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Cambridge Canadian Studies Initiative (CCSI)

Cambridge Canadian Studies Initiative (CCSI)

Past events

Monday 14 May, 5:00 pm: The Canadian Studies 2007 Lecture

'Jazz/Opera, Ideologies of Race: The Example of George Elliott Clarke.' A public Lecture by Linda Hutcheon & Michael Hutcheon.

Linda Hutcheon is University Professor English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. She is the recipient of numerous major fellowships, honorary degrees and awards, and was the first Canadian woman to be elected President of the Modern Language Association of America. Her publications include Narcissistic Narrative, A Theory of Parody, Irony's Edge, The Politics of Postmodernism, The Canadian Postmodern, and with Michael Hutcheon, Opera: Desire, Disease, Death; Bodily Charm: Living Opera and Opera: The Art of Dying. Monday 14 May, 5:00 pm. Little Hall, Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge. All Welcome.

April 25 2007 - Inuit on Celluloid Film Series: Atanarjuat (2001)

The first ever Inuit film to receive a theatrical release, Atanarjuat is an epic piece of storytelling. At the dawn of the first millennium evil in the form of an unknown shaman divides a small community, and two brothers rise up to challenge this order. The film was shot in Igloolik, utilising local cast and crew, and was winner of the Cannes Camera D'Or for Best First Feature Film. (Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq) When?: 1 to 2 p.m. Where?: Scott Polar Research Institute Lecture Theatre, Lensfield Rd. Further information contact: or telephone: 01223-336569.

May 9, 23 / June 6 2007 - Inuit on Celluloid Film Series: Netsilik (1963, 1964, 1965)

These films reveal the live reality of traditional Eskimo life before European acculturation. The Netsilik Eskimos of the Pelly Bay region in the Canadian Arctic had long lived apart from other people and had depended entirely on the land and their own ingenuity to sustain life through the rigors of the Arctic year. The filming was done under the ethnographic direction of Dr. Asen Balikci of the University of Montréal, assisted by Guy Mary-Rousseliere, O.M.I., both anthropologists of wide Arctic experience. A minimum of cultural reconstruction was required during the filming; the Netsilik families readily agreed to live in the old way once more and showed considerable aptitude in recalling and representing the earlier ways of life. When?: 1 to 2 p.m. Where?: Scott Polar Research Institute Lecture Theatre, Lensfield Rd. Further information contact: or telephone: 01223-336569.

  • May 9 2007 - At The Caribou Crossing Place I and II
  • May 23 2007 - Building a Kayak I and II
  • June 6 2007 - At the Winter Sea Ice Camp I, II, and IV

BACS Conference 2007


From Blueberries to Blackberries: Traditions and Technologies in Canada

British Association for Canadian Studies 32nd Annual Conference

St. Aidan's College, University of Durham, UK

11-13 April, 2007

For further details and contact information, please visit the BACS Website and look under the 'Conference' menu. Additional information will be added as April approaches.

29th November 2005: The Great Dominion: Winston Churchill in Canada, 1900-1954

Photo of Winston Churchill

A Public Lecture by Professor David Dilks FRHistS, FRSL

The Churchill Archives Centre is delighted to host this lecture to be given on Tuesday 29 November 2005 by Professor David Dilks. It will draw upon the research for his book of the same title, published a few weeks ago in Canada and due for release in this country early in November. The lecture will take place in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre at Churchill College at 5.30 pm, and all are welcome.

Churchill first went to Canada in 1900 to recruit his fortunes by lecturing about the war in South Africa; he paid no less than 9 visits there, over a span of more than half a century. During the last, the government of Canada agreed in deep secrecy to provide the materials which enabled Britain to manufacture the hydrogen bomb.

The lecture will also provide an opportunity to hear extracts from recordings long thought lost, but recently rediscovered, including Churchill's speech of 1952 at Ottawa in which he explained his conception of Canada as the indispensable link between Europe and North America, and his meeting with the Canadian press in 1954, when he urged the need for an approach to Russia.

1st November 2005: The 2005 Stefansson Memorial Lecture

Photo of Stefansson

Travelling Passions: the Life and Legacy of Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the Arctic Explorer

Guest Speaker: Gísli Pálsson, Professor of Anthropology, University of Iceland

Canadian writer Rudy Wiebe once said of the Arctic explorer and anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962) that 'Stefansson is so fascinating a character that he must be avoided; the whale which was his life would swallow any storyteller'. Anthropologist Gisli Palsson, who has recently published The Hidden Life of Vilhjalmur Stefansson,will give a lecture about Stefansson's life and work, at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Stefansson's radical philosophy stemmed from his willingness to depend on, and learn from the Inuit while living amongst them during his northern explorations. Unlike contemporary heroes of the extreme north, Stefansson did not travel around or across the arctic regions; he travelled into their cultures and environments. His legacy is closely connected with human-environmental relations, the sustainable use of natural resources and the survival of northern communities, now under threat due to rapid social and environmental change.

Stefansson coined the phrase the 'friendly Arctic' to describe his philosophy about the Arctic: that we should learn from the descendants of generations who had lived in the north for hundreds of years, who had transmitted knowledge from one generation to the next, and who had adapted to the environment. As a popularizer of the North, he hoped that his large newspaper readership and his radio listeners would come to a new appreciation of the potential of the northern regions.

Stefansson's extensive scientific expeditions into the unexplored regions of Northern Canada constitute impressive achievements in the fields of both exploration and research, and include numerous elements of the societies and natural environment of the north. Between 1906 and 1918 Stefansson spent a total of ten winters and seven summers travelling through the northern regions. With his companions, he travelled on foot and by dog sledge, covering a distance of approximately 32,000 kilometres, often in extreme conditions.

26th May 2004: Canadian Studies Initiative Inaugural Public Lecture

Photo of Thomas Berger

The Idea of Canada in the 21st Century

Guest Speaker: Thomas Berger, QC, human rights advocate, former Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and head of the Berger Inquiry into the effects of the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline, 1974-1977.

Thomas Berger, a renowned Canadian public intellectual and retired Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, asks the question whether Canada has emerged as something of a prototype for the 21st century. Its English and French beginnings, the place of Aboriginal peoples, the influx of immigrants from all over the world in recent years, count as one of the successes in the history of British decolonization. Acknowledging and balancing the rights of its citizens has been one of Canada's major achievements.

In the course of exploring 'the idea of Canada', Berger will discuss the Charter of Rights and the work of the Supreme Court in elaborating its provisions and the equally important provisions of the 1982 Constitution acknowledging the rights of Aboriginal people.

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