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Algoma U to host leading international conference on border issues

NEWS RELEASE ALGOMA UNIVERSITY *************************** Algoma U to host leading international conference on border issues Straddling Boundaries Conference to be held on May 24-26 SAULT STE.



Algoma U to host leading international conference on border issues

Straddling Boundaries Conference to be held on May 24-26

SAULT STE. MARIE - From Friday, May 24 until Sunday, May 26, Algoma University will be hosting Straddling Boundaries: Hemisphere, Cultural Identity, and Indigeneity, the inaugural international conference of the Culture and the Canada US-Border research network (CCUSB). 

The conference will feature keynote presentations from Dr. Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Guillermo Verdecchia, and Dr. Margaret Noodin.

The Straddling Boundaries conference looks to examine topical border issues. 

In the past, studies have focused primarily on issues between the United States and Mexico; however, the CCUSB is seeking to shift attention toward the 49th parallel, and to investigate the representation of the border in both American and Canadian culture and cultural production. 

The conference will showcase 60 presenters in various disciplines, including History, English, Sociology, Political Science, and Fine Arts.

The conference is being held at the University due to its geographical location, history, and diverse campus.

"As a small Canadian university it's an exciting opportunity to host an international academic conference about straddling boundaries between Canada and the United States," said Dr. Jan Clarke, professor with the Sociology Department at the University, and also co-organiser of the conference. "The location of Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie as a border city makes this a particularly interesting academic and experiential setting for the first North American conference for the CCUSB network."

Straddling Boundaries is the first of a series of conferences and workshops to be held in Europe and North America.

The next conference will be held in 2014 at the University of Nottingham. 

CCUSB is an international research network dedicated to studying cultural representation, production, and exchange on and around the Canada-US border. 

Funded by The Leverhulme Trust, CCUSB comprises core members in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, with a wider network of European and North American affiliates. 

Dr. David Stirrup from the University of Kent and Dr. Gillian Roberts from the University of Nottingham are the principal investigators for the CCUSB network.

Friday evening in the Great West Life Auditorium at Algoma University will feature a keynote address from Dr. Margaret Noodin. 

Dr. Noodin works in the Department of American Culture, Objibwe Language, and Literature at the University of Michigan. 

Her fields of study include Anishinaabe literature, poetry, and drama, Native American linguistics, teaching Ojibwe as a second language, transcription and translation of Ojibwe stories, socio-linguistics, and computational linguistics as applies to language preservation.

She will speak from 7-9 p.m.

Saturday evening's keynote address will be given by Guillermo Verdecchia, and held at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre after the conference banquet, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. 

Verdecchia is a writer of drama and fiction, as well as a director and actor. 

He is the recipient of the Governor-General's Award for Drama for his play Fronteras Americanas, and is a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award. 

His work includes the Governor-General's shortlisted Noam Chomsky Lectures, the Seattle Times' Footlight award-winning Adventures of Ali and Ali, and Another Country. 

Currently, Verdecchia is an associate artist with Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre.

Sunday's keynote address in the Great West Life Auditorium at Algoma University, will feature Dr. Claudia Sadowski-Smith. 

Dr. Sadowski-Smith is an Associate Professor of English at Arizona State University. 

She is the author of Border Fictions: Globalisation, Empire, and Writing at the Boundaries of the United States. 

She is also the editor of a special 2011 edition on comparative border studies in Comparative American Studies. 

Dr. Sadowski-Smith has published essays on cross-ethnic approaches to immigration, transnational adoption, and border theory.

She will speak from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

While the CCUSB conference does require registration, the three presentations by invited keynote speakers will be open to the public. 

The keynote talks by Dr. Noodin on Friday evening and Dr. Sadowski-Smith on Sunday morning are free for the pubic to attend.

The keynote presentation by Guillermo Verdecchia at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre will include a $4 entrance fee to the Centre.

Community members are encouraged to take advantage of this conference and attend these public events.

For more information, including registration and conference program details please visit here.

About Algoma University  

Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic and Social Development, and Biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins and St. Thomas.

As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture.

Algoma University has launched its Essential Elements Campaign to expand its campus and offer more scholarships and awards to students.

To learn more, visit