IDS 101

College Colloquium
Oh Canada!


Class Hours:



WLT 235


Sammy Basu


Writing Center Associate

Slater Smith


Office Hours:


1:50-3:00pm or by appt

with the generous assistance of the Government of Canada/ avec l’aide du gouvernement du Canada




Oh Canada!  Where is it? What is it?  How and why is it different from America?  What can we learn about ourselves by getting to know our northern neighbor?  To what extent do we define ourselves in relation to an ‘Other’?  This course begins with a beer commercial and ends by reflecting on competing visions of the future of North America.  Along the way, we will look at Canadian history, geography, politics, and culture, consider the place of First Nations and Québec, as well as explore public policies towards health-care, welfare, religion, gender and sexuality, crime, the environment, multiculturalism, and war and peace.  We will visit the web a great deal in class, host a guest speaker or two, try to imitate the great Canadian thespian William Shatner, and might … even … manage … a field-trip to … Victoria B.C. (but no promises, eh).



Student Learning Outcomes


As a section of Willamette University’s College Colloquium, this course is intended to cultivate and facilitate your abilities to:

  • Read closely
  • Discuss reflectively
  • Think critically
  • Write effectively



Course Requirements


You will be evaluated on your successful completion of the following:

  • Participation including consistent attendance, general preparedness, regular involvement, and random tests of your mental agility (25%)
  • Discussion leadership (15%)
  • 3 Writing Assignments including online posting, drafts, and meeting with writing consultant (60%)





If you miss a class, for whatever reason, at the start of the following class you must turn in a 300-word paper discussing the relevance of the reading and other material that was assigned for the day missed.


Technology and Phones


You are welcome to use a laptop, tablet etc in class unless your use of if it is evidently either distracting you or others, at which point said device may be removed from your person and destroyed.

Your phone should be turned off in class.  If it rings, I reserve the right to answer it for you, and you will be required to bring treats for everyone to the next class.






“Plagiarism (from Latin plagiare "to kidnap") is the practice of claiming, or implying, original authorship or incorporating material from someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequate acknowledgement.” (

Don’t do it!

WU Policy





Course Readings



Patrick James and Mark Kasoff (Eds.)

Canadian Studies in the New Millennium (2007)

Diana Hacker,

A Pocket Style Manual (2008, 5th edition)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Discover Canada (2009)

Statistics Canada, Canada at a Glance (2011)

Eugene Forsey,
How Canadians Govern Themselves (2005)



to buy


to buy






All additional readings will be available online within the course syllabus page or the WISE site






Slater Smith










Temporality, spatiality, performance, and otherness


“It is the natural tendency for…similar groups of people to exaggerate otherwise superficially minor differences. The more alike the groups, the more they will seek ways to differentiate from each other…. Uniting against others is normal human behaviour.”

--Sigmund Freud on the Narcissism of Small Differences, 1930.


“Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant; no matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I may call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

--Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Washington, 1969.


“Americans do not know but Canadians cannot forget that two nations, not one, came out of the American Revolution.”

--S.M. Lipset in Continental Divide, 1990


“The 49th parallel does sometimes appear to be the boundary between self-confident and self-conscious.”

--Maclean's, 13 October 2003.








Thu 8/25

4:15 pm to

5:30 pm

CC class

Liberal Arts and Why Canada?

‘As Canadian as …’


Talking with Americans (2006, 7.37),

22 Minutes Apology to America (2006, 2.26)


Fri 8/26

8:30 am


10:15 am


CC "Prep time"

Upload Postcards assignment on WISE


Hass reading in the 2008 Dodge Poetry Festival

Haas reading Issa’s haikus

Shayne Koyczan reads ‘We Are More’ (2007)


10:30 am


12:00 am





Opening Convocation:


“Meaning a Life: How to Become

a Reader and a Human Being”


Robert Hass

United States Poet Laureate (1995-1997), National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet, and Environmentalist and Professor (U.C. Berkeley)

1:30 pm to

3:00 pm

CC class


Reading, Writing, Living

Leaving the nest.
Sending postcards








CC "Prep time"





‘O Canada’ (1880, 1968, 1980) (vid, 1999, 1.30)

’American Woman’ (1970) (vid, 4.33) v (2006) (vid, 4.21)
‘Blame Canada’ (1999) (vid, 1.24) or Williams (2000) (vid, 2.52)
‘I am a Canadian’ (2000) (vid), or (vid)
’I am Not Canadian’ (2000) (vid, 1.42)
and Shatner ‘I am Canadian’ (vid, 3.02)
and The Arrogant Worms ‘I am not American’ (2004) (vid, 3.24)
and Yankovic ‘Canadian Idiot’ (2006) (vid, 2.34)





CC Class




Paintings (Group of Seven, on G7, gallery)


Maps (CanadainMaps)

Font (Adanac)







CC class


Shared Canadian Values: Issues and Symbols (ppt)

Historic Pride (ppt)

Katrina (ppt)

Canadian perceptions of America (2004 poll and 2005 polls)

Canada as alternative










Assignment 1 (15%): “I am American

Due: W, 9/9 online and as a hardcopy in time for class






Read: close, reflective, critical




Manning, Erin. 2000. “I AM CANADIAN Identity, Territory and the Canadian National Landscape.” Theory and Event, 4:4

See also G7, yoon, thomson




Edwardson, Ryan. 2003. "Of War Machines and Ghetto Scenes": English-Canadian Nationalism and The Guess Who's "American Woman". American Review of Canadian Studies, Autumn2003, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p339-356.


Seiler, Robert M. Selling Patriotism/ Selling Beer: The Case of the "I AM CANADIAN!" Commercial.” American Review of Canadian Studies, Spring 2002, Vol. 32, Issue 1, pp.45-67.




Extra stuff:



Later Beer ads: anthem (vid), moon (vid), passive (vid), 500 miles (vid), abroad (vid), Glen (vid), beaver (vid), chasing beaver (vid), rash (vid), starts here (vid), hockey (vid), hockey stick (vid), hockey bag (vid), fly (vid), penalty box (vid), Jason Jones (vid), Canada Day (vid)




10:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m


Academic Advising & Schedule Confirmation

(scheduled individual appointments)




Wed 8/31

12:40-1:40 pm



Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans (2010, 6.16)

Rick Mercer: All About Canada (FAQ) or .

Overview comparison (


Canada-Us relations - The good, the bad and the ugly (ppt)


So you want to move to Canada? Canada sucks.

Canadian perceptions of America


CS, ‘Introduction
’ pp.3-7, Patrick James and Mark Kasoff

Gravelle, Timothy. 2011. ‘Mutual Perceptions.’



Fri 9/2




(Ford 322)


Due: Draft of Assignment 1

Discussion of Assignment


Using Word to create a web-page
How to post a web-page at WU

Or wordpress or iweb or ahead or wix

How to evaluate a web-page (pdf from UCBerkeley)




Mon 9/5


No Class – Labor Day



Wed 9/7


1st Presentation


Pitch (sing if you wish) the product,
i.e. present and discuss the webpage with your completed Assignment 1 song.




Fri 9/19

1st Presentation continued

Performing Canada





Discover Canada

Š  The Oath of Citizenship

Š  Message to Our Readers

Š  Applying for Citizenship

Š  Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

Š  Who We Are

Š  Canada’s History

Š  Canadian Symbols



Spatiality - Geography


Rick Mercer Rant: “Canadian Weather

Rick Mercer: “Have and have-Not Provinces


 “U.S., Canada Map Edges Of Continent On Seafloor” (9/11/09)





Discover Canada

Š  Canada’s Regions



Mon 9/12

Geography (cont’d)


Political geography (ppt)

Canadian interest in own geography (pdf)



CS, ‘Canada: Too Much Geography?
’ pp.8-36, Michael J. Broadway



Wed 9/14

Temporality - History


Timeline Canada

Timeline USA

History of Canada-US relations

Migration (UofC)





S.M. Lipset, Continental Divide,
Chapter 1: Revolution and Counterrevolution
Chapter 2: The American Ideology
Chapter 3: The Canadian Identity

Summary of diffs


Fri 9/16


History of Canada

  • English-Canada
  • French-Canada

Settlement (ppt)





CS, ‘Canadian History in North American Context
’ pp.37-64, John Herd Thompson and Mark Paul Richard


Mon 9/19

Politics and Government


Rick Mercer’s Rant: “Voting 101

Senate of Canada on The Parliamentary System

RMR on How Parliament Works




CS, ‘Politics and Government’ 
pp.65-99, Munroe Eagles and Sharon A. Manna



Wed 9/21


Canada’s House of Commons (vid)

March 2011 pre-election controversy

March 25 2011 vote of no-confidence







Forsey, How Canadians Govern Themselves


Discover Canada






Discussion readings:




Donley T. Studlar and Kyle Christensen. 2006. “Is Canada a Westminster or Consensus Democracy? A Brief Analysis.”

PS: Political Science & Politics, 39.4: 837-841.

HTML (185 KB)



 Fri 9/23


The Canadian social contract


Mother Jones on Inequality

Federal Tax Dollars and Party Vote


Mercer on Why Canadians Pay Taxes

Mercer on Canada Revenue Agency

Mercer on Merging the Cdn and US Dollar

Mercer on Canada Banking





Mendelsohn, Matthew. 2002. Canada’s Social Contract: Evidence from Public Opinion. CPRN Discussion Paper No. P|01


Jedwab, Jack. 2007. Shared Canadian Values: Issues and Symbols. PPT.



Mon 9/26

The Economy




Corak, Miles. 2009. Chasing the Same Dream, Climbing Different Ladders: Economic Mobility in the United States and Canada. Economic Mobility Project.  Pew Charitable Trust.


Wed 9/28


The Economy continued




Kasoff, Mark. 2007. “East Meets West in the Canadian Oil Sands.” ARCS, 37, 2, 177-183.

Alberta’s Oil Sands v Oil Sands Truth

Keystone XL Pipeline CNN (19 Sep 2011)





CS, ‘The Economy’ 
pp.223-244 Mark Kasoff and Christine Drennen


Fri 9/30

Picture 061

Health Care

Mercer on Health Canada

Mercer on Canadian Choking Institute

Mercer on Health Canada

Mercer on Best Thoracic Surgeon with a day job

Mercer on Chalmers Health Group

Mercer on Marcus Clinic


Healthy Eating From Health Canada

Health History

National Health Care policy (ppt)

Canadian healthcare 2004 (ppt)

Canadian healthcare 2007 (ppt)


Michael Orsini on HealthCare


Uwe Reinhardt (2009) vid

Joint Canada-United States Survey of Health 2003

Skala, Nicholas. 2006. ‘Previous Studies Comparing Health Care in the Us vs. Canada.


OECD 2011 HC Report on Canada and US

Kaiser Family Foundation. 2011. ‘Health Care Costs’





 Docteur, Elizabeth and Robert Berenson. 2009. ‘How does the quality of Us HealthCare Compare Internationally?’ Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



Mon 10/3

Welfare and Social Assistance


CCPA: Affordability Gap between rich and poor

CCPA Canada’s Growing Gap (3.29 min)

The Guardian (23 0ct 2008): Wealth gap creating a social time Bomb

Trailer Park Boys – Countdown to Liquor Day

The wealth gap and welfare in the US


OECD Your Better Life Index 2011

OECD Society at a glance 2011

Canada or here

 US or here








S.J. Kunitz, with I. Pesis-Katz, “Mortality of White Americans, African Americans, and Canadians: the causes and consequences for health of welfare state institutions and policies.”  Milbank Quarterly, 83: 5-39, 2005.

Wed 10/5



Mercer on Traditional Values

2003 Gallup poll data

Religious Divide between US & Canada

Is religion a force for good? 2010 poll

Globe and Mail 2010 article on Secularization

2001 Census data on religion

Pew forum on US on religion

Pew key findings on US

Pew on American Grace

State level data on importance of relig









 Group 1

Christopher T. Burris, Nyla R. Branscombe, and Lynne M. Jackson. “’For God and Country’: Religion and the Endorsement of National Self-Stereotypes.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 4, 517-527 (2000)



 Group 2

Dennis R. Hoover, Michael D. Martinez, Samuel H. Reimer, and Kenneth D. Wald. “Evangelicalism Meets the Continental Divide: Moral and Economic Conservatism in the United States and Canada.” Political Research Quarterly 2002 55: 351-374



 Group 3

Eisgruber, Christopher L. and Zeisberg, Mariah, "Religious Freedom in Canada and the United States." International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 244-268, 2006.





Assignment 2 (15%): “Home-making

Due: W, 10/26 online and as a hardcopy in class

Fri 10/7


First Nations


Canada’s first nations


AFN in Canada FactSheets

AIM in US Movement

Stats Canada on Aboriginal Peoples

UN ratings of Canada and FN

Native groups protest


Stephen Harper Indian Residential School Apology (11 June 2008, 7 min)

Canada’s Long Train of Abuses 1 (8.44min) and 2 (8.37)

Joanelle Romero, American Holocaust of Native American Indians (2009, 9.51)
Al Jazeera on Poverty USA – Native Americans (2007, 3.00)

Uneasy Dance 2011









CS, ‘Native Peoples’ pp. 100-124, Michael Lusztig



Half class

Bonita, Lawrence. 2003. “Gender, Race, and the Regulation of Native Identity in Canada and the United States: An Overview.” Hypatia. 18.2: 3-31





Other half of class

Seed, Patricia. 2011. ‘Three Treaty Nations Compared: Economic and Political consequences for Indigenous peoples in Canada, the United States, and New Zealand.’ Canadian review of comparative literature.



Mon 10/10


Occupy Salem!?


SJ 4 Oct 2011 – Occupy Wall Street gets local

WSJ Earnings

Adbusters site

David Harvey on Crises of Capitalism (26 Apr, 2010)

Naomi Klein on Occupy Wallstreet (6 Oct 2011)





Wed 10/12




French Language use today (2005)

Shared? Values (pdf)
’I am Not Canadian’ (2000) (vid)

Trudeau on "Equality or Independence" (vid)

Quebec as a Nation: New Perspective (vid)

Quebec wants

Harper on Quebec as distinct society

Rick Mercer on Quebec 2006

Linguistic minority vitality study 2006

Unilingualism in Canada 2006

Bilingualism in Canada 2006


1543auphin Map of  Canada



1718 map of NA showing the Mississippi region








ld Map of Quebec





 CS, ‘Quebec’s Destiny’ 
pp.165-184, Louis Belanger and Charles F. Doran


 Fri 10/14




RMR: c-Harmony

RMR: Bold Beautiful Biathlon

Stats Canada on Women in Canada 2011

-        Income data for 2008 and trend 78-08

-       earnings by occupation 2008

Center for American Progress: US Women poverty rates 2008

US Dept of Healty and Human Services: women and poverty 2010

National Women’s Law Center: analysis of new census data, 13 Sept 2011

Government Department Status of Women Canada

Real women of Canada org

Angus Reid poll Gender equality still elusive 2010 data

Conference Board of Canada Gender Income Gap 2009

World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap 2011 rankings, Canada 2008 v US 2008






CS, ‘Women’s Issues
’ pp.185-222, Patrice Leclerc


Mon 10/17


RMR: Rick and Ruby Dhalla


Trudeau on Multiculturalism 1971

CPRN Policy Brief on Diversity

Canadian Multiculturalism Day

Canada’s Multicultural Portal

How Canada officially thinks about MC

Annual Report on CMA 2007-2008

Conference Board of Canada Acceptance of Diversity 2009








Kymlicka, Will. 2003. 
”Being Canadian.” 
Government and Opposition 38.3: 357–385.




Harles, John C. 2004. “Immigrant Integration in Canada and the United States. American Review of Canadian Studies, 34.2: 223-258.

 Wed 10/19

 Gender and Sexuality


How Gay Marriage Became Legal in Canada (6.59min)

 Bedroom. What’s wrong with gay marriage? (30sec)

Parents.  Blanket

Canada LGBT Marriage Commercial

Canada LGBT Commercial

Toyota Canada commercial

RMR: Harper on Gay Marriage

THh22M on Conservatives on GM

Statistics Canada on Gay Pride … by the numbers

Global same-sex marriage stats







Smith, Miriam. 2007. ‘Framing Same-sex Marriage in Canada and the United States: Goodridge, Halpern and The National Boundaries of Political Discourse.’ Social & Legal Studies, March 2007; vol. 16, 1: pp. 5-26.

 Fri 10/21


 No Class - Mid-semester day 



 Victoria B.C. Trip


Sample questions


2011 Itinerary



 Mon 10/24


Trip Report and putting it all together


2011 Pictures unedited


 Wed 10/26


Guest Speaker:

Kevin Cook
Political, Economic & Academic Officer.
Canadian Consulate General - Seattle




 Fri 10/28


 2nd Presentation




 Mon 10/31

 2nd Presentation




 Wed 11/2

 Sports and Recreation

Pop Culture


NFB The Sweater

Joni Mitchell, A Case of You (4.36)

Canadian Commercial - I AM CANADIAN !!!

Canadian, Please.

William Shatner on ET Canada (2006, 2.00)

Feist Interview on Spinners ‘Interface’ (2008, 6.22)

Feist on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (2008, 10.25)





  CS, ‘Literary and Popular Culture’ pp.15-164, 
Andrew Holman and Robert Thacker

 Fri 11/4

 Law and Crime


RMR on Crime and Fear

RMR on Prison Farm Program


Stats Canada data on Cda and Us crime (2000)

Conference Board of Canada on homicides, assaults, and burglaries

NYT on US prison pop levels (2008)

Rate Charts (2009)








Anthony N Doob, Cheryl Marie Webster (2006) 
”Countering Punitiveness: Understanding Stability in Canada's Imprisonment Rate.” 
Law & Society Review 40 (2), 325–368.



Newman, Stephen L. Liberty, Community, and Censorship: Hate Speech and Freedom of Expression in Canada and the United States. American Review of Canadian Studies, Autumn 2002, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p369.


 Mon 11/7


 Foreign Policy


RMR: missile defense

RMR: PSA spoof

RMR on Canada on Afghanistan

RMR on Canada And Iraq (2008)

RMR on War of 1812 (2007)

RMR on War of 1812 Bicentennial (2011)



FAITC Canada and Peace Operations


Arctic Cold War - Canada (17.41 min)

Canada on foreign policy

Canada on foreign policy in North


Canada on Iraq

Foreign relations problem, eg. RiceonArar 


Less jobs more wars (2008)

Cda votes to let US Iraq War resisters stay (2008)

Rex Weyler on War Resisters and the environment (19 Oct 2009)






CS, “Canadian Foreign Policy,” Cynthia Kite and Douglas Nord, 245-76



 Wed 11/9


 The Environment


RMR Greenpeace turns 40 (2011)

RMR on Ambitious Clean Air Targets (2006)

RMR on Minty Air Act (2006)

RMR Oil Industry Parody (2008)

RMR on Environment Canada (2009)


Conference Board of Canada Environment (2011)

Siemens Green City Index (2011)

Onearth ‘Blame Canada’ (2011)

RMR Asbestos (2011)








Harrison, Kathryn. 2007.

‘The Road not Taken: Climate Change Policy in Canada and the United States.’ Global Environmental Politics, Volume 7, Number 4, pp. 92-117.




 Assignment 3 (15%): “Think Canada (Again)

Due: Wed, 11/30 online and as a hardcopy in class



 Fri 11/11


Comparing Outcomes

Guest Speaker:

Mark Kasoff

Professor Emeritus in Economics

Former Director of Bowling Green University Center for Canadian Studies

Co-editor with Patrick James, Canadian Studies






 Mon 11/14

Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Desktop:canada-america.jpeg

 Alternate Futures


Canada weaning itself off Exports to the US (3 Oct 2011)





 Wed 11/16

 No Class





 Fri 11/18


Slater brings Signup sheet



Mat Barreiro

Learning Center


"Understanding and Meeting Willamette's Academic Expectations." 

 Wed 11/30


 3rd presentation




 Fri 12/2

 3rd presentation