Getting on the American Radar Screen: The Growth, Achievements, and Limitations of Canadian Studies in the United States
The beginnings of Canadian studies in the United States lie in the 1920s and 1930s when Canada was shifting decisively and rapidly from the orbit of Great Britain into that of the United States. By the 1970s, Canadian studies abroad, including in the US, was seen as an important tool of cultural diplomacy. Recent years have seen a significant decline in Canadian studies activity in the US. This chapter examines the development of Canadian studies in the US as a process of institutionalization shaped by two major factors. One involves the changing nature of Canada–US relations over the more than 80 years of Canadian studies in the US. The other factor involves the decision of the Canadian government to view Canadian studies as a tool of public diplomacy and the consequences that this had until the policy was abandoned in 2012. I will argue that it is not at all clear that the policy of nurturing Canadian studies in the US produced the political outcomes for Canada–US relations that were the raison d’être of this investment in cultural diplomacy.
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