During World War II, a Canadian journalist published a book titled The Unknown Country, explaining Canada to an American audience. Generations later, American knowledge of Canada is not that much more advanced. In this course Gene Homel will survey different aspects of Canada to serve as an introduction to a country that both parallels America and is very un-American. We will look at Canadian history, politics, and culture, and discuss the origins of an independent nation in the northern half of North America, and what that nation owes to geographic, aboriginal, and economic factors. We will explore a host of other topics – including the French and British founders, the parliamentary system, political and religious cultures, attitudes toward authority and government, multiculturalism and bilingualism, regional tensions, membership in the British Commonwealth, in NATO, and the United Nations. We will inquire into Canadian-American relations, and issues of subservience and sovereignty. Is there a future for some degree of Canadian independence vis-?-vis the United States?
Gene Homel has taught history, politics, and Canadian Studies since 1973 at universities and colleges in Ontario and British Columbia. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and has written and presented extensively on Canadian and non-Canadian topics.