History and Mandate
The Alberta Institute for American Studies was founded in 2005 as the Institute for United States Policy Studies. In that capacity, the Institute sought to improve Canada’s and Alberta’s relationship with the United States and the development of public policy in Canada by encouraging and facilitating informed analysis and discussion of the policies and policy processes of the United States.
More recently, the renamed AIAS has expanded its role to include a broader range of disciplinary research that considers all aspects of US cultures, histories, politics, and economies.
As a partnership of four major faculties at the University of Alberta (the Faculty of Arts, the Alberta School of Business, the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, and the Faculty of Law), the AIAS discovers, disseminates, and applies new knowledge through research and learning.
AIAS plays a leading role in providing a voice for the University of Alberta in international discussions about the United States and its relationship to the global community.
The AIAS is dedicated to strengthening ties between the University of Alberta and the United States by increasing the engagement of faculty and students with academic, cultural, advocacy, business, and government partners focused on the United States here and abroad.
What We Do
The Institute’s major tasks are networking and knowledge production: we bring people together, we make new insights happen, and we take that knowledge to the public.
The Institute’s research program, undertaken by multi-disciplinary faculty at the University of Alberta and in cooperation with major research universities in Canada and the United States, is disseminated through an on-going series of print, digital, and multi-media publications, all of which can be found here on this website.
AIAS provides ongoing background information and commentary about public policy issues and US culture and history through the regular publication of its American Briefing Note Series and its American Folio series. The Institute maintains a firm commitment to the transfer of knowledge from academia to all of its stakeholders and members of the general public.
In addition to supporting research, the Institute undertakes a broad spectrum of public programming to encourage discussion of US-related issues. This includes staging public lectures by community leaders, public intellectuals, prominent academics, and policy makers; organizing and supporting conferences and seminars; and enhancing student learning in the classroom and beyond.