Dominika Lopašovská: Join Us

23/03/2012 11:11

By courtesy of Dominika Lopašovská

 

The Central European Young Canadianists (CEYC) are a group of young students interested in Canada, who wish to exchange ideas with their peers. The organization introduced themselves at the Student Conference on the Americas on February 16. PERSPECTIVES took the opportunity to talk to Dominika Lopašovská, the head of YC.

 

Who are the Young Canadianists and how can you become a member?

The Young Canadianists is a network of students who are interested in Canadian Studies. We are trying to help students get in touch with each other, promote their research and learn about other people’s research, help them participate in conferences and publish their papers in our newsletter. You can become a member quite easily: you just need to send us an application form. However, to become a Young Canadianist, you need to be a member of the Central European Association of Canadian Studies (CEACS). You need to apply for membership by March 31 and pay 7 Euros. And you get quite a lot of stuff for your 7 Euros.

 

What are the main benefits of being a member of YC?

You get the same benefits as other members of CEACS - you get access to an online library, which currently more than 8,000 books and which you wouldn’t otherwise have any access to. You can also apply for conference grants and what we offer in addition to that is that you can publish your articles in our newsletter, plus we can give you contacts for other young Canadianists. On our website we have a list of members and the research they do. If you’re interested in a particular topic, you can contact the person and ask them questions about their research, how they went about the problems that you are facing, and similar things. We are also organizing a summer school for which you do not even need to be a member of the organization, so anybody will be able to apply. The fee will be a little lower for CEACS members, though. So these are the things we offer. Communicating with people from different countries is always a valuable experience.

 

Are there any problems the association is dealing with at the moment?

Actually, there are. I believe every association faces some problems at times. Our main problem is that the members of our organization team are English speakers. We don’t have many people who would be able to speak French, and we have no people who would be able to write French, so we are really looking for students who could help us with this. Another problem is that we don’t have many members – and the point of our association is to form a network. So I would like to encourage the students who decide to send their application to CEACS to send their application to us as well. Once they pay the fee to CEACS, they don’t need to pay any fee to join us. So they will get two bonuses.

 

Could you now tell us something more about the summer school you are preparing?

The summer school will take place at the end of June, starting on June 24 and finishing on Canada Day, July 1. It will be held in Telč, a very nice town in the Czech Republic. The summer school will be environmentally oriented. You will have professors from various countries speaking about environment from different perspectives. We will go on a field trip to Czech Canada, a beautiful natural reserve in Southern Moravia, and do some research under the supervision of a professor. We also hope to have a conference with some scholars from Canada.

 

Will the participants have to pay any fee?

Yes, but it won’t be too much. 30 Euros for members of CEACS and 40 Euros for non-members. Usually, if you apply for a summer school, you need to pay three or four times more. We will provide for the students’ accommodation, so they won’t need to worry about that. The fee also covers the field trip to Czech Canada.

 

How did you become a member of YC and later on also the head of them?

It was quite a coincidence, actually. I became a member less than a year ago. I went to see a professor at our department in Brno to ask if she would agree to be my thesis supervisor, and she said yes. And when I told her what exactly I wanted to do, she asked me, “Have you heard about Young Canadianists?” And I said no, never-ever. And, “Have you heard about the Central European Association for Canadian Studies?” And I said no. She advised me to contact Zuzka Janouskova, who was the head before and she made me a contact person. This was the first step because the moment you are the contact person, you become responsible for all communication and it’s only a logical step that you become a head.

 

Were you also interested in Canada before?

Yes, I’ve been interested in Canada for a long time, although my BA thesis was completely unrelated to Canada, but it was too late for me to change the topic. I attended several Canada-related courses, Canadian Politics after 1945, Introduction to Canadian Studies and some Canadian Film courses. So, I was quite interested. One of the courses was actually taught by a real Canadian [laughs], who is now my friend. He came to the Czech Republic some 20 years ago and stayed until this day. Canadian Studies covers quite a wide spectrum of issues and it’s good because it doesn’t close you in a tiny locker room from where you can’t escape. So you can broaden your research but still remain within Canadian Studies. And you can get to travel a lot when you’re active.

 

You are now writing your MA thesis. What is your topic?

My topic is Anti-multiculturalism in Quebec – Backlash on the Allophones. I deal with how immigrants and people whose first language is neither English nor French are received in Canada, especially in Quebec, and I discuss all that within the framework of multiculturalism.

 

When you finish you MA studies, are you planning to continue in your studies?

Yes, I will probably do doctoral studies; I hope to do so in Brno. I’m actually quite determined to do that, since I think that there still is quite a lot that I can do. The Canadian Studies research is fun, so yes, I’d like to continue.

 

Have you ever been to Canada?

Not yet, but I’m planning to. There are quite a lot of options for those who are interested in Canadian Studies and want to do their research in Canada. There is a list of programs available on the Embassy of Canada website that you can apply for to get a grant. Canadian government and organizations support students who are interested, and their support is quite generous. Thanks to the grant and work on the campus the student might not need any more financial support from home in order to study in Canada. And you also get to travel around Canada. I think I would like to try that someday in the future.

Kristína Kallová

 

Dominika Lopašovská is in the last year of her MA studies. Since 2011 she has been the head of the The Central European Young Canadianists. Currently, she is writing her MA thesis on Anti-multiculturalism in Quebec. After finishing her MA studies, she plans to go on studying Canada as a doctoral student.

 

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