Recent Event:

CONFERENCE on Law & Disability,

See our first edition, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 2013
Second edition, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 2013
Third edition,Vol. 2, No. 1, January 2014
Fourth edition, Vol. 2, No 2, June 2014
Fifth edition, Vol. 3, No 1, Janaury 2015
Sixth edition, Vol. 3, No 2, June 2015

Mission Statement

The Canadian Studies Program at the University of California at Berkeley was established in 1982, with the aim of institutionalizing the interdisciplinary study of Canada through instruction and research. We encourage and facilitate an awareness of Canadian issues on our own campus, in nearby institutions with no Canadian Studies programs of their own, and in the wider community as well.

Program Background and History

The Program was founded in 1982 by Thomas G. Barnes (Professor of History and Law) and Victor Jones (Political Science). Nelson Graburn (Anthropology) served as Co-Director and then Director until July 2012. The Program is now directed by Professor Irene Bloemraad (Sociology); for profile see The Program is assisted by an Advisory Board. Over the past three decades the Program has developed into one of the leaders of Canadian Studies in the United States. Locally, our outreach efforts enable scholars and students at nearby institutions such as San Jose State University, Mills College, and St. Mary's College (none of which has its own Canadian Studies Program) to interact intellectually with Berkeley personnel, to our mutual enrichment. Through its extensive activities, which include regular symposia and colloquia and frequent conferences, the Program has achieved national prominence.

The Program celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in October 2012. A full agenda of the two-day event and rapporteur's summary of the symposium are available at

As part of our commemoration of this anniversary, a pamphlet highlighting the Program's first thirty years was researched and prepared by Brendan Shanahan (graduate student in History). "Celebrating Thirty years of Canadian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley: 1982-2012" is available in pamphlet form (print back to back, landscape mode, and staple together in the middle) OR in a continuous text version. Thanks to Brendan for doing such a wonderful job!

Tom Barnes and the Thomas Garden Barnes Chair in Canadian Studies

Tom Barnes, one of the founders of the Canadian Studies Program at Berkeley and one of its Co-Directors since its inception in 1982, died on March 9, 2010, just short of his eightieth birthday. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers any gifts in Tom's memory be directed to the Thomas Garden Barnes Chair in Canadian Studies, described here. Gifts may be made online via a secure site linked to below; or checks made out to "UC Regents" for the Barnes Chair endowment fund may be sent to Rita Ross at the address above.

We have received a number of wonderful tributes to Tom which we would like to share:

  • Tom's close friend and colleague in the Department of History, Sheldon Rothblatt, has written a memorial essay about Tom's life and career.
  • The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, has given permission for us to post his letter to Jeanne Marie Barnes.
  • Professor Emeritus Philip T. Spieth has written a remembrance of Tom focusing on his dedication to Military Affairs at Berkeley, here..
  • One of Tom's former students has created a Facebook page where messages and reminiscences about Tom may be posted:

Tom was a wonderful man and a great scholar. He will be missed by family, friends, colleagues, students, and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Tom and Nelson

Tom Barnes and Nelson Graburn


Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies at Berkeley

We are delighted to announce that our inaugural Fulbright Chair in Canadian Studies will be Laverne Jacobs, of the  Law faculty of the University of Windsor. She will be in residence during calendar year 2014 with the Canadian Studies Program and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at Berkeley. Dr. Jacobs is a  specialist in administrative law and disability law. We look forward to her residency at Berkeley.

Visiting Scholars

The Program at Berkeley regularly hosts Visiting Scholars who come to spend a period of time at Berkeley while pursuing research on some Canadian topic. .Details about Visiting Scholar requirements and application procedures are availalble at Many of our visitors are also awarded the John A. Sproul Research Fellowship in Canadian Studies. Visiting Scholars hosted by other units on campus are eligible to apply for the Sproul Fellowship.

All visiting students, scholars, researchers, and postdocs from Canada are warmly invited to contact the Program and to participate in our activities - as well as any others with an interest in Canada.

During Spring semester 1997 the Program was pleased to host two Visiting Scholars from Dalhousie University in Halifax . Marian Binkley was co-sponsored by Canadian Studies and Anthropology, while Jack Crowley (her spouse) was co-sponsored by Canadian Studies and History. A Visiting Scholar in the Boalt School of Law, Frederick Charette, was also here from Quebec .

The Canadian Studies Program officially hosted two Visiting Scholars during 1997-98, Stephen Longstaff (Department of Sociology, York University), and Eva Darias-Beautell (Department of Modern Languages, Universidad de la Laguna, Canary Islands). Professor Longstaff, who is particularly interested in the political and cultural ramifications of the Quebec question, was with us for the whole of the spring, and in addition to presenting a talk in our colloquium series on February 4, 1998, "ROC in a Hard Place: English Canada Confronts a Third Quebec Referendum," also took part in the April 3, 1998 Crossing Borders workshop. He participated in the Program's other events throughout the semester. Professor Darias-Beautell was able to arrive only at the very end of the spring 1998 semester, but contributed nevertheless with her May 6th talk, "Notebook on a Missing Woman: Realism, Identity Politics and the Lure of the Wilderness in Canadian and American Literature." She is conducting research on women writers in Canada and the United States, and hopes to be able to return to Berkeley in the future.

Our Sproul FellowAlain Noël, was with us for the entire year, and took part in all our activities, including the Crossing Borders panels. His wife, Marie-France Le Blanc, was also in residence as a Visiting Scholar at Berkeley, in the Institute of Urban and Regional Development. She gave us a talk based on her ongoing dissertation research on April 8 - only a month or so after giving birth to their third child!

Other Visiting Scholars associated with the Program during 1997-98 were Lorna Erwin, a sociologist from York (and wife of Stephen Longstaff), Diana Majury, Professor of Law at York, and Janusz Przychodzen, a Visiting Scholar with the Department of Comparative Literature at Berkeley. We were delighted with their participation in our events.

In 1998-1999 the official Visiting Scholars in Canadian Studies were William Young, who is finishing his doctoral degree atCambridge University, and Chen Yuan, a retired historian.  Young's in-progress dissertation,  Risk and Failure in 18th Century Atlantic Trade, has some Canadian content which he has shared with us in a  bag lunch talk. Chen's research focuses on the early development of Canadian Stock markets, particularly in British Columbia and Alberta.

Other scholars who were officially hosted by various other units on campus during 1998-1999  also participated in our activities during the year, attending sessions and sometimes giving papers. Among them were John W. Frank (Visiting Scholar, Public Health, Division of Biology & Epidemiology), Sandford Borins (University of Toronto),  and Grace Feuerverger (University ofToronto).

Fulbright residence of Michael Hawes, 1999-2000 
During the course of the past few years, Professor Michael K. Hawes (Political Studies, Queen's) has emerged as a key colleague of the Canadian Studies Program, continuing a relationship with scholars from Queen’s that began many years ago with Ronald Watts and Peter Leslie. He has been involved in Program activities since 1996. Besides having a thorough founding in Canadian politics and political economy, he has done a great deal of work in Japan and Mexico, and brings extra-continental perspectives to North American developments. We were honored that Hawes chose to spend his sabbatical leave for 1999-2000 with us as this year's J. William Fulbright Distinguished Professor in Canadian-American Relations. He was also named this year’s John A. Sproul Fellow in Canadian Studies. Professor Hawes was a devoted and energetic participant in all Canadian Studies and Fulbright activities, and we greatly appreciate the time he spent with us. Since his return to Canada he has continued to collaborate with the Program, taking an important role in several recent conferences and symposia.  He is currently the Executive Director of the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program.

In 2000-2001 we were pleased to welcome  Canadian Fulbright Scholars Dean BavingtonKatherine Baylis, and Jeff Colgan, as well as Sproul Fellow Guy Beauregard, from Ethnic Studies. Other scholars who were officially hosted by various other units on campus also participate in our activities during the year, attending bag lunches and other events and sometimes giving papers. Among them in 2001-2002 were Daniel Sandler (School of Law), Geraldine Sparrow (School of Law), and John Vardalas (Office for the History of Science and Technology), who was also a Sproul Fellow.  In 2002-2003 William Young and Chen Yuan continued their ongoing research projects as Visiting Scholars with the Program. Bernard Arcand (Université Laval) was unofficially associated  with the Program during the whole of the Spring 2003 semester, as was John Vardalas.

In 2003-2004  Elena Scali, a Canadian Fulbright Scholar,  joined us as a Visiting Scholar and Sproul Fellow.  Having just finished her Masters degree at Cambridge University, she worked while at Berkeley with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Canada, to undertake two research studies on the well-being of Aboriginal communities in the United States andCanada. She presented her preliminary findings in a slide talk given on April 21, 2004, "Our Home and Native Lands: the Well-Being of Aboriginal Communities in the United States and Canada."  In addition, she produced a documentary photo essay on contemporary Pomo Indian ways of life in California. While here she participated in many Program activities.

Harry Hiller a Professor of Sociology on sabbatical leave from the University of Calgary; was a Visiting Scholar as well as a Sproul fellow for the Spring 2004 semester. Although with us for only a short time, he was  an enthusiastic and congenial participant in all Program events. He was also impressively productive. Besides completing editorial work for his new book Urban Canada: Sociological Perspectives (to be published by Oxford University Press), he continued work on a major project, The Alberta In-Migration Study. He developed a theory of in-migration and wrote parts of several chapters, and also consulted with three members of the Sociology Department on this topic. On March 18th he presented part of this ongoing major project  in his talk "Black Gold: Understanding Boom-time Migration to Alberta." 

In Spring 2005  John Vardalas was again an official Canadian Studies Visiting ScholarHe continude his research on the history of technology on both sides of the border, and worked on a project on the stability of the electrical grid.  Another welcome guest was the Canadian journalist Kathleen Kenna. Although officially  a Visiting Scholar with the Graduate School of Journalism,  she was closely connected with our Program during 2004-2005. Her  September 23, 2004 talk,  “Heroism in the Desert: a Canadian journalist and her American rescuers in Afghanistan ," described her harrowing ordeal following a grenade attack in Afghanistan. She was also a  Sproul fellow.

Peter Gossage was a Canadian Studies Visiting Scholar and Sproul Fellow for AY 2007-2008.  A historian from the   particular focus on Quebec society in the 19th and 20th centuries, Gossage worked on several projects while in residence at Berkeley. He is one of  three co-directors of the online project Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History(  

Michael Behiels from the University of Ottawa was in residence with us during the Spring semester of 2009. He presented the Thomas Garden Barnes Lecture in Canadian Studies in April, 
on "Canada’s ‘Rights Revolution’: Populist or Elitist, 1960-1982."

David Trim, a historian from England, was a Visiting Scholar with the Program in Fall 2009.  A military historian, much of his research here will be on the experience of Canadian troops in the Low Countries in World Wars I and II.  He also collaborated with the Program on the Quebec symposium in November 2008 and took the lead on our symposium on the "responsibility to protect." 

During the 2009-2010 academic year we hosted a total of five visiting scholars who have contributed immensely to our activities. They are Denver Lewellen, a medical anthropologist; Marian Binkley, a sociocultural anthropologist from Dalhousie; Jack Crowley, a historian from Dalhousie, Jocelyn Létourneau, a historian from Laval, and Gary Tompkins, an economist from the University of Regina. All have contributed papers to our colloquium sessions and have particpated in our events. In Spring 2010 we were joined by Dylan Robinson, an ethnomusicologist, now at Royal Holloway, University of London.

In Spring 2012 we were delighted by a return visit from Michael Behiels History, University of Ottawa. He collaborated with the Program on that term's conference on Aboriginal Sovereignty in North America. During the 2012-2013 academic year  Denver Lewellen, Stephen Ross (Law, Penn State), and Celia Rabinovitch (University of Manitoba) were in residence for the entire year, and Carol Beran (St. Mary’s College of California) spent her Spring 2013 sabbatical with us.

In Fall 2013 we have three scholars who will be spending time at Berkeley: Keith Banting Public Policy, Queen’s (Vis Scholar IGS), Mireille Pacquet (Political Science, Concordia), and Habib Saidi (History, Laval). In Spring 2014 we look forward to hosting Ian Urquhart, Political Scientist from the University of Alberta.

We have been fortunate to have such a wonderful mix of scholars at Berkeley over the years. Thanks to all our Scholars and Sproul Fellows!