, one English and one French, and Canadians are often at odds over who really 'discovered' Canada.
The course also placed a particular emphasis on the importance of language and cultural identity. The students learned why the fight to preserve the French language in Québec is so important. Even Starbucks was no match for Bill 101 – the influential and strict language law designed to preserve the French component of Québec Society. The students were quite surprised to learn that homegrown Starbucks had to alter its well-known moniker if it wanted to open a store in historic Québec. Known as Café Starbucks Coffee, the coffee shop looks similar to one you would see in Seattle, but the French flair of its name gives some indication of the significance between language and culture.
For these students, mixing a little bit of history with a taste of cafe au lait has been a superb way to learn about Intercultural Communication.
|Funding – The course received significant funding from a National Science Foundation Grant, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship entitled, “Multinational Collaborations on Challenges to the Environment,” and from a Center Program Enhancement Grant from Foreign Affairs, Canada.|
Professor Tom Hinckley spent seven days (September 16th to 22nd) with UW students exploring issues of land management and stewardship in the face of bark beetles, climate change, fire, invasive organisms, and legacies of failed or inappropriate land management approaches. These factors have combined to produce major environmental issues in both countries. However, the perception and solutions to these problems vary depending upon national and regional differences and how land is owned or allocated and managed. The course focused on the environment around Loomis, Washington and Kamloops, British Columbia where students had the opportunity to see these problems first hand and to talk with a wide variety of stakeholders.
The students spent their first day walking into Horseshoe Basin in the Cascades and into the heart of the 2006 Tripod Complex Fire and in the remaining days met with 13 different stakeholders. On the Canadian side of the border representatives from the Kamloops Indian Band, the British Columbia Ministry of Forestry, the City of Kamloops Parks and Recreation, Sun Peaks Resort and the Thompson River University all provided presentations.
The breadth of the perspectives made a marked impact on the students. “I was inspired by John Jules,” said Joanne Ho, a graduate student participant from Forest Resources. (John Jules is the Director of Cultural and Natural Resources for the Kamloops Indian Band.) “I thought it was great how he looked at each issue as separate, and understood the complexity of how each issue is intertwined with the whole problem … In his words, there is something positive in everything if one chooses to see it that way. I am very impressed by that and inspired to think of ways to deconstruct borders, given the constraints we face.”
The course provided the students with insights into the challenges of decision and policy-making in a bi-national ecosystem and how differing Canadian and US values and laws can impact the effectiveness of environmental management.
|Funding – This course was made possible, in part, thanks to funding from the Center's Québec Pacific Northwest Initiative Grant, Québec Government, Canada.|
Régent Cabana has more than 20 years of experience in international academic programs and international relations either as an officer for the foreign service of the Québec Government or as a coordinator of academic programs abroad. He is the Program Director of URBANA and NEXOPOLIS, two consortia of universities in Mexico, Canada and the United States that support student and faculty exchange programs abroad. ?The College of Architecture and Urban Planning is the recipient of a four-year Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).
The six universities of this trilateral consortium include Université Laval in Québec City and Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The consortium NEXOPOLIS is developing a comparative program of study in the area of central city revitalization. The program allows students from the United States, Canada, and Mexico to become knowledgeable in the area of comparative urban studies with regard to central city revitalization and related issues while working toward completing their degrees in Mexico or Canada. The grant included a field course to Québec.
This past summer, Professor Fritz Wagner, Chair, UW Landscape Architecture, and I, and eleven UW students from diverse disciplines such as urban planning, landscape architecture and architecture studied a variety of urban issues in Montréal, Québec City and the Charlevoix region. We met professors, government officials and other urban experts for lectures, tours and discussions during a 10-day study tour of the province of Québec.
The course, L ARCH 495: Comparative Urban Planning and Design—Canada and the US, examined similarities and differences between cities in the two nations. The students looked more particularly at current urban issues confronting communities in Québec. They studied the physical layout of cities, urban design, urban growth, problems related to the environment, governmental institutions as well as historical, social and cultural factors specific to Québec cities.
By the end of the program, students had gained a new perspective of Québec and Canada as well as a better understanding of economic, political, social and cultural differences between the two countries—all key factors in making decisions relating to urban planning. They now possess a wider perspective from which to think creatively about solutions to improve urban living conditions in our neighborhoods, cities, regions, and countries. The students also gained access to a wide network of academic and professional contacts on urban issues in Canada and the United States better preparing them to enter the North American job market.
Congratulations to the following students Architecture?who received $200 scholarships from the Center’s Pacific Northwest Québec Initiative Grant, Québec Government, to participate in the program, Eriko Kawamura and Christopher Sung-Hey Kwong (Architecture); Becky Chaney, Brian Gregory, Christine Plourde and Eric Streeby (Landscape Architecture); Ming-Yi Hsu and Nicholas Kindel (Urban Design and Planning); Joyce Chen and Calder Danz (Anthropology); Myles Brenner (Political Science).
“Understanding how history (the relationship between French and English in Canada) has influenced the city structure and development is my biggest gain from this Québec Studies trip and will influence my future studies.” ?— Christopher Sung-Hey Kwong, Architecture
|Canadian Studies Center|
|University of Washington|
|Thomson Hall, Room 503|
|Seattle, WA 98195-3650|
|T (206) 221-6374|
|F (206) 685-0668|