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Center builds ties with Whitman College Canadian Studies Association

September 30, 2010

Above: Jack Iverson, Director, Canadian Studies Association at Whitman College with Eric Bridgeland, coach of the Whitman basketball team.

In late September Jack Iverson, Director, Canadian Studies Association Whitman College, and Professor, Foreign Language and Literature, invited the Center’s associate director, Nadine Fabbi, to Whitman to visit with faculty regarding the enhancement of the Canadian studies program. Although none are dedicated specialists, about a dozen Whitman faculty taken an interest in Canadian matters, including in literature, environmental studies, French Canadian language and Québec culture, film and most interestingly, sport. Athletic director Dean Snider and basketball coach, Eric Bridgeland, are working on a project to build international understanding as part of the team’s training prior to a series of games to be held in British Columbia.

Meetings were also held with individual faculty including Mary Anne O’Neil, Whitman professor of French and president of Northwest chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). O’Neil and Fabbi are now working together to increase Canadian French language and cultural training to AATF.Fabbi provided a presentation to faculty, Challenges and Rewards of a Multidisciplinary Program: Canadian Studies at the University of Washington, as part of the Center for Teaching and Learning program. She gave an overview of the UW Canadian Studies Center faculty and activities and discussed the importance of Canadian studies in an increasingly integrated North American community. “While Canada and the U.S. have developed in parallel and have been close allies and partners, the values of the two nations are divergent and this trend is only increasing,” Fabbi pointed out,
“therefore, it is imperative that our students have some understanding of one another in order to ensure a vibrant North America in the future.”

Fabbi’s visit coincided with Whitman’s O’Donnell Visiting Educator, Magnus Isacsson. Isacsson is an award-winning Canadian documentary filmmaker who has produced more than a dozen independent films since 1986 (

The UW Canadian Studies Center is secretariat for the PNWCSC consisting of 47 universities and colleges in Alaska, the Yukon, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, regional organizations, as well as the ministries of Government in British Columbia and Alberta.As an outcome of the visit, plans were put in place for a Winter 2011 visit to Whitman from the UW Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Chair, Marcia Ostashewski. Ostashewski’s research involves the intersection between music and dance, and race and ethnicity in Canada. She will be in residence at the UW from January to June 2011.

The Consortium’s mission is to facilitate the development of Canadian Studies at institutions of higher education in the Pacific Northwest, and to enhance cooperation, joint programming, and information sharing among Canadian Studies programs and faculty in the Pacific region. Whitman College is one of the most active members of the Consortium. See Jack Iverson, host of the visit, was the successful recipient of a recent Program Enhancement Grant from the Government of Canada.