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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 2002

The Rise of an African Middle Class: Colonial Zimbabwe, 1898-1965

Tracing their quest for social recognition from the time of Cecil Rhodes to Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence, Michael West shows how some Africans were able to avail themselves of scarce educational and social opportunities in order to achieve some degree of upward mobility in a society that was hostile to their ambitions. Though relatively few in number and not rich by colonial standards, this comparatively better-off class of Africans challenged individual and social barriers imposed by colonialism to become the locus of protest against European domination. The Rise of an African Middle Class explores the origin, identity, and consciousness of the new "elite" as well as their educational and residential patterns, political and social affiliations, and the community associations that provided structure and strength to their numbers. By revealing the interests, aspirations, and unity of purpose of Zimbabwe's African middle class, West shows how they became political and social leaders and played a key role in building the postcolonial democratic state. West's focus on an unintended consequence of colonialism opens new perspectives into relations between colonizers and colonized in colonial Zimbabwe.

Vulnerable Children: Findings from Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth

All children in Canada live with risk. They are susceptible to disease and injury, and as they grow and learn they must face numerous challenges that threaten their mental and physical well-being. Most children are likely to encounter times of vulnerability when it is necessary to intervene on their behalf. For the first time in Canada, we are able to measure and analyse a wide range of children's developmental outcomes and identify the main factors that contribute to childhood vulnerability. Vulnerable Children presents a comprehensive discussion of the results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. Published in association with Human Resources Development Canada, the volume identifies central issues to guide policy development and interventions to improve the health and well-being of Canadian children. Vulnerable Children is an essential volume for students, scholars, researchers, policy-makers, and anyone concerned with the welfare of Canadian children and youth.

Citizenship and Participation in the Information Age

With the capacity for the almost instant transfer of digital information across and beyond our planet, commonly held notions of distance and speed, as well as our understanding of the nature and meaning of interpersonal contact are being challenged and redefined. Many believe that the very structural underpinnings of society will be transformed. Good or bad, it is hard to predict just what will be the eventual political, social and cultural impact of the global interconnectedness made possible by new technologies. In an attempt to explore the possibilities, scholars, researchers and activists from around the world were invited to share their thoughts at a conference for Canadian cultural and information policy-makers in October 1999 entitled "Citizens at the Crossroads. Whose Information Society?" This book reflects each contributor's vision of the future, visions that range from the enthusiastic and hopeful to the pessimistic and fearful. A major concern of this book is whether states are able to provide the necessary balance between the often competing priorities of global business and the interests of individuals and groups of citizens. Whatever role governments are to play, it is inevitable that balance will only be achieved through active citizen participation, no longer limited by geographic constraints.

Spying for Spies on Campus

Spying 101 is a very interesting book about the security service of the RCMP and its operations in universities, from its inception after the First World War until its demise in 1984 when it was replaced by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The book was written following a limited but important opening of RCMP files to scholars made possible by the Access to Information Act. Many files consulted by Steve Hewitt were partially blacked out but there was enough to construct this history.

Why Canadian Universities Aren't Working

With Canadian universities expecting to hire more than 20,000 new professors by the end of the current decade, this essay on the place of teaching and learning is both timely and welcome.

A Call for Defence of Freedom of Expression

The growing threat to freedom of expression brought journalists and academics from across Canada to Ottawa Nov. 1-3 for a conference jointly sponsored by CAUT and Canada's largest union of media workers, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Misguided Critics

The October 2002 Bulletin reports on Campus Watch, a web site that aims to monitor and publicize anti-Israel bias within Middle East studies programs in North America. The overwhelming consensus of those quoted, which include CAUT executive director James Turk, is that Campus Watch is a threat to academic freedom.

Nothing to Hide

I am not sure Peter Fitzgerald of Carleton University is living in the same universe I am. He is quoted in an article critical of the Middle East Forum web site (Bulletin, Oct. 2002), which lists professors of Middle East studies critical of the political positions taken by the United States government. According to the article, he states: "I would hope that any academic would find the idea of collecting information and assembling 'dossiers' on the classroom teaching of colleagues to be both bizarre and repugnant."

Fitzgerald Replies

Let me assure Ira Robinson that even in my corner of the ivory tower we collect information about what goes on in the classroom. We do this to ensure that our instructors are effective teachers whose lectures meet the canons of their discipline for rigor and fairness.

Chronic Underfunding Takes Its Toll

Canada's post-secondary institutions are in real trouble due to underfunding on the part of both the federal and provincial governments, the consequences of which faculty and librarians have no difficulty seeing.

Don't Deny Refugees a Future

You are 19 years old. Four years ago, you and your family fled the civil war in your home country, after your uncle and two cousins were murdered by the paramilitaries. Through a combination of resourcefulness, luck and the kindness of strangers, you made it to Canada, where you and your family were recognized as refugees. You applied for permanent resident status. You have been told that, as a refugee, you will almost certainly get permanent resident status, but it will take a while.

B.C. Supreme Court Grants CAUT Intervenor Status

In late October, the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted CAUT intervenor status in B.C. college faculty unions' Charter challenge to Bill 28, the Public Education Flexibility and Choice Act. With Bill 28 in hand, college boards have the right to override provisions in collective agreements.

Sudbury Sets Strike Deadline

Full and part-time faculty at the University of Sudbury have set a strike deadline for Nov

WLUSA Strike Ends

The strike by the 400-member Wilfrid Laurier University Staff Association ended Nov

Tentative Deal at Brandon

Members of the bargaining unit represented by Brandon University Faculty Association will vote this month to accept a tentative agreement reached on Oct

Collateral Damage in the War on Terrorism

It would seem the United States can now unilaterally refuse recognition of Canadian citizenship. Or at least that was what Mohamed Hassan Mohamed, a Sudanese-born Canadian citizen currently completing his PhD at the University of Alberta, was told on Sept. 16 as he was detained at the Fort Erie border crossing.

CAUT-Decima Poll: Canadians Want More Money Allocated to Social Programs

Most Canadians want to see the federal government focus its priorities on renewed social spending, shows a new public opinion poll commissioned by CAUT.

Manley Warns of Shrinking Surplus

Finance Minister John Manley says the federal government's surplus will shrink to just $1 billion next year, an amount critics dismiss as wildly low.

What Good is Health Care? Reflections on the Canadian Experience

Health care is on the uttermost edge of a decision. Turn this way or that and we forever shape our destiny - for good or bad. Before we take our health system and our health down one road or the other, stakeholders and health care experts are united in the view that, first, we must review the principles and core values of Canadian medicare. Now, with its newest publication, What Good is Health Care?, the CHA Press kick-starts the debate with a book that assesses the values embedded in a single-payer and multipayer system. It's a book that enlightens, challenges and, most importantly, leads readers to an understanding and appreciation of the social values that have been the foundation to Canadian medicare but are threatened by proposals to privatize. What Good is Health Care? explores what the many reform proposals for health care have been neglecting - the key values and goals that have supported the development of our health care system and defined who we are as Canadians, what we owe each other as citizens, and what legacy we will leave for future generations. It's a must read for anyone involved in decision-making about the direction Canadian health care ought to take - and for those of us who are affected by these decisions.

Left Out - The Politics of Exclusion: Essays 1964-2002

Best known for his biography of Paul Robeson, Martin Duberman's work as a public intellectual has focused on the lives of "outsiders" and the need for the excluded to band together. In Left Out, the first paperback release of his new and classic essays, Duberman argues that identity-based movements have created a vital change in American consciousness. In language that is both impassioned and engaging, Left Out traces this evolution of thought. As a white anti-racist, a feminist man, a socialist queer and the "godfather" of the gay studies movement, Duberman reflects on race, foreign policy, gender and sexuality. He offers an incisive analysis of the split between class-based and identity-based politics on the Left.