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Canadian Review ofAmerican Studies/Revue canadtenne d'etudes amerlcaines Volume 29, Number 3, 1999, pp. 91-108 91 Teaching American Studies Abroad: A Symposium at the University of Toronto, 23 April 1999 Symposium Conveyor: John Ingham Guest Editor and Moderator: W. Bruce Leslie, History Department, SUNY College at Brockport Panelists: Dale Carter, American Studies Center, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark ; S. Jay Kleinberg, American Studies and History, Brunel University, England; David Mauk, American Civilization, University of Science and Technology , Trondheim, Nmway and Twin Cities Project, Norwegian-American Histroy Association and Minnesota Historical Society. Discussants: Robert Accinelli, Acting Chair, History department, University of Toronto; Rob Vipond, Chair of the American Studies Program and Chair of Political Science department, University of Toronto; Robert Mikkelsen, Head of Studies of Business Languages and Philological Studies, Ostfold College, Norway; Mette Lovas, Ostfold College, Norway; Paul Downes, English , University of Toronto; John Ingham, History, University of Toronto; Katherine Rankin, Geography, University of Toronto; Ran Hirsch!, Political Science, University of Toronto. 92 Canadian Review ofAmerican Studies Revue canadtenne d'etudes amerlcaines John Ingham: Before we begin our discussions, it would perhaps be useful to provide a background of the American Studies Program at the University of Toronto, and of the seminar series of which this session is the capstone an most important element. The University of Toronto has had an American Studies program for a number of years. It remained a modest concern, servicing a small number of undergraduates during that time. In the mid-1990s, however, things began to change. The catalyst came from Jeffery Simpson, columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail. While serving as a fellow at the American Studies Center at Stanford University, Simpson became convinced that Canada needed just such a center. When he returned, he pitched the idea to Robert Pritchard, president of the University of Toronto. Pritchard was enthused, going to New York City, where he gave a rousing speech to the Friends of the University of Toronto there. They responded favourably, indicating that they would be willing to donate money to such a venture. In this way the idea of a major Centre for the Study of the United States was born. The centre is housed at the new Munk Centre for International Studies at the university. The purpose of the centre is to develop a deeper understanding of the interplay of global and domestic forces transforming American life; to assess the implications of these developments for institutions and culture in Canada and, by extension, the rest of the world; to build close links to important U.S. institutions, including offering a home for American Fullbnght scholars doing research in Canada; and finally, to involve business leaders, public sector experts, analysts, and citizens through such vehicles as seminars , round tables, advisory bodies, and short course for executives and public policy decision makers. The program components include two funded chairs for American Studies . The first, the Bissell-Heyd-Associates Chair, will serve as the founding director of the centre, and will be drawn from one of the social sciences or history. The second, the Humanities Chair, will complement the first and will focus on American culture and literature. In addition, there will be a Resource Centre, which will provide access to an array of data sources, subscriptions to key publications, a web site and computer access within Robarts Library. The centre also provides a number of graduate and undergraduate fellowships to attract the most promising students in their field. john Ingham I 93 New core courses will be established in American Studies, along with internships, and exchange programs with U.S. universities. An important part of the centre will be a Distinguished Visitors Program, in which top scholars will be brought in to teach intensive seminars over a few weeks. The whole program was kicked off in 1998-99 with a seminar series in which scholars from a number of disciplines and several countries were brought on campus to make presentations around the theme "The United States in International Perspective." This colloquium is the capstone of that effort; for the first time we brought together people actively teaching outside North American and one who is not even an American. The moderator is...


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