Podcast Transcript: Jonathan Malloy
Host: Hello everyone, my name is James Gibbons. I'm with the Public Affairs section at the United States Embassy here in Ottawa. I'm at Carleton University with Dr. Jonathan Malloy. He's Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University and President of the Canadian Study of Parliament Group. Back in 2007, Dr. Malloy was a Fulbright participant, and he was a visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at Duke University. So let me begin by asking how you first became aware of the Fulbright Program.
Dr. Malloy: I'm not sure how I first became aware of it. I've actually been aware of the Fulbright Program in its various capacities. One thing I wasn't so informed about was the different types of programs: programs for doctoral students, for faculty like myself, and other types of applicants. So it took a while until I understood the full range of Fulbright programs available to me, particularly the ones that applied to me as a faculty member.
Host: Now where did you go?
Dr. Malloy: I went to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where I was the visiting chair in Canadian Studies at the Center for Canadian Studies, at Duke. That's a Fulbright visiting chair that has been around for a number of years. And so, I really got to go to North Carolina and spent several months there thinking about America and Canada together.
Host: Now what were some of the things you worked on, things you learned?
Dr. Malloy: The major project that I was working was a comparative study on the politics of evangelical Christians in Canada and the United States. So I had done a fair amount of work in Canada, and I wanted to go to the U.S., both to conduct some research on the ground, but also just to give a better sense of American politics and American political life. So I did get a lot of work done, I did some research in Washington as well, but the bigger issue was being able to really reflect on America, be exposed to America on a daily basis which was really quite eye-opening for me, I was surprised.
Host: Now having gone on that trip back in 2007, what are some of the things you reflect on in your work here at Carleton University?
Dr. Malloy: One of the biggest things that I reflect on is the diversity of the United States. That's something which, as a lifelong Canadian, you're always vaguely aware of course of the United States, and some of the different regions and parts of the United States. But really, it wasn't until I lived there, I lived particularly in North Carolina, in one part of North Carolina, at the Research Triangle area, that I really began to realize just the full diversity of opinions, and people, and regions, and economies even, of the United States. It sounds kind of obvious now, but to some extent I hadn't fully realized until I was in one part of the United States that I fully began to think about all the other parts of the United States, and the full diversity of America.
Host: Now, as a professor of political science here at Carleton University, as president of the Canadian Study of Parliament Group, are there any projects you work on, that relate or that involve the United States?
Dr. Malloy: Well, as I say, a lot of my work is on Canadian politics and on Canadian political institutions, particularly in Parliament, and aspects like that. And it's very interesting of course to study and compare Canadian and American political institutions, Parliament and Congress for example. It can be a little tricky though, because they are really quite distinct systems, so it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges. So I've certainly done some work on institutions of that sort, but often what you come across more than anything is the diversity and contrast, just how different they are.
My work on religion and politics though, which is another aspect of my work, and that was the primary focus of my Fulbright, continues to be I think particularly informed by American experience. I've continued to go to a number of American conferences since then, and more and more my work is comparative, looking at Canada, at the United States, and other countries, and looking at religious activism, evangelical activism, in those different countries. So really, I think the Fulbright experience really helped me to build in a comparative aspect to my original work in relation to politics, and since then I think it has further fueled my interest in looking at Canada in comparative perspective, so in that sense American perspectives are just built into my work now, and that's very much a product of the Fulbright experience.
Host: Well, thank you for sharing your experience with the Fulbright program, and again, you have Dr. Jonathan Malloy, Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University, and President of the Canadian Study of Parliament Group. Thank you.
Dr. Malloy: Thank you.