Oh, Canada! Who Art Thou?

This is a 10-week seminar, starting on February 22, 2017.

Moderator:                 Richard Hamilton
Co-moderators:       Hy Edelstein, Candy Carlisle
Day and Time:          Wednesday, 9:30-11:30 AM
Format:                        Seminar
Location:                    UMass Transit Center, Amherst
(parking permit required, provided to participants by moderator)

Since many Canadians seem to know what goes on here in the U.S. and most Americans seem to know almost nothing about Canada, this seminar will inform participants of the complexity of Canadian society, politics and economy.

Our seminar topics lead toward a comprehension of Canada as a nation and society as well as the complexities of Canadian-American political, economic and social relationships.
Some areas of concern will be:

  • Origins of colonial New France and colonial English Canada and their legacies: e.g. Quebecer ambiguous feelings about the Canadian Constitution and separatism.  What does the Quebec motto “Je me souviens” (“I remember”) really mean?
  • Westward expansion of the newly confederated British Canadian colonies:
    Rebellion (Métis nation); Relations with native peoples; Yukon and other gold rushes; Tensions with a S. neighbor bent on Manifest Destiny.
  • Canada’s emergence as an advanced modern nation and society:
    Evolution from Dominion status to complete sovereignty; Military contributions to WWI, WWII, the Cold War and today’s U.N. peacekeeping mission.
  • Canadian nationalism, identity and values: Democracy, human rights, peace-keeping, etc.; Identity and nationalism (Canadian, not American!).
  • Immigration: The future of Canadian identity, given ever expanding multi-ethnic/multi-cultural immigration.
  • Areas of Canadian-U.S. cooperation and conflict: g. St. Lawrence Seaway; economic issues (NAFTA); Foreign policy and defense; Canadian Arctic sovereignty claims vs. U.S. claims of freedom of the seas and right of international transit of the Northwest Passage.

Role of participants:
Each participant will make a 20-25 minute presentation on a relevant topic, followed by a 25-30 minute discussion. A topic list will be presented; also, suggested topics possible.

Recommended: Will Ferguson, Canadian History for Dummies, CDG Books, Canada, 2000, or J.M. Bumstead, A History of the Canadian Peoples,”3rd, ed. Oxford, 2007.  Both available through local booksellers or on-line merchants.

About the Moderators:
Rich Hamilton has taught college History for many years and has moderated other seminars. Hy Edelstein held management positions in industry and has moderated seminars in history, philosophy, and biology.  Second Co-Moderator Candy Carlisle has moderated seminars on poetry and the Silk Road.