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From the archives

Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

Elaine Coburn

Elaine Coburn is an associate professor of international studies at York University.

Articles by
Elaine Coburn


Tales of a woman welder July | August 2023
With Thick Skin, Hilary Peach describes her more than twenty years as an itinerant welder in oil refineries, pulp and paper mills, and shipyards. Since Peach was the rare woman in a male-dominated trade, it is easy to imagine a feminist manifesto. But in fact she describes her experiences — the bad and the good — without making obvious…

From Place to Place to Place

Experiences of South Asian immigrants January | February 2023
In 1972, when she was a teenager, Tania Das Gupta travelled with her parents from Kolkata, India, to Toronto, for what was supposed to be a five-year stay. During the journey, she was struck by the sight of rural migrants — all men — who were heading to another destination entirely: the Gulf countries of Bahrain,…

Heroic and Imperfect Efforts

The battle to be heard September 2022
Twenty-five years ago, I was a graduate student attending a conference, where a reputable senior scholar showed an emphatic interest in some questions I asked from the audience. Following his talk, he sought me out. The next day, he approached me again, this time insisting we meet for coffee. I knew that professors rarely showed such unrelenting interest in students and their…

A Neglected Pledge

Moving beyond apologies May 2022
In 1999, I was a graduate student in California, studying multilateral investment and trade agreements. This is a more interesting subject than it might first appear, because these deals have important implications for public education, water rights, generic drugs, and other concerns of ordinary people. It was even more interesting when, later that year, there were protests against the World Trade Organization ministerial conference in…

Polyphonic Symphony

Hearing the voices of yesterday October 2021
In her acclaimed book from 2006, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle, the feminist geographer Katherine McKittrick wrote that the “well-known history in the Americas, of white masculine European mappings, explorations, conquests, is interlaced with a different sense of place.” It’s this different sense of place that the historian Joan Sangster vividly describes in Demanding Equality: One Hundred Years of Canadian Feminism

But Blind They Were

The fallacy of an empty continent June 2021
In her preface to Writing the Circle: Native Women of Western Canada, a poetry collection published in 1990, the Métis scholar and poet Emma LaRocque asked, “Here are our voices — who will hear?” The question emphasizes Indigenous women’s determination to tell their own stories, in their own words. But, as LaRocque…

Northern Memories

A story of forced relocation May 2021
When Arnakallak would describe the “horrendous” first two years he spent in the Far North, he’d use the word ­uakallaluraaluulauqtuq: “It was too much!” Decades ago, his family was one of several that Ottawa relocated from Pond Inlet, on Baffin Island, to the High Arctic. The unfamiliar conditions — the cold, the lack of…