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Seminar Preparation Paper #2

870 words - 4 pages

The early inquiry into the study, teaching and research of Canada was done through the work of Thomas H.B. Symons’ report, To Know Ourselves, which was complied in 1975. Commissioned and published by the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada as a groundbreaking work for Canadian Studies scholarship. Since the report was published thirty-nine years ago, it raises several points that can be expanded given our ability to look at key aspects retrospectively. The eight specific matters that the commission aimed to explore are still pressing issues in twenty-first century Canadian Studies, as such: courses at undergrad and graduate levels, location, nature and function of programs, access to Canadian materials, financial and research support, teaching requirements and the need for new programs (Verduyn & Koustas 19-20). Years later, these objectives and subsequent questions are still the basis of Canadian Studies progress, which outlines a major strength. The work of the commission, from today’s perspective, is such a progressive and honest look at the past, as well as what they hoped would be apart of the future. The commission itself looked at the larger picture and not the single context of one institution, region or field (25). The larger picture must have been difficult to establish, however not impossible, given that often individuals use smaller pictures to develop the larger. The promotion of “[Canadian] culture, social conditions, physical setting and place in the world” (25), among several other things is very important. It is a basis for what Canadian Studies “does.” It is, the building and understanding of Canada, and it remains central to the work of Canadian Studies scholars both in the country itself and abroad since it is widely studies in other countries. I believe that it is of the utmost impotence to foster our own understanding and modem as a stepping-stone to larger projects and understandings both inside and outside of Canada since Canadians have their own set of unique challenges that are often only made visible through a lived Canadian experience. Canadians should both acknowledge and understand the countries problems. Even in 1975, Canadian Studies was in a rapidly changing state (28), which has remained a major reality moving forward.
Canadian Studies allows for the understanding that Canadians are a distinct group of people, who are constantly living in change – like most other regions of the world. Themes and questions arise for Canadian Studies to explore and challenge. Within a changing perspective, a definite answer to these...

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