ACANS mission is to undertake research focused on Arab Canadian history and culture, to advance Canadian and world understanding of Arab cultures through knowledge and education and to inspire breakthroughs in the way students, researchers and scholars study multicultural societies.


The Arab Canadian Studies Research Group (ACANS) is dedicated to establishing a new field of study, unique in Canada and worldwide, to foster research on and understanding of the historical experiences and cultural productions of Canadians of Arab origins. ACANS is an interdisciplinary research group that includes various fields such as history, sociology, political science, Arabic studies, religious studies, literature, and media studies, among others.

According to Statistics Canada, Arab Canadians constitute one of the largest non-European ethnic groups in Canada. With a rich and diverse experience in almost all work fields and professions, thousands of Arabic-speaking individuals have contributed to Canadian society from the first waves of immigration in the late nineteenth century to the present time. Nevertheless, the history of Arab Canadians and their contributions to the political, social, economic and cultural fields remain to a large extent unknown in academia.

ACANS provides a space and a structure for researchers and scholars to study Arab Canadian history and cultures, and to collect material by and about Canadians of Arab origins as a primary source for research in the field. The group will actively support scholars in order to communicate their knowledge and share their findings through the group’s website, to encourage members and researchers to organize conferences and academic activities in Arab Canadian studies and to help publish the results of their research in scholarly publications.

ACANS is committed to approaching the Arab Canadian experiences from a transnational perspective in order to study the cultural and political relations between Arab homelands and Arab Diasporas in Canada. ACANS also focuses on the engagement with the Arab Canadian communities and organizations to better understand the role of Arabs in Canadian society past and present.

Hosted by the University of Ottawa and established in the dynamic environment of the national capital, ACANS aims to become the nucleus of research and scholarship on current issues facing Canadians of Arab origins as well as Arabs in North America at large.


  • History of Arab Canadian Immigration
  • Canadian Diasporic Communities of Arab origins: ethnicity, class, gender and religion
  • Canadian Professionals of Arab origins: a History of Integration
  • Arab Canadian and Arab American Studies: links and prospects
  • Canada - Arab World International Relations
  • Cultural and Artistic Contributions of Canadians of Arab origins:
    Migrant Literature: Arab Canadian writers
    Transnational Cinema : Arab Canadian filmmakers
    Arts and Performance: visual artists, media people, dancers, musicians