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The Founding College of the University of Toronto
Canadian Flag on snow covered field in front of UC

Message from the Director

Message from the Director, Canadian Studies Program

Welcome and welcome back, students, faculty and staff! As we look ahead to Fall 2021 I am pausing to acknowledge the extraordinary effort and dedication of everyone involved in our programs at University College, students, faculty, staff. I look back on the many successes of our past year, from outstanding student work in our courses, the activities and community engagement led by our CANSSU executives, the dedication and creative innovations of our faculty pioneering our online learning, and our unfailingly collegial and supportive staff and I know that we can meet the challenges ahead and excel in the year ahead. I also know that I am not alone in hoping for as much of a normal year as possible, with classes on campus and the return of activities, circumstances permitting.

Of particular notice for this upcoming year, students can now enrol in the new Certificate in Black Canadian Studies, an interdisciplinary degree with a foundational course, also new this year, Professor Funké Aladejebi’s HIS265Y - Black Canadian History. More details including the extensive list of courses that count towards the Certificate can be found here. In addition, a new special topics course, CDN305 Chinese Canadian Communities and Oral Histories will be offered in the winter term, adding to the courses available for the Asian Canadian Studies minor in the college. And I am delighted that acclaimed playwright, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard is joining us as the Barker Fairley Distinguished Visitor 2021-2022. Read her Playwright's Guild profile here.

Inclusive community is a core value of our college and of the Canadian Studies Program. The social justice movements for Indigenous rights and to end anti-Black and anti-Asian racism and violence, rightly contest the systemic inequities in our past and our present and call for the dismantling of white supremacy in all its forms. This summer, core themes we explored in my course CDN355 Digital Media, Digital Makers were: “What would a world that is safe for you look like? What would a world where you can thrive look like?” I look forward to re-engaging with you and to hearing your thoughts as we work towards a better, inclusive, and equitable future.


Siobhan O’Flynn