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Assisted Reproduction Policy in Canada: Framing, Federalism, and Failure

Guest blog by Dave Snow, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph

My interest in assisted reproduction began on an airplane. In August 2017, I was flying from Fredericton, New Brunswick to Calgary to begin a Master’s degree in political science. The day before my flight, I had grabbed a book – Margaret Somerville’s The Ethical Imagination – from my father’s collection to read on the plane. The book, which explored the ethics of assisted reproduction and genetic manipulation, was my first foray into the subject area. Before that, I had intended to study how Canadian courts had shaped our electoral system in my MA thesis. When I arrived in Calgary to meet my supervisor, I spoke of my new interest in ethical debates surrounding technologies and practices such as surrogacy, gene editing, and embryonic research. Given my interest in the courts, perhaps I could study judicial involvement in assisted...

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The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution

Guest blog by Ann Travers, Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University

My research with and on behalf of trans and gender nonconforming kids brings my personal experience together with my scholarship in a particularly powerful way. I was a gender nonconforming kid and experienced very harsh gender policing. I now identify as trans non-binary and wish there had been more options when I was growing up. My own experience really influenced my efforts as a parent to keep people from imposing gender categories and norms on my own children. This often felt like a losing battle, as people and institutions are relentless when it comes to dividing children into girl and boy categories and attempting to restrict the...

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Panser le Canada : une histoire intellectuelle de la commission Laurendeau-Dunton, 1963-1971

Valérie Lapointe-Gagnon, professeure d’histoire, Faculté Saint-Jean de l’Université de l’Alberta

« Mariage de raison », « deux solitudes », « mal canadien », « marécage », « duel constitutionnel », les métaphores de combat et d’éloignement sont nombreuses dans la littérature pour évoquer les relations conflictuelles entre le Québec et le Canada et auparavant entre le Canada français et le Canada anglais. C’est de cette fascination pour ces tensions et les débats constitutionnels qu’est né mon projet doctoral qui a mené, après plusieurs années de recherche, à la publication de Panser le Canada. Si les tensions ont été légion, on oublie souvent l’apport des femmes et des hommes qui ont tenté de les...

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The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology

Guest blog by Mark A. McCutcheon, Professor of Literary Studies at Athabasca University

Like much of my work on Canadian popular culture, the idea for The Medium Is the Monster arose from my experience and research in raves and electronic dance music (EDM). The kernel of the book's first argument -- that technology is a word whose modern meaning was historically shaped by Frankenstein -- first appeared in a 2007 article, "Techno, Frankenstein, and copyright." The book's other key argument -- that Canadian pop culture, anchored in Marshall McLuhan's work, has popularized this sense of technology as manufactured monstrosity -- took shape in the keynote I delivered (in my role, then, as guest professor of...

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Change a Life, Change your Own: Child Sponsorship, the Discourse of Development, and the Production of Ethical Subjects

Guest blog by Peter Ove, faculty member at Camosun College

It was January 1996, and I was standing on a gangway in a Cuban cement factory. There was no safety railing between me and four massive cylinders crushing limestone some five meters below. The air glittered with dust, and the noise was deafening. At that moment, I was reconsidering my participation in the inaugural Canadian World Youth exchange to Cuba, which I had happily begun the year before. In the end, I stayed for four months, working just outside the small town of Taguasco, although I was eventually able to secure a “cushy” job in the plant’s physical-testing laboratory. Living together with Cubans was an eye-opening experience for me. While it was...

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Eat Local, Taste Global: How Ethnocultural Food Reaches our Tables

Guest blog by Glen C. Filson, Professor Emeritus, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph and Bamidele Adekunle, Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph

When questions emerged about a decade ago regarding whether — and to what extent —Toronto’s immigrant communities could access their preferred vegetables, our multiethnic team sought empirical answers. We interviewed 250 vegetable buyers each from the Greater Toronto Area’s largest ethnic groups — South Asian, Chinese and Afro-Caribbean Canadians — to determine their 10 preferred vegetables, such as okra, callaloo, bok choy, and bitter melon. They also told us...

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Responding to Human Trafficking: Dispossession, Colonial Violence, and Resistance among Indigenous and Racialized Women

Guest blog by Julie Kaye, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan

Responding to Human Trafficking: Dispossession, Colonial Violence, and Resistance among Indigenous and Racialized Women is dedicated to my late mentor and friend, Trisha Anne Monture. Her Mohawk name, Aywahande, means “the one who starts things with words.” It is a fitting dedication for this book since so many of the ideas that eventually unfolded in this work began in conversation with her: in the classroom, in her office, in restaurants, and in her home. It was in these exchanges where my theorizing of the complexities of humanitarian interventions and their muddied relation to self-determination began to take shape....

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Refus global : histoire d’une réception partielle

Sophie Dubois, chargée de cours à l’Université de Sherbrooke et professeure de littérature au Collège Ahuntsic

À l’origine de ce livre réside le questionnement suivant : qu’a fait l’histoire culturelle du Québec de Refus global ? Lorsque, dans un cours en études québécoises, j’ai souhaité m’intéresser aux polémiques qu’avait engendrées le manifeste automatiste au moment de sa parution, je me situais en plein dans le mythe, c’est-à-dire dans l’idée courante selon laquelle Refus global était une œuvre subversive qui avait été unanimement conspuée par la critique à sa sortie. Or, me voici doublement surprise : non seulement l’œuvre a suscité les commentaires les plus divers – des critiques acerbes certes, mais...

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On the Side of the Angels: Canada and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

Guest blog by Andrew S. Thompson, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo

Otto Von Bismark once famously remarked that: “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” I respectfully disagree. I first decided to write On the Side of the Angels: Canada and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights because I wanted to better understand the diplomacy behind international human rights law – the how and why the sausages are made, not just the final outcome or the what. As a constructive middle power and liberal democracy committed to multilateralism, Canada seemed like an obvious actor – the who – to investigate. I...

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Présences intermittentes des Amériques

Ariane Audet, photographe et écrivaine

Ce livre est inspiré de ma thèse de doctorat et répond à une question bien précise : qu’est-ce que le sujet québécois peut apprendre du contact littéraire avec l’écriture chicana?

J’ai commencé à m’interroger sur ce sujet alors que je voyageais moi-même plusieurs fois par année entre le Canada et les États-Unis. Je venais de découvrir l’existence des Chicanos* chez nos voisins du sud, et c’est plongée dans la lecture leur poésie que la similitude avec la littérature québécoise m’a frappée. Toutes deux questionnaient leur présence dans l’espace nord-américain : le malaise transcendait les nationalités.

J’ai ainsi décidé de circonscrire ma réflexion (qui allait ensuite devenir mon...

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