Canadian Studies Center September 2010 Report


November 2010 Report

Graduate Student News

Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Fellow, Melanie Beckwith, Law School, Conducts Research on Canadian and U.S. Immigration Laws

Melanie Beckwith at her office with the U.S. Department of Justice in D.C.
Melanie Beckwith at her office with the U.S. Department of Justice in D.C.

I am a third-year law student and recipient of a 2010-11 Canada Studies’ Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. I am particularly interested in the fields of immigration and international human rights law. This year, I will be completing a research project in which I analyze how both the United States and Canada use immigration laws as a means of enforcing human rights. In order to gain a broader understanding of U.S. law and policy in this area, I moved to Washington, D.C. for the quarter. I am working as a legal extern at the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

As a legal extern, I am assisting the section’s trial attorneys with various legal research and writing projects related to their cases. According HRSP’s website, the division “develops and coordinates human rights enforcement strategy focused on preventing the U.S. from becoming a safe haven for human rights violators and holding human rights violators accountable for their crimes; targets human rights violators who reside in the United States for criminal prosecution; enforces the federal criminal laws relating to alien smuggling and other immigration-related offenses; and prosecutes extraterritorial violent crimes for which jurisdiction lies under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) or pursuant to the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

In addition to working full-time as a legal extern, I am also taking French language classes at night. The experience I am gaining at HRSP, combined with my continued study of the French language, will be invaluable as I continue working on my comparative U.S.-Canadian research.

Melanie Beckwith is a student in the UW Law School.

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Windswept researcher, Amanda Barney, Marine Affairs, at Deep Bay, Fogo Island, Newfoundland.
Windswept researcher, Amanda Barney, Marine Affairs, at Deep Bay, Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

Graduate Affiliate from Marine Affairs, Amanda Barney, Returns from Research Trip to a Fisheries Out-Post in Newfoundland
During the middle of September 2010 I traveled to Fogo Island, Newfoundland in order to conduct a series of interviews with locals in an attempt to measure community resilience on the island. The original aim of my research was to use the communities on Fogo Island as a case study for how to sustain and develop community resilience in fisheries resource dependent outports that are or will be facing major changes to the fisheries they depend on.

Currently the communities on the island are in the middle of major social changes - they are going to have a centralized municipal government for the first time in their history instead of having representatives from each community, and they are seeing changes occur due to the investments of time and money from two organizations. The Shorefast Foundation is a charitable organization that is partnering with and supporting the people of Fogo Island as they invest in ways to revitalize their economy in the face of ongoing changes to the North Atlantic fisheries ( The Fogo Island Arts Corporation is a contemporary art venue housed in several studios that aims to make Fogo Island and the Change Islands internationally visible through the arts (

Due to the input from these two organizations, the communities are no longer typical outports. Most small fishing villages do not have this type of non-governmental financial and social support and this meant the communities of Fogo Island may no longer be ideal case studies for other fisheries dependent outports. Since I was on Fogo Island, and because the people were so generous with their time, ideas and thoughts about their future, I knew that I wanted this place to remain the focus of my research. I was able to talk with people at both the Shorefast Foundation and the Fogo Island Arts Corporation (who so kindly showed me inside the beautiful Long Studio), and with locals and determined that I could still look at social sustainability on Fogo Island. But instead of attempting to measure it, I will instead attempt to help promote and build it by developing a geotourism plan for Fogo Island as described by the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations (
Amanda Barney is a second year graduate student at the School of Marine Affairs and a Canadian Studies Affiliate at the Jackson School working with Professor Marc L. Miller. She currently returned from a research trip to her native Newfoundland where she got to explore Fogo Island for the first time.



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