Miami Presents: Between Empire and Republic - Why Canada Rejected the American Political Experiment

Presented on: Thursday, November 9th at 2:00 PM EST


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Miami Professor Dr. Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy, author of Between Empire and Republic: America in the Colonial Canadian Imagination, will join us for this special online presentation.

When the nation of Canada was founded in 1867, its people deliberately chose a form of government meant to avoid the mistakes and problems they saw in the United States.  

Colonial Canadians of all classes and religious persuasions watched with unease the deepening inequality, societal divisions and violence in the U.S. as the republic spiraled toward civil war. Canada’s choice to remain within the British Commonwealth reflected the belief that, beyond surface similarities, the two countries were politically and culturally incompatible, and that American republican institutions were too weak to protect minority rights in a democratic era.

The webinar will compare Canadian and American understandings of freedom and democracy in the nineteenth century and will link them to larger cultural attitudes that still inform political arrangements in the two countries in the present.

Dr. Godeanu-Kenworthy is a scholar of American culture with a particular focus on the interplay between popular culture, literature and political ideologies. She teaches about globalization and American popular culture in the Global and Intercultural Studies Department. Her first book, Between Empire and Republic: America in the Colonial Canadian Imagination came out in 2022.

The views expressed by presenters are their own and their appearance in a program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Miami University Alumni Association.