Elke Winter, professor of sociology at the University of Ottawa, has been named this year’s William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University. She is the first uOttawa professor to receive this prestigious position.
Harvard University’s Canada Program, spearheaded in 1967 by David Rockefeller in honour of Canada’s longest-serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, invites Canadian scholars from a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to compete for a chance to take their knowledge and expertise across the border.
Winter was chosen as this year’s visiting professor because of her expertise in issues of nationalism, nation building, multiculturalism, citizenship and immigration. During her stay at Harvard, Winter will teach both graduate and undergraduate courses, chair an annual lecture series exploring questions of Canadian diversity and immigration, and host a conference focusing on nation building and the middle class.
“I’m very proud,” says Winter. “For myself, but also that my discipline won. I’m very happy about that. I want the students to learn about Canadian society, Canadian issues, and about diversity. In the United States, issues are more centred around race, whereas in Canada, we talk more about inter-ethnic relations. I think, most generally, what I stand for in my work is to have a relational perspective on race and diversity that goes beyond dichotomies.