Knowledge Mobilization

The workshop is itself a form of knowledge mobilization. It encourages scholars and students to push the boundaries of their research on migration beyond national and ethnic paradigms. The ultimate goal of the event is to assist in the publication of the papers of all 26 participants. Participants will circulate an article-length paper three weeks before the event, and the meeting will serve as a peer-review dialogue between many scholars working in the field. We plan to publish a collection of the strongest and most thematically linked articles in an edited volume.

The feedback generated in the discussions will also have a direct impact on papers not published in the edited volume. This will be in other scholarly journals, open access online journals, edited volumes, or as chapters in participants’ own monographs. Authors whose research is based on oral history will be invited to submit their manuscripts to the open access journal Oral History Forum d’histoire orale, the journal of the Canadian Oral History Association. We will also publish podcasts of the public lecture on Active History.

Additionally, we have met with two representatives from the US consulate about disseminating the public history events of our meeting to a much larger audience. They have proposed to film and stream our roundtable discussion to all US consulates in Canada. They will host events in their own facilities and invite interested groups to watch our roundtable discussion. The representatives have also offered to post the podcasts of the keynote addresses on the website of the US mission in Canada.

The public lecture and roundtable discussion will bring research on immigration history, borderlands, and transnationalism to a larger community at York and in Toronto. We invite people working in public history in different archives, museums, and multicultural associations to attend these events. Our roundtable discussion seeks to engage with national myths and realities about multiculturalism and the melting pot. We hope that such a topic will engage York students and faculty members as well as interested members of the general public in a discussion about the historical and ongoing cultural pluralism of North American societies and to give them new ways to think about cultural pluralism beyond the binaries of either “ethnic” and “assimilated.”

The edited volume will bring together the work of historians of Canada and of the United States. Few studies have taken a balanced focus on both countries, and the notable exceptions have produced very fruitful results. The chapters will examine the relationship between local, national, and transnational levels. They will also examine ethnic networks such as the circulation of money, coordinated efforts of religious groups, and the distribution of media that crossed borders and spanned oceans. The publication moves into an innovative area in the study of immigration and ethnicity with its cross-group focus. The book’s target audience will be students and scholars in both Canada and the United States who research issues of immigration, race, transnationalism, and borderlands. Finally, by taking a multiethnic approach and by focusing on several historical periods in the twentieth century, this volume will be an ideal companion for upper-year undergraduate courses dealing with migration in North America.

Networking is another goal of the workshop, and it will be a natural consequence of our workshop discussions. We expect that the contacts made and ideas generated will lead to future collaboration on conference panels such as at the annual meetings of the Canadian Historical Association and the American Historical Association. The public lecture and roundtable discussion as well as the ultimate publication of all papers in various forums will ensure that the knowledge produced at this workshop is disseminated to very large audience.