Department of Global Development Studies


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Canada closes the a door on Cuban culture

The Conversation

Canada closes the a door on Cuban culture

Originally published at

By Karen Dubinsky
Opinion;  Toronto Star
Sun., May 19, 2019

Good bye, Cuba.

The Canadian government suspended visa-processing services at its embassy in Havana. No more visiting Cubans to Canada — unless they can get themselves to another country with a functioning embassy. No more Cuban musicians, no more visiting professors, no more family visits, and no more Cuban students studying in Canadian universities.

I got this news while spending two weeks in Havana with 35 Queen’s University students. It’s part of an exchange program Queen’s has had for over 10 years with the University of Havana. Our Havana classroom includes the university, as well as the art galleries, music halls and cultural centres of the city. Here our instructors are a cast of thousands: professors, musicians, curators and the opinionated, verbose people of Havana.

Our program is an exchange; an unequal one but an exchange. We bring students to Havana, and we invite one Cuban professor, musician or artist back to Canada. In this way, Canadian audiences have been able to hear about the latest Cuban research, hear a concert from a top-notch musician, or learn about art directly from an artist or curator.

All this is now suspended.

The Canadian government says this is in response to the reduced staff in the embassy as a result of the curious “sonic attacks” experienced by embassy staff. This — whatever “this” is, no one knows — is a serious thing and has resulted in health problems for Canadian embassy staff in Canada.

But why choose the draconian path of shuttering the embassy and suspending visa services? With this move, the Canadian government has cancelled decades of Canadian-Cuban people to people exchanges, in art, culture and education especially.

Here’s what won’t be happening as a result of this decision: all of these are stories I learned in Havana the day the embassy suspended visa services.

  • The Cuban agronomist who receives thousands of visitors at an innovative co-operative farm won’t be able to accept an invitation she’s received to visit Canada to explain their internationally recognized sustainable farming model.
  • The mother of a recent Cuban PhD graduate won’t be able to attend her daughter’s Canadian graduation.
  • Another Cuban student — a brilliant pianist — can’t take up her offer of admission to a Canadian university.
  • A Canadian/Cuban art exhibition in Montreal might have to go ahead without the Cuban artists they’ve invited.

Meanwhile 1.3 million Canadians visit Cuba annually, enjoying the beaches, culture and music. Doesn’t this just seem a little churlish?

Canada’s Cuba policy has always been independent and measured. Now, at least in the visa department, we are exactly the same as Trump. Don’t pack your Canadian flag T-shirt, visitors. There’s little to brag about here.

Karen Dubinsky is the author of Cuba Beyond the Beach: Stories of Life in Havana. She recently received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council award for her next book on Canadian-Cuban cultural relations.

Fall Term Adjunct Position Available: DEVS 260-700 Globalization, Gender, and Development (DUE 29May2019)

DEVS 260-700/3.0 – Globalization, Gender, and Development
Department of Global Development Studies
Queen’s University, Kingston, ON CAN K7L 3N6

The Department of Global Development Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University invites applications from suitably qualified candidates interested in teaching a course in Globalization, Gender, and Development (DEVS 260/3.0).  This is an online undergraduate course with an expected enrollment of 95 students.  This is a term appointment for the period September 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, with course in session from September 5, 2019 to November 29, 2019.

Successful candidates will typically have a Ph.D. and teaching experience at the University level in Global Development Studies or a related discipline.  They will have expertise in the field or fields relevant to the course, appropriate teaching experience including experience working within an Online Learning Management platform (such as onQ).

As this course is being offered online, successful candidates will also:

  • have regular access to high speed internet and a computer that meets current specifications
  • be willing to take an active role in delivering the course and communicating regularly with students
  • be open to learning how to use the new technologies in order to be effective in the virtual environment
  • be flexible in terms of availability, which may include offering online office hours via the web at times outside of the regular 9-5 work week
  • be willing to provide students with timely and constructive feedback
  • be comfortable with working in a partnership with Arts and Science Online in the delivery of the course.

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodation during this process, please contact:

Department of Global Development Studies
Barbra Lalonde, Department Manager
Telephone:  613-533-6000, ext 77210

The academic staff at Queen's University are governed by the Collective Agreement between the Queen's University Faculty Association (QUFA) and the University, which is posted at

To comply with Federal laws, the University is obliged to gather statistical information about how many applicants for each job vacancy are Canadian citizens / permanent residents of Canada.  Applicants need not identify their country of origin or citizenship, however, all applications must include one of the following statements: “I am a Canadian citizen / permanent resident of Canada”; OR, “I am not a Canadian citizen / permanent resident of Canada”. Applications that do not include this information will be deemed incomplete.

Applications should include a complete and current curriculum vitae, letters of reference from two referees, course description/outline, and any other relevant materials the candidate wishes to submit for consideration such as a letter of intent, teaching dossier, etc. Please arrange to have applications and supporting letters sent directly to:

Barbra Lalonde, Department Manager
Department of Global Development Studies
68 University Avenue
Mackintosh Corry Hall, B401
Queen’s University
Kingston Ontario Canada K7L 3N6

Applications will be received until May 29, 2019.  Review of applications will commence shortly thereafter, and the final appointment is subject to budgetary approval.  Additional information about the Department of Global Development Studies can be found at

Course Description

DEVS 260 Globalization, Gender, and Development is designed for those interested in undertaking a critical analysis of the gendered impact of the globalization process and development policies with a focus on women in the Global South. 

Posted: May 15, 2019


The Green New Deal is going global

The Conversation

The Green New Deal is going global

Originally published at

File 20190503 103063 16f4j2u.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
A recent poll suggests many Canadians support the idea of a Green new Deal. Allan Lissner/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Kyla Tienhaara, Queen's University, Ontario

It’s the third period of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and we’re trailing, badly. It’s time to pull the goalie and send out the top forward line. We don’t know if we can actually win, but we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.

In hockey-obsessed Canada, this is an appropriate metaphor to explain to the public why we need a bold and comprehensive strategy to tackle climate change. We’re running out of time to avoid catastrophic levels of warming and what we have been doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions hasn’t been working.

It’s time to try something new, like The Pact for a Green New Deal, just launched by a large coalition of youth, workers, Indigenous leaders, artists and scientists. The plan would see Canada cut emissions in half in 11 years — in line with what the world’s scientists have demonstrated is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change — and do so in a manner that will “leave no one behind.”

A growing movement

In proposing a Green New Deal, the Canadian coalition joins a growing movement that aims to dramatically shift the scope and speed of action to address the current ecological crisis.

While many will associate the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman United States congresswoman from New York, the idea has actually been floating around for more than a decade. It’s also not an exclusively American idea.

Read more: Green New Deal critics can't see the forest for the trees

The framing obviously draws on American history and the original New Deal. However, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan was heavily influenced by British economist John Maynard Keynes.

It is, therefore, quite appropriate that the Green version was born in the U.K. with the formation of the Green New Deal Group in 2007. More recently, the shadow treasury minister, Clive Lewis (Labour), and U.K. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas jointly tabled a Green New Deal private member’s bill in British Parliament.

Students in participate in a climate march in Bonn, Germany in March 2019. Unsplash

The European Greens also have a longstanding Green New Deal manifesto. Last month, the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) launched a Green New Deal proposal that would see €500 billion invested per year to transform Europe’s infrastructure and energy systems. And Spain’s Socialist Party was just re-elected on a Green New Deal Platform.

Further afield, Korea launched a Green New Deal in 2009. In the same year, the United Nations Environment Program proposed a Global Green New Deal that largely focused on how G20 countries could maximize the environmental benefits of fiscal stimulus packages rolled out in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Recent calls for a Global Green New Deal are more ambitious in their suggestions for overhauling existing multilateral institutions that govern the global economy and making reparations to less developed countries.

What’s new about the Green New Deal?

If the idea of a Green New Deal has been around since 2007, why all the fuss about it now? And is everyone who is using the term actually talking about the same thing?

Ocasio-Cortez deserves much of the credit for making the Green New Deal both exciting and accessible. But there has also been an important shift in the scope of Green New Deal proposals, which may account for some of their increased popularity.

Read more: Canada needs its own Green New Deal

The main element that all Green New Deals share is that they are government-led. As noted in the Canadian proposal, “the federal government, in collaboration with all other levels of government and Indigenous Nations, has the capacity to pull this off.”

The focus on government leadership distinguishes Green New Deals from the neoliberal approaches such as creating markets or voluntary industry standards that have been the dominant response to the ecological crisis in most countries for the past 30 years.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during the Women’s March Alliance in January 2019. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

While Green New Deal proposals share a Keynesian interventionist economic model, they differ in other respects. Most of the Green New Deals proposed and implemented immediately following the global financial crisis in 2009 were based on the theory of ecological modernization and accordingly focused on investments in technological solutions.

Today’s proposals have a stronger focus on environmental justice; they call for investments in technology and infrastructure, but also highlight the structural inequality that is endemic in the current economic system and seek to address it.

For example, the U.S. Green New Deal includes universal health care and a job guarantee. The Canadian proposal has a strong focus on upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples, many of whom are at the front line of the resistance to contentious resource projects.

The idea of a strong role for government and justice-focused outcomes may get the neoliberal commentariat all hot and bothered, but their “Eek, socialism,” scaremongering doesn’t appear to be resonating with the public.

Arguably, supporters of the Green New Deal should be less concerned about the influence of the right-wing pundits railing against the idea and more about the real intentions of some industry leaders who are eager to get involved. The fossil fuel industry has recently shifted from a focus on manufacturing uncertainty about climate change to qualified support for carbon pricing and could change tactics again if there is an opportunity to secure public handouts through a Green New Deal. The nuclear industry is already positioning itself to benefit.

Keeping the Green New Deal both green and just will be an uphill battle. But it is one worth fighting.

The Conversation

Kyla Tienhaara, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment, Queen's University, Ontario

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Research Assistant Position (Casual): DEVS 221 Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology (DUE 6May2019)

Online Course Development-Research Assistant
Course: DEVS 221-700 “Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology”


Course Description

Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology examines Indigenous social and cultural development from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples. The course re-evaluates conventional knowledge based on Indigenous knowledge, worldview, and culture. The course introduces a decolonized perspective on contemporary issues. Lectures, discussion, and occasional speakers provide detailed examinations of specific topics such as contemporary issues in Indigenous healing and wellness, art, teaching and learning, socio-political life.

Job Description

The Research Assistant will assist in course development (e.g. research articles suitable for module development), provide feedback to the course development team on usability, clarity of assessment instructions and rubrics, and suitability of course content for a second year DEVS course.  The Research Assistant will also make suggestions for areas of the course that could incorporate Indigenous perspectives and methodologies.

We are looking for an individual who has:

  • a degree in Global Development Studies or a related field of study 
  • experience with indigenous studies and methodologies

Time Commitment

  • 30 hours (schedule to be determined)


  • Hourly Rate:  $30.00 (including vacation pay)

Application Process

Submit a cover letter outlining qualifications and current curriculum vitae by May 6, 2019 to:

Barbra Lalonde, Department Manager
Global Development Studies
Mackintosh-Corry Hall, B401, Queen’s University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N9

DEVS emphatically rejects the racist graffiti that appeared on Queen's University and St. Lawrence College campuses last week.

DEVS emphatically rejects the racist graffiti that appeared on Queen's University and St. Lawrence College campuses last week. Our professors actively support an anti-racist campus in which there can be no tolerance for any expression of racism.