It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. A specialist in the politics of Indigenous peoples in Canada with over two decades experience, my research concentrates on the impact of of resource development (unconventional oil and gas), land claims and self-government on indigenous peoples - across Canada and in comparative perspective. A professor of political science, my area of concentration is Canadian politics. An empirically-based researcher, I enjoy working at York because of its interdisciplinary focus which enriches the academic environment. This is where the Robarts Centre thrives. As an institutional organized research unit, the Robarts Centre mandate is to support interdisciplinary and discipline-specific research pertinent to the study of Canada and ‘Canada in the World.’ Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate student associates of the Robarts Centre offer a wide range of expertise related to the study of Canada. It hosts high-level seminars and aims to support the activities of Canadian specialists at York University across a broad spectrum of topics.
The Robarts Centre for (Critical) Canadian Studies recognizes that many Indigenous nations have longstanding relationships with the territories upon which York University campuses are located that precede the establishment of York University. We acknowledge our presence on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of New Credit, the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Metis Nation of Ontario."
As I begin my five-year term as director (July 1, 2015 - July 30, 2019), my aim is to build upon the work of my predecessors to make the Robarts Centre a premiere site for critical Canadian studies in Canada. The Centre has a long and vibrant history, having been around since 1984. With an endowment from Robarts family, it has been an important centre of research and study for graduate students and faculty alike.
As a dynamic and ever changing canvas, Canadian studies offers many spaces and opportunities for study and analsyis. To that end, the centre offers an array of funding opportunities, networking events and research clusters. I invite you to peruse our website and find an area of research or debate that is of interest to you and to get more involved. Together, we can build a better understanding of Canada and our place in the world.
I wish you all the best for the academic year and look forward to meeting you soon!