Monday, May 26, 2008

This is your brain on Canadian Studies funding

Recently the Canadian Association of University Scholars and the Canadian Library Association presented the Senate with briefs to support artists and filmmakers who are protesting the federal government's proposal to vet films seeking public funding and to fund only those the Minister likes. Good for them.

Now it's return the favour time. This week the Writers' Union of Canada will join the Association of Canadian Studies to protest another government plan: that funding for Canadian Studies projects will only go forward if the scholars work on the government's favoured topics. The government's favoured topics are: Afghanistan, economic development, US-Canadian-Mexican relations, environmental change, and managing diversity.

The shoes are dropping. First this government wanted to shape what filmmakers film; now it's what scholars study.

The union thinks scholars of Canadian studies who are entitled to support should determine what constitutes Canadian Studies. "One of the things they do like to study," Writers' Union chair Susan Swan told Canadian writers attending the Union's AGM on Saturday, "is us."
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