Last updated: June 8, 2017 @ 11:17AM

Canadian-American Studies

Master of Arts in Canadian-American Studies

Carol U. Merriam
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Michael Carter
Faculty of Humanities

Core Faculty
Thomas Dunk (Sociology), Jane Helleiner (Sociology), Jane Koustas (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Michael Ripmeester (Geography)

Associate Professors
Nick Baxter-Moore (Communication, Popular Culture and Film), Gregory Betts (English Language and Literature), Jeff Boggs (Geography), Marian Bredin (Canadian Studies/Communication, Popular Culture and Film), J. Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), Hevina Dashwood (Political Science), Blayne Haggart (Political Science), Matthew Hennigar (Political Science), Daniel Samson (History), Carole Stewart (English Language and Literature), Livianna Tossutti (Political Science)

Graduate Program Directors
Marian Bredin, Brock University

D. Munroe Eagles, University at Buffalo (SUNY)

Administrative Assistant
Elaine Aldridge-Low

Program Description

The Joint Interdisciplinary MA in Canadian-American Studies is an interdisciplinary, interfaculty, and international program jointly offered by Brock University and the State University of New York at Buffalo campus. While taking courses on both campuses, students will have the opportunity to consider the interplay between discipline-specific topics and broader issues salient to the Canadian, American, or North American landscape and, in particular, to explore their field of research from both American and Canadian perspectives. Courses and instruction in theory and research methods will equip students to approach their field from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Admission Requirements

Successful completion of four year Bachelors degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline or interdisciplinary program, with an average of 75%.

The Graduate Program Committee will review all applications and recommend the admission of a limited number of suitable candidates.

Please note: It is the student's responsibility to obtain all necessary permissions/documentation to allow them to attend classes at both campuses (Brock and SUNY-Buffalo) and to arrange their own transportation to both Brock and SUNY-Buffalo (carpooling is encouraged).

Degree Requirements

While the program offers both thesis and major research paper options, students are strongly encouraged to pursue the major research paper option, as the additional coursework provides more opportunity for comparative analysis across disciplines and nations. All students must consult with the Graduate Program Director when planning their programs of study. For full-time students the program (both options) is normally completed in three terms.

Major Research Paper Option
Students pursuing the major research paper option are required to take six half-credits including three core seminars (CDAM 5P00, 5P01 and 5P02) and complete a Major Research Paper. Normally, half of these courses will be taken on each campus.

Thesis Option
Students choosing the thesis option will take four half-credits including two core seminars (CDAM 5P00 and one of CDAM 5P01 and 5P02). In addition to the courses, each student must complete a thesis and defend it at a public oral examination.

Students in both options will also register in CDAM 5F96 Supervised Teaching at SUNY-UB (for both the Fall and Winter semesters). Students, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director, may under special circumstances substitute two half-credits for this requirement.

Elective Courses
Beyond the three half-credit core courses, students are also required to take three half-credit electives selected from either the Brock or SUNY-UB graduate course banks. Students must have the permission of the Graduate Program Director, the instructor, and the home department of the course in order to register in each elective credit. Please consult the program website for a list of suitable courses. For courses at SUNY-UB, students will consult with Co-Director Munroe Eagles. A Sampling of SUNY-UB elective credits is available at

Course Descriptions

Note that not all courses are offered in every session. Refer to the applicable timetable for details.

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
MA Thesis
An extended research project involving the preparation and defence of a thesis that shall demonstrate capacity for independent work and original research and thought.

Major Research Paper
A research paper on a selected topic involving independent work and original research and thought.

Supervised Teaching
Supervised training in Canadian Studies pedagogical methods.
Note: Offered at SUNY-UB.

Interdisciplinary Methods and Field Research in the Binational Niagara Region
Field seminar focused on a binational comparison of some aspect of the cross-border region, providing the necessary theoretical and methodological skills to undertake original fieldwork in the Niagara borderlands region.
Note: Jointly offered at Brock and SUNY-UB

An Overview of Canadian Studies
A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of Canada for graduate students emphasizing interdependence of geography, economy, society, history, and culture and the tension between regional and national identities.
Note: Offered at Brock.

Cultures of U.S. Empire
Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of “culture” in relations between the United States and other nations. 
Note: Offered at SUNY-UB.

Canadian-American Relations
Examination of issues in Canadian-American relations, with special focus on how these play out in the context of the border and surrounding areas. Topics may include popular perceptions of the ‘other’ held by Canadians and Americans, developments associated with the NAFTA and Canada’s future in the new North America.
Note: Offered at SUNY-UB.

Borderlands – Understanding the Binational Niagara Region
Developments of distinctive identity and shared interests, with particular reference to cross-border regions along the Canadian-American border, comparing the experience of our local binational region with those of others along the Canadian-American border.
Note: Offered at SUNY-UB.

The Political Economy of North America
(also offered as POLI 5P28)
Examines the intertwined political and economic relations of Canada, Mexico and the United States from a regional perspective, including specific emphasis on labour and economic production, security and the environment, and policymaking in a continent dominated by the world's only superpower.
Note: Offered at Brock

Abolitionist Movements and the Underground Railroad
A study of the status of Canada as myth, symbol of possibility or “New Canaan,” in literary and historical works from abolitionists, former slaves, historians, and contemporary critics on American cross-border relations and transnationality.
Note: Offered at Brock.

Writing Across Borders
Poetry, drama, and fiction written by Canadian and American authors set in the other country, including such authors as Michael Ondaatje, James Houston, Jack London, and Margaret Atwood.
Note: Offered at Brock.

Directed Reading
Directed individual or group reading in a specified area to be chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser.
Restriction: Permission of the Graduate Program Director.
Note: Permission of the Graduate Program Director is required.

Experiential Learning Placement
Part-time placement related to Canadian-American Studies in the binational Niagara region. Students are responsible for arranging their own unpaid internship or work placement in a company, agency or not-for-profit organization in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Regularly scheduled meetings, 80-hour placement, employer assessment and final written report are required.
Restriction: Permission of the Graduate Program Director.
Note: Permission of the Graduate Program Director is required.

Canadian Politics
(also offered as POLI 5P82)
An examination of major aspects of Canadian government and politics and of different approaches to the study of Canadian politics through the discussion and analysis of significant books in the field.
Note: Jointly offered at SUNY-UB and Brock.

CDAM 5V30-5V49
Advanced Topics in Canadian American Studies
Selected topics in Canadian American Studies that vary from year to year.

CDAM 5V50-5V99
Canadian-American Studies Electives
Selected electives in Canadian American Studies that vary from year to year.
Note: offered at SUNY-UB.