21-23 May 2015 Canadian Studies Conference
Joan Sangster and Bill Waiser, Conference Coordinators
In accordance with Trent's 50th anniversary celebrations, an international conference was held in May, 2015, recognizing the important place the study of Canada has played in the history of Trent University. "Contesting Canada's Future" was a resounding success, bringing together participants from Canada and abroad, all of whom recognized the important place of Canadian Studies both in public life and in the academy, and the important role Trent has played in fostering the study of Canada.
The conference opened with an assessment of Canadian Studies forty years after founding Trent president Tom Symons prepared his seminal study, To Know Ourselves. This first session served as a springboard into a series of conference panels and roundtables that covered a wide range of topics from Aboriginal heritage and schooling to foreign policy, work, cultural production, our intellectual traditions and policy issues.
Interspersed between the sessions were several keynote addresses. Celebrated author Miriam Toews did a public reading at Peterborough’s Market Square and explained how her personal experiences, including growing up Mennonite in rural Manitoba, informed her writing. Activist Maude Barlow talked about the urgent need for a water bill of rights. Inuit Elder Mary Simon spoke about how education was one of the most pressing challenges in northern Canada today and what needs to be done to keep kids in school and graduating. And Erica Lee, a co-founder of the Idle No More movement, told a spellbound audience what it was like growing up Aboriginal in Saskatoon and why First Nations people today are angry.
A series of keynote theme panels with prominent speakers also debated and discussed important contemporary issues, such as Canada's human rights record, work and employment, art and the politics of art, and the archival challenge of preserving digital records. The Peterborough arts and cultural community was also involved and hosted a number of activities and events, including a gallery opening for Danya Danger at Artspace.
26 March 2015 Suds n' Speakers
6-7 March 2015 Welfare State Workshop
The Future History of the Welfare State brought together a dozen high-profile academics from around the country to reflect on the past, present, and future of welfare state scholarship in Canada. This workshop honoured the distinguished career of professor James Struthers, who has been a central figure in historical scholarship on the Canadian welfare state since the 1970s.
5 March 2015 Suds n' Speakers
Organizing Committee: Katherine Viscardis, Mary Anne Martin and Karen Everett
This winter, Suds and Speakers once again showcased the work of our own Trent researchers for a Trent audience. Not only did Suds tap into the enlightening research of faculty members, but for the first time, it also included an event specifically highlighting the lesser known but fascinating research of our own post-doctoral scholars. On March 5, our faculty speakers focused on Northern Canada. In Professor Joan Sangster’s talk, “Law and Order in the North: The Smiling People and RCMP,” she used the RCMP TV program to argue that images of the North and Aboriginal people cannot be extricated from political economy. In “Arctic Governance: A Synthesis,” Professor Heather Nicol traced the ways that foreign policy affects how we in Canada engage with the Arctic.
Two weeks later, five Frost Centre post-doctoral scholars provided another set of stimulating talks. David Tough’s “At Last! The Government’s War on Poverty Explained: The Charisma of Poverty in the 1960s and the Crisis of Redistributive Politics” revealed a broad fixation on poor people that eclipsed the material and systemic realities of their lives during the War on Poverty. Lisa Pasolli was “Talkin’ Day Care Blues” when she considered “the uneasiness of working motherhood” as she charted the fight for public childcare in BC. In his talk, “Flying Balloons in the High Arctic: The Joint Arctic Weather Stations, Science, and Technology, 1946–1972,” Daniel Heidt argued the importance of investigating the role of technicians in scientific research and the culture in which they work. Alison Norman’s talk “Mohawk Women Teachers in 19th Century Ontario” considered the presence of and challenges faced by Mohawk women teachers in 19th century public schools. Finally, in “Crossing the Boundaries: The State and Science in Resource Management,” Mark McLaughlin examined the agency of resource scientists/ ecologists and how it was influenced by the state in the decades following World War II. A lively question and answer discussion followed both of these well-attended events. Much appreciation goes out to our wonderful speakers, to Traill College and the Frost Centre for sponsoring this event, and to BE catering for accommodating us and preparing such great food.
25 February 2015 Brown Bag Luncheon with Amanda Graham
Amanda Graham is Coordinator/Instructor, University of the Arctic School of Liberal Arts and Applied Arts at Yukon College. She has taught circumpolar and northern studies for approximately 17 years in the Yukon, with The University of the Arctic and Yukon College. Her topic will be The University Project in the Canadian North, which as many of you know, was something that our emeritus faculty member, Peter Adams, was involved with at one time.
The University Project in the Canadian North
Yukon College's degree announcement this past October is the most recent step in a long project to establish a university in Northern Canada. Since 1964, there have been more than a dozen attempts, some modest, others more far-reaching and consequential.
When considered together, one can see four distinct stages in the journey to a northern university today. The first coincides with several motivating forces, including government interest in northern resources, the oil crisis, the beginning of land claims, the Berger Inquiry, etc. The second stage begins when the territorial governments establish Yukon and Arctic colleges in the early 1980s. The third begins as the north connects to the circumpolar world. The fourth began on October 14, 2014.
In her presentation, Amanda will share some stories of the northern university project and offer some thoughts about the situation today.
2015 North at Trent Lecture Series
The North at Trent lecture series provided both the Trent and broader Peterborough communities the opportunity to engage with lawyers, activists and a National Chief whose work focuses on Indigenous rights in Canada’s north and beyond.
3 February 2015 Public Lecture with Perry Bellegarde
13 January 2015 Public Lecture with Kristen Burnett
14 November 2014 Film Screening & Discussion
Rhymes for Young Ghouls
presentation and discussion with Sean Carleton
August 27-29, 2014 Windy Pine
The annual Windy Pine retreat took place in late August to welcome the incoming PhD cohort from both Trent and Carleton. As always, it was informative and yummy.