Established in October 1995, the German-Canadian Centre is the result of a successful collaboration of the North American Studies Program at the University of Bonn, the German-Canadian Association (DKG), and the Canadian Embassy which has generously supported the centre ever since. The German-Canadian Centre acts as a forum for the discussion of current cultural, political, and economic issues involved in German-Canadian relations while at the same time aiming to intensify German-Canadian relations through its contacts to a variety of Canadian institutions and partner universities. In part by way of its cooperation with the German-Canadian Association we encourage an interested public from outside the university to engage in this particular intercultural and transatlantic exchange.
As part of a joint venture, the North American Studies Program and the German-Canadian Centre define North American studies at the University of Bonn as comparative studies. The continuity of Canadian and Comparative North American studies in Bonn is ascertained by having a Visiting Assistant Professor join the faculty each year. This position rotates among the disciplines engaged in the North American Studies Program and has in recent years been reserved for young Canadian academics. So far we have enjoyed the expertise of, among others, Hugh Thorburn (Political Science, Queen's University), David G. Haglund (Political Science, Queen's University), Eva-Marie Kröller (English & Canadian Literature, University of British Columbia), Robert MacKinnon (Geography, University College of the Cariboo), Dawn Farrow (Sociology, University College of the Cariboo), Meghan McKinnie (Linguistics, Grant McEwan University), Anne Gagnon (History, University College of the Cariboo), Christine Straehle (Political Science, McGill University), Christine Hantel-Fraser (University of Victoria), Oliver Schmittke (Political Science, University of Victoria), Ian Rae (English, McGill University), Mark McCutcheon (English, University of Guelph, Ottawa), Timothy Kaposy (Cultural Studies, McMaster University), Katherine Verhagen Rodis (English, University of Toronto), Andrew Pendakis (Cultural Studies, McMaster University), and Justin Sully (Cultural Studies, Queen's University).
We also invite authors, among them Yann Martel, and experts from various public institutions and private businesses for lectures and events and organise symposia which are open to the public. The symposia have so far focused on "Competitiveness in Germany and Canada: Wages and Indirect Labour Costs" (1996), "Canadian Investments in Germany and German Investments in Canada" (1997), "Margaret Atwood" (1998), "Regionalism" (1999), "First Nations: Cultures and Literatures" (2000), "Ecology and Sustainability: Canadian Perspectives" (2002), "Film Across the Borders: Zooming in on Canadian Cinema" (2004), "Canadian Popular Cultures: Tune in on Canadian Music" (2004), "Canada and Cultures of Innovation" (2005), "Attention! Provocations on the Culture of Canadian Visual Forms" (2008), "Organic Material: the Many Threads of Canadian Book History" (2009), and "Complicating Canada" (2010).