The first lectures on Canadian issues were offered at the Jagiellonian University in the 1997-1998 academic year. They were gradually expanded and became a part of the American studies program functioning within the Interfaculty Department of American Studies. In October 2001, the Department of Canada was established as a part of the structure of the Institute of Regional Studies of the Jagiellonian University. After the reorganization of the Institute in January 2005, the Department of Canada was incorporated into the newly-established Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora of the Jagiellonian University. Since autumn 2002, the department has benefited from a private donation of Mr. Henry Slaby of Toronto intended for the support of the program of Canadian studies. Thanks to this, about 2,200 books on Canadian issues (mostly in English) were bought and donated to the American studies library of the Institute as a separate collection. On February 1, 2005, the Department of Canada was transformed into the Chair of Canadian Studies.
Chair of Canadian Studies
- Canadian history and contemporary issues
- Canadian foreign policy and the role and status of Canada in the international arena
- The cultural transformations of Canadian society, Quebec, and Montreal
- The constitutional system of Canada
- Canada’s ethnic mosaic, immigrant communities, and immigration policy
- The processes of the construction of Canada’s multiethnic society and interethnic relations
- The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the new forms of self-government of the inhabitants of the Canadian North
- The past and the present of the Polish diaspora in Canada
- The Canadian Arctic and its geopolitical status
- The problems of Canadian veterans
- The evolution of the status of women in North America
- The wave of Polish immigration to Canada in the 1980s
- The structural and cultural transformations of Polish society in Canada
- Language policies, rights and laws in Canada.
- 5th Congress of Polish Canadianists: "Towards Critical Multiculturalism: Dialogues Between / Among Canadian Diaspora" (together with the Center of Canadian studies at the University of Silesia), Krakow (October 7-9, 2010).
- "Canada and Poland: Diaspora and Diversity" (together with the Canadian Association for Canadian Studies), Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (March 3, 2008).
- "Place and Memory in Canada: Global Perspectives, Polish Academy of Learning", Krakow (April 30-May 3, 2004).
- Since 2011, annual seminars on the most important issues in Canada have been organized.
- On October 25th, 2014, scholars from our Chair participated in a meeting of the authorities of the Jagiellonian University with the General Governor of Canada, His Excellency Professor David Johnson, who was accompanied by Canada’s Ambassador to Poland, Ms. Alexandra Bugailiskis, and several Canadian Members of Parliament during his visit to the Jagiellonian University.
- On June 17th, 2015, the Canadian public television station CBC broadcast a program with the participation of two scholars from our Chair, Dr. Tomasz Soroka and Dr. Marcin Gabryś. It focused on changes in the Canadian foreign policy; the Chair in Canadian Studies at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora and the activities of the Polish Society of Canadian Studies were also presented.
- Participation in academic conferences organized by the students of the Institute of American Studies and the Polish Diaspora, including moderation of the conference panels during the Canadian Culture Festival.
- Participation in discussions with students (including the regularly organized “Fireside Chats,” which focus on the current socio-political problems of Canada).
- Organization of guest lectures for the students and scholars of the Institute of American Studies and the Polish Diaspora (including lectures by: Professor Jan Grabowski and Professor Peter Bischoff of the University of Ottawa; writers Tompson Highway and Janice Kiluk-Keefer; Senator Raynell Andreychuk; Canadian Ambassadors to Poland: Ralph Lysyszyn, Daniel Costello, David Preston, Alexandra Bugailiskis, and Stephen de Boer; Canadian Armed Forces attaché Col. Daniel Geleyn; Canadian Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Pamela Isfeld; and the political counsellor of the Canadian Embassy in Poland Jeremy Wallace).