Published June 12, 2014
UB has become the new institutional home of the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS), one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious professional organizations in the field of Canadian studies.
UB was selected to host ACSUS for the next three years, beginning Jan. 1, after a competitive application process conducted last summer by a special committee of the ACSUS Executive Council. UB was one of four universities submitting proposals.
Founded in 1971 at Duke University, ACSUS is a multidisciplinary, membership-based organization committed to raising awareness and understanding of Canada and the bilateral relationship. It supports research and academic activity through its publications, conferences and grant programs; promotes the academy through active advocacy and outreach; and positions the community by profiling the scope and diversity of research undertaken by the ACSUS membership in the humanities and social sciences.
ACSUS publishes an occasional paper series, as well as the American Review of Canadian Studies, a journal managed by ACSUS members at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
“The extraordinary level of interdependence between Canada and the United States makes our partnership each county’s most important bilateral relationship,” says Munroe Eagles, professor of political science and director of UB’s Canadian Studies Program. “Understanding Canada is, therefore, of immediate and pressing importance for the United States. The academic community plays an important part in helping to educate policymakers and the public-private sectors about the economic, political, trade, security, defense, environmental, technological, scientific and cultural dimensions of Canada-U.S. relations,” he says.
More than 70 universities in the U.S. offer courses on Canada to an estimated 20,000 undergraduate students each year, Eagles says. Five regional associations also are actively engaged in raising awareness of Canada.
“The integrated nature of the Canada-U.S. partnership demands future leaders possessing the tools to successfully navigate an increasingly complex world,” he says. “The academic community represented and supported by ACSUS is key to this future success.”
Eagles notes that UB’s location on the Canada-U.S. border “makes us a natural university home for ACSUS, and our selection recognizes our growing reputation for leadership in the Canadian studies community.”
He points out that he and other UB faculty members have long been active members of ACSUS.
Eagles just completed a four-year elected term as a member of the ACSUS Executive Council, and Jean-Jacques Thomas, UB Distinguished Professor and Melodia E. Jones Professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, currently is an elected member of that body. Thomas serves as UB associate director of Canadian studies for Quebec affairs and programs.
Eagles was elected last fall to a two-year term as ACSUS vice president and will succeed Kenneth Holland of Ball State University as ACSUS president in November 2015.
ACSUS is affiliated with UB’s Canadian Studies Program, part of the Department of Transnational Studies, and now has an office in 1013 Clemens Hall, North Campus.
Delighted to learn that UB is now a center for Canadian studies. In the 1970s-early '80s, a big part of my job as public affairs officer at the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo was to promote Canadian studies, working with ACSUS, which was then headquartered at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Since 1991, I have lived in Albuquerque, N.M., so I've had no contact with UB, but I enjoy getting news via UB Today and weekly emails.
Keep up the good work!
Christine Loew, MBA '83