In the News


The Centre for American Studies website will soon be getting a new look. We are changing our website to a new format that more closely resembles other Social Science departments. The new website is expected to go live at the end of June.

MA Program Granted FINAL Approval by OCGS June 18, 2010

The MA Program in American Studies was granted FINAL approval by the OCGS Committee on June 18, 2010. Students can now be formally admitted to the program.


A group of American Studies students are forming a student club for all students interested in the history, culture, and politics of the United States. Undergraduate and graduate students welcome. Please contact Laura McGee or Ross Heft if you would like more information about the club.

The Canada-U.S. Institute


Dr. Julie McMullin, Acting Dean, Faculty of Social Science announced that Professor Donald Abelson will be the inaugural Director of the Canada-U.S. Institute for an initial three-year term. Donald Abelson is a Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, and Director, Centre for American Studies at UWO, who specializes in the study of American politics and foreign policy. He is the author of several books and is a regular commentator on CBC Radio and other media outlets where he discusses current developments in American politics and Canada-U.S. relations.


 The official launch of Western's newly established Canada-U.S. Institute took place on April 13, 2010 at the Woodrow Wilson Center International Center for Scholars. The results of the Institute's first study, "Moving Closer or Drifting Apart? Assessing the State of the U.S.-Canada Relationship", were presented by the authors; Political Science Professors Laura Stephenson and Cameron Anderson. The complete study can be found at  The entire presentation can be viewed here. An evening reception at the Canadian Embassy in Washington followed. 


A proposal to establish a Canada-U.S. Institute at UWO has been approved by the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International Relations) for an initial 3 year period, beginning January 1, 2010. The primary objective of the Institute will be to produce and disseminate timely and policy-relevant research on a host of important bi-lateral issues, and to educate policy-makers, journalists, business leaders, and the public about the differences and similarities between our two countries. Articles about the newly established Canada-U.S. Institute have been featured in the Western News, the Western Gazette, and the London Free Press.


The Centre for American Studies is pleased to announce that the University of Western Ontario Senate Committee has accepted the proposal for an MA program in American Studies. The program is now awaiting approval by OCGS. The MA in American Studies at Western will be the first of its kind in Canada. The CAS is now accepting applications for admission in September, 2010. Please visit the MA Program webpage for more information.


The inaugural issue of the CAS publication series Critical Issues of Our Time was released in July 2009. This new quarterly publication series will feature articles that comment on a wide range of political, cultural, social, and economic issues facing the United States.                                                                                                 Volume I: "Barack Obama's Moderate Moment" by Gil Troy                                                       Volume II:"Waiting for Madam President" by Lori Cox-Han                                                         Volume III:"The World Turned Upside Down" by Randall Balmer 


On-line Student Journal

Neoamericanist 2.0 Release!

Volume. 4, No. 2 of NeoAmericanist is now available in its new web 2.0 format. This new format will feature more regular content updates and a more interactive capacity. Content from previous issues will be made available over the coming weeks.

*Student Managing Editor Needed:

NeoAmericanist is accepting applications from MA or PhD students for the position of Student Managing Editor. Students will work with NeoAmericanist's serving Editor-in-Chief and learn how to advertise call for papers, manage a peer-review structure, solicit reviewers and document assessments, and administer the small weekly tasks associated with the journal.

This is a great chance to gain experience with a growing academic publication. (*Note: Student Managing Editorships are volunteer positions.)

Knowledge in the fields of American Studies and its cognates is a benefit, but in-depth knowledge is not mandatory. Strong interpersonal skills and good email etiquette are a must. Applicants must be motivated and self-starting on tasks.

The Student Managing Editorship is also a transitional position with the possibility of moving onto the executive editorial board which steers the scope and content of the publication.

Applicants should contact Brian Foster, Editor-in-Chief of NeoAmericanist:

(Posted October 21, 2009)

The Centre for American Studies is delighted to be supporting and housing a new student-run on-line journal in American Studies.
NeoAmericanist, affiliated with and funded by the Centre for American Studies at the University of Western Ontario, is an exclusively Undergraduate and Graduate, peer-reviewed and blinded journal. Our goal as editors is to push the boundaries of scholarship and theory by blurring the lines of academic disciplines and popular culture through a top quality journal available to students and future professional scholars who aspire to publish and contribute to the intellectual community. We therefore invite students of history, theory and criticism, philosophy, political studies, economics, sociology, geography, first nations studies, anthropology, women's/gender studies, architecture and design, film studies, and others, to submit works pertaining to the study of America. To submit or for more information, contact the journal editors at:


CAS Newsletter Sept 2006, Jan 2007, Mar 2007, Sept 2007, Jan 2008, Sept 2008, Jan 2009, Aug 2009, Jan 2010


The Centre for American Studies Advisory Council held its second meeting on March 6, 2009 in Toronto. The Advisory Council was formed to provide strategic advice for the future direction of the Centre as well as to further strengthen our degree program.

Meeting 2009


Don Abelson presented a paper entitled, "Do Policy Experts Matter? Lessons from Canada and the United States," at a conference entitled, Political Expertise in Contemporary Democracies: A Comparative Approach: Canada, Germany, Poland, at the University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, May 21, 2010.

Don Abelson's book Do Think Tanks Matter? Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes (second edition) (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009) is being translated into Simplified Chinese by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. November 16, 2009.

Monda Halpern gave a talk at the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, "Trial by Jewry: the Edelson/Horwitz Murder Case." October 20, 2009.

Monda Halpern delivered a paper for the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies Annual Conference, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Carleton University, Ottawa. "Scandal and Silence: The Edelson/Horwitz Murder Case." May 24-26, 2009

Don Abelson was a panelist on the CBC National Radio U.S. Election Special hosted by Michael Enright, November 4, 2008.

Don Abelson took part in a panel on Canada-U.S. Relations on September 24, 2008 at The Canada Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington D.C. The purpose of the panel was to discuss several important bilateral policy issues raised in the 4th edition of John Herd Thompson and Stephen Randall's book, Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies.

Jack Blocker delivered a paper, "The Great Weapon: African-American Migration as a Response to Race Riots in the Urban Midwest, 1900-1930." Conference on Rupture, Repression, and Uprising, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, April, 2008.

Jack Blocker appeared on a panel "White Violence and the Great Migration: Two Approaches, Sundown Towns and A Little More Freedom." Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, New York City, March 2008.

Don Abelson gave the following interviews on the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections:

January 20, 2009: Interview with Cory Kolt, Newstalk 980 CJME (Saskatoon), on the Obama inauguration.

January 20, 2009: Phone-in Guest on CBC Radio "Ontario Today" with Rita Celli, to discuss the Obama inauguration.

January 20, 2009: Interview with Bryan Allen, CKNX Radio AM 920 Wingham, on the Obama inauguration.

January 20, 2009: Interview with John Divinski, The Beach 97.9FM Radio (Saugeen Shores), on the Obama inauguration.

January 19, 2009: Interview with Jim Birchard, CFOS Radio (Owen Sound) on the Obama inauguration.

January 16, 2009: Interview with Scott Kitching, CJBK Newstalk Radio (London) on President Bush's Lecacy.

January 15, 2009: Interview with Rob Mundy, CIXX FM News 106.9 (London) on the Obama inauguration.

January 14, 2009: Interview with Misty Harris, Canwest News Service, on the Obama inauguration.

January 13, 2009: Interview with Bruce Kenyon, CHQR Radio (Calgary) on George W. Bush's legacy.

January 9, 2009: Interview with Richard Brennan, The Toronto Star on the foreign policy goals of President-elect Obama.

November 11, 2008: Interview with Jeff Gailus, Alberta Views Magazine, on the role of think tanks in Canada and the United States.

November 11, 2008: Interview with Megan O'Toole, The National Post, on the Bush Presidency.

November 5, 2008: Interview on AM770 CHQR Radio (Calgary), "The World Tonight," on the outcome of the US Presidential Election.

November 5, 2008: Interview with Barry Wright, "Wright to the Point," TVCogeco, (Sarnia) on the outcome of the 2008 US Presidential Election.

September 26,2008: Steve Garrison, CJBK Newstalk Radio (London), on the Wall Street Bail Out Crisis.

September 25, 2008: Siri Agrell, The Globe and Mail, on the US Presidential Election.

September 22, 2008: Jon Wells, The Hamilton Spectator, on the Canadian and US Federal Elections.

August 26, 2008: John Wilson, AM 980 (London), on the Democratic National Convention.

August 25, 2008: Siri Agrell, The Globe and Mail, on the role of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

August 25. 2008: Bryan Allen, AM 920 CKNX Radio (Wingham), on the Democratic National Convention.

August 20, 2008: John Wilson, AM 980 (London), on the Democratic National Convention.

June 24, 2008: Guest, The Michael Coren Show, CTS (Burlington), to discuss the US Presidential Election and its impact on Canada.

June 9, 2008: AM 770 CHQR Calgary-The Morning News with Bruce Kenyon, on Hillary Clinton's decision to concede the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

June 4, 2008: A-Channel's 6 o'clock News (London), on Barack Obama's victory.

June 4, 2008: John Wilson, AM 980 (London), on Barack Obama's historic victory.

June 4, 2008: Steve Garrison, CJBK Newstalk Radio (London), on Barack Obama's selection as the presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee.

June 3, 2008: A-Channel 11 o'clock News (London), on the end of the presidential primaries.

May 23, 2008: Siri Agrell, The Globe and Mail, on Hillary Clinton's faltering campaign.

May 21, 2008: John Wilson, AM 980 (London), on the Kentucky and Oregon Primaries.

May 20, 2008: Deanne Konral, CIXX 106.9 FM News (London), on the US Presidential primaries.

May 13, 2008: Guest on The Michael Coren Show (CTS, Burlington), to discuss the US Presidential primaries.

May 7, 2008: Steve Garrison, CJBK Newstalk Radio (London), on the Indiana and North Carolina Primaries.

May 6, 2008: Melissa Leong, The National Post, on the future of Canadian-American Relations.

May 6, 2008: Scott Kitching, CJBK Radio (London), on the Indiana and North Carolina Primaries.














Aldona Sendzikas (History)                              Lucky 73: USS Pampanito's Unlikely Rescue of Allied POW's in WWII will be released in March 2010. Published by University Press of Florida. View book cover.

Don Abelson (Political Science)                             Do Think Tanks Matter? Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes, second edition                      (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009)  Click here to receive a special promotional offer on the book.                           

Bob Young (Political Science) continues to lead the MCRI project on Multilevel Governance and Public Policy in Canadian Municipalities. This has resulted in a comparative volume called Spheres of Governance: Comparative Studies of Cities in Multilevel Governance Systems (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007). The books contains an essay on "Multilevel Governance in the United States" by Ron Vogel of the University of Louisville.

Andrew Sancton (Political Science                        The Limits of Boundaries: Why City-regions Cannot be Self-Governing (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2008)

Jack Blocker (History, Huron University College)    A Little More Freedom: African Americans Enter the Urban Midwest, 1860-1930 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008). 

David Spencer (FIMS)                                       The Yellow Journalism: The Press and America's Emergence as a World Power (Northwestern University Press, 2007).

Donald Abelson (Chair, Political Science)                A Capitol Idea: Think Tanks and US Foreign Policy (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006) This work reveals the extent to which think tanks in the United States have become active and vocal participants in the foreign policy-making process.

Andrew Johnston (Adjunct Research Professor, History, Carleton University) Hegemony and culture in the origins of NATO nuclear first-use (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005).



Patrick J. Ryan (Childhood and Social Institutions, King's University College)                                   "How New is the 'New" Social Studies of Childhood? The Myth of a Paradigm Shift." the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol 38, no 4 (Spring, 2008): 553-576.

Monda Halpern (History)                                   "JAP - Jewish and Passed-over: The Invisibility of Single Jewish Women in Issues of Intermarriage and Conversion" (co-authored with Sonia Halpern). Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Spring 2008) [online journal].

Andrew Johnston (History, Carleton University) Book review of Robert J. Jackson and Philip Towle, Temptations of power: the United States in global politics after 9/11 (New York: Palgrave, 2007), in The International History Review, 30, 4 (December 2008).

Don Abelson has an article forthcoming in The Canadian Review of American Studies: "Politics on Ice: The United States, the Soviet Union and a Hockey Game in Lake Placid."

Don Abelson's book Do Think Tanks Matter? Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002) has been published in Arabic by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, October 2007. Information about the book can be obtained from their website at

Donald E. Abelson and Duncan Wood (ITAM, Mexico City)  released a report entitled, People, Security and Borders: The Impact of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative on North America. The report was released on May 28, 2007 at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa, and on May 30th at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC. This publication examines the potential security, technological, economic, and political implications of the WHTI. Information about the report can be found at The Fulbright Foundation.

Monda Halpern (History)                                  "This Ambitious Polish Jew": Rethinking the Conversion and Career of Bishop Isaac Hellmuth." Ontario History (Autumn 2007): 221-46.

Ian Steele (History)                                    "Bernard Bailyn's American Atlantic," History and Theory, 46 (2007), 48-58.

Jack Blocker (History, Huron University College) "Temperance Movement," Encyclopedia of American Urban History, ed. David R. Goldfield, 2 vols. (Thousand Palms CA: Sage Publications, 2007): 2: 793-795.

Milford B. Green (Geography) and R. McNaughton "The Rise and Fall of Specialized Small Business Investment Company Investment: Taking the Taxi to Oblivion," Handbook of Research on Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, ed. Leo-Paul Dana, Elsevier, New York, 2007: pp. 289-308.

Milford B. Green (Geography), C.M. Pearce and M.R. Baldwin                                            "Developing Habitat Models for Waterbirds in Urban Wetlands: a Log-linear Approach" Urban Ecosystems, vol 10 (2007), pp 239-254.

An excerpt from Don Abelson's latest book, A Capitol Idea, entitled "A War of Ideas: think tanks and terrorism" was recently published in Policy Options (March 2007).

Rob MacDougall (History)                                  "The Wire Devils: Pulp Thrillers, the Telephone and Action at a Distance in the Wiring of a Nation," American Quarterly, Volume 58, Number 3 (September 2006):715-741.

Ian Steele (History)                                 "Shawnee Origins of their Seven Years War," Ethnohistory, 53 (2006), 657-687.

Jack Blocker (History, Huron University College) "Race, Sex and Riot: The Springfield, Ohio Race Riots of 1904 and 1906 and the Sources of Anti-Black Violence in the Lower Midwest," Ohio Valley History 6 (Spring 2006): 27-44.

Jack Blocker (History, Huron University College),"Did Prohibition Really Work? Alcohol Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation," American Journal of Public Health 96 (February 2006): 233-243. It is also posted on the AJPH website (