Canadian-American Studies Program Names New Director

Christina Keppie has been named director of the Canadian-American Studies program at Western Washington University.

Keppie has been an associate professor of French and Linguistics in Western’s Modern and Classical Languages department since 2008. She is the first Canadian-American Studies director with a background in French studies. She succeeds director David Rossiter, who will return to his faculty position in Western’s Department of Environmental Studies.

Keppie says she is eager to step into her new role. One of her first goals as director is to increase the overall visibility of Canada House and the various programs it encompasses, including the Salish Sea Institute and the Border Policy Research Institute.

“I want to work on increasing the numbers of majors and minors in Canadian Studies. I feel that, with the political climate, people are becoming more aware of Canada. I feel that this will help me reach across campus to the various departments and programs that incorporate Canadian material into their course curriculum,” Keppie said.

The Center for Canadian-American Studies recently received a $2 million Title VI federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will be shared with University of Washington’s Canadian Studies Center, one of only three other designated National Resource Centers for the study of Canada in the United States.

Keppie received her doctorate in French Language, Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Alberta in 2008. Her research focuses primarily on linguistic anthropology, studying the culture and history of the Acadian people. Acadians are the direct descendants of French colonists living in Eastern Canada and Maine. Keppie has also published research on French-speaking cultural minorities living along the eastern Canadian-United States border, focusing on those living in her home province of New Brunswick.

Keppie has served as an editor for the American Review of Canadian Studies (ARCS) since 2013. ARCS is a multidisciplinary journal published quarterly, examining Canada’s culture, political climate, economy, history, environment and more through an American lens.

In 2014, Keppie created the French program’s first faculty-led Global Learning program. Since then, Keppie has accompanied four groups of students to Montreal for a month-long, immersive study of Canadian French at the University of Quebec, Montreal.

For more information on the Canadian-American Studies program at WWU, contact (360) 650-3728.