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Canadian studies and American geography: trends and issues

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Abstract:

Geography is perceived to be a relevant contributing discipline within a growing Canadian studies community in the United States, and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) retains a viable Canadian Studies Specialty Group. Since the early 1990s, however, the number of American geographers affiliated with Canadian studies organizations has not significantly increased: the community of scholars remains small and geography holds a peripheral position in terms of its actual contribution to US-based Canadian studies programs. This article documents and interprets these trends using membership data collected by prominent professional organizations in Canadian studies and geography. It also explores the question of why American geography's Canadian regional specialists are not engaging formal Canadian studies initiatives in greater numbers. The observations that emerge suggest that a diversification of research themes in Canadian studies, particularly in the realms of environmental and physical science, would both increase participation by American geographers and enhance the field's ability to address pertinent aspects of the Canadian experience. Although observations presented pertain directly to the state of Canadian studies in American geography, they may also shed light on the lack of involvement by geographers in a variety of area studies fields in the United States and elsewhere.

Keywords: American geography; Canadian studies; area studies; géographie américaine; études canadiennes; études multidisciplinaires

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-0064.2009.00240.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, SUNY–Geneseo, Geneseo, New York, 14454 USA ( ), Email: robertsd@geneseo.edu

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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