Looking back on three centuries of shared life in North America

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Mercredi 22 mai 2019

In revisiting the mechanisms that led to the decimation and expropriation of the peoples of North America, authors Denys Delâge, a specialist on Indigenous peoples, and Jean-Philippe Warren, a specialist on French Canadian society, paint a portrait of the meeting between Indigenous nations and European empires and the resulting clash of cultures.

It took them some twenty years to interpret a few key dimensions and realize their shared vision of telling a story that would summarize the encounters between America and Europe at the time of the earliest European exploration efforts. Focusing on the period between the early 17th century and the late 19th, the pair refutes the impression that Indigenous peoples were not free when the first Europeans arrived. 

In Le Piège de la liberté (the freedom trap), the two researchers highlight the opposition between the individual freedoms prized by the Europeans and the collective freedoms that the Indigenous people held dear. While acknowledging that the Europeans’ promise of freedom to the Indigenous peoples was not kept, Warren says that the interpretation with which people are generally familiar is “a bit too simplistic. Our book wants to go beyond that interpretation. There was a confrontation between two models of social organization. It wasn’t just that Europeans appropriated Native land; more fundamentally, they wanted to undermine the First Nations' mode of social organization.”

With an analysis based at the level of societal archetypes, Delâge notes that Western society is compartmentalized into religious, economic and political aspects. As a result, even though they expressed admiration for Indigenous peoples in certain circumstances, merchants, missionaries and the military could not allow profit, religion, and submission to orders from superiors to be called into question in their respective areas of activity. The explorers thus found themselves caught between the inflexibility imposed by their form of social organization, and their enthusiasm for certain aspects of Indigenous life. 

While never questioning the value of liberty, freedom of association and freedom of religion, Delâge argues that these individual freedoms are more highly prized by Europeans, and that the emphasis placed on these freedoms has contributed to the disappearance of a sense of collective belonging among Indigenous peoples. “We are deluding ourselves if we think that adding more individual rights will resolve the Indigenous issue; there needs to be a collective space, a collective recognition of Indigenous peoples, and we have to be able to say that there are three founding nations in Canada: the Indigenous peoples, the French and the English.”

The essay is about Canada’s colonial past, but Warren believes that its content could prove useful for the present and the future. “The book is intended as a mirror in which the dominant society, in Canada or Quebec, can see itself and criticize itself. Even today, Indigenous peoples offer us an incredible example of how to build a more open, equitable, fairer and more tolerant society.”

 

Denys Delâge is Professor Emeritus in the Sociology Department at Université Laval in Quebec City. He is also a member of the Société des Dix. The majority of his published work discusses the history of the major Franco- and Anglo-Amerindian alliance networks centred in Montreal between the 17th and 19th centuries, including the dynamics of conquest and alliance, hot and cold societies, animism and monotheism, the relationship to animals, cultural exchange, justice, commerce, land issues, memory and identity, and departure from colonial relations. Author of Bitter Feast: Amerindians and Europeans in Northeastern North America, 1600-64 (Le Pays renversé, Amérindiens et Européens en Amérique du Nord-Est (1600-1664)), published by Éditions du Boréal in 1985, Delâge received the Gérard-Parizeau Award in 2013 in recognition for his body of work.

Full Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University and Concordia University Research Chair for the Study of Quebec, Jean-Philippe Warren has published over 200 academic and scientific articles. He has published widely on the history and sociology of Quebec society. His work has appeared in literary, sociology, political science, history, and anthropology journals. Warren’s book Honoré Beaugrand, la plume et l’épée, published by Éditions du Boréal, received the 2015 Governor General’s Award for French non-fiction. He was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 2018.

Le Piège de la liberté is the French winner of the 2019 Canada Prizes. The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The winning books make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

 

 

Catégorie

PAESPrix du Canada

Mots-clés

Award to Scholarly Publications Program

Indigenous resilience as seen through lacrosse

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Mercredi 22 mai 2019

At this time of year, the Cayuga nation is generally getting ready for a special occasion: its annual lacrosse game. This event may seem insignificant to some, but as we learn in The Creator’s Game, it is of great significance indeed for many First Nations people, for whom the sport is intimately tied to their identity.

In this work published by UBC Press, Allan Downey, the historian of Indigenous nationhood, self-determination and sovereignty, paints a portrait of the role this sport has played and continues to play in the lives of Indigenous peoples. 

Presented as a collection of archival texts, testimonials and explanations of relevant background context, the book guides readers through the different stages that have marked the history of this sport, both in terms of the game itself and with regard to the underlying political strategies.

In tracing the history of lacrosse as a sport from 1860 to 1990, Downey is able to show that colonial history is not necessarily at the centre of Indigenous history. “Indigenous history is independent of colonial history. While the history of colonialism is indeed important and deserves discussion, it does not define and will never define Indigenous communities and their stories,” the author argues.

Created by our First Nations, lacrosse preceded hockey as Canada’s national sport. “Though it was first introduced by Indigenous peoples, non-Indigenous Canadians later appropriated the sport of lacrosse as their own and reshaped it to symbolize Canadian identity. The strange thing is that lacrosse was eventually used as a means of assimilation in Indigenous residential schools,” Downey notes, but goes on to clarify that this was not the end of the story.

To push back against colonial pressures, Indigenous people reappropriated this sport for themselves and used it to reclaim their status as a nation with a right to self-determination. “Thanks to lacrosse, Indigenous communities achieved emancipation in terms of language, culture, government structure and ceremonial ritual,” explains Downey, who notes that he considers himself lucky to have been a witness to this resurgence.

True to his roots, he also chose to relate this story by using the art of narration. “I wanted to narrate the story this way because it’s a much better reflection of how Indigenous communities tell their stories.”

This element was important to Downey because he believes that the book’s success is due to the support he received from his mentors and from the Indigenous elders, scholars and knowledge-holders who worked with him as he wrote it. “It’s their stories that take centre stage in this book. This was a collaborative project, and I think that this prize is a recognition of their commitment to this project.”

The author wrote this book primarily for First Nations youth, and he has every intention of continuing to reach out to them. “I wanted this book to serve as a kind of resurgence for Indigenous communities, and to contribute to this movement, at least to some extent, through knowledge,” he concludes.

 

Allan Downey is Dakelh, Nak’azdli Whut’en, and an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. Author of The Creator’s Game (2018), Allan is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Columbia University where he continued to advance his research focused on the history of Indigenous nationhood, sovereignty, and self-determination. Beyond his research and teaching activities, one of Allan’s greatest passions is working with Indigenous youth and he volunteers for several Indigenous communities and youth organizations throughout the year.

The Creator’s Game is the English winner of the 2019 Canada Prize. The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The winning books make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

 

 

Catégorie

PAESPrix du Canada

Mots-clés

Canada Prizes

Media release: Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes a new President and announces four new Board members for 2019-2020

 

OTTAWA, May 17, 2019 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce its Board of Directors 2019 election results. The 2019 Board elections took place at the Federation’s first-ever virtual Annual Meeting, which was held on May 15, 2019.

Patrizia Albanese now assumes the role of current President, thereby ending her one-year term as President-Elect, and Guy Laforest assumes the role of Past-President, after completing his two-year term as President.

Re-elected for a second two-year term to the Board of Directors are:

Newly elected to two-year terms to the Board of Directors are:

  • Joel Faflak, Treasurer. Faflak is a Professor in the Department of English at Western University, and a Visiting Professor at Victoria College, University of Toronto.
  • Yolande Chan, Director, Institutions. Chan is Associate Dean (Research and PhD-MSc Programs) and E. Marie Shantz Professor of Information Technology Management, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.
  • Deanna Reder, Director, Associations. Reder is Associate Professor in the Departments of First Nations Studies and English at Simon Fraser University, and Former President and founding member of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association.
  • Annie Pilote, Director, Research Dissemination. Pilote is Associate Dean of Research, Graduate and International Studies, Department of Educational Foundations and Practices at Université Laval.

The Federation wishes to thank the following outgoing members of the Board for their years of much-appreciated service:

The Federation also sincerely thanks now Past-President Guy Laforest for his dedication and leadership in his role as President over the last two years.

To see the Federation’s new Board of Directors, effective immediately, click here.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year.

Questions:
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications and Membership
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489
Email: nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

Drug education takes a philosophical route: UBC postdoctoral fellow aims to open dialogue with youth about drug use

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Mercredi 1 mai 2019

Congress 2019 guest blog from Mitacs

How can today’s young people be educated about the perils of drug use beyond scaring the heck out of them? How can we help them explore their questions about drugs and develop their capacity to survive in a society where people use drugs?

Mahboubeh Asgari, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, hopes to address these questions during her two-year Mitacs Elevate fellowship with ARC Programs, a community agency based in Kelowna, BC, and the Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC).

Mahboubeh believes traditional education programs—which try to scare or shame youth into abstinence—have not been effective. “Traditional drug education has tended to address a perceived deficit in knowledge. The assumption has been that if children learn the risks involved in drug use, they will tend to avoid use,” says Mahboubeh.

Working under the academic supervision of UBC professor Barbara Weber, Mahboubeh’s research is exploring how a philosophical inquiry approach to drug education could promote health and reduce harm associated with substance use.

Learn more about the Elevate program here

“When it comes to drug education, children have questions such as ‘why do people use drugs?’ or ‘what is addiction?’ Using a stimulus such as storybooks, video clips, and songs, philosophical inquiry involves facilitating an open dialogue about drugs where these types of questions can be explored in an open space,” explains Mahboubeh. “Our aim is to promote drug literacy — the skills and knowledge children and youth need to survive and thrive in a world where drug use is common.”

Mahboubeh will work with ARC Programs and CARBC to bring her findings to schools and the community. Her research fellowship will help develop materials and lesson plans for teachers so they can have meaningful discussions with children and youth about drugs. 

Mahboubeh says her Elevate research is allowing her passion for inquiry and reflection to have a bigger meaning. “Using philosophical inquiry as a pedagogical approach for drug education will empower children and youth to think critically, creatively, and caringly.” Together, Mahboubeh, Professor Weber, UBC, ARC Programs, CARBC, and Mitacs will give teachers and community workers the framework to help change the face and meaning of drug education.

Read more inspiring stories at mitacs.ca/impact

About Mitacs
Mitacs delivers research and training programs to students, postdocs, and faculty in all disciplines. We help build partnerships that support research and innovation in Canada and around the world. Visit the Mitacs booth in the Congress Expo Event Space to find out more.

Mots-clés

Congress 2019

Being a Graduate Student at Congress 2019

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Jeudi 11 avril 2019
Guest blog by Sharon Engbrecht, Program Assistant for Congress 2019
 
As a graduate student and the UBC Programming Assistant for Congress 2019, I’m excited to share my experiences of Congress. Congress can be an overwhelming experience: many new faces and events can be disorientating and might leave you feeling a bit isolated. Maybe you are presenting your first paper, or are interested in networking but don’t know where to start, or haven’t quite figured out that elevator pitch. It’s not uncommon, especially as a graduate student, to have a sense of imposter syndrome when listening to papers presented by early-career researchers, faculty, or keynotes. But, in the words of Adam Douglas, Don’t Panic. Although Congress might seem insanely complicated and intimidating, it’s really a place to share ideas and develop community. This year’s theme, “Circles of Conversation,” hopes to envision the ways in which larger research communities can come together in dialogue, debate, and even dissent to showcase creative critical engagement, including graduate students’ knowledge and experience. 
 
In my first year at Congress in 2016, I highlighted my Essentials Guide like an eager student, planning to attend as many open events as I could possibly manage. As a master’s student recently accepted into a Canadian PhD program, I was eager to learn more about my chosen discipline and academia in general. Although I’d signed up to attend two association conferences, I admit one of the main draws was seeing Margaret Atwood give a lecture on compassion for the School of Nursing. As a first-generation university student, Congress was enigmatic but offered a wonderous peek into the mechanisms of the Canadian academy. I remember talking with editors from university publishers who were always generous and willing to answer my questions about academic publishing. I soaked up everything I could about writing, from turning my dissertation into a book to a behind the scenes look at the research that goes into CBC’s Ideas. For me, Congress that year was like an informational interview for my PhD career. I wanted to know everything I possibly could about the outcomes of a graduate education. It fundamentally changed my approach to graduate studies. 
 
What I learned is that Congress offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in conversations about your discipline that will change how you approach and even work through your graduate studies, especially if you are hoping to pursue a career in academia. Alternatively, there are always discussions taking place about working beyond academe. More and more, there is a demand for graduate degrees in Alt-Ac or para-academic careers. I love that Congress creates a space and place for opportunities, for thinking outside the box, for generating new ideas about what is possible for individuals who hold graduate degrees across diverse disciplines. Because of those small meetings and chance networking opportunities, Congress can be career changing. 
 
I would especially encourage graduate students to take full advantage of everything on offer. Check out the MITACS sessions and “Reimagining the PhD” in Career Corner. Consider attending the Pedagogy Hub workshops and programming, including a full day symposium on integrating experiential learning into your graduate degree. And don’t miss out on “Invisible to Visible: A Symposium of Contract Faculty Work.” In short, attend as many open events as you can including at least one on campus performance! Congress brings together a multifarious group of scholars working in your field. Do your best to introduce yourself or strike up a conversation. Take advantage of the opportunity to mingle during the Presidents’ Reception. And don’t forget your associations’ Graduate Student events. While it might seem overwhelming and intimidating, you might be pleasantly surprised by the generosity of the diverse people you meet. Never would I have imagined in 2016 that I would be working with the Academic Convenor behind the scenes to coordinate the largest congress of conferences in Canada, and it all started with that first Congress and the value I found in every aspect of my experience there.
 
As Congress edges ever nearer, the excitement at UBC is building! This year we’ve worked hard to offer an array of opportunities for all attendees, and we look forward to welcoming everyone at this year’s Congress in Vancouver.
 
See you then!

Mots-clés

Congress 2019

Making social media part of the conservation conversation: Biologist spreads awareness of endangered Garry Oak habitats

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Lundi 8 avril 2019

Congress 2019 guest blog from Mitacs

As a child bringing home wounded birds and other critters, Alina Fisher developed a passion for helping wildlife – a love that eventually drove her to become a biologist. But during her studies, Alina realized there was a pressing need for researchers to engage the public.

So she began a Master of Professional Communications at Royal Roads University. Now, thanks to a Mitacs internship, Alina is helping the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) enlist the public’s support to save endangered woodland areas.

“I […] knew lots of scientists and organizations saying things need to be done, but no one seemed to be listening,” she says. She wondered why some social media messages get picked up while others languished. “I was also concerned about vulnerable Garry Oak habitats in BC.”

Garry Oak ecosystems are home to more than just the gnarly trees unique to the west coast. These meadows and woodlands harbour more plant species than any other coastal ecosystem, including wildflowers such as camas, spring-gold, and buttercups. Endangered creatures like the western bluebird, Roosevelt elk, and sharp-tailed snake also thrive in these areas. Currently, less than five per cent of the province’s original Garry Oak habitat remains.

“I live near a protected Garry Oak ecosystem, and I bring my daughters there, so I know how important these areas are,” says Alina. “I wanted to get the message about conservation out, and I came up with a proposal to help GOERT create an effective social media plan.”

Learn more about Accelerate internships here

“We’d tried some social media before,” says GOERT chair Val Schaeffer, “but were unsuccessful — we didn’t have Alina’s expertise.”

Alina researched ways to increase public awareness of the importance of protecting Garry Oak habitats. “The public knows there’s a problem,” she says. “They just don’t know why they should care. We have to explain how the loss of this habitat affects them personally. I also discovered a person’s perception of conservation messages changes depending on their background, and the messages need to be customized to specific social media platforms.”

“Alina has made some good recommendations,” says Val. “The Mitacs internship has been a fantastic program because it produced tangible results for us.”

Since her internship, Alina has continued to collaborate with GOERT. Once the social media plan is finalized, she’ll be part of the team that implements it. “This experience got me out of the world of theory and into applied research,” she says. “It’s also been a good marriage of my biology background with my new communications focus. I’ve learned how to be a ‘scientific communicator’ — it’s made me better at explaining what I do, and at having conversations with people about environmental issues.”

Read more inspiring stories at mitacs.ca/impact

About Mitacs
Mitacs delivers research and training programs to students, postdocs, and faculty in all disciplines. We help build partnerships that support research and innovation in Canada and around the world. Visit the Mitacs booth in the Congress Expo Event Space to find out more.

 

Mots-clés

Congress 2019

Media release: Winners of Canada Prizes 2019 announced

 

OTTAWA, April 8, 2019 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Canada Prizes. This year’s winners are Allan Downey for his book The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood (UBC Press) and Denys Delâge and Jean-Philippe Warren for their book Le Piège de la liberté. Les peuples autochtones dans l'engrenage des régimes coloniaux (Les éditions du Boréal).

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to books in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. Winners are selected from books that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, which is administered by the Federation and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

“It is striking that both winners’ books this year are focused on Indigenous identity and reconciliation. It is a testimony to the growing space that these complex themes are taking and to the contributions that humanities and social sciences scholars make to our understanding of them,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“One book examines Canada’s national game of lacrosse and how it can serve as a way of understanding Indigenous culture and agency in the face of colonialism, racism and appropriation. The other is a reflection on the relationships between European colonizers and North American Indigenous peoples through the lens of what we call freedom.”

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Allan Downey, The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood (UBC Press)

From the jury’s citation:

In The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity and Indigenous Nationhood, Dakehl scholar Allan Downey tells the fascinating story of Canada’s national game of lacrosse. This engagingly written book will have wide appeal and makes an important and valuable contribution to Canadian cultural history and social understanding in an era with hopes of reconciliation and better understanding.

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales

Denys Delâge and Jean-Philippe Warren, Le Piège de la liberté. Les peuples autochtones dans l'engrenage des régimes coloniaux (Les éditions du Boréal)

From the jury’s citation:

Denys Delâge and Jean-Philippe Warren’s engaging and richly documented Le Piège de la liberté offers readers a new reflection on the history of the exchanges between indigenous peoples in America and European societies through the prism of freedom. Delâge and Warren’s book is not only a historical work but a comparative sociology essay, demonstrating the full extent of this chain of events — through time, space and society — that ultimately traps all actors involved.

A media kit including biographies and photos of the 2019 winners, along with the full jury citations, is available on the Federation’s website.  

The prizes, each valued at $10,000, will be presented at a ceremony during the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of British Columbia.

 

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. 

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz Manager
Communications and Membership
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
T: 613-238-6112 ext. 351
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas_idees #canadaprizes

#BlackProfessorsMatter: Intellectual survival and public love

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Mardi 2 avril 2019

Guest blog by Wesley Crichlow, Associate Dean of Equity and Diversity, Ontario Tech University, and the Federation’s Board Director of Equity and Diversity

There is a distinct paucity of material, scholarly or otherwise, on the experiences of African Black Canadian scholars within the Canadian academy. This #BlackProfessorsMatter blog post — and others in the Equity Matters series — aims to help fill and contribute to a Black intellectual space to create an international conversation that includes Black professors across the country. It builds on the tradition of past Equity Matters blogs, through which, since 2010, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been fostering scholarly debate on diversity issues in Canada, such as : Trans, LGBTQ, feminist, disabled, Indigenous faculty and staff equity issues. A pressing question we must ask ourselves is why is it that after 30+ years of Justice Rosalie Abell’s “Employment Equity Report” (1984) and the enactment of the Employment Equity Act (1986), Black Professors are still calling the university and public attention to Black employment in Canadian universities? The discriminatory barriers in employment make this unconscionable three decades after enactment of the employment equity act. Posts in the Equity Matters blog series  serve as a platform and contribute to public conversations on equity and build recognition for the need for Black scholars, community researchers, activists and students to come together to share our work and interests, in the areas of arts, humanities, social sciences, law, STEM and medicine.

My decades of community and institutional efforts towards equity, Black LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reform, social justice and transformation attest to the need for this diligent work also. I collaborated with colleagues from Ryerson University and York University to host the first Anti-Black Racism: Criminalization, Community, and Resistance Conference in Canada (2015). The conference aimed to advance scholarship on social issues facing Black Canadians and to construct concrete ways of addressing these structural problems. The conference was a gathering of over 500 African Black Canadian leading academics, community organizers, activists, students, human services providers, policy makers, and artists/performers whose work pertains to the life experiences of Black Canadians. Areas including education, criminal justice, and child welfare systems were all represented.

This conference was the outcome of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connections Grant funding in the amount of $25,000, with the principal applicant from Ryerson University, Dr. Akua Benjamin (Principal Investigator). I was a co-applicant in this grant and a participant in the conference organization. Many of us attending the conference at Ryerson University were concerned with how those with academic interests can deal with timely community and public issues by disseminating our findings and knowledge to broader audiences outside of academia. I strongly believe that the future of universities is contingent on academics being able to engage the pressing social problems of contemporary society in an accessible manner and to use their position to inform social policy and public debate.

Antiblackracism (ABR) is a conceptual framework for understanding a dialectic, which involves “a particular form of systemic and structural racism in Canadian society, which historically and contemporarily has been perpetrated against Blacks.” (Benjamin, 2003: ii) ABR is systemic and historically grounded discrimination towards people of African descent and origin and about the relationship Black bodies have to various systems which have historically stratified societies.

An extension of my antiblackracism (ABR) scholarship encompasses Black queer bodies. Race intersects with the over-representation of particular groups of youth in varying ways and degrees. Blacks are dramatically over-represented in every stage of the criminal justice system. But what we do not know is what percentage of Blacks in or under criminal justice supervision is Black LGBTQ. I have been actively researching the criminalization of Black LGBTQ bodies through an examination of Black queerness and Queer experiences during incarceration; this is research which is breaking new ground in Canada. To date, there is no theoretically informed engagement with sexual orientation and gender identity within Canadian correctional facilities (in either youth prisons, adult prisons, or detention centers). This research is both timely and important because of the marked absence of theoretical and scholarly Canadian evidence and/or data demonstrating that LGBTQ young adults are being overlooked in correctional institutions and gang-exit rehabilitation programs.

In 2017, Ryerson University hosted the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and I organized the first #BlackProfessorsMatter panel, attracting over 150 attendees with a distinguished Black professor panelists, highlighting the yearning for a continuing discussion. I committed myself to organizing this panel every year at Congress after feeling motivated by the Ryerson panel’s attendance and discussion. A common theme at this Ryerson panel was that — despite public commitments to improving equity and enabling full participation by all members of the academy — universities and colleges continue to be places that exclude Black, Indigenous people; persons with disabilities; persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and two-spirited; racialized minorities; and women. A recent study shows that universities in Canada are still predominantly led by white men. And the lead researcher says it’s time for the government to call a royal commission on racialized minority academic staff (Smith & Bray, 2016).

In 2018, I was elected Director, Equity and Diversity for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. As a national organization, and as the organizer of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Federation has an important, scholarly role to play in giving voice to Black professors who struggle to have their voices heard and their contributions to the production of knowledge in the academy recognized. As Director of Equity and Diversity, my aims are, first, to bring critical reflection to the fore on the meaning of Black professors as one of Congress’s key themes. Another aim is to create conversations on the tenure and promotion process, publications, research grant writing, collaboration, student opinion surveys, university committee service, mentoring and investing in each other and creating global connectedness. These conversational threads aim to humanize and contextualize our experiences. Another thread focuses on how equity, diversity and inclusion work involves recognizing that people from different social groups face different barriers, and on how equity means providing different supports to reduce barriers and give more people an equal chance to participate in university life. The Equity Matters blog will continue to work on projects and initiatives to provide resources and support to promote Black professors. Equity is more than a particular set of issues; it is a lens through which all issues need to be considered. Our university campuses and communities should have a climate that is welcoming to everyone. Everyone needs to take responsibility. If we want a campus community that is welcoming and inclusive, we all need to play a role in contributing to that vision.

I recognize that the Equity Matters blog may be placing more demands on — among others’ —  Black professors’ time to write and publish while they are juggling the work of university service responsibilities, research, teaching, publications, conference presentations, family and self-care. As Cornel West in his essay “The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual” (1985) puts it, “the Afro-American who takes seriously the life of the mind inhabits an isolated and insulated world . . . the choice of becoming a black intellectual is an act of self-imposed marginality; it assures a peripheral status in and to the black community. . .[but] the predicament of the Black intellectual need not be grim and dismal. Despite the pervasive racism of American society and anti-intellectualism of the Black Community, critical space and insurgent activity can be expanded” (pp. 109-110, 124). It is hoped that the blog will not dilute but offer practices of intellectual survival, a space for public love, and foster Black professors’ empowerment and humanity through an equity lens.

Want to learn more about #BlackProfessorsMatter?

Attend this session at Congress 2019 at UBC:

#BlackProfessorsMatter: Experiences in White Academe
Thursday, June 6 at 13:30 to 15:00
Leonard S. Klinck Building 201
The University of British Columbia campus
This session is open to all Congress 2019 attendees
 

Mots-clés

Congress 2019Equity Matters

Media release: The Federation applauds Budget 2019 commitment to increased learning opportunities for Canadians

 

OTTAWA, March 19, 2019 — The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences applauds the federal government’s Budget 2019 commitment to increase learning opportunities for Canadians in a complex and rapidly changing world.

Especially important is the government’s commitment to expand the Student Work Placement program, which will create new learning opportunities for the more than one million humanities and social sciences students across the country.

“Canada’s social and economic well-being is linked to the ability of its current and future workers to adapt to a rapidly changing workforce. Today’s announcement makes skill development a priority and opens up new opportunities for persons studying in the humanities and social sciences,” said Federation President Guy Laforest.

The Federation also welcomes today’s commitment to provide new research scholarships to Canadian graduate students by providing $114 million over the next five years to the federal granting councils, with 42 percent ($48 million) of these new funds flowing through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. 

Finally, the organization is also pleased by the government’s promise to work with Indigenous peoples to ensure that they have both better access to post-secondary education and better support to achieve academic success.

"Today’s budget  builds on the long-term research investments announced  last year. The Federation looks forward to working in partnership with the federal government to ensure that humanities and social sciences scholars have the support and infrastructure they need in an ever-changing world,” said Laforest.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. 

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees

 

Media release: Finalists for Canada Prizes announced

 

OTTAWA, March 12, 2019 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Canada Prizes. The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP).

The Canada Prizes are awarded to books that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. This year, the prize amount doubled to $10,000 each for the two prizes — one for French and one for English scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

 “The diversity of issues explored by these exceptional scholars demonstrates the immense breadth of research underway in the humanities and social sciences, and points to the relevance of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program. As the book titles suggest, what we have here is a cross-section of topics spanning from social well-being and health, to cultural identity and language, to politics, democracy and reconciliation,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “The Federation congratulates these finalists and is proud to play a role in promoting their work to the Canadian public.”

This year’s finalists are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales

The two winners of the 2019 Canada Prizes will be announced on April 8, 2019 and will be presented at an awards ceremony to be held during the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of British Columbia.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager, Communications and Membership
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
613-238-6112 ext. 351 nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees  #CanadaPrizes

 

Talking Teaching at the Pedagogy Hub

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 11 mars 2019

Guest blog by Tiffany Potter, Congress 2019 Pedagogy Hub Convenor, Associate Head, Department of English Language and Literatures

Congress brings together scholars from dozens of universities, myriad disciplines, and uncountable research niches. Within this diversity, there is one thing almost all of us have in common: in our profession, we teach. Congress 2019 at UBC will recognize this shared ground with a new feature: the Pedagogy Hub. Located in the heart of Congress, next to the book Expo and registration zone on the second floor of the Nest, the Pedagogy Hub will create a physical and intellectual space for a Circle of Conversation around teaching and learning. The Hub invites crossover discussions among associations and disciplines over the course of six days of special event clusters, workshops, and a series of one-hour conversations around research and innovations in teaching that we are calling “Coffee Talks.”

Like many Canadian universities in the last decade or so, UBC has made significant philosophical, policy, and budgetary investments in teaching and learning, as a classroom practice, as a site of critical inquiry, and even as a tenurable faculty rank in the Professor of Teaching. The Pedagogy Hub will use this work as a jumping-off point for an interdisciplinary national conversation about the most public-facing part of our profession.

There will be lots of ways to be part of the Pedagogy Hub while you are in Vancouver:

  • Try out the Augmented Reality teaching tool.
  • Join us at the drop-in space to connect with others interested in the best new thinking on post-secondary teaching, or maybe the special drop-in event, “The Doctor is in: Conversations with Killam and 3M award-winning teachers.”
  • Participate in one of our special-interest clusters on pedagogies in Asian-Canadian studies, or the latest in instructional technology, or teaching modern languages, or how experiential learning can work as a class, a module, a course, or a degree.
  • Attend a talk on managing hostility and risk in the classroom, or on inclusive teaching, or hear the Conference Board of Canada “Addressing the Myth of the Humanities and Work.” 
  • Have a coffee and peruse the poster display on some scholarship on teaching and learning (SoTL) research projects.
  • Come to one of the daily Coffee Talks, offering one-hour shots of caffeinated teaching inspiration on topics like:
    • How many?!? Successful strategies for active learning in larger classes;
    • Life hacks for the classroom: Easy, small changes with a big impact on learning;
    • Can students really evaluate each other? Using peer feedback and peer grading;
    • Using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in your courses; and
    • What is SoTL, and how can I get it funded and published?

Everyone is welcome to all sessions and we hope to see you there to converse about teaching and its innovations across disciplines and geographies. 

Mots-clés

Congress 2019

Welcome to Congress 2019 at UBC!

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 7 février 2019

Guest blog by Laura Moss, Academic Convenor, Congress 2019

I remember my first Congress so clearly: it took place at the University of Calgary in 1994. I was a new PhD student and I was terrified to be presenting my first conference paper. I remember the flight of butterflies I had in my stomach before giving my paper on magic realism in The Moor’s Last Sigh. If I close my eyes, I can still see the room I presented in. What I remember most clearly, however, are the encouraging smiles from my fellow students and senior faculty alike. It was the first time I really felt like I could actually belong in academia.

Over the past 25 years, I have been to 16 more Congresses. Some of my memories are academic, some are social. Some are wonderful, some are not. Each Congress has had a personality that has reflected the time and place. I loved the sense of community that I felt as soon as I got off the plane last year at Congress in Regina. I remember mind-blowing keynotes at Concordia, Brock, and UQAM. I enjoyed the grassy lawn at the University of Victoria, the lobster at the University of New Brunswick, and the social street at Ryerson. And over the years, I taught my butterflies to fly in formation before presenting my papers. Congress has been the most important annual event in my academic calendar over the course of my career.

When I was asked to be the Academic Convenor for Congress 2019, it seemed like a good way for me to give back to the scholarly communities I value so highly. I didn’t quite realize what a big job I was taking on. Congress is a giant jigsaw puzzle that works well because of all the combined pieces I’d never seen as a delegate.The job of the Academic Convenor is multifaceted: creating host-institution programming, leading the cultural and social programming that sits beyond association events, collaborating with the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences on Career Corner and Big Thinking events, and working with the logistics teams both here at UBC (led by the extraordinary Carolina Cerna, my co-convenor) and the Federation. Although I’ve drawn from my past Congress experiences, I’ve also added a few things.

My own research on Canadian and African literatures is fundamentally interdisciplinary, bridging historical periods, literary genres, and national boundaries. For Congress 2019, we wanted to highlight multidisciplinary approaches to the intersections of art and politics. This Congress will emphasize the arts and creative conversations around contemporary issues in the humanities and social sciences. This means that we will have an overflowing menu of art exhibitions, films, plays, poetry readings, archival exhibitions, and musical performances on campus all week. 

When it comes to Congress on the ground, as an attendee, I have often wanted more space and time dedicated to talking about the intricacies of teaching and classroom dynamics with colleagues. Over the past few years, there has been much important work on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) that I haven’t had a chance to read. Here’s a chance to catch up! For Congress 2019 we’ve created the Pedagogy Hub — a zone dedicated to interdisciplinary discussions of teaching and learning. There will be talks on the latest SoTL, sessions on Ed Tech, and strategic sessions on topics like how to deal with risk in the classroom and changing classroom climates. We will also have a drop-in Conversation Room in the Congress Hub for people to sit down, have a coffee, and talk about pedagogy and teaching. It will be open all day, every day.    

When my children were younger, I also wished for more nearby activities and facilities for them and my partner. For Congress 2019, we’ve created a whole suite of programming for families and companions. There will be a designated family space with couches, a kitchen, and play space. We’ll be offering day care, day camps, and daily expeditions to local natural and cultural attractions. Families and companions can enjoy access to UBC facilities, such as the new aquatic centre, the Belkin Art Gallery, the Museum of Anthropology, and more. We have also created a lovely lounge for Professors Emeriti. Stay tuned for more details in a future Congress blog.

It’s been a busy few months, and Congress 2019 is fast approaching. While I realized how important Congress is when I first accepted the role of Academic Convenor, I didn’t realize how gratifying organizing an event like this would be, especially when working with the amazing team of professionals from the Federation and from UBC. There are many women and men who put a lot of labour and time into making Congress a success, and I am grateful to them all. We are all working our hardest to make Congress 2019 at UBC accessible, fun, and full of thought-provoking moments. We hope that it will be a space for people to engage the difficult questions that we tackle in our research and professional lives, productively, safely, and comfortably. 

For everyone coming to Vancouver in June, I hope that Congress 2019 is memorable for all the right reasons.

See you soon!

Laura Moss, PhD.
Academic Convenor Congress 2019
Professor, Department of English Languages and Literature, UBC

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2019

Media release: Canada Prizes double to $10,000 each, and juries announced

 

OTTAWA, December 10, 2018 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the doubling of its Canada Prizes, which celebrate outstanding scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, to $10,000 each.

In 2019, the Federation will award two prizes:

  • A $10,000 Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences, for a work in the English language
  • A $10,000 Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales, for a work in the French language

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). Now in their 28th year, the Canada Prizes celebrate books across all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

“The quality of works competing for the Canada Prizes is remarkable,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “These books contribute to deepening our understanding of society and reflect the immense talent of Canadian scholars working across the humanities and social sciences. I am delighted to announce that these prizes will double in value in 2019 as it is a testimony to the important impact these exceptional authors are having on Canada’s literary landscape.” 

Two juries, each comprised of four distinguished academics representing a range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, will select the finalists and winners. The English jury is chaired by Eric Helleiner of the University of Waterloo and the French jury is chaired by Lucie Lamarche, of Université du Québec à Montréal.

The finalists will be announced in March 2019, the winners in April, and the prizes will be formally awarded at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of British Columbia in June.

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences (English language)
Full list of jury members 

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales (French language)
Liste complète des membres du jury

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager, Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
613-238-6112 ext. 351
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees  #CanadaPrizes

Assisted Reproduction Policy in Canada: Framing, Federalism, and Failure

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 7 décembre 2018

Guest blog by Dave Snow, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph

My interest in assisted reproduction began on an airplane. In August 2017, I was flying from Fredericton, New Brunswick to Calgary to begin a Master’s degree in political science. The day before my flight, I had grabbed a book – Margaret Somerville’s The Ethical Imagination – from my father’s collection to read on the plane. The book, which explored the ethics of assisted reproduction and genetic manipulation, was my first foray into the subject area. Before that, I had intended to study how Canadian courts had shaped our electoral system in my MA thesis. When I arrived in Calgary to meet my supervisor, I spoke of my new interest in ethical debates surrounding technologies and practices such as surrogacy, gene editing, and embryonic research. Given my interest in the courts, perhaps I could study judicial involvement in assisted reproduction? “I think that’s a hell of a lot more interesting than what you were going to study,” he said. And so it began.

Eleven years later, I published Assisted Reproduction Policy in Canada: Framing, Federalism, and Failure, which drew heavily from my PhD research. I never imagined how the policy field would develop in the last decade. In 2007, Canada was only three years removed from the passage of the federal Assisted Human Reproduction Act. In subsequent years, the federal framework unravelled. In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that much of the law violated provincial jurisdiction over health and medicine, effectively rendering its regulatory framework unconstitutional. Since then, provincial governments have done little to pick up the slack. The federal government has maintained its criminal prohibitions, but they are almost never enforced. A grey market has developed over payment for eggs, sperm, and surrogacy. Intended parents from around the world are increasingly coming to Canada to access reproductive services. The law was designed to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable surrogates and egg donors, yet journalistic tales of such exploitation abound. Everyone agrees that the experience has been a failure, but few agree on why.

My research shows how the interaction of federal institutions, combined with the way in which policymakers “frame” a field to the public, can lead to unintended consequences. It also explores how courts and medical organizations have developed policy in the absence of government regulations. I believe my research has benefitted considerably from the fact that I began as an “outsider” to the field: I do not have a scientific or medical background, nor do I have any experience with fertility services. The field is dominated by ethical and moral debates, but my research is not motivated by normative concerns. I am first and foremost a scholar of political institutions; by focusing on those institutions, it is my hope that my work can help inform policymakers at all levels of government about what worked, what didn’t, and what might, in the future of this increasingly important field.

David Snow

Dave Snow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Graduate Coordinator of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy (CCJP) program at the University of Guelph. He completed his PhD in political science at the University of Calgary, and was a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University in 2014-2015. He is the author of Assisted Reproduction Policy in Canada: Framing, Federalism, and Failure, (University of Toronto Press, 2018), and the the co-author (with F.L. Morton) of the edited textbook Law, Politics, and the Judicial Process in Canada (4th edition, University of Calgary Press, 2018). His current research examines the governance of naturopathic medicine in the Canadian provinces.

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

 

 

 

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The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 10 octobre 2018

Guest blog by Ann Travers, Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University

My research with and on behalf of trans and gender nonconforming kids brings my personal experience together with my scholarship in a particularly powerful way. I was a gender nonconforming kid and experienced very harsh gender policing. I now identify as trans non-binary and wish there had been more options when I was growing up. My own experience really influenced my efforts as a parent to keep people from imposing gender categories and norms on my own children. This often felt like a losing battle, as people and institutions are relentless when it comes to dividing children into girl and boy categories and attempting to restrict the range of behaviors and interests children are able to express.

Interviewing trans kids and their parents has been a very powerful experience for me. I necessarily viewed each interview as an important piece of social action research on behalf of justice for trans kids. This involved making the kids and parents feel really heard and sharing their triumphs and tragedies with them. Some of the trans teens I interviewed had been forced to leave home by unsupportive parents, and I strongly felt the significance of my role as a trans adult in affirming who they are and that they matter. Many of the kids and parents had harrowing stories to tell, and establishing the intimacy and trust it took for their stories to be told was a key part of the research. I really had to be there for them and to share some of myself with them. My interviews with trans kids and parents of trans kids have been the most moving and important research in which I have ever engaged.

One of the most powerful experiences I had while writing the book was realizing that I had “forgotten” who many of my participants “really are” in terms of assigned sex at birth. I experienced this as wonderful and liberating, and the exact change in consciousness that I hope my book contributes to stimulating. That my hope for a future where gender self-determination for everyone becomes taken for granted seems so much more possible now that I have experienced the possibility of a disconnect between gender and genitals on a personal level.

I wrote this book within the tradition of scholar activism established by the great sociologist W.E.B. Dubois and draw on the contributions of black feminism and other scholarship by people of color to situate trans kids within mutually reinforcing systems of privilege and oppression. I consider single issue scholarship and activism to be indefensible: trans kids are not just harmed by trans-negativity and cis-sexism but also by racism, colonialism, poverty, anti-immigrant sentiment, etc. Trans kids are in every population, and centering the more typically visible binary gender conforming middle and upper class white trans kids in social change efforts fails to address the complexity of oppression that most trans kids experience. In order to meaningfully improve the life chances of all trans kids, it is necessary to adopt coalitional politics to fight racism, poverty, colonialism and xenophobia. It is my hope that The Trans Generation motivates future scholarship and activism relating to trans people of all ages to take up overlapping oppressions.

Ann Travers (PhD, University of Oregon) is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University. In addition to studying transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth in Canada and the United States, Travers examines the relationship between sport, inclusion and social justice. Travers is the principal investigator on a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant titled “Gender Vectors of the Greater Vancouver Area: Using videogame technology to assess social safety nets for transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth.” Prior to The Trans Generation, Travers edited (with Eric Anderson) Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sports (Routledge, 2017) and authored Writing the Public in Cyberspace: Redefining Inclusion on the Net (Routledge, 2000).

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

Mots-clés

Gender equityAward to Scholarly Publications ProgramEquity MattersEquity and diversity

Thinking about War

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 14 août 2018

Guest blog by Jonathan Chan

Reflections on the Congress 2018 Big Thinking lecture entitled Thinking about war with Margaret MacMillan, C.C. organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the University of Regina.

In a country like ours, it can be easy to forget about the prevalence of war in modern society. Nonetheless, some of us walk by war memorials every day, while others may see military regalia at hockey games, for example. Famous movies, books, and video games depict war as an exciting, honourable endeavor. Margaret MacMillan examines the intersection of war and society, and shows how war is woven into so many areas of a peaceful life.

It is important to consider what has enabled humanity to wage war. As modern society moved from hunter-gatherers to agricultural society, humans reduced their ability to move between locations. Individuals settled in specific areas, developing their resources, and establishing nations. With the ownership of land came the desire to protect it from those who want to steal or overtake one’s property. Nationalism plays a role in why war is waged, with government leaders rousing fear and suspicion of neighboring regions. Emotional responses such as fear and pride can manifest in the need to assert dominance through large-scale conflict.

But while war can be waged for evil intentions, progress for an overall society may result from the conflict. Consider the effect of World War II on the perception of women in western countries. Prior to the conflict, women were largely relegated to housework and deemed unsuitable for working roles in society. After able-bodied men were sent to the frontline, women began taking up the roles traditionally held by men. The myth of women being ‘better equipped to stay in the household’ was quickly set aside, leaving women, in the post-war context, with a higher social standing than that which they had prior to it.

While war has resulted in overwhelming suffering, it also ushered in the development of many of our most important institutions. The British Navy required efficient management systems, which triggered the development of bureaucracy and government control in the overall country. From medical advancement to education, institutions that serve us today were, at one time, developed for the purpose of serving those on the front lines. War is ultimately cruel, but an important part of human history. With war shaping how we live and how we interact today, the understanding of war is important in determining the future of society as we move towards an unstable world.

Mots-clés

Congress 2018

Remembering Terry D’Angelo (1962-2018)

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 3 août 2018

Nicola Katz, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Terry laughed easily, and with gusto. Her joie de vivre was sincere, and she had a knack for finding the upside even where others could not.

In fact, as it was recently pointed out by Terry’s brother-in-law, never once in the nearly year-long battle she had with cancer, did Terry ever ask “Why me?” Instead, in typical Terry style, she remained practical and got right down to the business of making the best of the situation at hand: caring for the needs of her loving family, organizing every last detail of their fundraising efforts, making time for farewells to friends and colleagues, and ultimately planning the details of one final event – her own celebration of life.

This engagement and dedication comes as no surprise for those of us at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences that had seen Terry in action over her six years as Manager and later as Director of Congress. Ever the mother hen, no matter how busy she was, Terry made the rounds at our flagship Congress events (putting thousands of steps on her tracker) to personally ensure that staff were taking care of themselves and that they were feeling supported.

In the office, at the end of a busy week, we’d often smell Friday afternoon popcorn, popped by Terry and left in the lunchroom for all to enjoy. And there were lots of other surprise pick-me-up treats at key points in our busy event cycles, and at epic-long meetings where Terry led us in sorting out 1,001 details, none of which she was going to allow to slip. After a job well done, she knew how to mark a success and acknowledge her staff’s contributions, carving out time for celebration, such as the post-Congress staff event, and her signature year-end staff breakfast.

Despite her thorough attention to detail at work, Terry knew how to draw the line between her life at work and at home. After all, home, and specifically her family (her beloved husband and two sons) was her number one priority. Dedicated as she was to her career, family always came first. She proudly told colleagues about the daily full-course pancake breakfasts she made (yes, on workdays!) for her sons. Her face lit up whenever she spoke of them. Family time was something she took great pleasure in sharing with others through stories and photos. In many ways, Terry served as an example to us all.

With Terry, you knew where you stood: she spoke her mind frankly, called a spade a spade, was disarmingly real. As a result, she brought out the best in people. Terry also brought out the best in Congress, year after year. She poured her heart into it. This spring, when she was unable to attend Congress 2018 in Regina, a “Send a message to Terry” board was set up on the Expo tradeshow floor to gather messages of hope and love from those who had been touched by her work – attendees, association executives, university leaders, and even The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

As we journey on without her, our team will honour her memory by remembering her head-on approach to problem solving, her people-centred approach to staff, and the joyful sprit with which she tackled life and all it threw her way. We send condolences along with thoughts of courage and compassion to everyone who, like us, loved Terry for all that she was and for all that she taught us. We are better people for having had her in our lives.

 

Mots-clés

Federation newsCongress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 6 juillet 2018

Guest blog by Mark A. McCutcheon, Professor of Literary Studies at Athabasca University

Like much of my work on Canadian popular culture, the idea for The Medium Is the Monster arose from my experience and research in raves and electronic dance music (EDM). The kernel of the book's first argument -- that technology is a word whose modern meaning was historically shaped by Frankenstein -- first appeared in a 2007 article, "Techno, Frankenstein, and copyright." The book's other key argument -- that Canadian pop culture, anchored in Marshall McLuhan's work, has popularized this sense of technology as manufactured monstrosity -- took shape in the keynote I delivered (in my role, then, as guest professor of Canadian Studies at the University of Bonn) at that year's conference of the Association for the Study of New English Literatures, in Jena, Germany.

That keynote discussed David Cronenberg's Videodrome and Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake as Canadian adaptations of Frankenstein that also adapt McLuhan's ideas. After the keynote, though, the archive of such adaptations kept growing, and showed that reworking both Mary Shelley and Marshall McLuhan forms a pattern in Canadian Frankenstein adaptations, which, in the process, have established a monstrous sense of "technology" in pop culture and everyday speech. It quickly became evident that one can't swing an undead cat, in Canada, without hitting some reference to "technology" as manufactured monstrosity that conjures not only Frankenstein but also McLuhanesque ideas about technologies as emergent environments that shape subjects -- and pose unforeseen hazards.

I thought I had a complete study ready to pitch to publishers as early as 2009, but it was declined then, and there's something to be said for the inadvertent productivity of rejection, because other crucial evidence for the Canadian Frankenstein adaptation archive then came my way. Especially memorable finds were, first, Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, the EDM superstar whose music features Gothic motifs and whose performance practice builds on a rich tech-noir legacy in Canada's underground rave scene; and, second, Catalyst Theatre's stage Frankenstein, which debuted in Fort McMurray and led me to drill down into the national debate over the Alberta oil sands, finding there a rich vein of Frankenstein references and adaptations across a range of op-eds, analyses, and pop culture productions. (Remember how Avatar was used for "avatar-sands" activism?)

As a result, the book ended up surveying a broader spectrum of Canadian Frankenstein adaptations and citations than first expected, found among many media and cultural forms, including condensed, ephemeral, and lyrical forms that have tended not to figure in adaptation studies. So it's my hope that The Medium Is the Monster models some methods for expanding adaptation studies to recognize and analyze the adaptation work that goes into short, ephemeral cultural forms like photographs, poems, posters, and songs. (I think Maestro Fresh-Wes' "Let your backbone slide" is one of Canada's most remarkable Frankenstein adaptations...and one of Canada's best songs, period.) Relatedly, I hope this book can contribute productively to the renewed attention Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is enjoying during this bicentennial year of its first publication. But I also hope this study will help to sustain and deepen the critical reception and extension of McLuhan's ideas, which continue to prove uncannily prescient -- since the real world continues to persist in turning into science fiction.

Mark A. McCutcheon is Professor of Literary Studies at Athabasca University. His scholarly publications include articles on Canadian popular culture, Romantic literature, and copyright policy in English Studies in Canada, Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, Continuum, and Popular Music, among other scholarly journals and books. Mark has also published poetry and short fiction in literary magazines like EVENT, Existere, Carousel, and subTerrain. Originally from Toronto, Mark lives in Edmonton. His scholarly blog is www.academicalism.wordpress.com and he’s on Twitter as @sonicfiction.

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

 

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That’s a wrap! Congress 2018 ends in success

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 12 juin 2018

Guest blog by the University of Regina communications team

From May 26 to June 1, thousands of guests made their way to the University of Regina campus for the 87th Congress of The Humanities and Social Sciences. By all accounts, the event was a tremendous success and further proof that when it comes to hosting major events, nobody does it quite like Regina.

For Academic Convenor André Magnan, the success of Congress was a direct result of community support and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly both leading up to and during the event. “People put a lot of hours into making this event a success. We heard a lot of positive feedback about our campus and the friendliness of all of our volunteers. It was a great reflection of our campus and our community.”

The week-long event, the largest of its kind in Canada, brought together academics, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners, for a series of lively discussions and debates. A wide range of topics were discussed, including the many social, cultural and political issues currently affecting Canada.

According to Magnan, this year’s discussions were especially relevant in the area of environmentalism.  “I think this is a strength of the humanities and social sciences. We’re researchers and students who are looking at some of the biggest challenges facing our society,” said Magnan. “We’re all looking for answers to the challenges of climate change and the resulting environmental impacts. It’s not an easy solution to find.”

In addition to in-depth environmental discussions, Congress 2018 also shone a spotlight on the area of reconciliation.  A variety forums were held in this area, including a keynote address by Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. “People are becoming more educated about the past, but also starting to understand the importance of building stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples moving forward,” said Magnan.

Beyond the extensive lineup of keynote addresses and workshops, Congress also provided a platform to showcase plenty of Canadian talent. From Buffy Sainte-Marie to Jeffery Straker, Congress offered plenty of free entertainment for event attendees and the general public. This combined with an impressive offering of local food and drink, made Congress 2018 a great success.

 

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2018

Media advisory: Congress 2018 research looks at atheist comedy, links between The Tragically Hip and Canadian identity, and the history of professional tattooing

 

REGINA, May 30, 2018 – Researchers examine how humour can destabilize religion, how live streaming has influenced the gaming industry, how the Tragically Hip define Canadians, all as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Canada and often called the “Academic Olympics,” Congress is great fodder for journalists looking for fresh research stories in the humanities and social sciences. All of these researchers are on the University of Regina campus this week.

Highlights in research in arts and culture include:

Atheist Comedy as Reality Maintenance: Atheist comedy is found in stand‐up comedy, movies and TV shows. Rather than relying on scientists who can properly explain the group’s belief, comedians are at the forefront of a movement which hopes to destabilize and eliminate religion from the public sphere. This paper analyzes the techniques employed by several atheist comedians to analyze how their humour constructs religions and religious people as ‘Others’ who are laughable and confused at best, and manipulative or harmful at worst.

“Canada was Joined at the Hip”: Issues of Diversity in the Connections between The Tragically Hip, the CBC and Canadian Identity: This research is about the connections between the CBC and The Tragically Hip, particularly how the CBC aided in promoting The Hip as “Canada’s band”. This presentation aims to consider the implications of a band like The Tragically Hip representing a diverse, multicultural nation such as Canada, and suggests that CBC’s promotion of The Tragically Hip as “Canada’s band” creates an idea of diversity that is rather limited.

The Influence of Live Streaming and Twitch.tv on the Games Industry: Twitch.tv is the dominant market leader in the live‐streaming of video game content. It is not just affecting the play nor spectating of games, but also their production, marketing, and reviewing. This paper reviews the effects of live streaming on the games industry, and situates these changes within the broader dynamics of the contemporary video games sector.

‘Visually Interesting and Not Without Some Mystery’: The Intersecting History of Professional Tattooing in Halifax and Beyond: Aided by its position as an international port city and regional center, tattooing thrived in Halifax in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a wide‐ranging clientele that encompassed transient and permanent populations. This research counteracts misconceptions of  tattooing as the domain of ‘low’ and ‘marginalized’ social and cultural groups, and argues that it uniquely contributed to Halifax’s urban milieu and nationwide social and cultural networks.

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Congress is open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

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For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

Media advisory: Congress 2018 research looks at carbon footprints, carbon pricing and the Paris Agreement

 

REGINA, May 30, 2018 – Researchers examine the carbon footprints of Academia, misunderstandings of carbon pricing and Canada’s contribution to the Paris Agreement, all as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Canada and often called the “Academic Olympics,” Congress is great fodder for journalists looking for fresh research stories in the humanities and social sciences.

All of these researchers are on the University of Regina campus this week.

Highlights in research in environmental issues include:

The Problem of Academia’s Carbon Footprint: The session will address how universities and scholarly organizations can adopt new low carbon technologies and policies, and highlight criteria and other ways to help scholars flourish in their careers while using only their fair share of carbon.

Burn the Money on the Steps of the Legislature: Misunderstanding / Misrepresenting Carbon Pricing in Saskatchewan: Discussions of carbon pricing by the province have been decidedly one‐sided, focusing on the cost of paying a carbon price, while ignoring that revenues could be used to reduce income taxes or provide rebates to vulnerable groups. Brett Dolter of the U of R will present his research on the dominant and alternative perspectives.

Canada's Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement: What is Fair and What is Fair Share? In Canada, climate action plans vary considerably across the country. Ontario and Quebec have implemented economy‐wide emissions trading systems. In contrast, Saskatchewan is actively opposed to carbon pricing and does not have defined emissions reduction targets. If the core objective of the Paris Agreement is to be achieved, Canada, along with most countries, must increase the level of ambition to curtail future emissions.

From waste to wealth: Managing wastes for sustainability generates wealth in return. When recyclables and reusables are thrown out, “we waste waste” which would have helped to produce wealth in other areas of the economy. The unthoughtful disposal of wastes in our homes and municipalities also leads to environmental pollution. Countries like China and Sweden can offer lessons for Canada on dealing with abundant waste production.

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Congress is open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

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For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

Media advisory: Congress 2018 research looks at free speech on university campus, the “Take a knee” movement and film history in the post-Weinstein era

 

REGINA, May 29, 2018 – Researchers look at free speech on university campuses, trigger warnings in the classroom, and teaching in the wake of #MeToo, all as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Canada and often called the “Academic Olympics,” Congress is great fodder for journalists looking for fresh research stories in the humanities and social sciences.

All of these researchers are on the University of Regina campus this week. Highlights in research in the fields of education include:

Emails with My Dad, or What the hell has happened to free speech in universities? Conversations about free speech on university campuses have been receiving an unprecedented level of mainstream media coverage. This presentation thinks through what it would look like to make the work of the university more public, and whether that might fight against the disinformation of extremist positions.

Trigger‐Shy: Opposing A Singular Model of Trauma, Embracing an Ethos of Care: Trigger warnings have been a hot‐button issue in higher education in recent years. This presentation suggests that part of the anxiety around safe spaces and trigger warnings in the classroom is not just about a fear of censorship, but about not being able to predict what may or may not be difficult for students.

Courting Change on the Field: Lessons from the “Take a Knee” Movement about Pop Culture’s Potential for Critical Public Pedagogy: The movement emerged among sports stars in the US in summer 2016. This research explores it as a form of adult education and learning, including the successes and limitations to celebrity-led social movements.

Resignation is a Feminist Issue: Sara Ahmed, Critical University Studies, and Institutional Abuse: Harassment, bullying, and discrimination in academic contexts are receiving enhanced scrutiny in the wake of the #MeToo movement and high‐profile disclosures of faculty misconduct at Canadian institutions. Drawing on her own experience of resignation in the wake of harassment, this researcher considers how human rights tribunals and other fora offer a more feminist approach to pursue rights‐based and discrimination claims compared to universities themselves.

Destabilizing the Film Canons of “Old Dinosaurs”: Teaching Film History in a Post‐Weinstein Era: In the wake of the Weinstein scandal and #MeToo, traditional film canons must be destabilized. From an educator’s perspective, the lack of female representation in film canons sends a negative gendered message to film students, especially female or trans student. How can film educators create more diverse and inclusive canons without resorting to tokenism or ghettoization?

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Congress is open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

-30-

For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

Media advisory: Congress 2018 research looks at why some people are rejecting the fat stigma, and at the politics of abortion in Northern Ireland

 

REGINA, May 29, 2018 - Researchers are thinking out of the box: questioning assumptions about how we traditionally treat Lyme disease in Canada, and why some people reject fat stigma and are ‘pro fat.’  Others are examining the (in)equity Canadians may face in accessing psychotherapy, based on their income levels. These and many more topics will be presented this week at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Canada and often called the “Academic Olympics,” Congress is great fodder for journalists looking for fresh research stories in the humanities and social sciences.

All of these researchers are on the University of Regina campus this week. Highlights in research in the fields of healthcare include:

Lyme Disease in Canada: Lyme disease in Canada is on the rise in recent years, yet our means of dealing with this disease have been severely handicapped by narrow‐minded assumptions. This paper argues that these assumptions need to be rejected in order to effectively deal with how this disease is diagnosed, treated, and researched. The unjustified belief that there is a single “scientific” approach unnecessarily limits how Lyme disease has been addressed in Canada.

The Audacity of Being For Fat and Against Health: “Obesity” has been considered an epidemic for several decades now, despite a significant body of research that has established people can be healthy at a wide range of non‐conforming sizes. This research will examine how fat stigma is a pervasive and fundamental cause of the problems that have been commonly associated with body fat. Taking such a position is still seen as radical and irresponsible. This presentation embraces that accusation as a means to complicate health discourses and promote a stand for equity and justice.

What is the Purpose of Dietary Guidance for the Prevention of Chronic Disease? When evidence is gathered to provide guidance about diets meant to prevent chronic disease, the issues of class, race, and gender are either ignored or accepted as a means to an end. This presentation explores how public health nutrition policy is based on white, middle‐class notions of "healthy lifestyle" and how this perspective invalidates other ways of knowing about food and "health" and devalues the lives of those whose bodies or ways of being do not fit with mainstream approaches to food and health.

Income and Equity in Access to Psychotherapy in Canada: While equitable access to mental health services is only one of many critical determinants of mental health, inequitable access is nevertheless an important economic and social justice issue in its own right. Public health insurance in Canada has long privileged hospital and physician services over care provided by social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists. This study takes a closer look at the extent to which how rich or poor you are determines how likely you are to access psychotherapy and other mental health services when you need them. May 30 in Language Institute LI 143 at 11:00 am.

The politics of abortion in Northern Ireland: This research examines the future of the Northern Ireland power-sharing model; the curtailment of feminist activism and persistent division over reproductive rights and access to abortion; the role of external intervention and funding; and struggles over memory and memorialization projects in the post-Agreement period. This panel will contribute to a number of political science subfields such as the comparative politics of institutional design; gender and security in international relations; peace and post-conflict studies; and the growing interdisciplinary field of memory and memorialization. May 31 in Classroom - CL 434 at 3:45 pm.

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Congress is open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

-30-

For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

Media advisory: Sex ed curriculum revamp and research on street harassment and Islamophobia among highlights of Congress 2018

 

REGINA, May 29, 2018 - Researchers from King’s University College at Western University consider what it’s like to grow up Muslim in Canada in the face of surging bigotry, others look gender inclusivity in locker rooms, all as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Canada and often called the “Academic Olympics,” Congress is great fodder for journalists looking for fresh research stories in the humanities and social sciences.

Highlights in research about equity and diversity include:

Right to the City: An Exploration of the Gendered Impacts of Street Harassment Often dismissed as trivial, street harassment is a form of gender‐based violence that impacts thousands of Canadian women everyday, and ranges in severity from catcalls and whistles to stalking and assault. This research indicates that women who experienced SH reported being more fearful of gender‐based violence in public, including rape and sexual assault. May 29 in Laboratory LB 235 at 1:00 pm.

Gender Transgressors: An Intersectional Analysis of the Change Room: Across North America accommodating transgender individuals in change rooms is frequently a site of controversy. This research proposes that to make change rooms inclusive for all what is needed are methods for widening the parameters of gender, rather than architectural accommodations. May 29 in Laboratory LB 206 at 8:30 am.

Growing Up Muslim: The Impact of Islamophobia on Children in a Canadian Community: Based on interviews with elementary age students, this research presentation shows how they regularly experience discrimination and overt hostility because of their religion, and discusses what changes are needed. May 29 in Language Institute - LI115 at 3:30 pm.

Touchy Subject: Understanding the Controversy over Sexuality Education in Ontario: While the new sex education curriculum introduced in 2015 was welcomed by a majority of teachers and parents, vocal opposition to the government’s initiative stoked heated public debate. The leader of Ontario's PCs, Doug Ford, is campaigning on a promise to repeal sex education. This research clarifies the aims of the curriculum and the values of both its proponents and opponents. A deeper understanding of stakeholders’ concerns will facilitate more productive public discourse. May 30 in Riddell Centre - RC 128.1 at 9:45 am.

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Congress is open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

-30-

For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

 

 

Media advisory: Implications of fake news, Trumpisms and research on TV’s House of Cards among highlights of Congress 2018

 

REGINA, May 28, 2018 — Researchers from Simon Fraser University and UBC examine the transformation that podcasting is having on university, others look at the dangers posed by mis/disinformation, all as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Canada and often called the “Academic Olympics,” Congress is great fodder for journalists looking for fresh research stories in the humanities and social sciences.

Programming highlights in news and journalism at this year’s event include:

Podcasting and the Transformation of Scholarly Communication: This roundtable brings together four speakers to discuss the role podcasting might play in making scholarship more accessible to wider audiences. Current models of scholarly communication significantly impede public engagement and thus the possibility for our research to impact policies. Podcasting presents a viable way to make research more accessible. This roundtable will consider some of the different scholarly podcasting projects that already exist, barriers to making this practice more common and widespread, and what we think the future of scholarly podcasting might look like. Researchers on the University of Regina campus this week.

The Media, Trumpism, and Liberalism Collide in the 21st Century: Modern media has expanded from newspapers and magazines, into new media platforms and practices that are becoming multinational and global in scope. A panel of researchers will discuss how the voices of diverse Canadian and American perspectives are represented, or not, in today’s changing media landscape. May 29 in Classroom CL 136 at 8:30 am.

The Problem of “Fake News”: Media, History, and Democracy: In today’s world, how do we reconcile fact from fiction? Misinformation threatens our ability to inform ourselves as citizens. How do we reconcile the role of media—which is essential to transparency, good governance and democracy—with social media networks, business objectives and the needs of citizens to be accurately and properly informed? This panel brings together a journalist, a professor and an archivist to shed light on the problem of “fake news” and its implications for media, democracy, and history. May 29 in ED 612 at1:30 pm.

Audiences Perceptions of House of Cards. The Role of Transportation and Identification: Media have been accused of manipulating the public, framing information strategically, to the point of creating cynical audiences. This research explores the effects of a particular media product, the political TV show House of Cards. It indicates that people watching this series believe they understand politics better and have  higher interest in politics because of it. This might have serious implications - people might tune off news if they have the feeling they might get political information and cues from fictional series (while also being entertained). June 1 in Classroom - CL 434 at 1:30 pm.

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Congress is open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

-30-

For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

 

Media advisory: Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner, research on nativist politics and the impacts of cannabis policy among highlights of Congress 2018

 

REGINA, May 28, 2018  - Political scientist Antonia Maioni will deliver a lecture on the progress (or not) that Canada is making in gender and politics as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Canada’s largest academic gathering, Congress brings over 5,000 of the country’s brightest researchers, thinkers, and policy-makers to the University of Regina this week.

Unique to Congress 2018 is the first all-female line-up of speakers for the Big Thinking lecture series. Attendees will hear from inspiring thinkers, including TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson on diversity and reconciliation, Antonia Maioni on gender in Canadian politics, Alaa Murabit on leadership and sustainable peace building and Françoise Baylis on the ethics of genetic technologies. The Big Thinking schedule is available at: https://www.congress2018.ca/program/big-thinking. Big Thinking is free and open to the public.

Additional programming runs the gamut of issues in Canadian politics:

Breaking Up the Party: Quebec Nationalism and the Submerging of Nativist Politics in Canada: Canada has been celebrated in popular and academic work for its relative immunity to nativist populism. No competitive nativist party has emerged in federal politics that challenges the mainstream consensus around mass immigration, unlike virtually every other postindustrial democracy. This paper argues that existing explanations for this “exceptionalism” fail to appreciate the importance of Quebec nationalism in contributing to this outcome. Quebec nationalism fractured the relatively strong anti‐immigration sentiment found in rural and small urban areas in Quebec and Anglophone Canada, and prevented right‐wing parties from mobilizing that sentiment in a way that could feasibly win elections. May 31, Classroom CL 232 at 8:45 am.

CrISIS: A Study of Propaganda Games as Digital Recruitment Tools: This research focuses on interactive artifacts used by the terror group ISIS for the purpose of propaganda. It examines why (and how) video games are powerful platforms for both ideological‐extremist propagation and terrorist recruitment in the real world. In addition to exploring the “why”, it also investigates the “how” or the cognitive mechanisms of “priming” and “deindividuation” which are exploited in players of games like ARMA III and Grand Theft Auto 5. May 31, Classroom CL 130 at 1:30 pm.

The Politics of Solidarity: Assessing the Foundations of Québec’s Student Movement: Compared to other provinces, Quebec's post‐secondary students are unusually politically mobilized. Yet the student movement is also clearly divided along linguistic and ideological lines, as well as based on student's fee‐paying status. This research is among the first to measure the relationship between these potential cultural, material, and ideological obstacles to organization and individual students’ commitments to collective student interest. May 31, Classroom CL 316 at 2:00 pm.

Path Dependence and Policy Replication: The Case of Canadian Cannabis Policy: In legalizing cannabis, governments across Canada are undertaking one of the most intense exercises in national policymaking in the country’s history. Under tight timelines provincial policymakers are turning inward - rather than seeking alignment with other governments or innovation within their own borders, they have engaged in internal policy replication. As a result, they have excluded Indigenous people and racialized communities from meaningful involvement in a policymaking process that will have its greatest impact on them. May 31, Classroom CL 316 at 3:45 pm.

Congress is an annual gathering of more than 65 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. This year’s theme is “Gathering Diversities”, reflecting the history of Regina as a traditional place of gathering and rich buffalo hunting grounds for Plains cultures.

Events listed here are open to the public. More information about the Federation and Congress 2018 is available online through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

-30-

For interview requests
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Cell: 613-282-3489
 

University of Regina
Dale Johnson
Communications Strategist
dale.johnson@uregina.ca
Cell: 306-531-5995
 

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

 

Media release: University of Regina welcomes Canada’s largest academic conference, May 26 - June 1

 

OTTAWA, ON, May 23, 2018 — For the first time, Canada’s largest annual gathering of academics will take place in the Queen City. The University of Regina will host 5,000 distinguished academics, policy-makers, researchers, and practitioners at the 87th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences from May 26 to June 1.

Nearly 70 academic associations will be represented at Congress 2018, and approximately 4,000 research presentations in the humanities and social sciences will be delivered.

“As our nation positions itself as a global innovation leader, a platform to showcase research in the humanities and social sciences is more important than ever,” says University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Vianne Timmons. “The University of Regina is honoured to host Canada’s thought leaders as they address some of our world’s most pressing public policy issues including reconciliation, gender equity, diversity, social justice, politics, and immigration.”

Unique to Congress 2018 is the first all-female line-up of speakers for the Big Thinking lecture series. Attendees will hear from inspiring thinkers, including Melina Laboucan-Massimo on Indigenous women and climate change, Margaret MacMillan on the history of war, Marie Wilson on diversity and reconciliation, and Alaa Murabit on leadership and sustainable peace building. The Big Thinking schedule is available at: https://www.congress2018.ca/program/big-thinking. Big Thinking is free and open to the public.

“Congress brings thousands of scholars together to share their best ideas and we are absolutely thrilled to be in Regina this year,” said Gabriel Miller, Executive Director of the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. “What happens at Congress over the next seven days will help people from across the country to go home and teach the skills and new ways of thinking Canada needs to thrive in a complex world.” 

The theme for Congress 2018, “Gathering diversities,” honours the history of the area as a traditional gathering place of the Nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda nations, and the Métis. It celebrates the region’s heritage as rich buffalo hunting grounds for a multitude of Plains cultures. Today, the symbol of the buffalo signifies the rise of education as a new buffalo and the way forward for Canada and its diverse citizenry.

University of Regina programming for Congress 2018 builds on this theme with a series of events that look at the challenges and opportunities facing diverse communities, the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing, and the role of universities in reconciliation. The events feature:

  • National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde, who will deliver a keynote address on May 26;
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie, who will perform a public concert on May 28; and
  • Regina-born University of Oxford professor Jennifer Welsh, who will speak to “The decline of the west” on May 30.

More about the rich cultural and community-based programming planned can be found at: https://www.congress2018.ca/program/university.

The university has also created the Social Zone in the heart of the campus – the Dr. Lloyd Barber Academic Green. Congress 2018 attendees and members of the public (must be 19+) are welcome to sample Academic Ale, a special Congress 2018 beer crafted by Regina-based Rebellion Brewery, and take in performances by Andino Suns (May 26), Etienne Fletcher (May 29), and the University’s own Darke Hall Five (May 29). More information about the social zone is found at: https://www.congress2018.ca/plan-your-trip/food-services.

“Hosting the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is an incredible opportunity to showcase our campus and the life-changing work that goes on here. It’s also a chance for the entire city and surrounding area to gather with us at the University of Regina, to learn from each other, and to celebrate our diversity,” says Congress 2018 Academic Convenor and University of Regina professor, Dr. André Magnan.

For information on Congress 2018, the wide range of free public programming, and media accreditation, visit www.congress2018.ca.

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NOTE TO MEDIA:

The official launch to Congress 2018 will kick off with the:
What:    Congress 2018 Flag-raising Ceremony
Where: Thursday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall
Who:     His Worship Michael Fougere, Mayor, City of Regina
Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Regina
Gabriel Miller, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences}
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 87th year, Congress brings together academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2018 is hosted by the University of Regina. For more information, visit www.congress2018.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About the University of Regina
The University of Regina is constantly pushing the bounds of knowledge and pioneering new ways of thinking about the world. It’s no surprise that the University is ranked in the Top 200 by Times Higher Education in the Best Young Universities category. At the heart of its success is the institution’s commitment to growing diversity. Since 2009, it has increased its international student population by 122 percent and its Indigenous student population by 84 percent. The University of Regina is home to the country’s highest percentage of graduate students from outside Canada, and has received the top ranking in Canada for its number of international research collaborations. For more information about the University of Regina, visit www.uregina.ca.

 

Media contacts
Nicola Katz                                                                                   Dale Johnson
Communications Manager                                                           Communications Strategist
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences                    University of Regina
Mobile: 613-282-3489                                                                  Mobile: 306.531.5995

nkatz@ideas-idees.ca                                                                dale.johnson@uregina.ca

 

Saskatchewan addresses absenteeism by linking health and productivity

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 23 mai 2018

Guest blog by Mitacs

The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Nursing supports province’s mining industry.

Robin Thurmeier, Dr. Mary Ellen Andrews, Janet Luimes, Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot, Dr. Lorna Butler and Emmy Neuls

The mining sector plays a critical role in the Saskatchewan economy — it accounts for one in every 16 jobs in the province, with a total payroll of $1.5 billion. Therefore, the health and productivity of mine employees have considerable economic and social benefits in the province, yet the impacts of physical and mental health on productivity within the industry are not yet widely understood.

Professor Lorna Butler and her team at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Nursing and the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development aim to address this issue through a research partnership with the International Mineral Innovation Institute (IMII) and Mitacs’ Accelerate program, which supports research collaborations in all disciplines.

According to Statistics Canada data, Saskatchewan led the country in average days of worker illness at 11 days, compared to the national level of 9.5. Professor Butler’s research team is identifying the predictors of health and health behaviours that could decrease absenteeism and consequently increase the productivity of both mines and their employees.

“The goal of our research is to determine ways to promote health and employee wellness as a way to increase productivity by linking healthy workplaces with healthy employees at mine sites throughout Saskatchewan,” explains Professor Butler.

Health promotion is particularly important in mines, as their employees (primarily men) are less likely to get regular physical exams, seek health care, or proactively address mental health issues of excessive stress or depression, due to various social and demographic factors.

With joint funding from Mitacs and IMII, Professor Butler assigned a postdoctoral fellow to visit mine sites throughout Saskatchewan to collect data for the project. “To receive funding from IMII and Mitacs to address workforce productivity, including absenteeism and disability, is an investment in a long-term sustainability plan,” she says.

Given the mining industry’s provincial prominence and economic impact, buy-in from citizens is crucial to this sustainability: “The people of Saskatchewan are actively demanding that the mining industry achieve a ‘social license to operate’ when considering environmental and social impacts,” Professor Butler explains. “We want to extend that expectation further by helping to ensure the province’s mining industry is at its most effective in supporting the health of its workers and its workplace.”Looking for funding for a research collaboration? Mitacs Accelerate supports projects with academic institutions and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Projects start at four months and all disciplines and sectors are eligible to participate. International collaborations can also be supported through Accelerate International.

About Mitacs
Mitacs delivers research and training programs to students, postdocs, and faculty in all disciplines. We help build partnerships that support research and innovation in Canada and around the world. Visit the Mitacs booth (booth #33) in the Congress Expo Event Space to find out more.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2018

SSHRC does documentaries at Congress 2018

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 23 mai 2018

Guest blog by David Holton, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) @SSHRC_CRSH #SSHRCDocs

Quick, think of a great documentary film.

Got one? Whatever topic it covers, chances are, social sciences and humanities (SSH) scholars have thought about it—and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has funded research on it.

What about An Inconvenient Truth? We fund climate change research. The Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens? SSH scholars study family dynamics and mental illness. Or Ava DuVernay’s 13th? We’ve got incarceration and social justice covered. Harlan County, USA? Roger and Me? Waiting for Superman? Labour relations, post-industrialism and education: check, check and check.

Documentary film can be a compelling, engaging way to mobilize knowledge and reach a wide audience. Have you ever wondered how you could use this medium to showcase your ideas? If so, join SSHRC at Congress 2018 to explore the possibilities of filmmaking in the social sciences and humanities.

To quote Arthur Miller, in the closing moments of Ken Burns’s Oscar-nominated Brooklyn Bridge, "Maybe you, too, could make something that could be lasting and beautiful."

SSHRC Documentary Film Series

Come by the Shu-Box Theatre in the Riddell Centre to watch documentary films and take part in a conversation with the researchers/filmmakers. Popcorn will be provided.

Sunday, May 27, at 19:00: The culmination of years of SSHRC-funded documentary filmmaking and research, the web-based Climate Atlas of Canada brings the human dimension of climate change to life, providing a holistic narrative about how this issue affects various aspects of Canadian society. In this interactive presentation, Ian Mauro will screen documentary stories from the Atlas—collaboratively developed with local and Indigenous knowledge holders as well as other experts—and share his experience as both a researcher and filmmaker.

Wednesday, May 30, at 19:00: Shot in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Iceland, Data Mining the Deceased explores the business of genealogy, uncovering the privacy and ownership concerns raised by one of the largest data mining operations in history—an operation driven by big religion, big business and big tech. A conversation with writer-director Julia Creet of York University will follow the screening.

The Art and Science of Mobilizing Research through Documentary Film

On Wednesday, May 30, at 15:30, in the Expo Event Space, join a panel of faculty, student and private-sector filmmakers to discuss the process and promise of documenting social sciences and humanities research on film. Panelists and audience members will share best practices and challenges, and discuss how film can be an effective way to share your ideas and research results with a broad audience.

For more information

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2018

Media release: Western to host more than 8,000 scholars in London

 

OTTAWA, ON, May 16, 2018 – Western University has been selected to host the 2020 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the country’s largest multidisciplinary gathering of academic scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

The conference, which will run from May 30 to June 5, 2020, is also expected to be the largest ever held in London. In all, organizers expect more than 8,000 attendees to visit the city over the seven-day event.

Gabriel Miller, Executive Director of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, made the announcement at Western this morning.

“We look ahead with great excitement to organizing Congress 2020 in partnership with Western University,” said Miller. “Congress is a tremendously exciting event each year, drawing talent from a wide array of disciplines from across the country to share and discuss ideas about shaping the Canada of the future, enriching both the research community and the local community where it takes place.”

For nearly 90 years, Congress has brought together more than 70 scholarly organizations who hold their annual conferences under a common banner. It’s an opportunity for academics, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas and build partnerships that focus on Canada’s future.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to not only show off our university and our city, but to highlight the important work our faculty members and partners are conducting across a variety of disciplines,” says John Capone, Western’s Vice-President (Research). “The importance of scholarship in the arts, humanities and social sciences can’t be understated, as it relates to everything we do, experience and feel, including how we understand the world around us, build communities and advance culture.”

Western last hosted Congress in 2005.

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Media contacts:
Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, 519-520-7281 (mobile), jrenaud9@uwo.ca
Nicola Katz, Manager of Communications, 613-238-6112 x351, 613-282-3489 (mobile), nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

About Western University
Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community. Visit www.uwo.ca

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

 

Good Eats

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 11 mai 2018

Guest blog by the University of Regina communications team

Over the past several years, Regina has experienced an explosion of exciting new pubs and eateries. From popular food trucks, to fine dining featuring local fare, to hip new pubs, there’s no shortage of places to satisfy your appetite or quench your thirst.

Downtown Regina offers your biggest selection of dining opportunities. Looking for a delicious steak supper? Check out Golf’s Steak House at 1945 Victoria Avenue, or The Diplomat located at 2032 Broad Street. For those hoping to sample some tasty local fare, check out Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar, located at 1925 Victoria Avenue in the historic former site of the Assiniboia private gentleman’s club. The Capitol, located at 1843 Hamilton Street, offers an ever-changing menu of fresh menu items plus live jazz. Just down the street at 1965 Hamilton, you will find Victoria’s Tavern, a popular choice with locals. Victoria’s serves up all of your typical pub fare, as well as a seriously impressive drink menu.

For those craving some fine dining options, the Willow on Wascana is an ideal choice. Located at 3000 Wascana Drive, this local gem offers stunning views of Wascana Lake and delicious seasonal fare curated from the freshest local ingredients. The Creek in Cathedral Bistro, located at 3414 13th Avenue, is another wonderful choice for those wishing to enjoy a North American French-style cuisine. Just a hop, step, and jump away from the Creek Bistro, you’ll find Bodega Tapas Bar at 2228 Albert Street, home to one of Regina’s best patios and specializing in international-style tapas with an emphasis on the Mediterranean quarter.

Head a little farther north and you’ll find yourself in another popular pub and restaurant hotspot – the Warehouse District. Here you can find an excellent assortment of pubs, restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops. Check out Bushwakker Brewpub, located at 2206 Dewdney Avenue and considered one of the Top 5 Brewpubs in Canada by The Globe and Mail. They also serve us some seriously delicious pub fare! Just down the street you’ll find Rebellion Brewing at 1901 Dewdney Avenue, a popular local brewhouse that offers an impressive beer selection. (Cool fact: Rebellion Brewing has partnered with the University of Regina to create a Congress 2018 beer! You’ll have to visit the Congress Social Zone to get a taste of the Academic Ale – a light, lentil-forward brew.)

Looking for excellent vegetarian or vegan options? Check out 13th Avenue Coffee House, a cozy restaurant located in a character home in one of Regina’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Grab a tea or coffee while you’re there; located at 3136 13th Avenue.

Curry on your mind? Try Caraway Grill, voted one of Regina’s best restaurants by local paper, Prairie Dog. Located at 1625 Broad Street, Caraway brings creativity and mouthwatering flavour to authentic Indian cuisine.

Clearly there are lots of places to eat and drink in Regina. For more information and options, check out the Discover section at http://tourismregina.com/.

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Congress 2018

Change a Life, Change your Own: Child Sponsorship, the Discourse of Development, and the Production of Ethical Subjects

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Mardi 8 mai 2018

Guest blog by Peter Ove, faculty member at Camosun College

It was January 1996, and I was standing on a gangway in a Cuban cement factory. There was no safety railing between me and four massive cylinders crushing limestone some five meters below. The air glittered with dust, and the noise was deafening. At that moment, I was reconsidering my participation in the inaugural Canadian World Youth exchange to Cuba, which I had happily begun the year before. In the end, I stayed for four months, working just outside the small town of Taguasco, although I was eventually able to secure a “cushy” job in the plant’s physical-testing laboratory. Living together with Cubans was an eye-opening experience for me. While it was challenging to be confronted with their poverty and my privilege, I learned a great deal about the nature of resilience and ingenuity by watching them navigate a world that seemed bitterly unfair.

This experience in Cuba fueled my interest in global poverty, and I went on to take a Master’s degree from Dalhousie’s interdisciplinary program on international development. Thanks to this background, I landed some years later in the air-conditioned office of UN-HABITAT in Rio de Janeiro where I spent about a year as an intern working on an urban development program. Despite my junior status, I lived in a penthouse on Copacabana Beach, and when I showed up at the office, I was served coffee at my desk by an elderly man who lived just down the way in a favela. There is no doubt that I took away a lot from this position, but I also began to develop a concern about working in what is sometimes known as the development industry. Call me naïve, but it really was not until I started a job “overseas” that I began to think about the colonial undertones of much development work.

My time in Rio made me question my perceived future as a foreign development worker. I felt uncomfortable starting a career that placed me as an advisor to other people when I was becoming increasingly aware of the skewed nature of global power dynamics. In particular, I was concerned about how poverty was presented as a problem for poor countries and poor peoples, to address with guidance from the “developed” North. Rather than continue working in the global South, consequently, I decided to go back to school to study Northern perceptions of global poverty. Having already done a Master’s thesis on representations of poverty in the news media, it seemed a logical next step for me to look at the promotional material of nongovernmental development organizations. Given its status as one of the largest and best known fundraising mechanisms for international development efforts, child sponsorship presented the perfect topic.

It would be convenient to highlight a single incident in which I felt called to focus on child sponsorship – a particularly troubling televised appeal that made me weep or cringe. The truth is, however, that child sponsorship is banal. Most people are already familiar with it. It provides a common cultural backdrop regarding Northerners’ relationship to global poverty that is rarely questioned because its charitable narrative seems to require no explanation. Perhaps this is the reason that so little research has focused on child sponsorship. There have been some accounts of the misguided – or even nefarious – practices of some sponsorship agencies, but because of my background, I was more interested in the way sponsorship helps construct perceptions of, and seemingly appropriate responses to, global poverty.

Change a life, Change your own represents my attempt to examine the way the child sponsorship informs Northerners’ worldviews. Drawing on approximately 50 interviews with sponsors and sponsorship staff, I present an argument that tries to explain the relationship between sponsorship promotional practices and the construction of development narratives.

Peter Ove is a faculty member at Camosun College in Victoria, BC, and has been teaching Sociology since 2009.

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

 

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Mexican student brings new perspectives to Indigenous treaties in Saskatchewan

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 1 mai 2018

Guest blog by Robyn Dugas, Content Specialist, Mitacs

Wendy Ortega Pineda is determined to do her part to make the world a more equitable place. As a law student at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Mexico, Wendy learned much about the profound differences between nations regarding access to basic resources, issues of discrimination, and justice for human rights violations. In Summer 2015, she gained even greater knowledge through a 12-week Globalink Research Internship at the University of Saskatchewan. The program matches top-ranked international undergraduates with summer research projects at Canadian universities, giving the students hands-on experience in Canada’s diverse research landscape.

Wendy was attracted to apply to Mitacs Globalink because of the opportunity to conduct research on constitutional and human rights law with Professor Dwight Newman. During her summer in Saskatchewan, Wendy researched Latin American regimes’ practices for consulting indigenous communities during local policy and infrastructure project discussions, through the lens of an international treaty that guarantees indigenous rights. By understanding how the specific concerns of these groups were incorporated or disputed in international courts, local human rights advocates can determine best practices for future projects. Wendy and her professor co-authored an article on the subject that was subsequently published in Constitutional Forum.

Throughout her time in Saskatchewan, Wendy was exposed to new ideas that had a profound effect on her desire to correct the wrongs of the past. For example, a seminar about Canada’s Residential School System opened her eyes to the challenges that Canada’s Indigenous people have faced, and made her think about how she might be able to make a difference to similar problems in her home country. She hopes that her experience through Mitacs Globalink will prove to be beneficial on her road to a career with the United Nations.

“What makes Mitacs Globalink different is that it is a complete internship program. I am very thankful that Canada has this opportunity for Mexicans, and we are very lucky to be included in the program. I have learned so much and had a very good summer here in Saskatchewan.”

University faculty: get a top-ranked international undergrad for your Summer 2019 projects. The Globalink Research Internship will be accepting faculty project submissions, from April 18June 13, 2018. Visit the Globalink Research Internship page for more information and to apply. Mitacs will be at Congress Expo. Visit us at our booth to find out more about the program.

About Mitacs
Mitacs delivers research and training programs to students, postdocs, and faculty in all disciplines. We help build partnerships that support research and innovation in Canada and around the world.

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Congress 2018

Top tourist destinations in Regina

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 17 avril 2018

Guest blog by the University of Regina communications team

Located smackdab in the middle of the prairies, Regina is Saskatchewan’s capital city and home to countless exciting attractions. Whether you’re a fan of beautiful parks, lively sporting events, arts and culture, great shopping, or unique culinary experiences – Regina truly offers something for everyone.

Wascana Centre is a stunning 930-hectare park located in the heart of Regina (and it’s where the University of Regina main campus is located!). Take a picturesque stroll or run around Wascana Lake and enjoy being close to nature. Wascana, the largest urban park in Canada, is also home to many other tourist attractions, including the Legislative Building, Saskatchewan Science Centre, and Willow on Wascana – a popular fine dining restaurant offering stunning views and local fare.

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum promotes Saskatchewan's natural history and aboriginal cultures. The MacKenzie Art Gallery (MAG), Saskatchewan’s oldest public art gallery, offers original exhibitions of works by local, national, and international artists including its permanent collection of more than 4,500 works by artists such as Picasso, Rodin, and Edvard Munch. Both the museum and gallery are located in Wascana Centre. 

Beyond the beauty of Wascana, Regina’s thriving downtown, with all of its theater productions, live music, sports venues, lively pubs, and attractions, is the place to be. Labelled by the Globe and Mail as the “Okanagan of craft beer,” Regina is the place grab a drink with the locals.  To get a taste, visit one of the many breweries – Rebellion Brewing, Malty National or Bushwakker Brewpub.

Other attractions including the RCMP Heritage Centre which tells the story of the RCMP through interactive exhibits, audio tours and programming, and Casino Regina which is housed within the historic Union Station, a provincial heritage site, are must-see.

For more information and a complete listing of local attractions, visit www.tourismregina.com.

Mots-clés

Congress 2018

Gabriel Miller addresses March for Science 2018

Partagez ceci:
Samedi 14 avril 2018

Speech made at the March for Science in Toronto on April 14, 2018

[Check against delivery]

Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here with you marching for knowledge, for evidence, and for science!

And I want to thank the organizers. Thank you for all the hard work that you put into today. And thank you for inviting me, someone who represents the humanities and social sciences to be part of today’s festivities.

You understand that there’s lots of space for everyone in this parade – everyone, that is, who cares about learning. Who cares about facts. Who cares about truth.

The tools and methods we use will differ depending on the subject, but beneath those differences is something much bigger and more important that unites us – a drive to better understand ourselves and the world we live in.

So this is exactly where we should be on an April morning in Toronto, whether you study biology or politics, physics or the economy.

Of course we don’t just need a diversity of disciplines, we need a diversity of people.

Because great insights and great discoveries have roots in a person’s life experience and personal perspective.

That means our science – and our society – will grow stronger if we throw open the doors of our labs and our classrooms and our governments and our companies to people with the richest and most balanced mix of identities and backgrounds.

And I salute you for putting that diversity right at the centre of today’s event – we can’t be content to pat ourselves on the back, we have to challenge ourselves and the status quo – that instinct is the essence of a scientific spirit.

I have to admit that the first time I heard about the March for Science I thought it sounded kind of funny – like marching for language, or oxygen, or vegetables. I mean, who can be against these things?  There was part of me that couldn’t quite accept that some people won’t accept science.

But let’s be clear – those people do exist, and in some frighteningly powerful positions. People with a huge influence on governments, economies, on human lives.

You might say they inhabit a “post-truth” world, but they don’t object to the truth – as long as it’s one they like. Otherwise, the facts are optional.

We’re all guilty of sticking our heads in the sand from time to time. But deep down I know and you know and we all know that living that way is no way to live at all. Not if you’re smart and curious and aspire to engage the world in all its complexity, and not just the parts that fit your agenda.

So today’s march, like most good ones, is at least a little bit about resistance – about pushing back on forces that are bad for us.

But today is too hopeful for me to finish with doom and gloom. This is an important and an exciting moment.

It’s a moment of opportunity in part because we’ve just seen a budget released in Ottawa that presents a chance to fundamentally strengthen research and education in Canada. The budget contained a research package that makes long-term investments based on a thoughtful policy analysis. It’s smart and it’s focused on the future – two things we don’t see always see enough of in our politics.

It was a great achievement by the people who advocated for it: researchers and lab assistants, professors and graduate students, universities and organizations like Evidence for Democracy. They told the government what needed to be done, and made sure it didn’t forget before Budget Day.

As those budget promises get turned into new programs, and then into new grants and partnerships, we need to keep banging the drum for smart, future-focused decisions.

Today is also about something more personal. It’s a chance to stand up for something we care deeply about. A chance to strengthen the foundations of knowledge so they continue to withstand what’s thrown at them in the future.

 It’s a chance to show our kids the power we all have to make a fundamental, daily choice about the way we will interact with our world, learn about the world, and act in our world. It’s a chance to choose “smart,” when we can see that the costs of “being uninformed” are just too high.

Marching for science might have once felt funny to me, but it doesn’t anymore. It feels like the right thing to do.

Thank you for coming, thank you for listening, have a fabulous weekend.

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Mots-clés

A Voice for the Humanities and Social SciencesFederation newsLearning

How debate about taxation reveals social inequality

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 12 avril 2018

When it comes to taxes, there is a widespread popular belief that we all agree on one thing: others don’t pay their fair share of income tax.

The feeling was much the same among early Canadians, as we learn from reading Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917. The book, by Elsbeth A. Heaman, a professor of history at McGill University, won a 2018 Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Power struggles between the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada regarding taxes and the impact of taxation on the lives of their poorest citizens form the basic fabric of the book, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Note that this volume forms a tandem with Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy by Shirley Tillotson, which covers the period beginning with the introduction of income tax in 1917.

While acknowledging that taxpayers are not kindly disposed towards taxes, Elsbeth Heaman insists on the importance of taking an interest in the country’s financial policies, with an eye on the consequences of these policies on the less well off.

To illustrate relations between rich and poor in the first half-century of Canada’s history, she pays close attention to the public debate and policies that led to the introduction of income tax.

Heaman believes that the question “What do the poor deserve?” was central to political debate in the 1860s and expresses concern that few traces of the issue remain in what is known of Canadian history. “I think we should write our political history differently,” she says. Among other things, Heaman proposes stepping back from the romantic notion of political history as a group of men sitting around a table making decisions, and including the broader public debate on the question of what people deserved.

In her bid to educate the general public on the issue of Canadian taxation, the author and her team trawled through large quantities of documents from municipal, provincial and federal archives in various offices across the country.

During this information-gathering exercise, she came across a message from an A. Goldstein beseeching the tax collector of the City of Montreal to waive payment of his municipal water tax bill. In the note, dated 1890, Mr. Goldstein reveals that his family had faced numerous trials and tribulations in the preceding months and that, in his mind, insisting on payment of the bill would be tantamount to condemning him and his family to death. 

Struck by the urgency of this plea, Heaman inquired into the rights that such a person held at the time. “Part of the purpose of social history is to give a voice to people who generally have no opportunity to express themselves and prove that their claims have merit and deserve the attention of journalists, politicians and the public.” Today, there are more mechanisms in place for addressing social justice issues. “People are exposed to this type of debate and consider the arguments, even if they do not always act,” says Heaman.

She sees only one way to kill off the firmly entrenched popular belief alluded to earlier: “People need to be constantly and publicly talking about fairness in public.” 

Elsbeth A. Heaman is associate professor of history and classical studies, and the current director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. Her book Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917 is published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

 

 

 

Catégorie

Prix du Canada

Crimes that tell us much about our society

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 12 avril 2018

What do “La Corriveau,” “Dr. l’Indienne” and the “brigands of Cap-Rouge” have in common? All were celebrated criminals who captured the popular imagination in 19th- and 20th-century Quebec.

La communauté du dehors. Imaginaire social et crimes célèbres au Québec (XIXe – XXe siècle) (the outlier community – collective imagination and famous crimes in 19th- and 20th-century Quebec) by Alex Gagnon, a postdoctoral fellow at Université du Québec à Montréal, published by Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, relates how these crimes achieved notoriety and explains the role played by the popular imagination in Quebec society. 

Having already garnered four awards since its publication in 2016, the book has now won a 2018 Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Seeking to determine what holds a society together, Alex Gagnon found that people tend to rally around negative rather than positive elements. “People are united not so much by a set of common values as by what arouses their indignation.” Analyzing social tolerance thresholds thus becomes essential for an understanding of phenomena that societies stand against.

Gagnon feels that the best way to understand a society is to identify what is cast out into a sort of moral ostracism. “Notorious crimes provide the most striking examples I have found of this rejection,” he says. “Crime forces a society to express its fears, its sensibilities and its tolerance thresholds — things that are not normally openly stated.”

For a crime to become notorious, it must make a deep impression on people’s minds and enter — but not necessarily monopolize — the public space. All the crimes in Alex Gagnon’s study leave the realm of fact at some point to carve a niche for themselves in works of fiction.

The manner in which certain crimes take root in collective memory is largely dependent on modern means of communication and mass media, starting in the 18th century and gathering strength in the 19th.

Although the popular imagination is generally placed in the category of abstract phenomena with no concrete existence, a study of celebrated crimes reveals that, on the contrary, it plays a fundamental role in history. “Imagination is part of our daily lives. No society can exist without imagination. The imaginary is what lends meaning to the world around us, which is something very concrete.”

Although the popular imagination of societies continues to be fed by various crimes, and in so doing indicates where society's new boundaries lie, the phenomenon varies over time. “The crimes of the 19th century which marked the Quebec society of the time might leave us indifferent today, for reasons that have to do with the differences in popular imagination of then and now,” says Gagnon.

Thus, having gripped people’s minds in a bygone era, the crimes of the past are fading in importance today, yielding their place in the popular imagination of Quebec to others, a cycle that is bound to continue over time. 

Alex Gagnon is a postdoctoral fellow at UQÀM. His book La communauté du dehors. Imaginaire social et crimes célèbres au Québec (XIXe-XXe siècle) is published by Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

 

Catégorie

Prix du Canada

SSHRC celebrates 40 years of ideas, talent and diversity

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 9 avril 2018

Guest blog by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Congress 2018 coincides with the 40th anniversary of the founding of SSHRC, and we are excited to contribute some excellent events to its program. 

Our Storytellers contest will once again bring the next generation of talented students to the event to showcase how social sciences and humanities research is affecting our lives, our world and our future for the better. Come watch their presentations in the CK-Centre for Kinesiology — also known as the Congress Hub — in the Expo Event Space.

Don’t forget to join us at a reception in the same location after this event to celebrate SSHRC’s 40th birthday — cake will be served! Find out more about SSHRC’s 40-year history.

SSHRC will host a number of other events, including:

We will also bring two SSHRC-funded research projects to the screen with our documentary series.

Mots-clés

Congress 2018

Media release: Winners of Canada Prizes announced

 

OTTAWA, April 9, 2018 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Canada Prizes. This year’s winners are E.A. Heaman for her book Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917 (McGill-Queen’s University Press) and Alex Gagnon for his book La communauté du dehors. Imaginaire social et crimes célèbres au Québec (XIXe-XXe siècle) (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal).

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to books in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. Winners are selected from books that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, which is administered by the Federation and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

“This year’s winners are representative of the remarkable scholarship produced in our country, and we are grateful for the funding support from SSHRC that makes this program possible,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “One illustrates how an examination of taxation can deepen our understanding of this country’s political, economic, social and cultural history. The other takes a closer look at how a society documents its history and defines itself, specifically examining stories of famous crimes in Québec. Each of these books contributes to a deeper understanding of our society, our history, and how we can shape our future,” he added.      

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences

E.A. Heaman, Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917 (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

In Tax, Order and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917, Elsbeth Heaman provides a path-breaking history of Canadian taxation from Confederation up until the introduction of the progressive income tax. All Canadians interested in the history and growth of the nation will want to read this meticulously researched and captivating analysis.

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales

Alex Gagnon, La communauté du dehors. Imaginaire social et crimes célèbres au Québec (XIXe-XXe siècle) (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)

From the jury’s citation:

Magnificently written, rigorous, and relevant to our media age, La communauté du dehors. Imaginaire social et crimes célèbres au Québec (XIXe-XXe siècle) reads like a novel, with a story that draws the reader into the history of our societies, of the ways in which our society writes its own history, and above all, a history of the stories we tell ourselves. Starting from tabloid coverage of Quebec’s most famous criminal cases of the past two centuries, Alex Gagnon lays out a simple and elegant demonstration of how journalistic accounts engage with imagined representations that define the community just as much as they reflect it.

A media kit including biographies and photos of the 2018 winners, along with the full jury citations, is available on the Federation’s website.  

The prizes, each valued at $5,000, will be presented at a ceremony during the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Regina on Tuesday, May 29. The ceremony will take place in Riddell Centre - RC 128.1 and will include moderated interviews with both winners.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager, Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
T: 613-238-6112 ext. 351
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees #canadaprizes

 

Jennifer Welsh addresses the crisis of liberal democracy in ‘The Decline of the West’

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 6 avril 2018

Guest blog by André Magnan, Congress 2018 Convenor, University of Regina

This is a Congress 2018 blog about event #1235. Click here to find out more about it.

In recent weeks, the governments of the U.K., Canada, the U.S. and other Western countries have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats from their capital cities. This diplomatic rebuke has come in response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent on British soil, a crime the U.K. blames on the Russian state. Add to this the on-going fallout from Russian interference into the 2016 American election, and it seems that relations between Russia and the West have hit their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

Do these events suggest the dawn of the Cold War 2.0, or an even more complex and multi-sided era of geopolitical rivalry? What are the prospects for liberal democracy in such a world? What can be done to protect and revive the democratic project both within the West and around the world? Renowned scholar of international relations, Oxford University Professor, and Regina native Jennifer Welsh will address these and other questions during her keynote address The Decline of the West, at Congress 2018.

Professor Welsh delivered the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, which were subsequently published as The Return of History, a book that examines crises such as regional wars, the plight of refugees, and rising social inequality, all of which threaten the stability of the international order. Her analysis is a sober reminder that democratic values and institutions cannot be taken for granted; rather, they must be defended and renewed by each subsequent generation.

The University of Regina is honoured that Professor Welsh will be delivering this talk at Congress 2018, on May 30 at 16:00-17:30. The event is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts, and is free and open to the public. For more details, please click here.

 

Decolonizing and strengthening Indigenous research: International perspectives

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Vendredi 6 avril 2018

Guest blog by Dina Guth, PhD, Program Officer, Research Grants & Partnerships Division, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

This is a Congress 2018 blog about event #1212. Click here to find out more about it.

How does the research community act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) call to strengthen Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods at post-secondary institutions? The social sciences and humanities must lead the way in engaging and learning from different perspectives to respond to this question.  

For Congress 2018, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has gathered a panel of leading international scholars to explore strengthening Indigenous research and research training through a global lens. Come hear how countries such as Australia, Mexico and others have begun Indigenizing research and education, and what models they can offer towards responding to the TRC’s calls to action. Join us for an afternoon of stimulating discussion!   

Here is some additional details on how this event will take place:

Opening ceremony

Noel Starblanket is Elder-in-Residence at the University of Regina. A longtime advocate for First Nations organizations, he has served as Chief of the Star Blanket Cree Nation, Chair for Treaty Four Chiefs, Vice-Chief for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.   

Moderator

Dominique Bérubé is Vice-President, Research Programs, at SSHRC. She holds a doctorate in environmental sciences from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Prior to joining SSHRC, she held a variety of senior positions in research administration at the Université de Montréal. From 2012 to 2015, she chaired the board of directors of Érudit, which provides access to publications on social sciences and humanities research.

Panelists

Emiliana Cruz is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social in Mexico, and Director of the Chatino Language Documentation project. A linguistic anthropologist and native speaker of Chatino, her research aims to empower native speakers to study and teach their own languages.      

Aileen Moreton-Robinson is Distinguished Professor of Indigenous Research at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, and Director of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network. A leading scholar of race and whiteness theory, she is an executive member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium.

Rowena Phair is Project Leader in the Education and Skills Directorate of the intergovernmental Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She is the former Deputy Secretary of Student Achievement in New Zealand’s Ministry of Education. In 2017, Phair led the OECD study: Promising Practices in Supporting Success for Indigenous Students.

James Riding In is Interim Director and Associate Professor of American Indian studies at Arizona State University and Editor of Wicazo Sa Review: A Journal of Native American Studies. Instrumental in the development of American Indian studies at Arizona State, Riding In is a public figure known for his research and advocacy for repatriation.  

Linda Tuhiwai Smith, PhD, FRSNZ, CNZM, is Professor of Māori and Indigenous studies at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. She has helped establish a number of research institutes, including the Māori Centre of Research Excellence as a founding Co-Director. She has also served on New Zealand’s major research funding boards. Her book, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, has been an international bestseller since its publication in 1999.

 

Eat Local, Taste Global: How Ethnocultural Food Reaches our Tables

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 6 avril 2018

Guest blog by Glen C. Filson, Professor Emeritus, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph and Bamidele Adekunle, Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph

When questions emerged about a decade ago regarding whether — and to what extent —Toronto’s immigrant communities could access their preferred vegetables, our multiethnic team sought empirical answers. We interviewed 250 vegetable buyers each from the Greater Toronto Area’s largest ethnic groups — South Asian, Chinese and Afro-Caribbean Canadians — to determine their 10 preferred vegetables, such as okra, callaloo, bok choy, and bitter melon. They also told us their monthly ethnocultural vegetable (ECV) expenditure. In 2010, we thus determined their ”effective ECV demand” was $61 million/month, and this has since grown to about $800 million/year in 2018.

These results generated attention from the media, horticultural researchers, farmers, supermarkets and ethnic stores who were interested in these largely tropical “ethnocultural vegetables.” But they also raised more questions, such as which of them can be grown in Canada. Working with horticulturalists who focused on how to grow those vegetables which we had determined were most popular, we then investigated global ECV value chains, vegetable pricing, and the roles of the dominant corporate food regime and emerging local food movement in meeting this demand. After publishing several journal articles, conducting ECV demand workshops, and being active on social media, we decided to write a book about our work.

To study the barriers to ethnic groups’ food sovereignty, our combined political/economic approach had identified key societal contradictions. Poorer immigrants, for instance, tend to inhabit food deserts where they can access cheaper, unhealthy junk food, but not their cherished, but more expensive, ethnocultural vegetables. We employed historical class analysis of these ethnic groups’ cuisines and ethnic vegetable value chain analysis to study wholesale Ontario Food Terminal companies, ethnic stores and supermarket ECV pricing. We found that farmers’ markets are insufficiently inclusive and generally lack ECV, despite the fact that ethnic vegetable cross-over is expanding to other ethnic and national groups. We also found that Community Supported Agriculture groups (CSAs) are now growing and supplying more ECV.

In addition to the corporate/local ethnocultural vegetable conflicts, the cheaper industrial diet blocks people from accessing healthier ethnocultural vegetables. Too many immigrants are unable to afford ethnocultural vegetable alternatives (to their actual preferred ECVs) that many corporations promote. There are contradictions between mainstream commercial agriculture and both the temporary foreign workers many superexploit as well as the small, organic ECV growers with whom these commercial farmers compete. Conflicts also exist between the predominant vegetable growers of European descent and their multi-ethnic wholesale and retail consumers.

This book argues that Human Rights Codes should require that people have access to culturally appropriate food, and governments should consider tax incentives for farmers wanting to grow ECV locally. The inclusivity of farmers’ markets and CSAs needs to be augmented and more food hubs need to be initiated. Interdisciplinary ECV research should be expanded and disseminated. Canadian food sovereignty and our health depend upon it. 

Dr. Glen Filson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph. He is co-investigator of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant on Food Sovereignty and Refugee Path Immigrants. He has edited and co-authored other books including Intensive Agriculture and Sustainability: A Farming Systems Analysis (2004) which was also ASPP supported. 

Dr. Bamidele Adekunle is a Professor at the University of Guelph and at Ryerson University. He is the principal investigator of the SSHRC Insight Development Grant on Food Sovereignty and Refugee Path Immigrants. He is also the co-editor of a book entitled Negotiating South-South Regional Trade Agreements: Economic Opportunities and Policy Directions for Africa (2017).

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

Photo credit: University of Guelph's communication team, Spark

 

 

Catégorie

Livres à vous!

Indigenous knowledge at the heart of Cultural Connections programming

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 4 avril 2018

Communications team, University of Regina

We’ve all experienced it. Call it “session fatigue” – that moment you realize that, as compelling as the topic may be, your mind and body need a break from paper presentations. Thankfully, Congress includes plenty of innovative cultural programming that will provide such a break. The Cultural Connections series will give attendees an opportunity to learn, reflect, network, and be entertained through events that creatively bridge the social sciences, humanities, and the arts and build on the Congress theme, “Gathering diversities.”

These events will showcase the University’s strengths in the areas of art and technology, music, theatre, film, and visual arts, and build connections with Regina’s arts community at large.

“There is a wide array of Cultural Connections events for Congress 2018, including musical performances, theatre, cultural workshops, tours, and film presentations. We have a particularly strong lineup of events that present Congress attendees with a valuable opportunity to deepen their appreciation for Indigenous culture and knowledge,” says André Magnan, Academic Convenor for Congress 2018.

One such event is Beaded Blanket Collage hosted by beadwork artist and Bachelor of Human Justice student, Katelyn Ironstar. Ironstar will demonstrate how to do Indigenous beadwork while encouraging participants to contribute to a collaborative art piece.

Another event, Saskatchewan medicinal plant and languages traditional knowledge residency includes a residency at the First Nations University of Canada Cultural Activity and Medicine Room featuring medicinal plant and languages learning circles carried out by First Nations Elders and other traditional knowledge keepers. Organized by the First Nations University Regina Cultural Committee, elders and knowledge keepers will discuss medicinal plants of the Southern Saskatchewan prairie and their traditional uses.

For a full listing of Cultural Connections events and times, see the lineup here.

 

 

Lyne Sauvageau takes on Acfas presidency

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 29 mars 2018

Guy Laforest, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation wholeheartedly congratulates Lyne Sauvageau on her election to the presidency of the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas).

In her role as Vice-President, Academic and Research at the Université du Québec since November 2011, Lyne Sauvageau has made significant contributions to developing and expanding teaching and research capacity within the Université du Québec network. She is also Chair of the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities and serves on the Boards of both the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO) and the Érudit scientific committee. Her appointment to the Acfas presidency will further broaden her already tremendous impact on the humanities and social sciences community not only in Québec, but in Canada more broadly.

Now Past-President Frédéric Bouchard, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Université de Montréal was at the helm of Acfas since December 2015 and has led the organization through a highly productive period. The Federation thanks him for the work he has done and for the collaborations he enabled between our respective organizations.

Looking ahead, as President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences for the next year, I see many areas in which the Federation and Acfas can work in tandem to advance our shared priorities. Both of these organizations are committed to:

  • the advancement of science and research across a broad range of disciplines, in both English and French;
  • promoting the value of scholarship and scholarly publishing in a way that enriches the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada; and
  • convening scholars to share ideas and  showcase research that informs policy, benefits the economy and builds a vibrant, pluralistic country.

It is with great enthusiasm that I congratulate Lyne Sauvageau on her appointment. I sincerely look forward to working with Acfas under her stewardship, in finding ways to collaborate on mutual goals, and in successfully advancing our similar agendas.

Sharing knowledge through Community Connections

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 29 mars 2018

Communications team, University of Regina

More than ever, universities are expected to produce knowledge that is of tangible benefit to people and communities. This idea is the inspiration behind Community Connections, a series of events held throughout the week of Congress that will touch on a wide range of social issues of local, regional, or global significance. The series showcases the University of Regina’s strengths in the areas of research, community engagement, Indigenous scholarship, and more.

Community Connections events are a wonderful opportunity for university researchers, students, and the general public to come together to share knowledge,” says André Magnan, Academic Convenor for Congress 2018.

The events will explore and discuss ways in which the humanities and social science scholarship can contribute to the needs of diverse communities, including Indigenous communities; the Fransaskois community; LGBTQ communities; and immigrant and refugee communities.

“I’m impressed by the breadth and innovation of the programming that our University of Regina faculty members and students have come up with. From an audio tour that explores the experiences of LGBTQ people in Regina, to a workshop on Bringing Higher Education to Prison, to talks on controversial issues in our education system, the series has a lot to offer. We’re eager to share the wonderful work our scholars and students are doing with the community at large,” says Magnan.

Over the duration of Congress, more than a dozen topics will be explored through the Community Connections series. They are free and open to the public. For specific dates and times, please see our full series lineup here.

Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences announces 2018 Board election results

 

OTTAWA, March 27, 2018 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce its Board of Directors 2018 election results. The new Board will take office following the Federation’s Annual General Meeting on May 27, 2018.

The following three positions were acclaimed:

Patrizia Albanese was acclaimed as President-Elect. Albanese is a Professor of Sociology at Ryerson University, Chair of the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board and a Past President of the Canadian Sociological Association. Albanese has been a member of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) Publications Committee since 2017 and played an integral role in Congress 2017 as Interdisciplinary Lead, which involved coordinating Ryerson’s interdisciplinary programming, facilitating faculty and student involvement, and liaising with Indigenous communities to develop Indigenous protocol for participating associations. She is doing research and publishing in the areas of policies affecting children, youth and families, including on the well-being of youth in Canadian Forces families, and on how care is conceptualized in Canadian family policies. Albanese holds a PhD from the University of Toronto.

Wesley Crichlow was acclaimed as Director, Equity and Diversity. Crichlow is the Associate Dean of Equity and Diversity at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), and the first person to hold that position.  He also serves as UOIT’s Director of Engagement and Recruitment for Black Youth in Care and as a member of the UOIT Presidential Equity Taskforce. He is the Equity Director of the Canadian Sociology and the Canadian Anthropology Society and Chair of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) at the Toronto South Detention Center. His teaching focuses on the challenges to implementing policies and practices that strengthen broader notions of diversity and social justice within educational institutions and organizations across Canada, accounting for the intersections of race, gender, class and LGBTQ2S identities. Crichlow holds a PhD from the University of Toronto.

Tim Goddard was acclaimed to a second term as Director, Teaching and Learning. A teacher for over four decades, Goddard is currently Professor of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island. He teaches in the field of educational administration and leadership, with a focus on international development and education in fragile communities. Goddard has been a regular attendee at Congress since 1994, presenting papers and serving in numerous roles with the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Administration (Board member, Program Chair, President) and the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (Board member, Vice-President). He was the Canadian representative to the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management and a member of the Canadian Association of Deans of Education.

The following appointment was made:

Marcel Martel was appointed Chair of the Awards to Scholarly Publishing Program (ASPP). Already a member of the ASPP Academic Council, Martel is holder of the Avie Bennett Historica Canada Chair in Canadian History at York University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Martel is a Professor of History at York and a specialist in twentieth-century Canadian history. He has published on nationalism, relations between Quebec and the French-speaking minorities of Canada, public policy and counterculture, moral regulation, deviance, drug use, and RCMP surveillance activities. He holds a BA from Université Laval and both an MA and PhD from York University, and is former Chair of the Department of History at York.

The results of the elections were ratified by the Board of Directors at its meeting on March 23-24, 2018. These results will be approved at the Annual General Meeting on May 27, 2018, after which date the four new Board members will assume their new roles.

To see the Federation’s new Board of Directors, effective May 27, 2108, click here.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit ideas-idees.ca.

Questions:
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
E: nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

 

Media release: Finalists for Canada Prizes announced

 

OTTAWA, March 12, 2018 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2018 Canada Prizes. The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP).

The Canada Prizes are awarded to books that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. There are two $5,000 prizes, one each for French and English scholarship.

“The humanities and social sciences are essential to a vibrant, pluralistic society. The scholarly works of these 10 exceptional finalists demonstrate immense talent and the rich array of research underway in our scholarly community,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “The Federation congratulates these finalists and is honoured to play a role in raising their profile to the Canadian public.”

This year’s finalists are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Christopher Dummitt, Unbuttoned: A History of Mackenzie King's Secret Life (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
  • E.A. Heaman, Tax, Order, and Good Government: A New Political History of Canada, 1867-1917 (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
  • Adam Montgomery, The Invisible Injured: Psychological Trauma in the Canadian Military from the First World War to Afghanistan (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
  • Cheryl Suzack, Indigenous Women's Writing and the Cultural Study of Law (University of Toronto Press)
  • Donald G. Wetherell, Wildlife, Land, and People: A Century of Change in Prairie Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales

  • Houda Asal, Se dire arabe au Canada. Un siècle d'histoire migratoire (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)
  • Alex Gagnon, La communauté du dehors. Imaginaire social et crimes célèbres au Québec (XIXe-XXe siècle) (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)
  • Julien Goyette, Temps et culture. Fernand Dumont et la philosophie de l'histoire (Les Presses de l’Université Laval)
  • Lucie Hotte et François Paré, Les littératures franco-canadiennes à l’épreuve du temps (Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa)
  • Laurent Poliquin, De l’impuissance à l’autonomie. Évolution culturelle et enjeux identitaires des minorités canadiennes-françaises (Éditions Prise de parole)

The two winners of the 2018 Canada Prizes will be announced on April 9, 2018 and will be presented at an awards ceremony to be held during the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Regina.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
613-238-6112 ext. 351 nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees  #CanadaPrizes

 

Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 5 mars 2018

Guest blog by Benjamin Woo, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

When someone asks you where the idea for a research project came from, there’s a right and a wrong answer. The right one is about debates in the field and gaps in the literature, and it presupposes what you eventually discovered. I find the wrong one is usually more interesting.

The story behind my latest book, Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture, begins at an early iteration of the Toronto Comic Art Festival, now the premiere independent comics festival in North America. I wore a belt buckle made from an old Nintendo Entertainment System controller, and the compliments it garnered from my fellow comics aficionados came as no surprise. What did surprise me was that I kept receiving appreciative comments after I left the show and went poking around trendy boutiques on Queen Street West. Didn’t these hipsters know that Nintendo and classic video games were for us nerds, not them? Reflecting on the experience, I thought there might be a research project here — and there was, just not the one I was looking for.

I started out interested in exploring how geek culture was entering mainstream culture — a discourse I have come to call the “triumphal narrative.” This assumption that nerdy hobbies, pastimes and fandoms used to be marginal but are moving to the centre of media culture was everywhere at the time, as it has continued to be. But, when I went looking at how the press had talked about geeks and nerds since the late 1970s, I found that they were always in this state of arrival, always just about to have their revenge.

Instead, I started asking who was being left of out the story. When I looked at cultural criticism being published in mainstream media sources, I was told I should care about geek culture because of its broadening popularity, but where did that leave people who had been involved with it for years, even decades? I hung out in comic book and game stores, conventions and fan club meetings, spoke with the people who ran them, and interviewed participants representing a range of different communities within geek culture about the place they held in their lives. The result is a snapshot of one Canadian city’s geek culture scene at a particular moment in time.

Getting a Life argues that geek culture is a name for a set of social practices oriented to media such as comic books, games, and cult genres like science-fiction and fantasy. Over the years, media (especially whatever media happen to be new media at the time) have been blamed for isolating people, replacing active engagement with our neighbours and fellow citizens with a passive relationship with objects. In the spaces of geek culture, however, I found that media also provide the basis for community-making. The various practices of connoisseurship that draw people to the objects of their fandom necessarily put them in relationships with one another, and their shared cultural experiences create a common frame of reference for articulating — and struggling over — the values that are important to them.


Benjamin Woo is Assistant Professor of communication and media studies at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication. His research examines the production, circulation and reception of “geeky” media, with a particular emphasis on comic books and graphic novels. He is the Director of the Comic Cons Research Project and a level-five sorcerer. Getting a Life is his third book.

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

 

Media release: Budget strengthens social sciences and humanities after decade of underinvestment

 

OTTAWA, February 27, 2018 — Today’s commitment by the federal government to make sustained new investments in social sciences and humanities research will benefit Canadians and help to reverse years of underinvestment in these disciplines.

Of particular importance is the government’s promise to fund thousands of new research grants through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This commitment, worth $215 million over the next five years alone, will fuel new insights and discoveries and enable more researchers to contribute solutions to our most pressing challenges, from climate change to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

“This budget is an important down payment on the vision for Canadian research outlined by the government–appointed Fundamental Science Review panel,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “Budget 2018 will contribute to a smart Canada with the knowledge we need to compete in the global economy and thrive as a pluralistic and inclusive federal society.”

The Federation also welcomes today’s commitments to support early career researchers, increase equity and inclusiveness in Canada’s research system, and create an entirely new fund supporting research that is “interdisciplinary, international, fast-breaking and high-risk.”

The Science Review panel report provided a long-term roadmap for building the dynamic research system Canada needs to succeed in the 21st century. To realize this vision, the government will need to build on today’s commitments in the years to come.

“Today’s budget is an important and welcome step forward and the Federation will continue working in partnership with the federal government to ensure that Canadian scholars have the support they need to be world leaders,” said Laforest.

 -30-

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees

Responding to Human Trafficking: Dispossession, Colonial Violence, and Resistance among Indigenous and Racialized Women

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 12 janvier 2018

Guest blog by Julie Kaye, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan

Responding to Human Trafficking: Dispossession, Colonial Violence, and Resistance among Indigenous and Racialized Women is dedicated to my late mentor and friend, Trisha Anne Monture. Her Mohawk name, Aywahande, means “the one who starts things with words.” It is a fitting dedication for this book since so many of the ideas that eventually unfolded in this work began in conversation with her: in the classroom, in her office, in restaurants, and in her home. It was in these exchanges where my theorizing of the complexities of humanitarian interventions and their muddied relation to self-determination began to take shape. I hope this book will invite a conversation about the possibilities and the harms of anti-violence strategies in a context of settler colonialism and its ongoing, daily lived expressions of violence.

There have been many times I wished I could have sat across from Trisha as I later worked through the theories and ideas that came to shape my work. Her voice will continue to echo through generations of research and resistance. But, even more so, she resounds in relationships of resistance. As Trisha wrote, “self-determination is principally, that is first and foremost, about our relationships.” We cannot express self-determination apart from relationship. It was important to me that even the format of the book demonstrate the foundation of relational conversation. This is also why I was honoured that Dr. Sarah Hunt provided the foreword. In all she does, Sarah exemplifies a dedication to building networks and relations of kindness and inclusion, while fiercely working to dismantle systems of oppression.

The book begins from the premise that rights-based interventions are simultaneously a source of resistance and oppression. They hold the capacity to draw attention to the necessity of social change, while also reproducing ongoing conditions of colonial dispossession and restricting efforts to dismantle settler colonialism. This approach assumes that rights-based discourses emerge through a continuous process of negotiation and interaction between representatives of formal policy and social and moral entrepreneurs, activists, and advocates. From this premise, the book traces the construction of “domestic” and “international” anti-trafficking discourses and how such discourses provide a particular site to analyze how Canada negotiates its boundaries and consolidates national entitlements.

Situating anti-trafficking initiatives within ongoing settler colonialism reveals the restricted possibilities for transformative change involving settler societies. I build on the argument – put forward by critical race and gender thinkers – that national identity in Canada is built on multicultural and humanitarian ideals of inclusion that “invisibilize” settler colonial structures of domination and “naturalize” settler interventions. This continues to reproduce the systems and structures that humanitarian efforts claim – and oftentimes aim – to be addressing through rights-based mobilization.

I further argue that anti-trafficking efforts (including my own frontline work in this area) and other rights-based interventions too often remain unreflexive of the spaces of privilege they occupy within a persistent “matrix of domination.” Beyond merely demonstrating the appropriation of rights-based discourses, the book considers how anti-trafficking discourses naturalize the national, racial, and sexual priorities of the state and continued forms of state-sponsored violence.


Dr. Julie Kaye is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Academic Coordinator for the Certificate in Criminology and Addictions Program at the University of Saskatchewan. She also serves as the Research Advisor for the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW). She specializes in the areas of colonial gendered violence, community-based research, anti-violence, and critical analysis of law and criminal justice. Her recent book, Responding to Human Trafficking: Dispossession, Colonial Violence, and Resistance among Indigenous and Racialized Women, published by University of Toronto Press, is the first book to critically examine responses to human trafficking in Canada. Dr. Kaye engages in CIHR-funded, community-based research with individuals working in sex trade industries, community organizations, and harm reduction agencies in Edmonton and interprovincial explorations of body autonomy and anti-violence strategies funded by SSHRC. She also engages community in researching racialized policing and works alongside families, relations, and grassroots organizers of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, trans, and two-spirit (MMIWGT2S). Dr. Kaye participates in decolonial, anti-violence organizing and research alongside Indigenous-led responses to violence against Indigenous women. She has published findings from this work in the Canadian Review of Sociology, Social Inclusion and the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal as well as in widely accessible publications, such as the New York Times, Toronto Star, and the Edmonton Journal.

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

 

Catégorie

Livres à vous!

What you need to know about Congress 2018 calls for papers

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 20 décembre 2017

Ghassen Athmni, Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

With more than 5,000 research papers and lectures presented each year, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is a must-attend event for academics.

The winter season is the time of the year when most of the Congress programming is being developed. It is natural that calls for papers are among the most important deadlines of this period.

Researchers wishing to present at Congress 2018, which will take place from May 26 to June 1 in Regina, must submit their abstracts and proposals in respsonse to their associations’ calls for papers.

Given the size of Congress and the diverse audiences that attend the numerous conferences therein, researchers should gear their presentations in language accessible to as many attendees as possible.

Some conferences will be open to various audiences, including scholars of other disciplines, media outlets as well as the general public.

An incentive to participate

This year, the University of Regina is offering the Graduate Student Travel Awards. In order to allow graduate students and recent graduates to participate to Congress, the University of Regina is providing this assistance to offset the costs associated with attending.

Graduate students and recent doctoral graduates who meet the requirements will be eligible for a grant that will cover accommodations, food and bookstore costs to attend Congress 2018 and present their research.

Deadlines to come

Most call for papers deadlines are still ahead. The Federation has prepared a list of associations whose deadlines are still open for the months of December, January and February.

If you wish to submit an abstract for an association that has closed their call for papers, please contact the association directly.

Registration begins in mid-January on the Congress 2018 website and early bird pricing is in place until March 31.

* If the deadline for your association's call for papers is different from the one listed below, please send an email to congress@ideas-idess.ca.

 

December

Association

Deadline

Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians

12/22

Black Canadian Studies Association

12/24

International Association for the Study of Popular Music Canada

12/31

 

January

 

Canadian Association for Social Work Education

01/05

Society for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture

01/07

Sexuality Studies Association

01/08

Canadian Association of University Teachers of German

01/10

Hungarian Studies Association of Canada

01/10

Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research

01/12

Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration

01/12

Canadian Game Studies Association

01/12

Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science

01/12

Canadian Communication Association

01/12

Canadian Association of Hispanists

01/12

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies

01/12

Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing

01/12

Canadian Philosophical Association

01/14

Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies

01/15

Bibliographical Society of Canada

01/15

Film Studies Association of Canada

01/15

Environmental Studies Association of Canada

01/15

Association for Canadian and Québec Literatures

01/15

Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies

01/15

Canadian Society for Digital Humanities

01/15

RhetCanada/Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric

01/15

Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada

01/15

Canadian Society of Medievalists

01/15

Canadian Association for Food Studies

01/15

Canadian Society of Biblical Studies

01/17

Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation

01/19

Canadian Association of Slavists

01/20

Canadian Association for Information Science

01/23

Canadian Society for the Study of Names

01/24

Canadian Theological Society

01/26

Canadian Society of Church History

01/26

Canadian Population Society

01/29

Canadian-American Theological Association

01/31

Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies

01/31

Society for Socialist Studies

01/31

Canadian Society of Patristic Studies

01/31

 

February

Canadian Catholic Historical Association

02/01

Indigenous Literary Studies Association

02/01

Canadian Linguistic Association

02/04

Canadian Society for Aesthetics

02/15

 

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Graduate student awards

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 20 décembre 2017

André Magnan, Congress 2018 Academic Convener and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Regina

Graduate students are the lifeblood of universities. Their energy and creativity help research programs thrive – so it’s vital students seize upon opportunities to publicly present their research.

On a student budget, this can be tough. But I also know that Congress is worth it.

In 2003 I attended my first Congress in Halifax as a PhD student studying sociology. While my department provided me with some funds to make the trip, I covered most of the bill myself.

Despite the costs, Congress was my first big conference presentation and was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I met peers from across Canada, presented my research to respected scholars, received valuable feedback about my work and explored a new city. For the first time, I saw myself as an academic.

To help graduate students attend Congress 2018, the University of Regina is providing 600 student awards totaling $270,000. 

The funding includes a subsidy for on-campus accommodations, a meal card for on-campus meals, and a credit to the campus bookstore – all to help make it easier for students to experience Canada’s largest gathering of scholars.

Plus, 100 of these awards are for recent grads of a PhD program who have yet to obtain work, which helps people caught between grad school and a secure job.

Visit the Congress 2018 Graduate Student Travel Awards page for more information.

See you at Congress 2018!

Members come first

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 18 décembre 2017

Guy Laforest, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

It’s important to keep your promises.  Since taking on the role as President of the Federation, my number one priority has been to build a closer, more collaborative relationship with our members. The organization made a strong commitment to improve member engagement in its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, and it is a commitment I plan to uphold in my tenure over the next 18 months.   

In my first six months, I have been actively listening and learning about member needs, looking for ways to improve the work we do:

  • as a voice in Ottawa for scholars,
  • as the organizer of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and
  • as a provider of programs and services that benefit our community.

While we do these things well, I believe we can do them even better.

In the next 18 months, members can expect to see changes.

  • In our advocacy work, we will undertake a major new project to better articulate the value of the humanities and social sciences to Canadians.
  • With respect to Congress, we will make improvements in the member experience.
  • We will help more of our scholars publish their books by renewing the relationship with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and looking for ways to better profile and evolve the Awards to Scholarly Publishing Program.
  • We will continue to expand outreach to all members, and improve our service offering, stepping up and expanding our programs and services.
  • In the area of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we will continue to support the journey, working with associations and universities to take up the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

We have our work cut out for us!

Together we will succeed because we believe deeply in the potential for humanities and social sciences to contribute meaningfully to fundamental questions about the nature of human agency, the importance of freedom, and the role of education in a flourishing, bilingual and multicultural society.

 

Mots-clés

Federation news

On the Side of the Angels: Canada and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

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Jeudi 26 octobre 2017

Guest blog by Andrew S. Thompson, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo

Otto Von Bismark once famously remarked that: “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” I respectfully disagree. I first decided to write On the Side of the Angels: Canada and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights because I wanted to better understand the diplomacy behind international human rights law – the how and why the sausages are made, not just the final outcome or the what. As a constructive middle power and liberal democracy committed to multilateralism, Canada seemed like an obvious actor – the who – to investigate. I also wanted to understand where the sausages were made. For 60 years beginning in 1946, this was the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. But it was disbanded in 2006 and replaced by the UN Human Rights Council because it was deemed no longer fit for purpose.

The most gratifying moments were the ones in which I found the “smoking guns,” the memoranda or briefing notes that revealed the true motivations behind particular positions, which often pitted human rights concerns against other considerations such as pressure from allies, Cold War constraints, or the rise in influence of the Non-Aligned Movement.

What I soon found was that Canadian diplomacy at the Commission was complex, calculated, and often nuanced and full of contradictions. On some issues – such as political and civil rights, or the advancement of women’s human rights internationally – Canada was “on the side of the angels.” By this I mean the side that supported the development, expansion and enforcement of international human rights law – and often in very principled ways. But on other issues – economic, social and cultural rights, or the rights of Indigenous peoples – Canadian governments of various stripes stood in the way of progress. In this respect, Canada is no different than any other state.

On the Side of the Angels shines a new light on an aspect of Canada’s foreign policy that hasn’t received a lot of attention to date. It is an overview of Canadian contributions to international human rights law at the UN. But it is by no means the final word. Rather, it just scratches the surface. There is so much more that can be done – and needs to be done. If the UN human rights system is ever to fulfill its potential as an effective guardian of universal human rights, we will need to expose the many factors that go into sausage-making, as unappealing as many of them are.


Andrew S. Thompson is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and a Fellow at both the Centre for International Governance Innovation and at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He is the author of In Defence of Principles: NGOs and Human Rights in Canada (2010).

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

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Livres à vous!

We need a better understanding of ‘good’ research impacts

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 17 octobre 2017

Paul Benneworth, Senior Researcher, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente, the Netherlands

My starting point is to welcome the recently published Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences report, Approaches to assessing impact in the Humanities and Social Sciences as a valuable addition to a growing policy understanding of the diversity of ways in which humanities and social sciences research (HSS) creates societal impact. It matches what has been found elsewhere by the British Academy in the UK, the AWTI in the Netherlands and the Norwegian Research Council, and reflects a nuanced understanding among policy-makers that there are no simple metric-based ways to measure HSS impact.

Those countries that have introduced assessment methods for impact have had to use relatively qualitative, descriptive approaches, such as the UK’s Impact Case Studies or the Netherlands Standard Evaluation Protocol. Both these approaches rely on stylisation and peer review to turn particular exemplary activities into scores allowing comparison between research groups. And research from within our own ENRESSH network shows that these two approaches are being adopted more widely across most research councils within Europe seeking to assess HSS impact.

But despite the widespread understanding of the diversity of ways in which HSS creates societal impact, there remains a persistent concern that HSS researchers have made little, or at least fragmented, progress in achieving societal impacts. One explanation for this phenomenon is organizational: Researchers have neither the time, the training nor the incentives to make achieving impacts a primary goal. Our own ENRESSH research (reported recently at the Eu-SPRI conference) started identifying a second general explanation: the difficulty of determining what constitutes “good” impact in research.

In particular, we focus on the question of what constitutes a benefit, who benefits from the research impact, and how closely that fits with the researchers’ own ethical frameworks. In much of the work undertaken on HSS research impact, there is a tendency to highlight case studies that are unambiguously “positive” for society. And herein lies the problem: what is positive for “society” is not fixed, unlike economic impact defined in terms of GDP, but is instead a politically defined characteristic.

At ENRESSH, for example, we found an example of a historical research group studying a country whose popular self-image as an independent nation-state was bound up with a particular conservative-nationalist political current. Challenging that historical narrative was bound up with challenging that conservative political capital, the impacts of which could be regarded as negative, unpatriotic or worse.

Likewise, urban socologists working in the field of social exclusion find their research increasingly co-opted by “resilience studies.” Resilience approaches involve equipping weaker communities to deal with difficult circumstances and turbulence and therefore carry the imprimatur of being socially positive. But from certain progressive political perspectives, the concept of resilience has become embroiled in a wider political climate in which state responsibilities for welfare are passed back to smaller groups, and therefore abandoning those more vulnerable groups to the market.

And just as no ethical medical researcher is going to develop a drug that significantly harms their patients, it is unsurprising that HSS researchers are concerned that promoting impact may lead to their research harming their research subjects or others. From my perspective, the elephant in the corner of the room for the HSS debate is this wider question of “which publics benefit in what ways from research impact?” If we do not seriously consider such questions about the assessments of public value, such assessments risk looking anecdotal, subjective, and ultimately as less convincing than more economic impact assessments that hide behind the faux objectivity of pricing.

This question clearly needs more serious consideration and resolution of the tensions arising in using research before we will really experience a qualitative improvement in the wider societal benefits created by HSS.


About this blog series: Following the publication of the Federation’s new report, “Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” we have reached out to other members of the research community to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities associated with assessing scholarly impacts. It is our hope that this series of blogs and our new report will help support a productive conversation in the HSS community about the important topic of scholarly impact assessment.

Mots-clés

Research and ProgramsResearch

#SeeYouInRegina: An event team perspective

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 12 octobre 2017

Ashley Craven, Event Planner, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Sitting at the Toronto airport, waiting to board my connecting flight to Regina ahead of the Congress 2018 planning meetings, I was very excited. Members of the Federation team, the host university team and association organizers meet every fall for very important operational meetings to kick off the planning cycle for the upcoming Congress. It is a very exiting time.

Since I started at the Federation two years ago, the entire team has been very excited about Congress in Regina for a number of reasons. Among these are the facts that the campus is beautiful, and that both the city and the university are excited to host us. Our Congress Registrar, Donna Lelievre, who has been with the Federation over 16 years, recalls that one of the best Congresses she has experienced was in Saskatoon in 2007, and she expects Regina to be just as excellent — if not better. After experiencing the vast city of Toronto and hitting a record 10,014 delegates this past May for Congress 2017, we look forward to heading to a prairie city for an entirely different experience.

In Regina, wherever attendees go, even outside the university campus, they will see others sporting their Congress name badges and connecting with one another across disciplines, in a way you can’t do in other destinations. Needless to say, the Federation events team couldn’t wait to see the city of Regina, explore the campus, meet the team at the university, and connect with association organizers, the local university press representatives and others!

While we were in Regina, we stayed at the beautiful Hotel Saskatchewan downtown, across from Victoria Park. It was an easily navigable drive to the university, which is just under 10 minutes away. The campus has abundant green space and is covered in trees. Once we arrived on campus for our meetings, we had no trouble orienting ourselves, and by day two, we were pros at finding our way around.

Our operational meetings with all the various departments (catering, audio-visual, facilities, residences, to name just a few) went splendidly. We received a warm welcome across the board, and it was clear to me that everyone at the University of Regina is looking forward to hosting Congress attendees and creating a memorable experience for all. The programming the university is putting together is diverse and interesting. The Big Thinking lunch hour lecture lineup is now confirmed, so keep an eye on the Congress website for more details. We had the opportunity to check out the residences, too. They are fresh, spacious and modern, as all residence buildings have been built or updated within the last 10 years.

U of R President Dr. Vianne Timmons hosted a lovely reception for the operational departments, association Program Chairs, Local Arrangement Coordinators, city officials, tourism representatives, the Federation team and many more in her beautiful residence in Wascana Park. She certainly set the tone for the kickoff to our planning cycle, conveying her genuine passion for promoting scholarship and a contagious excitement to host Congress 2018. During her remarks, she made it clear that Congress 2018 was going to be an unmissable, memorable event — and we at the Federation could not agree more.

We will #SeeYouInRegina where you will be able to experience much more of the prairies than the glimpse we received during our visit this fall. The prairie hospitality is unique, the campus is beautiful and the programming lineup is exciting. 

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Back to school 2017 – what is the media saying?

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 11 octobre 2017

Kayla MacIntosh, Junior Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Every September, millions of Canadian students return to campus for a new academic year. In this blog you can read about a variety of conversations happening in the post-secondary education sector this fall.

A big back to school announcement from the federal government is the roll-out of $73 million in wage subsidies to employers  over four years in order to create 10,000 student work placements for post-secondary students. The need to bridge the gap between university and the workplace is being acknowledged as work integrated learning opportunities are increasingly more available to Canadian students.

Canada’s academic reputation is holding steady with the University of Toronto placing at No. 22 in Times Higher Education World University Rankings and five other Canadian institutions in the top 200. International applications have also had their own success, with the number of international students on a steady rise from 83,000 in 2006 to more than 175,000 in 2016.

Tuition costs are top of mind at this time of year. According to Statistics Canada University tuition fees have jumped an average of 3.1 per cent for undergraduate programs for the 2017-2018 academic year, over the previous year. With tuition costs having has climbed more than 40 per cent in the past decade, two in five Canadian students say they have no savings and two-thirds don’t have an RESP. Many students are going into debt, but research shows that graduates with a post-secondary credential out-perform and out-earn people without, supporting the idea that more education makes you richer.

Looking at solutions for the rise in the cost of education, former Director of Research Policy on the Federation’s Board, Lisa Philipps, says that tax policy is not the way to improve access to post-secondary education. “The re-balancing of public support for post-secondary education towards direct spending on students is an important and necessary shift that will level the playing field regardless of gender, generation, or income,”she argues.

Despite the enrollment decline in some humanities programs and the increased public focus on STEM degrees as pathways to “high-paying fields,” , the value of liberal arts continues to be a hot topic. Statistics Canada data shows that between 2005-2015 Canadian enrolment in STEM-related disciplines rose by more than 32 per cent, while enrolment in the humanities and social sciences increased by just less than 17 per cent; nevertheless, graduation rates remain close with a 36 per cent increase in STEM degrees, and a 31 per cent increase in social sciences and humanities.

Institutions across Canada are also altering their programs to integrate skills from both arts and applied disciplines in the curricula science. An example of this is McMaster University’s newly developed Integrated Business and Humanities program, designed to give commerce students the skills of a liberal arts education such as communication, writing, critical-thinking and problem-solving.

In Ontario, the provincial government plans to move forward in creating the first stand-alone French-language university, governed by and for francophones – likely in downtown Toronto. This launch is being supported by two of Ottawa’s bilingual universities alongside Francophone Affairs Minister Marie-France Lalonde, who said “Francophone culture and the French language have always been essential to Ontario’s identity and prosperity”.

And finally, there is much happening as campuses across the country seek to Indigenize their institutions and transform the educational experience. The concentrated effort to improve and incorporate Indigenous values and education in Canadian institutions can be seen as a response to the calls of action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Thanks to Victoria Island University’s $13.5 million increase in funding for Indigenous students the 2017 school year began with a new program aimed at removing barriers for Indigenous learners. This includes financial help with tuition, textbooks and living allowance, as well as emotional, cultural and spiritual support by bringing Indigenous culture to the forefront. Indigenous students at Western University are also walking into a more inclusive campus this fall, with student housing that now incorporates cultural education into the everyday lives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. Further west, the University of Saskatchewan is looking at making Indigenous content mandatory for all students within the next two years and is calling indigenization one of its highest priorities.

Exciting university programming news can also be found in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia this fall with students from across the country taking part in a one semester groundbreaking Reconciliation Studies program. Offered by the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society (HGHES) this program was developed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributors who explain that Indigenous realities a huge part of Canada that gets overlooked in Canadian history and are targeting it as the main focus of the new program.

Importantly, of all students returning to campus this fall, Indigenous students represented the largest hike in Ontario’s Student Assistance Program (OSAP) applications this year, rising by 36 per cent to almost 7,500 since 2016.

I’m looking forward to the discussions that occur as the 2017-2018 academic year unfolds, but for those of you who enjoy a more statistical view, Universities Canada has released a new set of Back to school 2017 quick facts.

Mots-clés

Research and ProgramsTeachingEducation

Canada needs to confront the causes of a post-truth world

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 10 octobre 2017

This op-ed was originally published by Canadian Science Policy Centre on October 10, 2017.

Gabriel Miller, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

One day, the U.S. president is taunting North Korea, treating nuclear conflict like it’s WrestleMania. The next, he glibly dismisses racial injustice in America by smearing black athletes engaged in peaceful protest. Other days, he brags about locking Muslims out of the country, scuttling global efforts on climate change, and spurning his country’s closest trading partners, including Canada. Watching it all is exhausting. How should we react in the face of this relentless volley of ignorance and wrong-headed decisions?

A first step is to look past the constant distraction and refuse to blindly follow the angry bouncing ball. True, Canada needs to respond to the specific threats posed by this presidency, but Canadians must not lose sight of the deeper cause behind these daily crises. Mr. Trump’s rise to power, like the Brexit campaign and the recent resurgence of nationalist sentiment in other countries, flows from a mindset that celebrates thoughtless leadership and rejects respectful, informed dialogue.

What was most shocking about Trump’s presidential campaign was not how many lies he told, but how comfortably he sidelined the truth. Falsehoods were exposed, but Trump didn’t so much as blush, and his support didn’t appear to suffer. It seemed the truth had lost its power to persuade.

The fading power of facts in public discourse, what you might call the “post-truth” problem, is an issue that every country must take seriously, including Canada. Granted, since Trump’s election, Canada has moved quickly to defend its interests, most notably in NAFTA negotiations. We have also showcased a highly successful refugee system to the world and advocated for international cooperation in the face of growing isolationism.

There remains work to do, however, to support the kind of informed, inclusive public dialogue that will enable Canada to address its biggest challenges and sustain the health of our democracy in the longer run.

Climate change, growing inequalities and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are just some of the most obvious issues facing us. Each has deep social and cultural dimensions, and none are likely to be addressed by technological innovation alone. They require solutions informed by new insights from multiple fields, leading to action in a diverse mix of communities and different sectors of the economy. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences, who create knowledge about the way human systems function, and the way that different people think, behave and interact, will have an essential role to play.

Education is a primary defense against the post-truth phenomenon. We need more people who can think critically about complex topics, differentiate between good information and bad, see past their own biases, and respectfully consider other perspectives, especially when confronted with ethnic, religious or cultural differences.

New research is also vital. Scientists and scholars in diverse disciplines provide important evidence that supports informed, fact-based discussion. In a report on Canada’s research system released earlier this year, a federally-appointed panel concluded that new university-led research across disciplines is essential for the country to address its national challenges. This includes not only scholarship in areas such as medicine and engineering, but also in the humanities and social sciences. The authors emphasize that “societies without great science and scholarship across a wide range of disciplines are impoverished in multiple dimensions.”

The Government of Canada is still working on its vision for higher education and research in a post-truth world. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has made its choice, doing its best to cut funding for research and culture, and to shut down the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts. This is no coincidence — it aligns perfectly with Trump’s post-truth approach to politics. Canada has a responsibility to choose a different path.

Gabriel Miller is the Executive Director of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is moderating a Big Thinking lecture entitled “Expertise in a post-truth era: How to be a trusted advisor in a low-trust world” on Thursday, November 2 at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in Ottawa.

Media release: Chief Science Advisor appointment is welcome news for Canadian research system

 

OTTAWA, September 27, 2017 — The Federation welcomes today’s announcement of Dr. Mona Nemer as the new Chief Science Advisor.

“Today's announcement is good news because it shows support for evidence-based decision making" said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Executive Director of the École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP). “We look forward to working with Dr. Nemer to ensure that the federal government is drawing on the work of researchers across all disciplines to meet the complex challenges facing Canada.”

“As much as possible, government research must be accessible to the public and researchers should be able to speak openly about their work,” noted Gabriel Miller, Executive Director of the Federation. “We welcome Dr. Nemer’s appointment and look forward to working with her to maintain open channels of communication between government and university researchers in all fields.”

Mona Nemer is former Vice-President, Research (2006 to present) at the University of Ottawa, where she oversaw research strategies, infrastructure and commercialization. In her role as Vice-President, Research, she has worked extensively on fostering partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders to advance research and innovation. Nemer has been awarded honorary doctorates from France and Finland and her work is recognized nationally and internationally. She is a fellow of the Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, a Member of the Order of Canada, a Knight of the Order of Québec and a Knight of the Order of Merit of the French Republic. 

The Federation is pleased to see that Dr. Nemer will report to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, and will have oversight of staff she will be selecting herself. The Federation had been a strong advocate for this position and submitted numerous recommendations to ensure its effectiveness and autonomy.

 -30-

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

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Présences intermittentes des Amériques

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Vendredi 1 septembre 2017

Ariane Audet, photographe et écrivaine

Ce livre est inspiré de ma thèse de doctorat et répond à une question bien précise : qu’est-ce que le sujet québécois peut apprendre du contact littéraire avec l’écriture chicana?

J’ai commencé à m’interroger sur ce sujet alors que je voyageais moi-même plusieurs fois par année entre le Canada et les États-Unis. Je venais de découvrir l’existence des Chicanos* chez nos voisins du sud, et c’est plongée dans la lecture leur poésie que la similitude avec la littérature québécoise m’a frappée. Toutes deux questionnaient leur présence dans l’espace nord-américain : le malaise transcendait les nationalités.

J’ai ainsi décidé de circonscrire ma réflexion (qui allait ensuite devenir mon projet de thèse) à une période bien précise de leur histoire respective, celle des années 1960 à 1985. Période féconde pour les deux communautés, elle est le berceau de révolutions politiques, culturelles et sociales, ainsi que d’une affirmation littéraire à la fois foisonnante et fragile, qui témoigne avant toute chose d’une fracture avec l’espace dans lequel elle prend forme.

À partir d’une étude des figures de la spatialité dans l’écriture de neufs poètes des cultures québécoise et chicana, j’ai postulé que le caractère problématique de l’appartenance au territoire forçait le sujet poétique à manifester sa présence de manière intermittente. La notion d’intermittence s’est avérée être l’un des modes de représentation privilégiés de ces littérature mineures (ou de l’exiguïté) dans le continent. De celle-ci ont résulté des similitudes infiniment intéressantes, notamment en ce qui a trait à la représentation des villes et de la posture « en retrait » du sujet, mais aussi des divergences marquées.

Par exemple, la diversité des points de vue proposés par les poètes offre une perspective continentale qui interroge les réalités nationales et problématise la notion d’altérité. Le potentiel transaméricain de leur mise en commun dépasse en effet la critique de l’hégémonie états-unienne dans les études transaméricaines, et donne lieu à une remise en cause des rapports de forces, qu’ils soient politiques, territoriales ou langagiers. L’intérêt d’étudier la littérature québécoise en relation avec la littérature chicana tient donc dans la proposition suivante : à défaut de se définir comme minoritaire, le Québec doit devenir un modèle de compréhension – notamment en ce qui a trait à la spatialité en poésie et à l’inscription de la présence dans le continent.

Parce que le rapprochement entre les deux communautés révèle une réalité institutionnelle bien différente, la littérature québécoise ne peut plus simplement être réduite à une exiguïté culturelle dans les Amériques. Il y a d’ailleurs plusieurs années que l’on reconnaît que la souffrance à laquelle l’expérience du territoire donne lieu ne peut être comprise simplement en fonction de l’espace auquel les textes réfèrent. Même si les poètes partagent le même malaise et l’expriment de manière similaire, la réalité du sujet québécois n’est pas, et ne sera jamais, celle du sujet chicano.

C’est d’ailleurs l’étude de ces différences qui m’a permis de participer au renouvèlement de la place du Québec (et de sa littérature) au sein des Amériques et des études interaméricaines. Parce que ces différences touchent à la constitution de l’identité québécoise qui, de nos jours, pose encore problème, le rapprochement entre les textes chicanos et québécois a été un puissant outil afin de prendre la mesure du chemin parcouru, et celui qu’il reste encore à parcourir.

*les Chicanos (ou Mexican-American) sont des Mexicains d’origine qui vivent de manière permanente aux États-Unis. Les Chicanos peuvent être des citoyens nés aux États-Unis ou encore immigrants mexicains qui se sont adaptés au mode de vie états-unien.


Ariane Audet est photographe et écrivaine, et est titulaire d’un doctorat en Études littéraire de l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Outre Présences intermittentes des Amériques, elle a fait paraitre le recueil de poèmes Déjà la horde de chair se tait (2016), pour lequel elle a été finaliste au Prix Émile-Nelligan. Elle vit et travaille à Washington, DC.

Livres à vous!
En tant que porte-parole des sciences humaines au Canada, la Fédération est une fervente défenseuse des livres. Notre Prix d’auteurs pour l’édition savante (PAES) soutient la publication d’importants livres savants canadiens depuis 1941. Livres à vous! dévoile les coulisses de ces livres fascinants. De temps en temps nous mettrons en avant d’autres livres qui jouent un rôle important pour la culture, la société et la recherche canadiennes. Lire d’autres billets.

 

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What is science worth for us?

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Jeudi 17 août 2017

Jack Spaapen, senior policy advisor, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Since the 1990s, policy makers progressively became interested in assessing scientific research not only on its merits for the scientific community, but also for society at large. However, we still do not have a widely accepted, systematic way to assess scientific impact. So why is it so difficult to assess impact of research?

The main reason is that there are so many different kinds of impact, depending on the societal context. Clearly, this goes for researchers working in, say, medical fields compared to those working in agriculture or ICT. But it goes a fortiori for researchers working in the broad array of humanities and social science (HSS) fields. Researchers who work in language departments and want to have an impact on the language curriculum of high schools have to deal with legal and governmental departments, with school boards, with student and teacher organisations, with parent groups, with publishers, etc. And each of these “stakeholders” has specific interests, ideas and wishes. A researcher working in the area of, say, religious studies or art history faces a rather different context, filled with refugees, NGOs, politics, etc. in the first case and with museum directors, curators, audiences, local and national politics in the second. Moreover, many of the issues HSS researchers are interested in also attract passionate debate among members of the public.

These circumstances make it difficult to develop impact measurements that resemble procedures used for evaluating the scientific quality of research, a system that arguably works the same for all fields of research. The context of the scientific community is overall much more monolithic, and interests of participants are more based on shared values (Merton’s CUDOS for example). Ergo, a one-size-fits-all approach is possible (but see the Metric Tide report for a convincing critique).

However, the situation is not hopeless. On both side of the Atlantic, researchers of the science and technology studies community and beyond have been working steadily on approaches to societal impact evaluation. Journals like Research Evaluation or Science and Public Policy regularly report on these developments. In Europe, there is an active network of HSS researchers under the EU-COST aegis covering most if not all Europe (ENRESSH) and countries are beginning to integrate impact in their national evaluation systems (REF in the UK, SEP in the Netherlands). A 2013 RAND report presents a nice overview of methods for impact evaluation. In the USA and Canada, there is a growing research community (active groups are for example in Arizona State University, University of North Texas). In Canada, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been active in this area with several reports in HSS impact.

And the interesting thing is that many of these efforts have arrived at similar conclusions. One is that societal impact is not a linear thing; rather, is it the result of the productive interactions between researchers and stakeholders. Assessment methods should respect this. Another is that quantitative methods may be good for measuring certain kinds of impact (for example economic), but qualitative methods are preferred in many other impact areas (changes in politics, or in attitudes, public influence, a new protocol in hospitals, improvements of rules and regulations, organizing work in a different way, a more humane treatment of refugees). Another is that it makes no sense to ignore the differences in context, and that it is much more productive to ensure that contexts inform the evaluation process. In case of the UK (REF 2014) and the Netherlands (SEP 2015-2021) this has led to an emphasis on narratives and case studies, which comes as an advantage for HSS researchers because that is part and parcel of what they do and produce. And after all, Elliot Eisner was right when he slightly rephrased a famous Einstein quote: not everything that can be measured matters, and not everything that matters can be measured.


About this blog series: Following the publication of the Federation’s new report, “Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” we have reached out to other members of the research community to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities associated with assessing scholarly impacts. It is our hope that this series of blogs and our new report will help support a productive conversation in the HSS community about the important topic of scholarly impact assessment.

 

Mots-clés

Research and ProgramsResearch

The CIMVHR Approach to Assessing Impact

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Jeudi 10 août 2017

By Stéphanie Bélanger, CD, PhD, and Heidi Cramm, PhD, Co-scientific director (interim), Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, with thanks for input from the entire CIMVHR team.

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Heath Research (CIMVHR) was created in 2010 with a mission to enhance the lives of Canadian military personnel, Veterans and their families by harnessing the national capacity for research. Being the only country that was a part of NATO that didn’t have an organization focused on this unique population drove Queen’s University and the Royal Military Collage of Canada to take the lead in creating such an institute. Now 42 Canadian universities strong, CIMVHR is the hub for researchers working together in addressing the health research requirements for our military personnel, Veterans and their families.

As an institute that grew from two universities to 42 in a span of seven years, our methods for assessing the impact of what we do have varied. In our early years, we assessed our impact through the growth of our institute. When you’re the first of your kind in Canada, the success and longevity of your organization will depend on the demand for what you do and the relationships you build to foster your organization. For us at CIMVHR, the key areas of focus were the number of universities that signed on to work with us (from two to 42), the number of researchers committed to CIMVHR from each of these universities (now over 1,000), the growth in delegates that attended our annual Military and Veteran Heath Research Forum (250 to 600+), and the number of research presentations delivered at our seven annual forums (970 to over 3,500 stakeholders), to name a few.

After we had the foundation of our institute in place, we expanded on how we can capture the impact of CIMVHR by incorporating surveys into our assessment process. While still valuing our impact in numbers, surveys provided us with feedback from not only our researchers, but from the population to whom we dedicate our research. Surveying attendees at our academic events provides us with the information we need to strengthen the research at our future events, which in turn creates better outcomes for our military personnel, Veterans and their families.

In order to continue CIMVHR’s success as the hub for military, Veteran and family health research, it became crucial that we assess the impact of our deliverables. Our organization has many moving parts that create various deliverables, such as: academic researcher engagement; publications through our journal (the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health); scholarship opportunities; and research contracts through government, industry and philanthropic organizations, among others. Each one of these requires a different approach to assess the impact delivered to our stakeholders. In addition to the previous assessment examples, we found it necessary to incorporate analytics into our process. As a national institute, which recently started working with seven global affiliates, our primary form of communication is web-based (social media, website, online open access journal, funding opportunities, etc.). By gathering the analytics from all of our web-based products we’re able to track our engaged users, reach, top website hits, dropped pages and various other analytics that enable us to make improvements to our organization.

As result of pursuing these various methods of impact assessment since the inception of CIMVHR, we have been able to show our results and thereby grow and strengthen our institute as the leader in military, Veteran and family health research. Moving forward, we will continue to add new assessment methods to increase our strength and develop new tools to track our impacts.

In the recently published report from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences titled “Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Sciences Sciences” (May 2017), there is great emphasis put on identifying the impact of research to help make knowledge more accessible to users. For instance, researcher can “address important societal challenges” and attract “increased attention from decision-makers in government, resulting in increased use of evidence supported by research in the setting of public policy” (p. 14). At CIMVHR, we thrive, in a concerted effort with our university members, to influence policies and practices through pluridisciplinary evidence based research.


About this blog seriesFollowing the publication of the Federation’s new report, “Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” we have reached out to other members of the research community to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities associated with assessing scholarly impacts. It is our hope that this series of blogs and our new report will help support a productive conversation in the HSS community about the important topic of scholarly impact assessment.

Mots-clés

Research and ProgramsResearch

Salons: Perspectives on society through scholarly journals

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Mardi 8 août 2017

In this era of the 24-hour news cycle, alternative facts and the proliferation of hard-to-verify sources, the online magazine Salons reminds us that research in the humanities and social sciences plays a key role in helping us analyze and understand society.

Salons invites the public to reflect on various societal issues as we read and review various articles published over the years in scholarly journals. This is a way for the magazine to showcase the abundance and importance of reputable and rigorously developed research. It also demonstrates the value of easy access to this information, as the articles and other resources featured in Salons are freely available to all.

Instead of offering frenetic commentary and instant analysis, Salons encourages readers to take their time.

Each month between June 2017 and June 2018, a well-known researcher and a stakeholder in the cultural or academic fields will provide commentary on a key societal issue. This analysis will draw on a bibliography of other sources on the issues, as an invitation to the public to explore the articles listed.

“Research in the humanities and social sciences is exceptionally rich in Canada. Its results are generally disseminated as articles published in scholarly journals,” explained the director of the Salons project, Vincent Larivière, a professor at the University of Montreal and Scientific Director of the Érudit platform.

“A research article often represents years of work and analysis for a researcher and undergoes a rigorous evaluation process. Our goal is to remind the general public of the role played by these publications in society as a whole and to demonstrate the extent to which research is now available to all,” he added. “Thanks to digital technologies and open access, academic knowledge has never been so easy to attain. Salons is a kind of monthly stylistic exercise that will introduce the general public to these resources and show how accessible they are, as well as how relevant and rich.”

The project takes the opportunity provided by Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations to bridge the gap between the academic community and civil society, as well as between the country’s two linguistic communities, since the site is completely bilingual. It will examine the question of Canadian identity by looking at 13 themes: linguistic duality in national celebrations, the inclusion of Indigenous communities in archaeological projects, educational changes, and feminist perspectives on Canada.

Research as a public good

Salons advocates the idea that research is a public good and that access to knowledge must be as open as possible. In keeping with these principles, the articles presented in the monthly bibliographies are available through open access, with the magazine’s texts disseminated under a Creative Commons open content license. There are also many links to the databases of various public archives.

The project is coordinated by the Érudit Consortium and has been placed under the leadership of Vincent Larivière (University of Montreal) and Jean-Philippe Warren (Concordia University) with support from a team of researchers from several Canadian universities. It received financial support from the SSHRC (Connection/Canada 150 Programs) and is backed by several Canadian research organizations, including the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Browse through issue number 3 of Salons, which explores the role played by Indigenous communities in archaeological research: http://salons.erudit.org/en/salon/archaeological-and-urban-heritage/.

Mots-clés

Research and ProgramsResearchTeaching

De l’impuissance à l’autonomie : évolution culturelle et enjeux identitaires des minorités canadiennes-françaises

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Mardi 8 août 2017

Laurent Poliquin, membre du Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures de l’Université de Winnipeg et du Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française (CRCCF) de l’Université d’Ottawa.

À l’origine, c’est la littérature pour la jeunesse qui a motivé la recherche qui a mené à De l’impuissance à l’autonomie : évolution culturelle et enjeux identitaires des minorités canadiennes-françaises. Alors à l’emploi des Éditions des Plaines, mon travail d’éditeur me permettait de côtoyer des auteurs et des enseignants avides d’écrire et de lire des textes issus de la francophonie de l’Ouest canadien. J’ai ainsi pu contribuer à faire connaître des auteurs comme Diane Carmel Léger, France Adams, Louise-Michelle Sauriol, David Baudemont ou encore David Bouchard.

Alors que je préparais des conférences à l’intention des enseignants, je me suis rendu compte que la littérature et notamment celle pour les enfants ne naît pas spontanément. On a souvent l’impression que la nouveauté émerge du talent d’un artiste ou d’un créateur et on oublie les prédécesseurs et tout le travail en amont que d’autres ont réalisé avant nous. C’est un peu en hommage aux générations précédentes que j’ai voulu creuser ce qui s’était écrit pour les enfants avant la création des maisons d’édition en milieu minoritaire dans les années 1970. Et c’est donc dans les journaux que devait surtout se faire ce travail, sachant que s’il y a une littérature canadienne-française débutante à explorer notamment chez les minorités canadiennes-françaises, elle se terre nécessairement dans les journaux. Or je me suis rapidement buté à la présence d’une littérature pour la jeunesse pieuse et franchement conservatrice. Il fallait s’y attendre me direz-vous, mais il fallait surtout mettre à profit mes découvertes, même si la qualité des œuvres n’était pas toujours au rendez-vous. Je me suis rapidement aperçu de l’instrumentalisation de cette littérature en fonction des luttes que mène la société. J’ai donc réorienté mes recherches en fonction de ces luttes, notamment celles qui s’articulent autour de l’école et de l’enseignement en français.

Le Canada a été servi en ce qui a trait aux tensions entre anglophones et francophones. Dès les balbutiements de la confédération, certains Acadiens commencent à regretter leur ralliement au Dominion du Canada : la Loi des écoles communes adoptée le 17 mai 1871 institue un système d’écoles non confessionnelles, dans lequel l’enseignement francophone n’est pas dispensé, ce qui fera dire à Lionel Groulx : « Dès sa première épreuve pour la protection d’une minorité, la constitution canadienne se révélait bouclier de carton » (Groulx Enseignement tome II 51). D’ailleurs on ne peut pas dire que la création du Manitoba n’a pas connu des débuts tumultueux qui mèneront à l’exécution du chef métis Louis Riel par le gouvernement canadien. Rappelons que les émeutes de la conscription de 1917 ont réprimé dans le sang alors qu’un bataillon de soldats en provenance de Toronto arrive à Québec, et tire sur la foule le 31 mars 1918, une première pour ces soldats anglais depuis l’occupation de la ville en 1759.

Au final, on s’aperçoit de la force et de la résilience des minorités canadiennes-françaises. Si elles ont pendant longtemps sollicité l’appui des Canadiens-français du Québec dans leur lutte, elles ont acquis une autonomie qui ne permet plus de dire, contrairement à l’idée fort répandue, que le Québec les a abandonnées.

Laurent Poliquin a été chargé de cours en langue et littérature française à l’Université du Manitoba et à l’Université de Winnipeg, puis professeur adjoint en littérature canadienne-française et de la francophonie à l’Université de Saint-Boniface. Il a été éditeur aux Éditions des Plaines de 2003 à 2009 et il a fait paraître une dizaine de livres, parmi lesquels De l’amuïssement des certitudes qui a reçu le Prix Rue-Deschambault en 2015.

Livres à vous!
En tant que porte-parole des sciences humaines au Canada, la Fédération est une fervente défenseuse des livres. Notre Prix d’auteurs pour l’édition savante (PAES) soutient la publication d’importants livres savants canadiens depuis 1941. Livres à vous! dévoile les coulisses de ces livres fascinants. De temps en temps nous mettrons en avant d’autres livres qui jouent un rôle important pour la culture, la société et la recherche canadiennes. Lire d’autres billets.

 

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On the Impacts of Teaching

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Jeudi 27 juillet 2017

Nancy Chick, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute, University Chair in Teaching and Learning and Teaching Professor at the University of Calgary

A key contribution of the Federation’s Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Social Sciences report is its acknowledgement that “Academic work has impacts beyond the initial actions or outputs of the researcher, including effects from teaching” (p. 13). Indeed, the professor of folklore studies sketched in one of the report’s case studies identifies “to strengthen and open the minds of students” as one of two goals for his scholarship (p. 12). His aim is probably familiar to many of us in the humanities and social sciences. He wants to contribute to a wider body of knowledge (his first goal), but on a more human level, the knowledge he wants to contribute to and ultimately mobilize is his students’.

This goal goes beyond the clichés of “students are our future.” As humanists and social scientists, we are most interested in human understanding, expression, action, interaction, and consequence. We take seriously the effects people have on each other, from impressions to words to actions to social institutions to cultural traditions to historical legacies. In this context, the acts of our teaching and (more importantly) our students’ learning take on greater significance, especially when we understand that “learning” is much more than what students do in a paper or on an exam — as suggested by our hypothetical folklore colleague.

Given this significance, and returning to the goal of demonstrating the impacts of our scholarship, we (like our folklore colleague) need “to better understand the experiences of our students.”  We need to understand, assess and demonstrate the effects of our teaching on our students’ learning — with an appropriately complex definition of learning.

This effort is an area of scholarship in its own right, called the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). In Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (1990), Ernest Boyer proposed a broader explanation for the work that faculty do. In addition to the traditional notion of the scholarship of discovery, he pointed to three others with “separate, yet overlapping, functions”: “the scholarship of integration [e.g., interdisciplinary work]; the scholarship of application [e.g., community-based work]; and the scholarship of teaching(p. 16). Later, scholars of teaching added “and learning” to make explicit the attention to our students’ learning and not just our teaching

Our folklore colleague looks to the 16 rubrics from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) to assess his students’ learning related to his goal of strengthening and opening their minds. Perhaps he used the Intercultural knowledge and competence or Integrative learning rubric. And while he feels it’s important that “he is not himself an expert in assessing learning outcomes,” SoTL is grounded in the assumption that our disciplinary expertise is key in our work to understand, assess and demonstrate our students’ learning.

Our colleague, for example, is an expert in the many ways in which stories, beliefs, performances and other artifacts document the experiences of the individuals and communities that produce them. He is well equipped to bring his expertise to the work of SoTL and just needs the artifacts produced by his students to begin. He is primed to ask how artifacts like regular formative assessments (e.g., the minute paper, muddiest point), final ethnographic projects, think-alouds, or pre-/post-interviews document what’s going on in students’ minds. He could analyze such artifacts collected during the semester, and perhaps continue to collect relevant artifacts from some of the students throughout their folklore studies program. And what if he continued even well after graduation?

The Federation’s report acknowledges that “HSS scholarship has substantial impacts that are felt over long periods of time” (p. 7), making the ability to capture goals like “to strengthen and open the minds of students” within reach. Not simple, as most of our scholarship is messy, human stuff. This is the potential of the scholarship of teaching and learning, a vibrant, multidisciplinary, international field that has much to offer those interested in assessing impacts in the humanities and social sciences.

For more information on SoTL, see my online guide at http://sotl.ucalgaryblogs.ca/.


About this blog seriesFollowing the publication of the Federation’s report, “Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” we have reached out to other members of the research community to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities associated with assessing scholarly impacts. It is our hope that this series of blogs and our new report will help support a productive conversation in the HSS community about the important topic of scholarly impact assessment. 

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Media release: Federation President Guy Laforest to lead École nationale d’administration publique

 

Guy LaforestOTTAWA, July 14, 2017 — The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce that its President Guy Laforest has been appointed Executive Director of the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP), a member of the Université du Québec network.

Guy Laforest, who assumed the role of Federation President in May 2017, will begin his five-year appointment at ENAP on August 14, 2017.

“In the turbulent world in which we live in 2017, an institution like ENAP works to maintain and promote, through teaching and research, the great French-language humanism that is tied to the fate of Quebec society in North America and around the world,” said Laforest.

Guy Laforest is currently Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval, where he has taught for 29 years. He is an acclaimed scholar whose main areas of teaching and research are modern political theory, intellectual history, Canadian constitutional politics, and the theories of federalism and nationalism. Widely published in Canada and internationally, his current work is focused on the reinterpretation of Canadian federalism. Laforest is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada (2014) and a Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade de l’Association des parlementaires de la francophonie, at the National Assembly of Quebec (2013).

“The Federation is proud to see the prestigious appointment of our President to an institution dedicated to public service education and responsible citizenship, and we wish him the best of luck in his new role,” said Gabriel Miller, Executive Director of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
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Science Minister Kirsty Duncan attends largest ever Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 20 juin 2017

Gauri Sreenivasan, Director, Policy and Programs, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, attended the largest ever Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences that took place from May 27 to June 2 at Ryerson University, with over 10,000 in attendance. She offered remarks and awarded the 2017 Canada Prizes at a ceremony on Sunday, May 28.

This was Minister Duncan’s first major occasion since taking office to speak directly to the humanities and social sciences community, and her message was clear: the humanities and social sciences are disciplines key to Canada’s long term success.

This was a welcome message to our community, particularly at an event celebrating excellence in humanities and social sciences scholarship. The Canada Prizes recognize and celebrate the exceptional research that scholars in our community are undertaking. Their passion and dedication are an important part of what allow us as Canadians to better understand who we are — as individuals and as a country.       

Minister Duncan underscored the importance and value of the humanities and social sciences and referred to the recent report of the landmark independent panel examining Canada’s fundamental science system, chaired by former University of Toronto President David Naylor.  (See the full text of her speech here)

“I was pleased the Science Review clearly acknowledged the essential role of the full range of scientific and scholarly disciplines. ‘Research in the social sciences and humanities,’ it says, ‘holds equal promise to help Canada address many of the challenges the nation faces.’ I could not agree more,” said Minister Duncan.

“I truly believe that one of Canada’s key strategic advantages is our social science and humanities. Social science and humanities researchers provide evidence for sound policy making and train the next generation of critical thinkers... We will invest to support your research because we know that a strong culture of research and scholarship will help us build a bold, bright future for all Canadians,” she added.  

Kirsty Duncan

One of the Minister’s and our community’s top priorities are issues of equity and diversity. These are important priorities for Canada and for the academy itself.  Having the insight and perspectives from scholars of diverse backgrounds is crucial not only for justice and fairness, but to mobilize the knowledge and understanding required for an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. Inclusion begins with understanding diverse peoples, cultures and social relations, and the humanities and social sciences are an essential part of this process.    

“We must continue to work together to come up with more ideas on how we can make science look like today’s Canada – open, diverse and inclusive,” said Duncan. “I will be looking to the social science and humanities communities – since your communities have made great strides to be both diverse and balanced.”

Kirsty Duncan

The Federation looks forward to working with our members and the government to take up this important challenge together.  

About the Canada Prizes

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best books by Canadian scholars in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. Winners are selected from books that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, which is administered by the Federation.

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Arthur J. Ray, Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History (McGill-Queen’s University Press). Read the blog or watch the interview video about his work.

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales
Mylène Bédard, Écrire en temps d'insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usages de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840) (Presses de l’Université de Montréal). Read the blog or watch the interview video about her work.

 

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Big Picture at #congressh: It’s a wrap!

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 16 juin 2017

By Gabriel Miller, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Congress 2017 wrapped up on June 2, and I am still smiling from the success of the event. It was my first Congress so I wanted to share some highlights with you and take a moment to thank all those who participated.

It was an incredible week at Ryerson University, with a record-breaking number of attendees: more than 10,000 people! The depth of discussion and exchange of ideas was inspiring, and it left me with a lot to think about in the 12 months before we gather again next year in Regina.

Listen here to an interview about the importance of Congress. 

Congress host: Ryerson University

Thank you to Ryerson University for hosting this important event and finding innovative ways to introduce Torontonians to the humanities and social sciences. Ryerson University programming included an outdoor tipi installation, an experiential refugee hut, a thought-provoking discussion with Cornell West, a tour around its urban farm, and a truth and reconciliation tour in the streets of Toronto. And these are just some examples of the exciting Ryerson presents…programming I took in.

Minister of Science attendance

A major highlight for me was an opportunity to hear The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, address the Congress community when she attended the Canada Prizes award ceremony on May 28. 

“I was pleased the Science Review clearly acknowledged the essential role of the full range of scientific and scholarly disciplines. 'Research in the social sciences and humanities,' it says, 'holds equal promise to help Canada address many of the challenges the nation faces.' I could not agree more,” said Duncan.

“I truly believe that one of Canada’s key strategic advantages is our social science and humanities. Social science and humanities researchers provide evidence for sound policy making and train the next generation of critical thinkers,” she continued. Watch the video here:

Big Thinking

The Big Thinking series featured discussions that were thoughtful and at times difficult. We heard from thought leaders such as Mohamed Fahmy, Olivia Chow, Aja Monet, John Raulston Saul, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and Wade Davis.

Next 150 on Indigenous Lands

There were extraordinary discussions around truth and reconciliation. We heard from present and powerful Indigenous women and debated protocols and pedagogies of Indigenous ethics in the classroom.

In a session hosted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), leading scholars emphasized how important it is for Canadians to understand how knowledge within distinct Indigenous traditions is created, honoured and shared.

Marking Canada 150

Building on “The Next 150” theme, Congress organizers planned a series of events focusing both on Canada’s past and future. Among the topics discussed were our national identities and building interdisciplinary approaches to the humanities and social sciences.

Important Announcements

Congress 2017 was our last with Stephen Toope as President of the Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences. Mr. Toope has been a driving force for Congress and all of the humanities and social sciences. I am personally very grateful for his many contributions to this sector and to this organization.

At the same time, we welcomed our new President and Board Chair, Guy Laforest, at this year’s AGM. Mr. Laforest is a Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval and an acclaimed scholar whose main areas of teaching and research are modern political theory, intellectual history, Canadian constitutional politics, and the theories of federalism and nationalism. Widely published in Canada and internationally, his current work is focused on the reinterpretation of Canadian federalism.

The Federation also expressed its appreciation to Christine Tausig Ford for her leadership as Interim Executive Director of the Federation from October 2016 to April 2017. Thank you, Christine!

See you in Regina!

We’re already looking forward to Congress 2018, which will be hosted by the University of Regina. To find out more about what a great host city Regina will be, read this message from Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Regina. Personally, now that I’ve seen the vast programming possibilities and the tremendous learning opportunities of Congress, next year can’t come soon enough. Thank you to each and every one who was there this year, and I hope to see you at Congress 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Race, Justice, and Movement Building

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 8 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers, and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands” celebrates the history, legacy, and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27–June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Aja Monet began the final event of Congress 2017’s Big Thinking series by reading two of her poems with overwhelming force and charisma. Her first, “Dark Matter,” was a scathing criticism of the systems of power in capitalism, value assessment, and White supremacy that keep people of colour in perpetual states of inequality. Her second, “Black Joy,” celebrated sources and moments of pure joy with vivid images rolling off her tongue so rapidly it was almost impossible to keep up, ending with the statement that “true joy has always been and will always be justice.” Audience enthusiasm was palpable, and even an infant in the audience expressed his or her approval, to which Monet quipped that, “nothing really radical’s going on without a baby in the room.”

Interviewer Desmond Cole then engaged Monet on race, justice and movement building in North America and around the world. They spoke about language, about its power as a means of cultural making, remaking, and preservation, about how language is as much how you say something as what you say. Speech for Monet is a pathway to freedom: the same skills of self-expression used in rap can open doors and empower young people. It is also a component of the performance of identity played out on the body, but the language of poetry can express the interior world that the performance of identity obscures.

Cole asked Monet questions about her activism with the Dream Defenders and the Smoke Signals Studio, the latter of which she co-founded. Monet’s work with the Dream Defenders began as part of the Black youth movement to push society forward after the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, the massive protests in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer, and the many other examples of endemic violence perpetrated against Black people in the United States. That work took Monet to Palestine, where she met with young Palestinian activists and artists to collaborate on ways to stand up to state violence. Monet said that with corporate culture making nationalist lines of demarcation less and less relevant, oppression has become more and more unified, so we have to be unified across boundaries and borders in order to be free.

Monet co-founded the Smoke Signals Studio out of her home, and she spoke about how home for her is the first and most important safe space available to people of colour to start building a free society. It is the space where imagination can exist even in the direst of circumstances, and according to Monet there is nothing more powerful than a Black woman’s imagination. For this reason, she called on all of us to do more to foster the imaginations of our children.

It takes more than imagination, however, for Monet to survive and thrive in a world of violence against Black people and systems of White supremacy. When asked how she does it, Monet replied that it is through love—not romantic love but love of all kinds—that keeps her going. Being a lover for Monet is about doing right by yourself and others, making sure that your home is a place of love, and the love of the mundane and the everyday (food, housing, friends). Activism for her is not just about confronting the police and other tools of state violence and oppression: it is also about being of service to each other.

Internationally established poet, performance poet, singer, songwriter, educator, and human rights advocate Aja Monet was interviewed by activist, author, and award-winning freelance journalist Desmond Cole in Black Joy: Resistance, Revolution, & Radical Love, the final event of the Big Thinking lecture series at Congress 2017. 

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Collaboration is the way forward for the social sciences in policy making

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 8 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers, and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands” celebrates the history, legacy, and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27–June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Two social scientists and one natural scientist working at the intersection of public policy and academic research spoke on the challenges of bridging the gap between academia and policy making in Critical outlook: Social sciences and humanities’ role in public policy making.

Marie Clair Brisbois, who began her academic career in the natural sciences and left academia to become an activist before returning to the academy as a social scientist, said that the push for fact-based policy developed using the scientific method is still nebulous. According to Brisbois, there is still a lack of awareness among policy makers that social sciences can inform the process of how policy is made as well as its content. The culture of bureaucracy in Canada makes it challenging to present science, but social science has the advantage of already looking at the greater context of politics, economics, and society that informs policy.

Aaron Franks, whose Métis ancestry informs his academic and policy work, outlined the triple role of social science in policy making. The social sciences interpret information with critical tools and quantitative measures, contributing to a process-oriented system of policy making that maintains relevance over time while retaining knowledge of our past. Social science also functions as a critical lens for looking at and changing systems and changing policies to account for the particular. Finally, it is important for educating the public and keeping spaces for public discussion and criticism open, active, and vibrant. According to Franks, the humanities are too often relegated to the role of helping scientists or social scientists present their knowledge and findings rather than being allowed to contribute critically themselves.

Donna Kirkwood brought the perspective of a natural scientist to the panel, having worked previously as a scholar, a professor, and now a policy maker all in the field of geology. According to Kirkwood, federal scientists work primarily to provide information of significant public interest in fields such as forestry or natural resources. They provide scientific advice for different public agencies, laws, and regulations. However, the context surrounding science in society is becoming more complex, and federal scientists have to develop new methods in order to keep up. Kirkwood said that Canada is strong in fundamental research, but weak in developing that research into marketable end products. Science-guided public policy needs to be produced for the public good and needs to be reformed by working together with the social sciences and humanities in a new trend of collaboration within the policy making community.

All of the panelists also agreed that there needs to be more collaboration with the public. Brisbois proposed that we need to start looking at different methods of governance and different knowledge centres in order to account for the increasingly complex contexts in which public policy is developed, and Kirkwood suggested that federal and public scientists need to come to grips with the reality that there is no absolute truth, even in the natural sciences.

Critical outlook: Social sciences and humanities’ role in public policy making featured Donna Kirkwood (chief scientist, Natural Resources Canada), Marie Claire Brisbois (Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow, Natural Resources Canada), and Aaron Franks (Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) and was hosted by Mitacs at Congress 2017.

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Public Outreach and Combatting Populism: The Future of the Academy in the Public Sphere

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 8 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

What role does the university play in dealing with the very concrete threats of isolationism, abuse of minorities, and the closing of borders in nations around the world and here in Canada? Professors Homa Hoodfar, Bessma Momani, and Anver Saloojee spoke at length on this subject, as well as on the related issues of academic freedom and public engagement.

Hoodfar, who was recently imprisoned for four months in Iran for including feminist elements in her publication record, spoke about what academic freedom is and how we can use it to make our universities more relevant in an age of declining democratic institutions. While in prison, Hoodfar wrote on the walls of her cell with her toothbrush because she was denied writing materials. In that writing, she determined that academic freedom is a social capital left to the academy in trust for the betterment of society, and that capital must be reported on in order to be of use, especially in an age when academic discussion is seen as less and less relevant in the public sphere.

Saloojee spoke of the academy’s role in dispelling myths: the myth of Islamophobia, which is better understood and named as systemic and individual discrimination based on race, religion, class and gender; the myth of the woman in the hijab, bereft of agency or choice; and the myth of the brown Muslim fundamentalist terrorist, when terror comes from many varied sources, including the state itself. It is the role of the academy to uncover the root causes of alienation that result in individuals committing acts of terror as well as the roots of state terror.

According to Momani, universities will become irrelevant if they don’t change to address the rise of populism and increasing attacks on people and institutions that populism brands as “elite.” If academics can’t engage with and make themselves valuable in the eyes of the public at large, they will continue a slip toward irrelevance that is already taking place in the halls of power. While working in Washington, D.C. recently, Momani discovered that the term “academic” as used there is definitely not a compliment. Academics often see themselves as progressive, but the academy is today being cast as the establishment. Expertise is under attack, and the institutional barriers in place within the academy—an expectation to publish for other academics only, a culture that disincentivises public engagement—needs to fundamentally change to keep universities relevant and ensure that they continue to receive public support and funding into the future, as well as making sure the gap in the public conversation isn’t filled by pundits.

When asked by a graduate student in the audience who should be leading the way in changing the university system and bringing public engagement to the forefront, all of the panelists agreed: it is the job of established academics to change the system, the people on hiring and funding committees who enjoy the relative stability of tenure, to lead the way forward, not students or early career academics who might risk everything in the attempt to push through reform.

Open Borders, Open Minds: Academia in an Age of Growing Isolationism, with panelists Homa Hoodfar (Professor of Anthropology, Concordia University), Bessma Momani (Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance, University of Waterloo), and Anver Saloojee (Assistant Vice-President, International, Ryerson University), was hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Ryerson University as part of the “Ryerson presents…” series at Congress 2017. Watch the video.

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At 150, Canada must do more to protect human rights and press freedom both at home and abroad

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 8 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers, and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands” celebrates the history, legacy, and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27–June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Mohamed Fahmy first chose to settle in Canada because he perceived this country to be a haven for freedom of the press and basic human rights. It was in this same spirit that he chose to travel to Iraq and Egypt during the American-led invasion and the Arab Spring, respectively, to report on what he hoped would be the rise of democracy in the Middle East. Today, however, both democratizing projects stand incomplete, and the divide between democracies and dictatorships in their attitudes toward press freedom and the media is closing worldwide. In the United States, Trump’s criticism of the legitimate media lends legitimacy to dictators and despots who have made the same false claims for years, and journalists are targeted for violent repression and death more than ever by terrorists and states alike.

According to Fahmy, however, the Arab Spring has not been in vain, regardless of its failure to bring democracy to states like Egypt. It began as a breath of fresh air, with the participation of young people, including thousands of Canadian and American Egyptians, and it demonstrates that protest and activism can be successful in toppling dictators. Though the revolution has stalled, change is still going on all over the Middle East.

This change is taking place often in spite of, rather than thanks to, Western foreign domestic policy. Fahmy argues it was Western intervention and inexperience that have transformed places like Iraq, Libya and Syria into fertile grounds for terrorism. Moves toward reform and protection of democracy need to rely on more than just state intervention: you need NGOs, journalists, and activists working on the ground who are independent of local or foreign governments.

Fahmy also pointed out that freedoms aren’t only under threat or lacking in the nations of the Middle East. Right here in Canada, we lack laws that require the federal government to intervene on behalf of Canadians detained abroad; laws that our closest allies and our fellow developed nations like the United States and France enjoy. Journalism and the independence and freedom of the press are also suffering here in Canada: journalists are being forced to give up their sources in the name of security concerns, which inevitably leads to fewer people choosing to speak to the media, thereby reducing our ability to stay properly informed. Again, Canada lacks laws that protect journalistic sources, whereas many of our allies have them. Canada, it seems, still has a way to go to protect its citizens and its press freedoms.

Media in the Age of Terror featuring multi-award winning Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who while reporting on the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2013 was falsely accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood by the Egyptian government and imprisoned in the Scorpion maximum security prison for more than a year, was part of the Big Thinking lecture series at Congress 2017.

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Expanding the Academy and its Toolbox to Include Indigenous Research and Methodologies

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 8 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers, and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands” celebrates the history, legacy, and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27–June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Canadian academia needs to expand its methodological toolbox and its definitions of legitimate and fundable research in order to further the cause of Indigenous academic work, according to the panelists who participated in Wise research practices: Reconciliation and HSS research.

Chelsea Gabel of McMaster University—a scholar of Métis ancestry—described some of the findings of her current project that critically examines the methodological trends in social science research on Indigenous issues. Her findings show that Indigenous knowledge systems and epistemologies are not being published, that while there is a general increase in research into these issues that there is a concurrent decrease in participatory research, and that of the more than 200 articles encoded in the project so far, only 12 were Indigenous led. Gabel said that institutional norms and expectations are systematically biased against Indigenous-published research, meaning that Indigenous research is perceived in the academy as less valuable for earning tenure, acquiring funding, or other measures of academic success.

Margaret Kovach of the University of Saskatchewan—of Plains Cree and Saulteaux descent—described the difference between Indigenous research and Indigenous methodology. The two terms are often confused, which either overtly or inadvertently leads to the appropriation of Indigenous methodologies. According to Kovach, Indigenous research is an umbrella term for projects concerned with Indigenous issues that may or may not make use of Indigenous methodologies. A lack of inclusion or participation by Indigenous researchers or communities should raise flags, as there should always be reciprocity for the betterment of the communities involved. Kovach defined Indigenous methodologies as those based on Indigenous knowledge systems, resulting in research processes guided by Indigenous philosophies. Indigenous methodologies must include a belief in, valuing, and acknowledgment of these systems, and an understanding that they are separate from Western systems. They are living, breathing, changing systems of stories and oral traditions of pre-contact origin, and their use should be led by Indigenous people. For Kovach, who can use these systems is dictated more by relationships than personal identity: their proper use is all about benefiting the community.

Heather Castleden of Queens University (and the only scholar of settler ancestry on the panel) said that White scholars working on Indigenous research have to do so in allyship and solidarity with Indigenous communities, and that they have to become comfortable with the politics of their work. With “reconciliation” being the keyword of the year, academics and researchers must ensure that they aren’t merely “checking the right boxes” or adhering to mere tokenism on the part of settler scholars. Castleden said that settler scholars need to spend more time listening and understand that their relational work is more important than research product. For too long, Indigenous knowledge has been delegitimized. Castleden ended with a genuinely funny story of her own first foray into Indigenous research fieldwork where she learned quite thoroughly just how ill equipped (materially and intellectually) she was to go hunting for caribou in the Northwest Territories in January, and pointed out that humility and humour are essential for settlers doing Indigenous research.

Wise research practices: Reconciliation and HSS research featured panellists Margaret Kovach (Associate Professor, Educational Foundations, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan), Chelsea Gabel (Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies Program and Department of Health Aging & Society, McMaster University), and Heather Castleden (Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities, Queen’s University) and was a hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Congress 2017.

 

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HPHD Futures: The humanities PhD in 2027

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 7 juin 2017

Guest blog by Anna Ryoo, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HPHD Futures roundtable brought together four leading thinkers and institution builders to share their thoughts on what the humanities can or must become by 2027 and to consider how PhD programs should be rethought and redesigned over the next 10 years. The panelists were Frédéric Bouchard, Professor of Philosophy and Deputy Vice-Rector for Research, Creation, Discovery and Innovation, Université de Montréal; Barbara Crow, Professor of Communications Studies, and Dean of Graduate Studies, York University; Robert Gibbs, Professor of Philosophy and Director at Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto; Heather Zwicker, Professor of English and Dean of Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Alberta. It was moderated by Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Director of the TRaCE Project, McGill University. 

One of the common threads was their positive outlook on the future of the PhD and the need for recognition of its value, particularly how it can meet the demands of evolving societal needs. Bouchard sees that those with a PhD in the humanities or the social sciences will increasingly become appreciated for understanding how our society is changing, and he foresees dramatic changes in universities over the next decade. Gibbs underscored the importance of restructuring programs from the undergraduate level so that students can be equipped and aware of research skills and other knowledge required to get into intensive research practices by the time they enter doctoral programs. His view is that it is important for the academy to move toward mentoring the ‘relationship and multiplication’ potential of students in their research rather than the application ‘replication’ model that sees students becoming exactly like their teachers. Crow, a strong advocate of student-centered approaches, conveyed the importance of cultivating pedagogical strategies throughout the PhD program as well as becoming more aware of issues around equity and mental health of students. Zwicker envisions PhD research that is more outward-facing, collaborative, and connected to social issues. To do so, she suggests we should consider what it means to take part in ethical engagement as well as consider the shifting contexts for what will define excellence in doctoral work.

This roundtable, “HPHD Futures: The humanities PhD in 2027,” was hosted by Federation for the Humanities and Social Science at Congress 2017 at Ryerson University in partnership with the TRaCE Project.

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At 150, Canada’s Grades Are Mixed at Best

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 2 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Canadians have plenty to be proud of after 150 years of Confederation, but we still have very far to go toward creating a truly equitable society. The panel of speakers asked to evaluate our nation at Grading Canada at 150 all spoke about Canada’s past and present with stark honesty and laid out recommendations for the future to help us avoid repeating our past mistakes in the next 150 years.

James Bartleman, past Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and a veteran of the Canadian foreign service, was perhaps the most positive of the speakers, pointing out that Canada’s multicultural society is the envy of the world, but reminded the audience that the Indigenous population of this country doesn’t share that envy or have a rightful place in that society.

Professor Veronica Strong-Boag (UBC) spoke about language, about how lies haunt the evolution of the English language, how the commentary of Canada has abounded with deception, and that linguistic disrespect such as ethnic or gender slurs are ultimately used to justify violent repression and forced consent, either by individuals or governments.

Professor Eugénie Brouillet, George Elliott Clarke, and Jean-François Nadeau each spoke about the history of Canada as a constitution of many parts. While Professor Brouillet celebrated Confederation as a contract of compromise among many parties, Clarke pointed to our history and currently reality as a society deeply stratified along racial and class lines, one that can only be made equitable though a redistribution of power and wealth.

In perhaps the panel’s most impassioned talk, Jean Teillet spoke about why the theme of this year’s congress and the celebration of 150 years of confederation is difficult for her as the grandniece of Louis Riel. She spoke about the hidden history of Canada’s broken promises to the Métis people, of the “reign of terror” perpetuated by “the Canadas” and John A. Macdonald in Manitoba from 1870–1873, and the injustices that are still perpetuated today as the Métis are still denied their land rights.

The panel may not have agreed on everything, especially the subject of forgiveness and forgetting with regard to our nation’s past wrongs towards Indigenous peoples and people of colour, but the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences isn’t always about reaching a consensus: it is about opening a dialogue between different voices, all of whom have something to contribute to the betterment of the academy and the nation.

Grading Canada at 150 was a panel made up of James Karl Bartleman, Professor Veronica Strong-Boag, Professor Eugénie Brouillet, George Elliott Clarke, Jean-François Nadeau, and Jean Teillet, and was hosted by the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) at Congress 2017. Professor Michael Bliss was scheduled to attend as well but passed away on May 18, 2017.

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Congress 2017 in the news - June 2

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 2 juin 2017

Online Coverage

What you're actually saying when you say 'I dunno': The many meanings of a peculiar phrase (Calgary Herald (Online))
Date: Jun 01, 2017
Thousands of academics have gathered in Toronto this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on everything from whether poutine is a form of cultural appropriation to Canada's uncomfortable relationship with nakedness.

Also appears in:

  • Edmonton Journal
  • Montreal Gazette
  • Regina Leader-Post

A Tribe Called Red performs at Lake Devo (The Eyeopener (Online))
Date: Jun 02, 2017
By Sarah Krichel The Native DJ group A Tribe Called Red performed on June 1 at Lake Devo as part of Congress 2017.

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Indigenous Women: Keepers of the Past, Leaders into the Future

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 2 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

The audience of Tuesday’s Big Thinking event entitled “Present and Powerful Indigenous Women” was the loudest and most enthusiastic of any I have experienced so far at Congress. The three members of the panel—Tracey Lindberg, Maatalii Aneraq Okalik, and Maria Cambell—were all greeted with raucous applause and cries of joy when they took the stage.

Okalik, an Inuit activist and administrator and student at Carleton University, spoke first, outlining the plight of her people as a result of disruptive and violent Canadian government policy that sought to eradicate their entire way of life. She spoke about the enormous changes that the Inuit have faced over the last three generations, the epidemics of poverty, suicide, and disease that have ravaged their communities as the result of their gross inequities, and the strength of the women in those communities who have historically held — and continue to hold — their communities together. She let the audience know what it is that Inuit youth and the Inuit community seek more than anything: protections for Inuit language, Inuit culture, and the resources to stem the tide of suicide sweeping their communities.

Lindberg, a specialist and teacher in Indigenous law, spoke on the role of women as repositories for culture in Indigenous communities. She said that Indigenous women do more than pass their laws and customs on to the next generation: that they are also the enforcers of that law, and that we have for too long ignored their agency and self-determination. Indigenous women have powerful voices, ones that all Canadians need to heed, that remind us that we have an obligation to take care of each other and our environment.

Campbell, an elder and author whose contributions have spanned multiple generations, said that she has been asked the same questions for the last 58 years and continues having to give the same answers. She spoke about land, about broken treaties and agreements, about the disenfranchisement of Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and about the need to redress injustices that have remained unanswered for decades, no less centuries. She also spoke of the role of Indigenous women as leaders in the movement to heal the damage we have done and continue to do to our environment. Campbell pointed out that Canadians today enjoy good lives today thanks to the work and sacrifices of Indigenous women: the punishing injustices of the past and present and the heavy load of rebuilding and healing that Indigenous women seem predetermined to bear into the future.

All three panelists spoke eloquently, with passion and real conviction, and successfully argued that it is women who are leading the way to changing the world.

Present and Powerful Indigenous Women featured Tracey Lindberg (award-winning academic writer and teacher Indigenous studies and Indigenous law at the University of Ottawa, and the first Indigenous woman to earn a PhD in law from a Canadian university), Maatalii Aneraq Okalik (President of the National Inuit Youth Council, a Director of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Inuit Circumpolar Council-Canada’s Board of Directors, and member of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut Board of Directors, the National Committee on Inuit Education, and the Atausiq Inuktut Titirausiq Task Force), and Maria Campbell (award-winning Métis playwright and author of seven books, including the ground-breaking 1973 novel Halfbreed that initiated a rebirth of Aboriginal literature in Canada, and Elder in Residence at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Athabasca University), and was hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences as part of the Big Thinking series at Congress 2017.

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Protocols and pedagogies: Indigenous ethics in the classroom

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 2 juin 2017

Guest blog by Anna Ryoo, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

How might culturally specific Indigenous protocols around storytelling inform pedagogical practices? How do such protocols illuminate the ethical parameters of both story-sharing and pedagogy as a means of calling us into relationships?

Moderated by Sam McKegney, Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Queen’s University, the five speakers at the Congress 2017 session entitled Protocols and pedagogies: Indigenous ethics in the classroom offered each of their takes on the question of how to “weave together experiential evidence, personal reflections and critical commentary in an effort to flesh out the ethical boundaries of, and to think in very practical ways about, engaging with Indigenous protocols in a variety of pedagogical settings.”

The first speaker was Kim Anderson , Associate Professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph, who focused on issues around gender narratives in Indigenous stories and their implications. Raising common stereotypes, such as how Indigenous female characters are characterized in films and how the male characters are often portrayed as heterogeneous and heroic, the central questions for her were: “Where are we going to have red flags raised, and how will we set them up?” In other words, what are we teaching, and how are we teaching about these stereotypes? For Anderson, besides bringing in media literacy and providing opportunities for students to think and talk about their dreams and aspirations to address these issues, what is more important is to remember that everything is a story, and that story is where we come from.

Assistant Professor of English at Laurentian University Michelle Coupal was the second speaker, and she began her talk with a narrative. By showing the audience what she practices as an educator, sharing her pedagogical strategies, and using her own identity to complicate the settler-colonialism paradigm, she offered a different tone and perspective on this panel.

The third panelist was Sarah Henzi, Adjunct Professor in the Department of First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University. Acknowledging the significance of storytelling in various forms, from texts to performances and films, the central question she raised was how to textualize storytelling traditions. Henzi emphasized the importance of creating moments of engagement through which we may reconnect with emotion and heart, but also with what most of us often forget – with head and heart. Discussing several works of art, she demonstrated how unsettled pedagogy might be offered and practiced.

Warren Cariou, Associate Professor of English, Film, and Theatre and Canada Research Chair at the University of Manitoba, shared the ways he is attempting to think with the notion of “visiting” in his scholarship. Drawing from how the elders teach that many important things happen in the visiting, Cariou suggested using visiting as a way to foreground the non-agenda-based moment in a classroom, or perhaps even turning the classroom into a visiting space to rethink about our current system.

The final speaker Dovie Thomason, or she who carries stories,” shared powerful stories that made the audience occupying every chair in the room laugh, empathize, learn, think, feel and then laugh some more. No form of text can replace what and how she shared her poetic stories with us, but her stories showed humour, wisdom, and humility.

Panelists, thank you for such powerful conversations!

The roundtable discussion “Protocols and pedagogies: Indigenous ethics in the classroom” took place at Congress 2017 and was jointly hosted by the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (CACLALS) and the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

The Doctoral Dissertation – A Consultation

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 2 juin 2017

Guest blog by Anna Ryoo, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies co-hosted a Congress 2017 event to offer scholars and students a chance to participate in a round table discussion on the future of the doctoral dissertation. This is part of a year-long set of consultations based on the CAGS discussion paper on the same topic. The consultation was facilitated by Heather Zwicker, a humanities scholar and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta, and Lisa Young, a social science researcher and Dean at University of Calgary.

Participants at the session – who included graduate students, graduate program directors, deans of graduate studies and professionals working in the field – shared their perspectives on graduate education in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and two issues percolated to the top: time to completion, and the quality of supervision and pedagogy.   

Probing these further led to an animated discussion on PhD and doctoral education as a whole. Some of the issues raised were specific to humanities and social science disciplines.

  • The move toward alternative forms of the dissertation – whether the three articles model or inclusion of non-traditional components – challenges the scholarly monograph. One participant asked: Isn’t the pursuit of the PhD perhaps the only time that a student can learn the skills needed to write a scholarly monograph?
  • How does the tradition of individual scholarship affect the graduate student experience in the Social Sciences and Humanities? Would supervisors have more invested in their students if they routinely co-published with them, as is the case in the STEM disciplines?
  • How well do other components of the PhD prepare students to write a dissertation? Are they equipped with the skills they need before they start working with their supervisor on their own thesis? Can programs be structured to better prepare them?
  • In light of the challenging academic job market in the Humanities in particular, should the dissertation be altered? Should the model be ‘one form fits all’ or should we move toward a ‘bespoke’ model in which the form of the dissertation is different for students who want to pursue an academic career, and those who do not? Would this create two “levels” of PhD?

A lively discussion of alternative forms and formats for the dissertation, noting that this challenges the boundaries of scholarship. Here, the participants identified an important role for faculties of graduate studies in highlighting exemplars, to give students and supervisors an idea of what is possible.

This consultation shows us — as have many other consultations that have taken place across Canada — the need to engage in ongoing conversations and the need to reimagine the PhD.

The workshop session entitled “The Doctoral Dissertation – A Consultation” was held at Congress 2017 in partnership with the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies.

 

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Media release: Federation welcomes Guy Laforest as new President

 

Laforest assumes presidency during largest Congress on record, with 10,014 attendees

OTTAWA, June 2, 2017 — The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to welcome Guy Laforest as its new President of the Board of Directors.

Guy Laforest assumed this role at the Federation’s May 28, 2017 Annual General Meeting held at Ryerson University in Toronto, succeeding Stephen Toope who has completed his two year term. Laforest's term as President extends through May 2019. The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is also welcoming three new members to its Board of Directors.

“It is my great honour to assume the position of President of the Federation’s dynamic and engaged Board of Directors,” said Guy Laforest, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to outgoing President Stephen Toope for his stewardship of the Federation over the last two years and for the leadership he has shown in advancing the organization’s membership focus.”

“It is a particularly auspicious time to take on this role, as the Federation wraps up what has been the largest Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in the event’s 86-year history, hosted this year on the Ryerson University campus. With 10,014 in attendance from 70 different associations, I am so proud to head up an organization that brings the spotlight to the important work of the humanities and social sciences both for the intellectual heritage of Canada and for the future of the country,” Laforest stated.

Guy Laforest is Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at Université Laval and is an acclaimed scholar whose main areas of teaching and research are modern political theory, intellectual history, Canadian constitutional politics, and the theories of federalism and nationalism. Widely published in Canada and internationally, his current work is focused on the reinterpretation of Canadian federalism. Laforest is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada (2014) and a Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade de l’Association des parlementaires de la francophonie, at the National Assembly of Quebec (2013).

The composition of the 2017-2018 Board membership for the Federation was announced April 6, 2017, following an online nomination and election process, and all Board members who were elected, acclaimed or re-appointed in that process assumed their new roles effective on May 28, 2017.

The Federation’s new Board of Directors for 2017-2018, effective May 28, 2017:
Guy Laforest, President - Full Professor, Université Laval
Stephen Toope, Past President - Director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
Carmen Charette, Treasurer - Vice-President, External Relations, University of Victoria
Cindy Blackstock, Director, Equity and Diversity - Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada; Professor, McGill University, and Director, First Nations Children's Action Research and Education Service (FNCARES)
Anne-Marie Fortier, Chair, ASPP Academic Council - Professor, Département des littératures, Université Laval
Tim Goddard, Director, Teaching and Learning - Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Prince Edward Island
Sandra Lapointe*, Director, Associations - Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, McMaster University
Claudia Malacrida*, Director, Research Policy - Associate Vice-President Research, Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
Michael E. Sinatra, Director, Research Dissemination - Professor, English Department, Université de Montréal
David Sylvester*, Director, Institutions - Principal, Associate Professor, Department of History, King’s University College at Western University
Julia Wright, Director, Associations - Professor, Department of English, Dalhousie University
Lisa Young, Director, Institutions - Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

*Indicates new members to the Board

-30-

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees

Congress 2017 in the news - June 1

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 1 juin 2017

Print Coverage

What we really mean when we say 'I dunno': An investigation into Canada's multipurpose conversation tool (National Post (Online))
Date: Jun 01, 2017
Thousands of academics have gathered in Toronto this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on everything from whether poutine is a form of cultural appropriation to Canada's uncomfortable relationship with nakedness.

Online coverage

Cornel West sounds off (Ryerson Today)
Date: Jun 01, 2017
Superstar philosopher talks Trump, capitalism and loving the sinner at Congress 2017

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Asking the hard questions on the nature of care in social work

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 1 juin 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Professor Christina Sharpe (Tufts University) opened the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) conference at Congress on Monday night by asking some very tough questions about the nature of social work as it relates to people of colour. Professor Sharpe spoke passionately about social work’s dark legacy as an extension of the anti-Black, White settler project of nation building and social work still being diagnostic, still a product of nineteenth century racialized values of social Darwinism, and still an extension of state-sponsored violence.

According to Professor Sharpe, the term “care” itself is deeply problematic. She linked it back to the name of a seventeenth century Dutch slaving ship and to acts of modern violence such as the removal of Black children from their homes and the force-feeding of hunger strikers carried out under the rubric of care by the state. She drew a direct line between the triaging of a young black girl injured in the 2010 Haitian earthquake, marked by US military personnel with the word “ship” on her forehead, and the division and placement of African slaves into ships bound for the Americas during the slave trade.

She spoke about the wake of trauma: unlike the wake of a boat, which is always lessened by a well-made ship, the wake of trauma is always maximal, always larger and far reaching than the trauma itself. For Professor Sharpe, we need to understand that since its inception, social work has been used to systematically violate Black people under the guise of helping them, whether consciously or unconsciously, and we need to remake social work and reformulate our idea of care to become an antidote for that violence.

In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, delivered by Professor Christina Sharp (Tufts University), was hosted by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Creating safe spaces for language, culture and life

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 31 mai 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Kevin Lamoureux, Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs and a doctoral candidate at University of Winnipeg, kicked off the “Remembering our past, rethinking the next 150 years and beyond” session with a bang. He disarmed the audience with his warm and self-deprecating sense of humour before dropping a proverbial emotional bombshell in recounting the circumstances and suicide of a young Indigenous woman named Kathleen.

This story provided grave context to Lamoureux’s definition of Indigenization, which he devised after seeking the advice of elders and knowledge keepers within the Indigenous community: for Lamoureux, Indiginization is all about safety. It is the need to establish safe spaces for the most marginalized members of our society who may not have safe spaces at home. He pointed out the responsibility of the academy to guarantee a place of physical and cultural safety for Indigenous students and scholars in a postcolonial society. He pointed out that establishing these spaces requires a lot of hard work and will be difficult to achieve, but he was buoyed by seeing so many allies packed into the standing room only event.

Professor Judy Iseke (University of Alberta) spoke passionately about the need to conserve Indigenous languages and her concerns at the current emphasis on the superficial in Inidiginization processes in the academy. For Professor Iseke, preserving Indigenous languages means preserving their accompanying knowledge systems, and retaining a people’s stories is the key step in retaining respect for them. Her own work in preserving language and stories began very personally, with the recording of her own family’s stories as recounted by her aunt, but quickly expanded beyond her personal context.

Both panelists also spoke passionately about opening space for Indigenous scholars and Indigenous languages in the academy. Lamoureux pointed out that language is synonymous with culture, and that culture is whatever seems normal to you. Language is also synonymous with power: language can be a material asset, one that can open doors or shut them just as quickly, and native speakers of dominant languages often take for granted the privileged position their circumstances provide. Professor Iseke pointed out that universities here in Canada still operate in the colonial languages of English or French, and that it is now time to push the boundaries that suppress Indigenous languages by opening space for students to write and present their work in their native Indigenous languages.

The panel closed with an Indigenous graduate student and member of the audience thanking the panelists for modelling how to be an Indigenous academic and showing the way forward for future Indigenous scholars.

Kevin Lamoureux and Judy Iseke together made up a panel discussion entitled Remembering our past, rethinking the next 150 years and beyond at Congress 2017 at Ryerson University. This cross-disciplinary session was co-hosted by: Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Canadian Historical Association (CHA), Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) and Canadian Sociological Association (CSA). 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Concrete Change Begins with Empathy, but It Doesn’t End there

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 31 mai 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

According to the panelists at a Congress session called “On Indigenous lands: Empathy and social justice,” the formation and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada constitute just the first and very incomplete step in addressing the injustices that plague Canada both past and present. 

For Professor Joanna Quinn (Western University), reconciliation is the intersection of empathy and justice and the discovery or rediscovery of facts surrounding gross abuses of human rights. However, past examples show that societies emerging from such trauma aren’t immediately open to truth commissions, but are usually reticent if not openly hostile to such processes. How then can people be made to care about uncovering these truths and about what others have suffered? According to Quinn, the “soil” of post-conflict society needs to be “amended” for reconciliation and transitional justice through what she terms “thin sympathy” for the other: a basic understanding of how the other lives, what happened to them, and a simple acknowledgment of their humanity. However, thin sympathy is just the leading edge of understanding, the initial move toward generating “thick sympathy” and eventual empathy.  The reconciliation process requires at least thin sympathy among outsiders and bystanders, and without a combination of empathetic champions and at least thin sympathy at a critical mass in the general population, reconciliation cannot succeed.

As an Indigenous academic and a constitutional scholar, Professor Kiera Ladner (University of Manitoba) brought unique and deep insight to the panel. She pointed out that reconciliation needs to move beyond empathy to concrete action. While current reconciliation programs in countries like Canada and Australia—where Ladner has worked for the last seven years on constitutional reform—focus on relatively narrow elements of endemic injustice, these efforts need to be refocused on the issues that really matter to Indigenous peoples: land, sovereignty and self-determination. According to Ladner, Indigenous peoples don’t want “one big hug” as part of a nation building process. Instead, the very notion of the “Aboriginal problem” needs to be flipped on its head: it is not an issue of Indigenous peoples needing to reconcile with Canada, but an issue of non-Indigenous Canadians needing to learn our nation’s true history and find out what it means to live on Indigenous lands. All Canadians need a greater understanding of Indigenous law and what it means to live under treaty law and as a treaty people.

Sociologist that he is, Professor Fuyuki Kurasawa (York University) proposed a taxonomy of three tasks in reconciliation: remembrance and commemoration, acceptance and assuming responsibility, and justice as a process of decolonization. He also pointed out that the process of reconciliation here in Canada is collectively asymmetrical. Non-Indigenous Canadians cannot determine if reconciliation has been achieved or demand that Indigenous peoples accept it: this right must be ceded to the victims of systemic injustice and violence. He pointed out that reconciliation is a relational, ongoing process that always has the potential to fail, and that there are no shortcuts or half-measures.

All three panelists pointed out that understanding and education are important first steps in the path to reconciliation and reform, but they remain first steps only. Real change can only take place when justice is brought forth through concrete measures.

Professors Joanna Quinn, Kiera Ladner and Fuyuki Kurasawa participated in a panel discussion entitled On Indigenous lands: Empathy and social justice at Congress 2017 at Ryerson University, and hosted by the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists at the Royal Society of Canada.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

How we treat our land Now will determine our country’s future

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 31 mai 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

According to the incomparable Wade Davis, it is the role of anthropology to show us that every culture has something to say and each deserves to be heard. And that the people of the Sacred Headwaters have something spectacular to share with us — something that needs to be protected and preserved. For Davis, the story of the Sacred Headwaters is deeply personal, because this region, one of the last places on earth to receive sustained contact with Europeans and their North American descendants, is where he chooses to call home.

Speaking with his customary eloquence and humour, and accompanied by his own stunning photographs of the region, Davis described a unique landscape of mountains, rivers, lakes and glaciers under threat from unscrupulous venture capitalists and self-centred politicians looking forward to the next election, not the next generation. Various mining and natural gas extraction programs have fallen to their own short-sightedness, but the provincial government of British Columbia needed to justify huge spending at taxpayer expense and so allowed Imperial Metals to set up gold and copper mining operations in the area that have contaminated the land, water and air.

To Davis, this is not a question of mines or no mines, but where to build those mines, at what cost, and to whose benefit. Imperial Metals has removed billions of dollars worth of gold from Northwestern BC, and none of that money has gone to infrastructure for the people living there. Davis pointed out that this is not just a local issue: it is about our future as a society and a country. It is about whether we are going to continue to allow people with no connection to the land to exploit it and leave scars on the physical and human infrastructure in the name of development and profit at any cost. He called for a regeneration of hope for real democracy, and for a return to accountability and transparency.

The Sacred Headwaters: The Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass was part of the Big Thinking lecture series at Congress 2017. 

Canada and Hungary are both celebrating their 150th birthdays: What can each learn from the other’s example?

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 31 mai 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Do the nation-states of Canada and Hungary share anything beyond their modern founding in the year 1867? This was the topic up for discussion at “Nation and Narrative: Challenges Moving Forward,” a panel and roundtable discussion hosted by the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) on May 27. Panelists Gregor Kranjc, Steve Jobbitt, Eva Kovacs, and Derakhshan Qurban-Ali presented a diverse selection of papers on subjects including the history of post-Hapsburg Hungary, the rise of Catholic Nationalism in neighbouring post-Soviet Slovenia, and contemporary Hungarian attitudes toward refugees in the current European refugee crisis.

After their presentations, the panelists opened up the discussion to include the audience, which generated some very lively discussion. When one audience member expressed sincere doubt that Canada and Hungary share anything of substance beyond the year 1867, Professor Jobbitt (Lakehead University) pointed out that the foundation (or re-foundation) of both nations have to be put into the global context of nineteenth-century imperialism: both were junior partners in a larger imperial project, and both Canada and Hungary were the subjects of nation building as a “colonial process.” A detailed discussion of these similarities is missing from the literature, but it is precisely to further explore these comparisons that the panel was held.

Of special interest were the historic and contemporary attitudes toward refugees in Canada and Hungary. While Ms. Qurban-Ali (McGill University) described the dominant narrative in Hungary today that represents refugees as a threat to Hungarian national identity, the other panelists touched on the history of Hungarian refugees following the failed revolution of 1956. In response, one audience member brought up the notion that in 1956, the Canadian popular media celebrated the influx of Hungarian refugees, stating that they would “ennoble a young nation,” and audience and panel alike wondered where sentiments like these are in a contemporary Canada that is supposedly so welcoming to refugees. In a popular discourse where accepting refugees is so often portrayed as an act of humanitarian charity, highlighting the good done by the host country for the refugees, where is the discussion of the good that refugees bring to their host country?

TheNation and narrative: Challenges moving forward” panel discussion was part of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC) program at Congress 2017.  

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Congress 2017 in the news - May 31

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 30 mai 2017

Print coverage

The forgotten nudes of Canada (National Post)
Date: May 31, 2017
Thousands of academics have gathered in Toronto this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on everything from whether poutine is a form of cultural appropriation to the ampersand as a symbol of gentrification. 

 

Also appears in the following outlets: 

  • Saskatoon StarPhoenix
  • Vancouver Sun
  • Calgary Herald
  • Ottawa Citizen
  • Edmonton Journal
  • Windsor Star
  • Montreal Gazette
  • Regina Leader-Post

Online coverage

Canada's forgotten nudes: Prudishness wasn't only reason genre was lost in Group of Seven's shadow (National Post (Online))
Date: May 31, 2017
Story on a paper presented to the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences on Wednesday at Ryerson University. *Also ran in the print edition of multiple newspapers.

City and colour (Ryerson University (Online))
Date: May 30, 2017
You are now in the main content area City hall is lit up in Ryerson's colours in recognition of the university hosting Congress 2017 May 30, 2017 Photo: Toronto city hall is lit up in blue and gold in honour of Ryerson hosting this year's... 

​Broadcast coverage

CityNewsTonight (Citytv Toronto (CITY-TV))
Date: May 30, 2017
Airtime: 23:03
greaves adventist academy are committed to providing quality education and enriching learning experiences to its students. while we work through the concerns stated by parents and other stakeholders, we welcome those associated with the school to contact the quebec conference office of education.

CityNewsTonight (Citytv Toronto (CITY-TV))
Date: May 30, 2017
Airtime: 23:07
down and speak with them. meanwhile the landlord tenant board hearing is set for next wednesday. that's when the rent increase at the first of five buildings in parkdale could be approved. 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Congress in the news - May 30

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 30 mai 2017

Online Coverage

Poutine A Victim Of Cultural Appropriation, Argues Quebec Researcher (HuffPost Canada)
Date: May 29, 2017
The paper will be presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University.

Whose junk food is it anyway? (RCI (Online))
Date: May 29, 2017
The paper will be presented this week at Ryerson Univeristy in Toronto, Ontario at a Congress of the Humanties and Social Sciences as part of the Oh Humanities series.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

#SeeYouInRegina

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 29 mai 2017

Guest blog by Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Regina

We are now officially a year away from Congress 2018 and, as host university, we are thrilled to invite you to our community! 

Regina has proudly hosted a number of large-scale events in recent years – the 2013 Grey Cup, the 2013 Juno Music Awards, and the 2014 North American Indigenous Games come to mind. What strikes visitors to events such as these is the unique way our community comes together to ensure attendees feel welcomed and experience the hospitality for which Saskatchewanians are known across Canada.

Community is at the heart of who we are and what we do.  It is also the inspiration for the theme for 2018, “Gathering diversities,” which honours Regina’s history as buffalo hunting grounds and a sacred meeting place for generations of Indigenous peoples.

Situated on Treaty Four land and nestled in Wascana Centre, Canada’s largest urban park, the University of Regina campus will provide a beautiful setting to bring people together in the spirit of building community at Congress 2018.

To help bring us together, we are developing academic and cultural programming such as: the Community Connections series which will explore how scholarly knowledge can contribute to the vitality of diverse communities; Cultural Connections events to share Saskatchewan’s rich artistic and cultural life through performances; and the Big Thinking lecture series to spark discussion about critical questions and issues, including Margaret MacMillan and Alaa Murabit".

At Congress 2017, we are in the Expo space in Booth #1. Do come and see us.

To learn more about our plans, please visit and explore this Congress 2018 website often: www.congress2018.ca

We look forward to welcoming you to Regina!

#SeeYouInRegina 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Congress in the news - May 29

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 29 mai 2017

Print coverage

The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says (National Post (Online))

Date: May 28, 2017
A paper on "Poutine Dynamics" will be presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University. *Also ran in the print edition of National Post and other postmedia papers.

Also appears in the following outlets: 

  • Saskatoon StarPhoenix
  • Vancouver Sun
  • Calgary Herald
  • Ottawa Citizen
  • Edmonton Journal
  • Windsor Star
  • Montreal Gazette
  • Regina Leader-Post

Broadcast coverage

Evenings on The Weather Network (CWEA)
Date: May 28, 2017
Airtime: 21:19
Interview with Arlene Throness, urban agriculture co-ordinator for the Urban Farm at Ryerson University.

Overnight on The Weather Network (CWEA)
Date: May 29, 2017
Airtime: 01:18
inc. expects them increased wave height winds from the southwest ramping up the water along with lake shore regions of the overnight hours.

Overnight on The Weather Network (CWEA)
Date: May 29, 2017
Airtime: 02:18
inc. expects them increased wave height winds from the southwest ramping up the water along with lake shore regions of the overnight hours.

The Morning Show (CWEA)
Date: May 29, 2017
Airtime: 05:18
inc. expects them increased wave height winds from the southwest ramping up the water along with lake shore regions of the overnight hours.

Overnight on The Weather Network (CWEA)
Date: May 29, 2017
Airtime: 04:18
inc. expects them increased wave height winds from the southwest ramping up the water along with lake shore regions of the overnight hours.

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Media advisory: Former prisoner of conscience Professor Homa Hoodfar speaks to the implications of closing borders on scholarship and democracy, along with other notable academics at Ryerson University on May 30

 

A 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences public event features a moderated discussion on the implications of closing borders for scholarship, teaching and democracy.

EVENT:                 Open borders, open minds: Academia in an age of growing isolationism

DATE:                    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

TIME:                    6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

LOCATION:          IMA-Image Arts 307 – Lecture and Screening Room
                               School of Image Arts
                               Ryerson University
                               122 Bond St, Toronto, ON

This conversation will focus on the impact of restrictions on the free movement of people and ideas across borders, the targeting of Muslim and other minority populations, and the role of academics in the humanities and social sciences in helping us understand and take on these challenges.

Featured speakers include Concordia Anthropology Professor Homa Hoodfar, who was detained in Tehran's infamous Evin prison for over 100 days last year, alongside
Mohamed Lachemi, President, Ryerson University (introductory remarks)
Bessma Momani, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance, University of Waterloo
Anver Saloojee, assistant vice-president, International, Ryerson University
Stephen Toope, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (closing remarks) 

This event is free, and is open to the public and the media.

–30–

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 86th year, Congress brings together over 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2017 is hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.congress2017.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media contact and interview requests:
Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

 

Media release: Leading authors, poets, journalists and activists define new ways of approaching the next 150 at Canada’s largest ever Congress at Ryerson this week

 

TORONTO, Daily, Tuesday May 30 to Thursday June 1, 2017 – Leading scholars and public figures will address critical issues facing Canadians at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, taking place from May 27 to June 2 at Ryerson University with a record-breaking 9,600 attendees. Speakers will present forward-looking research and thinking to stimulate ongoing discussions within the public and broader academic community, underscoring the valuable contributions of the humanities and social sciences to a free and democratic society.

Speakers include Indigenous authors Maria Campbell and Tracey Lindberg and award-winning journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Desmond Cole, among others. All events are presented with simultaneous interpretation between English and French. The public and media are welcome to attend any event in the lineup, free of charge:

Present and Powerful Indigenous Women
Tracey Lindberg, Maatalii Okalik, and Maria Campbell
May 30 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Hear the voices of three path breaking Indigenous women from different generations as they explore wide-ranging issues and challenges for women’s roles in shaping the future of their communities and of Canada:  Métis playwright, Elder in Residence at Athabasca University and author of Halfbreed Maria CampbellTracey Lindberg, Cree author of the novel Birdie and Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa; and President of the National Inuit Youth Council Maatalii Okalik.  

Media in the Age of Terror
Mohamed Fahmy
May 31 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Mohamed Fahmy was Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo in 2013 when he was falsely accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and imprisoned in the Scorpion maximum security prison for over 430 days. Join this award winning Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist as he discusses how press freedoms and ethics remain threatened, and the role NGOs, academics, and human rights advocates can and must play.

Black Joy: Resistance, Revolution, & Radical Love
Aja Monet and Desmond Cole
June 1 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Black is deeper than a color or identity politic. It is a conceptual approach and perspective on engaging with the world. We live in the nuance beyond binary definitions. How do we expand our narratives versus simply sharing them? Join award-winning performance poet and human rights advocate Aja Monet for a performance and conversation with freelance columnist and activist Desmond Cole.

The Big Thinking series lineup at Congress 2017 is sponsored by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Universities Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

–30–

About Big Thinking
Hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Big Thinking lecture series brings together high-profile speakers who present forward-thinking research, bringing to light the valuable contribution of the humanities and social sciences to a free and democratic society. Big Thinking at Congress is sponsored by Universities Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 86th year, Congress brings together over 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2017 is hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.congress2017.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media contact and interview requests
Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

 

Reconciling Past Wrongs and Redefining Citizenship

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 29 mai 2017

Guest blog by Caleb Snider, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

In the first of Congress 2017’s Big Thinking series, writer and activist Professor Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, public figure and politician Olivia Chow, and author and philosopher John Ralston Saul discussed ways forward for redefining citizenship in the light of a critical re-examination of our history and our nation.

Professor Sinclair began the discussion by describing how Indigenous notions of citizenship are based on family: to be a good citizen is to be a good family member. This means not merely to have a series of individual rights and freedoms, but to have serious responsibilities to take care of each other and the world around us. Decrying the human centrism of the values and notions we inherited from Europe, Sinclair reminded the audience that the story of Canada is being continuously written by more than just humans: plants, animals, birds, water, and rocks are all “textual creators” contributing to our history, our identity, and of course our environment. As citizens, said Sinclair, it is our duty to read the earth and question the literacy of those of us who seek to exploit our natural resources, regardless of the consequences, to the detriment of all.

Olivia Chow reminded us that the story of Canada’s past, present, and future is not only that of the fraught relationship between the Indigenous people and colonial populations—a history marred by racism, exploitation, and genocide. Canada’s story is also that of the early immigrants of colour, such as the Chinese immigrants who built the railroad only to be denied citizenship by blatantly racist immigration laws. Chow also urged officials and government departmental different levels to find institutional initiatives—from parks to school systems— to help new Canadians better understand Canada’s colonial history.

John Ralston Saul called for the complete reimagining of our public institutions, including our political system and our universities. According to Dr. Saul, the Westphalian European system has fundamentally failed Canada, directly contributing to the institutionalized racism that has marred our history, and that our status as one of the most successful immigrant states in the modern world was achieved in spite of that inheritance, not because of it. He said we must carry the burden of our past wrongs while rediscovering and reinventing our concepts of citizenship and nationhood by looking toward and embracing our multicultural system based on Indigenous values rather than European ones. For Saul, this begins with putting Indigenous and Canadian philosophy front and centre in future curricula.

Going forward means rethinking our relationship to our past, our environment, or each other. Whether it is facing the harsh reality that “racism is the fabric of the country” according to Sinclair or admitting that “the European relationship to the land is barbaric” according to Saul, it is our responsibility to look to a new partnership with Indigenous peoples and to all peoples and cultures in Canada to find new models for our institutions and new ways of working together.

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Olivia Chow and John Ralston Saul together delivered a Big Thinking lecture entitled Five hundred years of building diversity: Canadian citizenship at the future’s edge yesterday at Congress 2017 at Ryerson University. Watch the video here

 

 

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Congress in the news - May 27

Partagez ceci:
Dimanche 28 mai 2017
May 27, 2017

Print Coverage

Canada's largest academic conference debates country's democracy (The Globe and Mail (Online))
Date: May 26, 2017 
If thousands of academics are talking to each other about their research, does it matter if no else hears them? That is the challenge that has confronted the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the annual gathering of academics from across the country, since...

The Canadian identity crisis (National Post)
Date: May 27, 2017 
Thousands of academics have gathered in Toronto this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on everything from whether poutine is a form of cultural appropriation to the ampersand as a symbol of gentrification.

Online Coverage

Mike Myers' nostalgia for Golden Age of nationalism highlights a Canadian identity crisis: professor(National Post (Online))
Date: May 27, 2017 
Thousands of academics have gathered in Toronto this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on everything from whether poutine is a form of cultural appropriation to the ampersand as a symbol of gentrification.

Brandon University professor examines anti-violence initiatives in new book (Brandon University (Online))
Date: May 26, 2017 
Dr. Corinne L. Mason has released her first book. Manufacturing Urgency studies initiatives by the development industry to address violence against women BRANDON, Man.

Future of reconciliation top issue at upcoming Ryerson conference (Toronto Metro)
The next 150 years of the reconciliation journey could very well begin to take shape in Toronto this week. Canada’s top social science minds will gather at Ryerson for a series of events, starting Saturday, tackling the country’s most pressing issues, from social justice and equity to world politics and immigration.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Journalism + Academia = Better information

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Scott White, Editor, The Conversation Canada

There’s a sad irony facing society today: at a time when people need strong journalism more than ever, the business model of the legacy journalism industry is broken and may be beyond repair. In a world where “fake news” has found its way into the lexicon over the last year, how will Canadians get factual and important information they need to help them make informed decisions about significant issues in their lives?

One solution can be found in the world of academia. Consider the possibilities if academics, armed with years of knowledge, expertise and research relevant to many of today’s current events, could work with journalists to provide a new form of journalism.

That’s exactly the model for The Conversation Canada. I’m the new Editor of The Conversation Canada and we will be launching our new journalism startup later this spring.

The Conversation Canada is the sixth national edition of the global Conversation network. Since its launch in Australia in 2011, The Conversation has expanded to the UK, the US, France and Africa, as well as a global site. The network has more than 85 commissioning editors and nearly 50,000-plus academics registered as contributors, of whom more than 400 are based in Canada. Each article is written by scholars in their area of expertise, published under Creative Commons and freely available to be republished anywhere.

Dr. Alfred Hermida, director and associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism who has been working with his UBC colleague Dr. Mary Lynn Young for two years to bring The Conversation to Canada, recently described the project as “journalism that provides greater context and explanation for things that are happening in the news.”

Currently, The Conversation network attracts 4.8 million users worldwide per month, and reaches 35 million through Creative Commons republication. Over 22,000 media outlets use content from The Conversation, including The Washington Post, Maclean’s, Le Monde, The Guardian, Time Magazine and The Hindu.

These numbers continue to grow, and we are very excited to bring The Conversation to Canada. But we need your help.

Ideas for The Conversation Canada articles will work like this: academics can pitch articles to our newsroom or our editors will reach out directly to universities and registered authors to find a scholar with expertise on the topic we want covered. We will be providing articles on a wide range of subjects: science, health and medicine, education, technology, politics, arts and culture, economics, business, energy, environment and society.

Academics around the world have found writing for The Conversation is professionally rewarding. Articles aimed at a broader audience builds their profiles and means wider dissemination of their research. Authors also receive extensive metrics on how many readers view their articles, where it’s viewed and what publications republished The Conversation article under Creative Commons. And there are more reasons to write for The Conversation.

To be a lead author on an article, you must be a current researcher or academic. Associate, adjunct or honorary roles with universities can also write, as can undergraduate students or masters candidates if they are writing as a co-author with a current researcher or academic. You can register as an author now or contact us and we’ll do it for you

The Conversation Canada will be launching later in June – and that means we’re commissioning articles right now. So if you have an idea, please drop me a line – or better yet, attend our free workshops on How to Write for The Conversation Canada to be held Monday, May 29 from 12.30 to 2.00 p.m. in Room 183 of the Rogers Communications Centre at 80 Gould Street.

Scott White is the new Editor of The Conversation Canada. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Press, Canada’s national news service which provides multimedia content in English and French to hundreds of media outlets across the country. He has an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the School of Journalism at Ryerson.

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Research and ProgramsCongress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Big Picture at #congressh: Storytelling in the Digital Era

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Karen Leiva, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

In this digital era, the humanities and social sciences are vital to advancing technologies, creating content and spurring innovation.  It’s no surprise then, that research on media and social media will be a key component of Congress 2017. From violence in cyberspace, to issues of authorship and originality online, top humanities and social sciences researchers from across the country will explore these budding issues.

The Storytellers
Nadia Naffi, a PhD candidate at Concordia University is one of 25 finalists in The Storytellers contest, run by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). In this video, Nadia looks at “How Canadian Youth Construe their Role in the Integration & the Inclusion of Syrian Refugees”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of this annual contest, SSHRC challenged post-secondary students to tell the story — in three minutes or 300 words — of how SSHRC-funded research is making a difference in the lives of Canadians. 

The top 25 finalists from SSHRC’s Storytellers contest will be telling their stories at Congress 2017 before a live audience and a panel of expert judges, including Paul Kennedy, host of CBC Radio’s Ideas. On May 29 from 10 am to noon, come find out who will be this year’s Final Five winners — or follow along virtually with #congressh and #SSHRCStorytellers.

Ou avec #congressh et #RécitCRSH. Qui seront les cinq grands gagnants de cette année? Venez le découvrir! 

For more information:
https://www.congress2017.ca/calendar/1804

What’s on: 3 sessions to look for

Brexit, Trump and the rise of radical right populism in the West: Is democracy in danger?
May 31, 10:30 to 12:00
Presenter: Sheri Berman, Mark Blyth, Jacob T. Levy, Christopher S. Parker

At scale and under pressure: How social media platforms moderate and choreograph public discourse. 
May 31, 5:30 pm – 7pm
Speaker: Tarleton Gillespie

Big Thinking lecture: Media in the Age of Terror
May 31, 12:15 to 13:15
Mohamed Fahmy, award‐winning journalist

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Big Picture at #congressh: Exploring Canada’s diversity

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Karen Leiva, Congress 2017 Blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Homophobic slurs in the NHL.
Academic and press freedoms curtailed by imprisoning dissenters.
National debates about washrooms for transgendered people.
Rising suspicion of Muslim people.
Refugee mothers trying to help their children go to school in Ontario.
The media’s portrayal of Indigenous women as victims.

These are the kinds of events, actions, issues and trends that are fueling current – and much needed –debate in our country around equity, diversity, gender, and race.

Congress researchers and presenters know that understanding people, cultures, institutions and social relations helps to build an inclusive and prosperous society. We know that research evidence from all perspectives provides the best outcomes when it comes to shifting policy or shaping our national identity. That is why you can expect to find a wide array of lectures and presentations examining many of these critical issues of today.

What’s on: 3 sessions to look for

Big Thinking
Five hundred years of building diversity: Canadian citizenship at the future’s edge

You won’t want to miss this session with Olivia Chow,  John Raulston Saul and Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair who will explore topics related to diversity, citizenship, inclusion — and exclusion — in Canada. Expect a thoughtful presentation that explores the following:

  • Is Canada built on the ideals of inclusion, diversity and full citizenship?
  • Where did these ideals come from, are we living up to them, and where are they going?
  • What will community and Canadian citizenship mean in the new millennium and what must we do to reach these ideals?

Exploring Open Borders
The topic of citizenship and diversity will be further explored in Open Borders, Open Minds: Academia in an age of growing isolationism. Here, leading academics will discuss the role of the humanities and social sciences in addressing the implications of closing borders for scholarship, teaching and democracy. It’s an issue particularly important these days with current debates around closing borders and restricting movements of some populations. Also during this session, expect comments from Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences President Stephen Toope.

On the Subject of Race and Democracy
Important discussions around diversity and race continue with An Evening with Cornel West. Dr. West, known for his passion, humility, grace and humour, is one of America’s most outspoken critics on race, poverty and democracy. Many know Dr. West through his books, Race Matters and Democracy Matters. Expect a thought-provoking session led by this civil rights activist who is committed to keeping alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr, as he explores topics of race and justice which are at the core of the Congress 2017 theme: Canada and “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands.”

 

 

 

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Big Picture at #congressh: Welcome to Congress 2017!

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Karen Leiva, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

For the first time in over a decade, the premier event for Canada’s scholarly community returns to Toronto. From May 27 to June 2, Ryerson University is hosting more than 9,000 distinguished academics, policy makers, researchers and practitioners at the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.  

Join us!
Experience Canada’s top speakers, researchers and cultural performers. This year Congress hosts 274 free, public events, including daily Big Thinking lectures, a Ryerson Presents… series, and cultural and reconciliation programming.

Big Thinking 
The Big Thinking lecture series features forward-thinking research, ideas and solutions to critical questions and issues of our time, and takes place every day at 12:15 -1:15 p.m. in the Ted Rogers School of Management’s lecture theatre. Open to the public, this year’s line-up includes:    

On-site registration open every day!  

 

Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, welcomes you to Congress 2017:
“Congress is an important moment in Canada each year, when some of the country’s greatest researchers come together to share ideas that will help us forge a brighter future. The humanities and social sciences are invaluable in that they encourage the difficult conversations that surface the ideas and issues that help us better understand ourselves and the world in which we live. In today’s global climate, it is imperative that we draw insight from our disciplines to help us respond creatively to Canada's evolving challenges.” 

 

Here’s what Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University said about the opening of Congress 2017:
“We are very proud and honoured to host Congress 2017 at Ryerson University. Research in the humanities and social sciences has never been more important, it is an integral part of understanding and effecting meaningful change, innovation, discovery and economic growth.”

 

Here’s a message from Pamela Sugiman, Dean, Ryerson University Faculty of Arts:
“The social sciences and humanities nourish the intellectual hunger of students and faculty, as citizens, employees and leaders in our global society. We provide the inspiration and skills needed for critical scholarly inquiry, the production of knowledge and its real-world application. At Congress 2017, Ryerson University will promote dialogue with scholars and researchers across the country, and showcase our coming of age as a diverse and inclusive innovative university.”  

 

 

 

 

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Big Picture at #congressh: Canada 150

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Karen Leiva, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

There’s no doubt that Congress has played an important part of Canada’s history – for 86 years, Congress has been uniting the country’s leaders in the humanities and social sciences to move the country forward. To mark Canada’s 150th, Congress 2017 has planned a series of lectures and sessions that focus on the country’s history and explore the next 150 years to come.

We asked Ryerson University’s Dean of Arts, Pamela Sugiman, to tell us about the importance of Canada 150 at Congress 2017.

 

“Congress is an opportunity to showcase the social sciences and humanities, and given that it is Canada’s 150th birthday, we wanted to integrate the theme to draw parallels between the past and future,” she said. “A lot of work being presented at Congress shows the currency of history; for example, racism is a part of Canada’s past and it persists today, but with some different groups targeting different communities.”

 As a third generation Japanese-Canadian, Dean Sugiman recognizes the similarities between Canada’s treatment of Japanese Canadians and the current treatment of Muslim people. During the war, her grandparents and parents were interned from British Columbia to Ontario – even though they were Canadian citizens at the time.

“These are some of the very issues that will be addressed in Congress, particularly during the session Open Borders, Open Minds which will examine: What does citizenship mean? Does race overpower citizenship, regardless of your legal status in the country? Do perceived threats to national security diminish your citizenship?

“It’s important that we examine these kinds of issues. When you do, you can see the parallels between the past, present and future.”

What’s on: 3 sessions to look for

Timeline 150: Québec, Canada, and the weight of history
May 29, 12:15 – 13:15
Panelists: Jocelyn Létourneau, professor of history at Laval University and 2006 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellow; and Andréanne LeBrun, doctoral student in history at Sherbrooke University and 2015 Trudeau scholar.

Grading Canada at 150
May 29, 19:00 – 21:00
Panelists: George Elliott Clarke, James Karl Bartleman, Michael Bliss, Veronica Strong-Boag, Eugénie Brouillet, Jean-François Nadeau, and Jean Teillet.

Remembering our past, rethinking the next 150 years and beyond
May 29, 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Presenters Lee Maracle, Pamela Palmater and Murray Sinclair

 

 

 

 

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Transcending click rates and page views using social sciences research

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Vendredi 26 mai 2017

York University postdoc applies anthropology principles to social media strategy

Guest blog by Robyn Dugas, Content Specialist, Mitacs, Inc.

If you’re running a company, a social media presence is probably an essential component of your marketing strategy. Your impact can be measured in terms of clicks and impressions — but what if you wanted to get a deeper, more personal idea of how social media works?

Treefrog, based in Newmarket, Ontario, knows all about social media for businesses. It provides a variety of marketing services to clients, including ‘traditional’ social media strategy. But a series of conversations between Sean Stephens, Treefrog CEO, and Laurie Baker, then an anthropology PhD candidate at York University, sparked a shift in how the company approaches social media.

Together, Sean and Laurie decided to embark on a project that would see Laurie bringing her anthropology expertise to strategy development, with financial support from the  Mitacs’ Elevate program. Rather than focusing on traditional outcomes like lead generation and promotion, Laurie engaged in a deep dive for Treefrog’s clients: Who are the people behind social media? What are their individual pinch points? How are end users reflected in social media posts? How could an in-depth examination of the people behind a company drive that company’s social media strategy?

Simply put, Laurie theorized that a people-centred approach based in anthropological practice — examining social media channels as individual ecosystems, exploring people’s relationships to technology, and better understanding the people on both ends of a social media exchange — would not only yield desirable business outcomes, it could provide a more engaging social media presence for Treefrog’s clients. And she was right. In addition to its existing services, Treefrog now offers clients “digital ethnographies,” which apply ethnographic research to digital spaces (rather than geographic ones).

One of the rewards for Laurie has been the opportunity to play an influential role in an emerging field of study: “It’s only within the past five years that digital anthropology has been a serious subject of study,” she explains. “This project is helping serve as a bridge not just to clients, but also back to the academy. Due to its relatively young age, social media doesn’t yet have an established theoretical understanding. So it’s both exciting and challenging to be at the forefront of this research.”

Postdocs: Build your career through a two-year research management training program and postdoctoral fellowship. Mitacs Elevate is accepting applications until June 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. PDT.

Mitacs is hosting the following events at Congress:

About Mitacs
Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that delivers research and training programs for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. We work with universities, companies and not-for-profit organizations, international partners, and governments to build partnerships that support social and industrial innovation in Canada.

 

 

 

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

My top 5 things to do at Congress 2017

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University 

There is so much at Congress 2017 that it would be impossible to get to everything. What  are the must-sees  during your visit to Ryerson and Toronto? It is difficult to choose, but here is a list of my top 5 things to do at Congress 2017.

1. If you don’t see anything else, explore these buildings on our campus – Ryerson Image Centre, Mattamy Athletic Centre and the Student Learning Centre. They are some of our newest and most exciting additions to campus.

You won’t be able to miss the Ryerson Image Centre, adorned just recently with an enormous  panorama of iconic Canadian personalities including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Pierre Trudeau and Mary Pickford. The Centre is for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media, and is famously home to the Black Star Collection of 250,000 photographs spanning 80 years of photojournalism. During Congress, the Suzy Lake exhibition is featured.

The Mattamy Athletic Centre is the award-winning result of a massive restoration of the former Maple Leaf Gardens. Historic elements of the building are meticulously retained within a design that makes for a working and lively athletic centre for our students, including an NHL-sized ice rink. The building is open to the public. One of the displays features the Gardens’ original time capsule from 1931 -- a surprise discovery during the renovation.

Walk into our Student Learning Centre (SLC) on Yonge Street and see what a 21st-century university space looks like. Built with student input, the SLC is a space for students to collaborate, study and explore new ideas. Through design and function, the building is also helping to transform Toronto’s downtown core.

2. Ryerson is an urban university, so make time to visit unique Toronto neighbourhoods minutes from our campus – such as Queen Street West, Graffiti Alley, Chinatown, Little India, the Distillery District, Kensington Market, the Waterfront, Sugar Beach and Toronto Island, to name a few.

The Truth and Reconciliation on the streets of Toronto tour is a special Ryerson presentation during Congress. Plus, there is a bonus for those wanting to go further afield: May 27-28 is the annual Doors Open Toronto, where 150 public and private buildings are open to visitors.

3. If culture is your focus, check out the cultural programming at Congress. I suggest seeing A Tribe Called Red. The group mixes traditional pow wow vocals and drumming with cutting-edge electronic music. Their self-titled album was included in The Washington Post’s top 10 of the year. If you would like to explore city-wide offerings, I suggest the Bell Tiff Light Box ; Massey Hall, the Danforth Music Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario (where there’s a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit), or the Inside Out Toronto LGBT film festival.

4. Ryerson Presents… programming is unique to Congress. See the Indigenous tipi art installation; visit the exhibit Contested Lands, Canada at 150 from our Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre, which explores hidden voices in our history; tour the DMZ, the #1 ranked university-based incubator in North America; hear Ryersonians in conversation about issues of the day -- Kamal al-Solaylee, journalist and associate professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism; Peter Bregg, renowned photojournalist and 2016 Order of Canada recipient; and April Lindgren, associate professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism.

5. Above all, make the most of Congress opportunities: connect, network and have fun.

This list could be much longer, and I guarantee that whatever your interest, there is an opportunity to explore it at Congress 2017 hosted by Ryerson. Enjoy, and I hope to see you here!

Mohamed Lachemi

President and Vice-Chancellor

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Three independent publishers. Three landmark anniversaries in 2017.

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Vendredi 26 mai 2017

Guest blog by Matthew Adams, Between the Lines Publicist

In 2017 three Canadian publishers and Congress 2017 exhibitors — University of Manitoba Press, Between the Lines and Fernwood Publishing — will celebrate big anniversaries.  See below for more information about the party!

Founded in 1967, the University of Manitoba Press (UMP) is a leading publisher of books on Indigenous studies and Canadian history. UMP produces books that combine important scholarship with a deep engagement in issues and events that affect our lives, including immigration studies, ethnic studies, the study of Canadian literature, culture, politics, Indigenous languages and a wide-ranging list of books on the heritage of the peoples and land of the Canadian prairies. UMP books have been recognized for their excellence with dozens of prestigious awards.

In 1977, a small group of activists founded Between the Lines (BTL).  BTL’s first book, The Big Nickel: Inco at Home and Abroad, was a muckraking attack on the multinational mining company. Since that first book, BTL has published more than 400 titles—all covering issues of social justice, and many award-winning — leading a Geist Magazine reviewer to proclaim, “Between the Lines has made itself one of the most interesting book publishers in the country." This year, the BTL collective celebrates “40 years of books without bosses.”

Since 1992, Fernwood Publishing has published over 450 non-fiction titles that confront and contest intersecting forms of oppression and exploitation. With the acquisition of the Roseway Imprint in 2006, Fernwood branched into fiction. Founder Errol Sharpe says that “In an era when the restructuring of capitalism seems to be threatening to erase many of the gains that have been made by the oppressed in society, we think that our books have a part to play in bucking the trend.”

 Books, Beer, and Birthday Cake: Three independent publishers. Three landmark anniversaries. One party! May 31, 7:00 pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street. All welcome.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Media release: Ryerson hosting largest ever Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

 

9,100 attendees in Toronto May 27 – June 2

TORONTO, May 26, 2017 – With a record-breaking 9,600 registrants, this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Toronto will be the largest in the event’s 86-year history. Taking place from May 27 to June 2 at Ryerson University, Congress is a meeting of the minds, featuring leading scholars and public figures who will address critical issues facing Canadians.

The Big Thinking lectures at midday all week offer speakers who will present forward-looking research and thinking to stimulate ongoing discussions within the public and broader academic community, underscoring the valuable contributions of the humanities and social sciences to a free and democratic society.

Speakers include award-winning journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Desmond Cole, anthropologist Wade Davis, writer and scholar John Ralston Saul and former Member of Parliament Olivia Chow, among others. All events are presented with simultaneous interpretation between English and French. The public and media are welcome to attend any event in the lineup, free of charge:

Five hundred years of building diversity: Canadian citizenship at the future’s edge
John Ralston Saul, Olivia Chow, and Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
May 27 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Is Canada built on the ideals of inclusion, diversity and full citizenship? Where did these ideals come from, are we living up to them, and where are they going? Join former Member of Parliament Olivia Chow, award-winning essayist and novelist John Ralston Saul and Anishinaabe scholar and commentator Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair as they explore ideas of belonging and exclusion on the eve of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The Sacred Headwaters: The Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass
Wade Davis
May 28 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
In northern British Columbia in the Sacred Headwaters valley, three of Canada’s most important salmon rivers are born in remarkably close proximity, yet the area has been opened to industrial development. The resounding message of the people is that no amount of gold, copper or coal can compensate for this sacrifice. Join Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology and BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at The University of British Columbia, for his talk on the struggle that will continue until the entire Sacred Headwaters is protected.

Timeline 150: Québec, Canada, and the weight of history
Jocelyn Létourneau and Andréanne LeBrun
May 29 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
What is our understanding of the history of Canada and Québec, and how does this understanding shape our relations and identities? Join Jocelyn Létourneau, Professor of History at Laval University and 2006 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow, and Andréanne LeBrun, doctoral student in history at Sherbrooke University and 2015 Trudeau Scholar, to discuss the diversity of views of the past and the challenges and possibilities that these views carry for the future. This event is sponsored by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Present and Powerful Indigenous Women
Tracey Lindberg, Maatalii Okalik, and Maria Campbell
May 30 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Hear the voices of three path breaking Indigenous women from different generations as they explore wide-ranging issues and challenges for women’s roles in shaping the future of their communities and of Canada:  Métis playwright, Elder in Residence at Athabasca University and author of Halfbreed Maria CampbellTracey Lindberg, Cree author of the novel Birdie and Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa; and President of the National Inuit Youth Council Maatalii Okalik.  

Media in the Age of Terror
Mohamed Fahmy
May 31 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Mohamed Fahmy was Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo in 2013 when he was falsely accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and imprisoned in the Scorpion maximum security prison for over 430 days. Join this award winning Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist as he discusses how press freedoms and ethics remain threatened, and the role NGOs, academics, and human rights advocates can and must play.

Black Joy: Resistance, Revolution, & Radical Love
Aja Monet and Desmond Cole
June 1 - 12:15 - 13:15
TRSM 1-067 – Auditorium
Black is deeper than a color or identity politic. It is a conceptual approach and perspective on engaging with the world. We live in the nuance beyond binary definitions. How do we expand our narratives versus simply sharing them? Join award-winning performance poet and human rights advocate Aja Monet for a performance and conversation with freelance columnist and activist Desmond Cole.

The Big Thinking series lineup at Congress 2017 is sponsored by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Universities Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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About Big Thinking
Hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Big Thinking lecture series brings together high-profile speakers who present forward-thinking research, bringing to light the valuable contribution of the humanities and social sciences to a free and democratic society. Big Thinking at Congress is sponsored by Universities Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 86th year, Congress brings together over 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2017 is hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.congress2017.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media contact and interview requests
Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

 

Big Picture at #congressh: The Next 150 on Indigenous Lands

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 25 mai 2017

Guest blog by Karen Leiva, Congress 2017 blogger

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

With the overarching theme of Congress 2017 being “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands,” expect to find programming that acknowledges the country’s colonial past and present practices, and looks ahead to forging new relationships towards positive change and reconciliation in an inclusive and respectful manner. Sessions range from keynotes and presentations from thought leaders such as Deborah McGregor, Lee Maracle and Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, to academic sessions and participatory events, including a KAIROS blanket exercise and a session on re thinking pedagogy for university classrooms

One event to look out for is the Truth and Reconciliation on the Streets of Toronto Tour.

While there wasn’t an "Indian Residential School" in Toronto, this tour led by First Story Toronto will take you by church, government and educational sites connected to this history. Guides will also share other facts about Indigenous history in the city.

Did you know?

  • Ryerson University is named after Adolphus Edgerton Ryerson, who developed the educational model for Canadian “Indian Residential Schools”
  • Jarvis Street is named after Samuel Jarvis who was the Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Upper Canada in the 1800s. He was removed from this position for stealing money from the sale of Indigenous properties.
  • Davenport Road is an old Indigenous trail that dates back, possibly a millennia. The trail was there before the Europeans arrived, and eventually it became a paved road and trading route.
  • Spadina is a Mississauga-Ojibwa word meaning ‘a rise in the land’

“This is a Truth and Reconciliation Tour,” says tour co-leader Jon Johnson of First Story Toronto. “The first thing that has to come is the truth; you have to talk about what happened and make sure people know what happened. Once you really understand what happened, you will see how racism, colonialism, and structural inequalities have created disadvantage and trauma among Indigenous peoples and communities that continue to affect Indigenous peoples today.

“Once you’ve done that, you can begin earnestly working with Indigenous communities to dismantle colonial structures, and that is the reconciliation part. Once work towards reconciliation begins in earnest, then you can start to talk positively about the next 150 years.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Tour of Toronto Streets is open to the public. Tours are scheduled for May 28 and May 31.

What’s On: 3 Sessions to Look For

1. Indigenous knowledge systems, decolonization and research innovation in Canada
    May 30, open to the public, 18:30 - 21:30
    Presenters include: Zoe Todd, Jill Carter, Carrie Bourassa, Dawn Martin Hill, Jean-Paul Restoule, Deborah McGregor, Marie Battiste, Kim Anderson, Falen Johnson, Leah Levac and others.

2. Remembering our past, rethinking the next 150 years and beyond
    May 29, 13:30 PM – 14:45
    Moderator: Frank Deer, University of Manitoba. Panelists include: Kevin Lamoureux, University of Winnipeg; Lee Maracle, University of Toronto; Pamela Palmater, Ryerson University; Senator Murray Sinclair.

3. Building a common digital infrastructure to sustain Algonquian languages
    May 31, 10:30 – 12:00
    Speakers: Marie-Odile Junker, Inge Genee, Heather Bliss, Bill Jancewicz, Mary Ann Corbiere,     Yvette Mollen

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Exhibiting Nation: Multicultural Nationalism (and Its Limits) in Canada’s Museums

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 25 mai 2017

Guest blog by Caitlin Gordon-Walker, interdisciplinary scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Exhibiting Nation: Multicultural Nationalism (and Its Limits) in Canada’s Museums begins with my memories of visiting the Royal BC Museum as a child, as a young adult, and  later  as a museum scholar. I have a nostalgic fondness for this museum and its exhibitions, but also see reflected within them commonly held narratives of the province and more broadly the nation, which by celebrating a certain form of unity in diversity also work to inscribe particular kinds of limits on the diversity they seek to celebrate.

While my personal sense of uneasiness with these narratives provided the impetus for my research, the research itself was sustained by my interest in two distinct yet intertwined sets of contradictions. The first is expressed within a particular kind of Canadian nationalism – specifically the multicultural nationalism that understands Canada to be a nation that has found unity, not in spite of diversity but precisely because of it. When discussing my research, I often encountered people, especially non-Canadians, who seemed perplexed by my desire to examine Canadian multicultural nationalism from a critical perspective. While I appreciate the positive implications of such a form of nationalism, I recognize that, like every nationalism, multicultural nationalism operates on the joined principles of both inclusion and exclusion. It thus inevitably imposes limits on the kinds of diversity it can accept.

The second set of contradictions is expressed in the institutional setting of the museum. Historically, museums have been authoritative and disciplinary institutions. They encourage certain forms of thought and behaviour and are often seen to represent the Truth. In relation to multicultural nationalism, they tend to represent a unified multicultural nation and promote particular forms of multicultural citizenship. At the same time, museums are organizations of people; in every sense, they are dialogical. This was abundantly clear in my research – in my interviews with curators and other museum professionals, in my observations of and discussions with museum visitors, and in my engagement with museum exhibitions and spaces. In relation to multicultural nationalism, this means that museums not only uphold the basic tenets of multicultural nationalism – and its limits – but also offer a space in which these can be challenged and reimagined.

In drawing together an analysis of multicultural nationalism and museums, my aim is to demonstrate how each sheds light on the ways in which the other operates, and so provide a better understanding of the character of the kinds of limits each must work with. I have tried to show how such an understanding can enable more creative and productive conversations about how these limits might be contested. While I do not think it possible to offer alternative models that would escape all limitations, I hope that the frameworks I offer for thinking about the potential of the points of contradiction in both museums and multicultural nationalism will be useful for developing specific strategies to promote more dialogical encounters within museums and more dialogical interpretations of the nation.

Caitlin Gordon-Walker is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work draws together perspectives from the fields of anthropology, political theory, history, museology, sociology, geography, literature, and visual and material culture studies. Her research explores the politics of museums and other forms of public cultural representation, both in Canada and elsewhere, in relation to nationalism, colonialism, and difference.

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

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Media advisory: Science Minister Kirsty Duncan to award 2017 Canada Prizes at Congress on Ryerson University campus on May 28

 

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce that The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, will offer remarks and award the 2017 Canada Prizes at a ceremony in Toronto at 4:00 pm on Sunday, May 28.

EVENT:                 Canada Prizes 2017 – Awards ceremony and a conversation with authors

DATE:                    Sunday, May 28, 2017

TIME:                    4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

LOCATION:         ENG-Engineering 304 – Sears Atrium

George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, Third Floor
Ryerson University campus
245 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 1Z4

Celebrating the best Canadian scholarly books across all the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, and now in their 28th year, the Canada Prizes are awarded annually to books that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

This year’s two winners were announced on April 10:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Arthur J. Ray
Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History
McGill-Queen’s University Press
Awarded $5,000

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales
Mylène Bédard
Écrire en temps d'insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usages de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840)
Presses de l’Université de Montréal
Awarded $5,000

The awards ceremony will be followed by an armchair conversation with three authors about their remarkable books:

  • Guy Laforest, President-Elect, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (moderator)
  • Arthur J. Ray, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of British Columbia
  • Sean Mills, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto
  • Marie-France Labrecque, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, Université Laval

The formal part of the event will be followed by a reception. All parts are open to the media.

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Quotes
“The humanities and social sciences are ever-present in our daily lives. The scholarly works of these exceptional authors demonstrate the richness and diversity of talent dedicated to pursuing deeper understanding of who we are as individuals and as a country. The Federation is honoured to play a role in promoting their work to the Canadian public.”
- Stephen J. Toope, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 86th year, Congress brings together over 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2017 is hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.congress2017.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media contact and interview requests:
Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

Media release: Ryerson University Welcomes Canada’s Largest Gathering of Academics, May 27 to June 2

 

Congress 2017 hosts over 9,000 delegates and offers hundreds of free public events

TORONTO, May 23, 2017 — For the first time in over a decade, the premier event for Canada’s scholarly community returns to Toronto. From May 27 to June 2, Ryerson University will host over 9,000 distinguished academics, policy makers, researchers and practitioners at the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.  

Now in its 86th year, Congress 2017 features more than 5,500 research presentations in the humanities and social sciences, with attendees addressing some the most pressing public policy issues facing Canada today such as equity, diversity, social justice, world politics and immigration.

It is also rare opportunity for the public to attend many of these discussions and to experience some of Canada’s top speakers, researchers and cultural performers. This year Congress hosts a record 274 free, public events, including daily Big Thinking lectures, a Ryerson Presents… series, and cultural and reconciliation programming.

“We are very proud and honoured to host Congress 2017 at Ryerson University,” said Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University. “Research in the humanities and social sciences has never been more important, it is an integral part of understanding and effecting meaningful change, innovation, discovery and economic growth.”

The theme of Congress 2017 is “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands.” Congress 2017 aims to mark the achievements and histories of all peoples in Canada — while looking forward to building possibilities for the next 150 years.

“Congress is an important moment in Canada each year, when some of the country’s greatest researchers come together to share ideas that will help us forge a brighter future,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “The humanities and social sciences are invaluable in that they encourage the difficult conversations that surface the ideas and issues that help us better understand ourselves and the world in which we live. In today’s global climate, it is imperative that we draw insight from our disciplines to help us respond creatively to Canada's evolving challenges.” 

Canada’s sesquicentennial offers an important opportunity to critically reflect on the nation’s past, and seeks to build a better, more inclusive and just future.

“The social sciences and humanities nourish the intellectual hunger of students and faculty, as citizens, employees and leaders in our global society,” said Pamela Sugiman, Dean, Ryerson University Faculty of Arts. “We provide the inspiration and skills needed for critical scholarly inquiry, the production of knowledge and its real-world application. At Congress 2017, Ryerson University will promote dialogue with scholars and researchers across the country, and showcase our coming of age as a diverse and inclusive innovative university.”  

The Big Thinking lecture series features forward-thinking research, ideas and solutions to critical questions and issues of our time, and takes place every day at 12:15 -1:15 p.m. in the Ted Rogers School of Management’s lecture theatre. Open to the public, this year’s line-up includes:    

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For further information, calendar of events, and media accreditation, visit: www.congress2017.ca/about/media

About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Now in its 86th year, Congress brings together approximately 70 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. Congress 2017 is hosted by Ryerson University. For more information, visit www.congress2017.ca.

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

About Ryerson University
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Cell: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

Lauren Clegg
Media Relations Officer
Ryerson University
Office: 416-979-5000 x7161
Cell: 416-889-5287|
lauren.clegg@ryerson.ca

 

 

 

 

Big Picture at #congressh: Ready for Congress

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 19 mai 2017

Gabriel Miller, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Get ready for Congress 2017!

Congress! This year’s will be my first since joining the Federation a few short weeks ago. And I couldn’t be more excited...

Of course, when you see the numbers — the thousands of papers, professors, students and sessions — you can’t help but be amazed by the sheer size of the event. 

This year we’ll be joined by more than 8,000 thought leaders, researchers and innovators from across Canada for an exciting line-up of events, many of which are open to the public.

This year’s program includes forward-looking research presentations, panel discussions, and an array of events at Ryerson.  A six-part Big Thinking lecture series features prominent scholars and public figures who will examine big ideas that can transform our future. 

But there is a lot more to Congress than just being big. It’s seven days packed with variety. This year’s overarching theme is “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands.” But within that there are wide ranging sessions covering key issues across fields of study and pubic concern including reconciliation, health, foreign policy, media and communications, disability and innovation. Other events focus on issues facing the City of Toronto and other urban communities, as well sessions geared directly to youth and the future. 

Look for some of Canada’s most interesting — and sometimes controversial — leaders to share their opinions, including Stephen Toope, Wade Davis, Desmond Cole, Mohamed Fahmy, Olivia Chow, Peter Bregg and Pamela Palmater.

  Several hundred events, including the Big Thinking series, Career Corner    and Congress Expo, are open to the public.

Congress Impact

Congress has the potential to contribute to our everyday lives, providing us with a deeper understanding of the complex and pressing issues of the day.

Sharing the research and insights of Canada’s top humanists and social scientists is paramount to the country’s economic and social well-being. Thriving humanities and social scie

nce sectors produce the skills and innovative ideas that we need to spur new companies, jobs, investments and community development.

The week-long event is the largest multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada — and one of the largest in the world. This will be the 86th year that the Congress brings together scholars, students, policy-makers and the public to discuss and reflect on the big ideas that can transform our future. 

I can’t wait for Congress and I hope I’ll see you there. Join us! 

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017Big ThinkingEquity and diversity

Nunavut Arctic College Media Joins ACUP - Introducing Too Many People - Digital Archive Repatriation Project – Hunter Education Films

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 15 mai 2017

Guest blog by Sean Guistini

Nunavut Arctic College Media (NAC Media) is the newest member of the Association of Canadian University Presses (ACUP). NAC Media is the first scholarly press in Canada’s territories. Please visit our site to view our books and films, and download our 2017 catalogue. www.nacmedia.ca 

Too Many People
NAC Media is excited to announce the release of our newest book – Willem Rasing’s Too Many People: Contact, Disorder, Change in an Inuit Society, 1822-2015. This is a sweeping and rigorous socio-historical examination of the contact between the outside world and a group of Inuit, the Iglulingmiut, living in Canada’s Eastern Arctic. The nature of these encounters and their impact is described and analyzed from 1822 to 2015. Seeking to understand how order was brought about and maintained during this period of nearly two centuries, the ongoing historical narrative that evolves displays a pattern of interconnected social, economic, political, cognitive and volitional changes in Iglulingmiut society. Too Many People will be available for purchase at the Brunswick Books booth in Congress Expo. Learn more about Too Many People here.

Digital Archive Repatriation
NAC Media is developing a digital archive and is seeking holdings and artifacts relating to Nunavut and the Canadian Eastern Arctic. This past year we have added over 6,000 hours of digital audio, video, photographs and rare arctic books. We are accepting digital donations, and are seeking partnerships to digitize analog audio and film materials, photographs and documents. We are not seeking to “take back” these artifacts, but are seeking digital copies. Many vital archival holdings pertaining to Nunavut are either not accessible or not available within Nunavut. NAC Media is working to repatriate digital archival materials in order that they are available for teachers, students, community members, researchers and legislators across the territory.

Hunter Education Films
Visit nacmedia.ca to view the films of our Hunter Education Series – Hunting Seal in the Summer and Hunting Caribou in the Fall. The Hunter Education Series facilitates the transmission of knowledge regarding proper hunting techniques, safety and animal behaviour. The films also include information about traditional Inuit hunting beliefs and taboos, and reflections on how to keep animal populations stable and healthy. The films contain actual hunting footage and interviews with hunters and Elders. Forthcoming editions in the Hunter Education Series include Hunting Polar Bear in the Winter, Marine Safety and Hunting Narwhal in the Summer.

For more information on NAC Media please contact Sean Guistini at sean.guistini@arcticcollege.ca. Sean will be attending Congress and will be available to meet with anyone interested in our publications and digital archive project.

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Research into Asia-Pacific truth commission shows truth and reconciliation as ongoing, activist processes

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 12 mai 2017

Guest blog by David Webster, Bishop’s University, @dwebsterbu

Does a truth and reconciliation process end when a truth commission hands in its final report? The experience of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) brutal residential schools system implies that it definitely should not. The TRC’s calls to action call on settler society to do some of the heavy lifting necessary for true reconciliation.

A new research project into truth and reconciliation processes in Southeast Asia and Melanesia draws similar conclusions. We need to understand truth and reconciliation as processes – starting with a pre-TRC phase in which individuals and groups begin to call for truth-telling about a violent past,  and continuing with a post-TRC phase in which a report’s findings are disseminated and turned into action.

That’s one of the main findings of a collaborative research project into truth and reconciliation in post-conflict and post-dictatorship Asian and Pacific cases discussed in a forthcoming University of Calgary Press book, Flowers in the Wall: Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor, Indonesia, and Melanesia. Authors of chapters on each country will be present for the event at Congress Expo on June 1 at 12:15 pm.

Flowers in the Wall references an Indonesian poem likening activists to flowers, whose growth makes walls of denial crumble over time. It’s a metaphor that speaks to the need to reveal uncomfortable truths, a metaphor that highlights the central role of activists who often have to force reluctant governments into action.

Researchers from Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands and Canada found common lessons about truth processes. When TRC Canada launched its hearings, it acknowledged that commissions could learn from each other by inviting truth commission participants from other countries to attend and share their experiences. TRC Canada has much to teach other countries in areas such as respect for the Earth and centering Indigenous experiences.

We found similar points being put forward by those trying to melurusankan sejarah (set the history straight) in Indonesian-ruled West Papua, who seek reconciliation with the natural environment and respect for Indigenous tellings of the past and Indigenous ways of resolving conflict. The Solomons and Timorese truth commissions focused on similar points with an emphasis on Indigenous kastom (custom) in the Solomons and Timorese community reconciliation processes. Both commissions also stressed economic factors, highlighting the role of foreign corporations and calling for human rights to include economic justice and apologies from Western countries whose investments and weapons fueled wars.

This year, Timor-Leste is opening a permanent truth and reconciliation centre in the aim of moving “from memory to hope.” The Indonesian province of Aceh is setting up a permanent truth commission: a concrete assertion that the work of truth and reconciliation does not end when a commission hands in its report. In these choices there are models for how truth and reconciliation are understood globally. Truth and reconciliation are ongoing processes; a commission’s final report is not an end, but a new beginning.

Details: Click here to see the event listing. The Flowers in the Wall reception and brief talk, with Terry Brown, Maggie Helwig, Arianto Sangadji, and David Webster, hosted by University of Calgary Press. Location: MAC-Mattamy – Congress Hub – Expo Event Space | MAC-Mattamy – Carrefour du Congrès – Espace de l’Expo. June 1, 12:15 pm. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and by Bishop’s University. Background research for this project is online at https://memorytruthreconciliation.wordpress.com/

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Eight ways to dive into Digital Humanities

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 10 mai 2017

Guest blog by Constance Crompton Assistant Professor, Digital Humanities, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, The University of British Columbia

We've all heard that digital tools can help enhance our research, teaching, and dissemination. That said, it's not always clear how to get started. On May 27 and 28, the DHSI@Congress  will return to Congress for its fourth year. The series features eight  2.5-hour introductory workshops covering everything from augmented reality and 3D printing to DH pedagogy and DH theory and a plenary by Ryerson's Centre for Digital Humanities Director, Lorraine Janzen Kooistra.

The DHSI@Congress is built on the community model of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, now celebrating its 16th anniversary. The DHSI@Congress sessions, facilitated by established scholars and emerging leaders in the field, introduce a wide range of Digital Humanities methods and methodologies. As Ray Siemens, the Director of the DHSI has put it, when we gather "we come together as a community dedicated to teaching and learning from one another — together shaping the experiences, knowledge and skills that define us and our community of practice." Come join the community to find out what DH can do for you!

For full descriptions and registration information see http://dhsi.org/events.php#DHSI@Congress, tweet at @DHInsitute, or email Constance Crompton at constance.crompton@ubc.ca

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History

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Mercredi 10 mai 2017

Guest blog by Stephen Bocking, Trent School of the Environment, Trent University

Headlines today tell of melting ice and scrambles over resources and boundaries – signposts of an Arctic experiencing unprecedented transformation. But these accounts require historical context. Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History,  recently published by the University of Calgary Press, provides this context, exploring a century of change across the north.

Ice Blink is the product of a new generation of scholars pursuing the environmental history of northern Canada. The stories they tell concern the evolving relations between people and the northern environment throughout the twentieth century. Some of the stories are of Indigenous people: their identities, ways of life and relations with the land and with the state, scientists and the world. Other stories concern newcomers to the north: railway promoters and miners, prospectors and pilots, Cold War technicians and climate scientists. There are the stories of the Canadian state: its efforts to impose a pastoral economy, supermarket food in place of fresh meat, or economic development in place of traditional ways of life. Above all, these are stories of people and their environment: how humans have shaped northern landscapes, even as the north has shaped cultures and knowledge.

Our authors have pursued these stories across the north: from Quebec and British Columbia to the territories and the High Arctic, while paying careful attention to the links between these places and the rest of the world. Their work exhibits the interdisciplinary character of environmental history: linking environmental change to social and political history, geography, anthropology and the history of science and technology. As they demonstrate, the social sciences and humanities remain essential to understanding the past, present and future of the north. We'll be presenting this book at Congress on May 30; all are welcome to attend and learn more!

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Ryerson presents… An evening with Cornel West

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 10 mai 2017

Guest blog by Dean Pamela Sugiman, Ryerson University 

Celebrating Congress 2017, Ryerson University is pleased to present “An evening with Cornel West.”

Known for his passion, humility, grace and humour, Cornel West is one of America’s most outspoken critics on race, poverty and democracy. The Princeton University professor and civil rights activist is committed to keeping alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. — a legacy of truth-telling and bearing witness to love and justice. Dr. West's incisive commentary on race and justice lays at the core of the Congress 2017 theme: Canada the Next 150 On Indigenous Lands.

On the street, in prisons, churches, or lecture halls, Dr. West’s writing, speaking, and teaching mash the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics and the legacy of jazz. “I’m a bluesman in the life of the mind,” he proclaims. “I’m a jazzman in the world of ideas, forever on the move.”

Cornel West is the author of more than 20 books, including Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and Radical King. He has also appeared on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now!  A musical career and acting roles (in two "Matrix" movies) have widened his audience and heightened his appeal as a public intellectual.

Don’t miss Cornel West at Ryerson University. His talk on “Race, Democracy, Justice, and Love” is one of the highlights of Ryerson’s special events programme over the course of Congress.

“Race, Democracy, Justice, and Love”
An evening with Cornel West
Monday, May 29 from 7 to 8 p.m. 
Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) – 1 - 067 - Auditorium, Ryerson University
55 Dundas St. W., Toronto
Free Admission

About Cornel West
Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic. A Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, Dr. West is a prolific speaker, writer, editor, and spoken word artist. His published works include: Race Matters, Democracy Matters, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, Black Prophetic Fire, and Radical King. Dr. West has appeared on many popular and political talk shows in the U.S., and in over 25 documentaries and films including the Matrix, Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk, and Stand.

About Ryerson presents…
The Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University is presenting a wide range of events during Congress 2017, ranging from interdisciplinary lectures to cultural programming. These diverse community events are intended to complement Congress 2017 and showcase the thought leadership and vitality of Ryerson University’s downtown campus. For a full list of upcoming events please visit Ryerson Programming.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Wendy Robbins: Beyond Anger and Apathy to Action and Collaboration

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 5 mai 2017

Guest blog by Louise Forsyth, Professor Emerita in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, French and Drama at the University of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with Jennifer Brayton, Sociologist at Ryerson University and current Moderator of PAR-L

Louise Forsyth was President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences,1998-2000.
Wendy Robbins was Vice-President, Women's Issues, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2000-2004.

Wendy J. Robbins – feminist activist with awesome capabilities, internationally acclaimed scholar, person with serious political influence, and woman whose heart has been filled with laughter, love, and uncompromising passion – died suddenly of an aneurysm on April 18, 2017. We shall miss her terribly! The work she has been doing for decades brings each of us a little closer to a community where real social justice is enjoyed by all. Wendy had a powerful gift for collaborating and communicating with everyone. Chimène, her daughter, says: “[Wendy] always thought of how what she was doing could help make others’ lives better – whether it was her students, or women becoming involved in politics and then enacting legislation that would help other women. She wanted every person (and especially every woman) to have the full ability to make decisions about their own body – whether that was reproduction or end of life.” (CBC News, Apr. 19, 2017)

Wendy joined the English Department at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in 1984. She quickly co-founded the Women’s Studies program, serving as its Coordinator for many years. The extraordinarily high quality of her scholarship and teaching was recognized in her being the first female Full Professor in English at UNB and receiving the prestigious Allan P. Stewart Award for Excellence in Teaching. For her many extraordinary contributions, Wendy received the Governor-General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case in 2007, playing many ground-breaking leadership roles in, for example: Studies in Canadian Literature journal, Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Expert Panel on Women in University Research, Council of Canadian Academics, New Brunswick Women’s Liberal Commission and National Women’s Liberal Commission.

Wendy launched major initiatives that form a significant part of our daily lives and memories, such as the coast-to-coast-to-coast Canadian Electronic Feminist Network PAR-L (Policy, Action, Research List), one of the world’s first feminist online discussion lists. On March 8, 1995 (International Women’s Day), as Research Director for the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) , she was set to launch PAR-L, at the very moment when the Mulroney government closed the CACSW. Disturbed but undaunted, Wendy and sociologist Michèle Ollivier (University of Ottawa) found a welcoming home for PAR-L at UNB. Wendy and Michèle, both bilingual, immediately got to work as co-moderators, ready to meet the challenge of defining the list, developing membership, taming the technology, setting a tone, parameters and criteria, checking facts and keeping it going on a daily basis. PAR-L, now more than 20 years old with 1,500 members, was close to 3,000 members from around the world at its peak. Annual demographic study and analysis revealed that the influence of PAR-L extended far beyond the actual mailing list, as many members were sharing PAR-L newsletters and posts with organizations and others in their own networks. Jennifer Brayton, current moderator and 20-year technical person and Katherine Macnaughton-Osler, former co-moderator, who have worked together since Wendy’s death in managing to ensure that PAR-L will continue and its archives going back to 1995 will be preserved at UNB, know that PAR-L web archives are being used for research purposes all over the world in different areas of study.

As Visiting Scholar at CAUT in 2003, Wendy led a team doing research on the outrageous gender wage gap in Canadian universities: “Robbins will be collaborating with CAUT to produce the annual statistical report Ivory Towers: Feminist Audits, a joint effort of the Federation, CAUT and PAR-L to gain a more precise understanding of the faculty wage gap.” (news release) These Academic Audits were distributed as report cards with shocking impact for several years at Congress.

Also in 2003, Wendy was one of eight academic women that launched a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against Industry Canada alleging discrimination in the Canada Research Chairs program (CRC). In 2006, the Commission upheld in its entirety the allegations based on discrimination against women, Indigenous persons, racialized persons and persons with disabilities. The success of the complaint did not, unfortunately, lead to effective action producing remedies in either the program or Canadian universities. As a result, Wendy was one of the seven remaining academics who are in the process right now of taking legal action against the CRC program in order to produce real change across the Canadian university landscape.

Wendy Robbins was a model for us all in her passion, her compassion, and dispassion when it came to seeing the stark reality of injustice, feeling the anger it stirs, and moving boldly and calmly with others to make the action needed for real change happen.

Wendy's children are honoured to announce the creation of the Wendy J. Robbins Women's Empowerment Fund, to support women's public participation and personal autonomy.

Donations may be made to honour and continue Wendy's legacy of promoting women's rights in Canada to the University of New Brunswick WENDY J. ROBBINS WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT FUND in the following ways: online at https://donations.helpforcharities.com/unbdonation/?dept_id=memwrobbins; by mailing in Memorial Gifts to Development & Donor Relations, University of New Brunswick, PO Box 4400, Fredericton, NB  E3B 5A3; or by calling 506-458-7594. Donations are tax deductible in Canada, as well as for UNB graduates living in the US. We welcome any contribution, no matter how large or small, and encourage everyone to spread the message about this new fund widely. Contributions can be made at any time now and in the future. Our current goal is to receive as many donations as possible by August 4, which would have been Wendy's 69th birthday.

Media statement: Federation congratulates winners of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards

 

OTTAWA, May 5, 2017 — The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is thrilled to congratulate the outstanding researchers who are recipients of the 2017 Governor General’s Innovation Awards (GGIA) announced today.

As a nominating partner in the prestigious GGIA, the Federation was especially pleased to see its own nominee among the winners: Marie-Odile Junker, Professor of Linguistics and Killam Research Fellow at Carleton University. Specializing in Indigenous language documentation, maintenance and revitalisation, Junker works at the community and individual level in languages preservation. Her work has led to the development of several websites and online dictionaries for the Algonquian languages of Cree, Innu and Atikamekw, and she now leads on the co-creation of an Algonquian Linguistic Atlas.

“Dr. Junker is a remarkable academic working on the preservation of languages that will benefit not only the communities of the Algonquian family that is the focus of her research, but will enable all Canadians to better comprehend and appreciate Indigenous cultures and languages that are an essential part of Canada’s heritage and future,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. “It is fitting that this remarkable human-centred scholarship and participatory engagement of communities be recognized as vital Canadian innovation.”

For a full list of this year’s GGIA winners, visit https://innovation.gg.ca.

The Governor General will present the awards to the winners during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa, on May 23, 2017, at 6:00 pm.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees

 

 

Ryerson presents … five special events you will not want to miss

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 1 mai 2017

Guest blog by Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University 

The Ryerson team is hard at work putting the finishing touches on what we know will be a memorable Congress for all attendees. This is the first time Ryerson University is hosting Congress and the excitement is building on campus. Beyond the programming planned by the 70 associations and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, we have some special Ryerson programming that you will not want to miss. In addition to showcasing some of what has made Ryerson renowned across Canada and internationally, there is a series of interactive tours that demonstrate how Ryerson is part of the unique urban fabric of Toronto.

These tours are free and open to registered Congress attendees and the general public.

Here is just a sample of what we have available for you:

These are just some of the featured events planned for you, but there is much more. You will not want to miss any of these great opportunities to make cross- disciplinary connections and to network with your colleagues from across the country.

You can see the full list of exciting programming at congress2017.ca/program/university.

Please join us!

Mohamed Lachemi

President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University

 

Mots-clés

Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Polaris: The Chief Scientist's Recollections of the American North Pole Expedition, 1871-73

Partagez ceci:
Vendredi 28 avril 2017

William Barr, Senior Research Associate, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, and Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan

Charles Francis Hall’s American North Pole Expedition was probably the most bizarrely disastrous expedition in the history of polar exploration. Although quite lavishly financed by the United States government and blessed with unusually favourable ice conditions as it pushed northwards, its ultimate attempts at advancing north by boat or sledge were half-hearted at best, it was riven with dissension, its leader Charles Francis Hall died under suspicious circumstances, and the expedition suffered the further misfortune of becoming split into two parties, one of which drifted on an ice floe for the full length of Baffin Bay, Davis Strait and the Labrador Sea throughout an entire winter.

I had long been aware of the general history of the expedition, and especially since I translate polar expedition accounts from French, Russian and German, when I happened across the account of the expedition written by the chief scientist, the German Emil Bessels, it seemed almost preordained that I should publish an English translation. This seemed especially important in that his is only one of two first-hand accounts of the expedition.

Bessels’s account is unique in several ways. His is the only first-hand account of the second wintering in northwest Greenland (he was not a member of the ice-floe party) by the group which stayed with the ship, but subsequently had to run it aground. His is also the only first-hand account of the attempt by that group to sail south in two small boats and of the quite extensive cruise of the whaling ship Arctic which picked them up. Most importantly, Bessels was a scientist with a remarkably wide range of interests and his observations in the areas of geology, flora, fauna (including entomology) and anthropology (both of the Greenlanders of the various settlements at which Polaris called on the way north and of the Inughuit of northwest Greenland with whom Bessels was in contact during the second wintering) provide useful insight into the state of European knowledge in these areas at the time.

As medical officer, Bessels diagnosed Hall’s death as apoplexy, i.e. a stroke. However, during the periods when he was coherent during his final illness, Hall insisted that he was being poisoned. Intrigued by this, his biographer Dr. Chauncey Loomis and pathologist Dr. Franklin Paddock went north in 1968, exhumed Hall’s body from the permafrost and conducted a limited autopsy. Samples of his hair and fingernails revealed high concentrations of arsenic especially within the last two weeks of his life. As having the opportunity, the knowledge and the skill to make a poisoning appear to be a natural death, Bessels is the prime suspect for having murdered Hall. At that time there was no obvious motive for such an action on Bessels’s part, however. To my delight, however, the fact has only recently surfaced that both men had a romantic attachment to a young well-known American sculptor, Miss Vinnie Ream, that attachment apparently much more intense on Bessels’s part than on Hall’s. It appears quite possible that this was the motive for murder. I have disclosed this possibility in an epilogue in the book.

With degrees in Geography from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and McGill University, William (Bill) Barr is a Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, and a Senior Research Associate, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary. A glacial geomorphologist by training, with field experience in Nouveau Québec and on Devon Island, Nunavut, for the past 40 years his main research focus has been the history of exploration of the polar regions. He has published 23 books, including translations from French, German and Russian, and over 100 articles, in addition to numerous translations of articles. The most recent of his books (apart from Polaris) include: South to Franz Josef Land! (Moscow: Paulsen Publishing, 2016); Inuit and whalers on Baffin Island through German eyes and Wilhelm Weike’s arctic journal and letters (1883-84), (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2011). In 2006 he received a Clio Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the historiography of the Canadian North from the Canadian Historical Association.

The Federation supports Open Access and has established a policy to actively promote and facilitate Open Access publishing of ASPP-funded books. Polaris: The Chief Scientist's Recollections of the American North Pole Expedition, 1871-73 is available here in Open Access.  

Bookmark It!
As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

 

 

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Keeping Ontario on the map! Exploring our transforming landscapes online

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Vendredi 28 avril 2017

Guest blog by Kara Handren, Metadata Librarian, Scholars Portal/OCUL

Map libraries are wonderful places, whose collections support patrons in their research, education, work and private lives. However, given the quantity of maps produced during any given period, libraries often have to make decisions to preserve only those maps that are of local relevance and significance, leaving their collections incomplete. The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) has filled in the gaps for early topographic maps of Ontario, by bringing together over 1000 maps that had previously existed across dozens of institutions. This shared digital collection has been made available online just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday!

The collection is the result of a province-wide collaboration led by the OCUL Geo Community to inventory, digitize, georeference, and provide access to these maps. It includes georeferenced topographic maps at the 1:25000 and 1:63360 (one inch to one mile) scales, covering towns, cities, and rural areas in Ontario over the period of 1906 to 1977.

Historical maps like these are a wonderful resource that provide viewers the opportunity to explore the ways in which natural and man-made landscapes, and human cultures, have evolved over time. Early topographic maps in particular are a critical resource that present unique snapshots of a given time period, showing detailed information on features such as waterways, shorelines, boundaries, roads, railways, houses, barns, electricity lines, industry, agriculture, and much more.

In the present day, these maps will be a critical resource for researchers, local historians, planners, conservationists, engineers (and others)!

To learn more about these maps, visit us at our booth in the Expo space at Congress, or view our live demo in the Expo Event Space on May 31st at 12:15pm. You can also visit our website at http://ocul.on.ca/topomaps, or contact the project team at topomaps@scholarsportal.info.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017SSHRC

Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

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Vendredi 28 avril 2017

Guest blog by Aaron Franks, Mitacs-SSHRC Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation

Read Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

On April 26 I published a guest post on this Federation blog on Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy. Here I want to share more details of a specific gathering at Congress 2017 that will be hosted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (May 30 – check the program!) which SSHRC hopes will help strengthen the autonomy and standing of diverse Indigenous knowledge systems in the contemporary academy.  

Many of you reading will recognize that this effort, like so much about relationships with Indigenous peoples in these territories, is long overdue. And leaders in our national knowledge communities (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) who have been tasked with advising on ways forward have become more emphatic about addressing the profound damage done by generations of colonial, genocidal and assimilative policies.

SSHRC in particular has been tasked with taking up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Commission (TRC) Call to Action 65, which states:

“We call on the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council [SSHRC], and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions and educators, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of understanding of reconciliation.”

— 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (page 8)

The advancement of Indigenous knowledge systems (both autonomously and in Indigenous-led research collaborations) must be a central part of any such research program, a view reflected in the recent Fundamental Science Review led by Dr David Naylor and his colleagues:

“Historically, research involving [Indigenous] peoples in Canada has been defined and carried out primarily by non-Indigenous researchers. This stems in part from a culture and tradition of colonization….The net result is that approaches to Indigenous research generally do not reflect Indigenous world views and many Indigenous people regard research with apprehension or mistrust.” — Investing in Canada’s Future – Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research (p. 98)                                                                    

The panel’s recommendation 5.7, directed towards the three granting councils, builds on the TRC’s Call to Action 65 and specifically underlines the need for “clarity on the Indigenous knowledge process” and “greater understanding of the role of Indigenous knowledge.”

As SSHRC thinks through TRC recommendation 65, it is important to draw insights from a variety of disciplinary, cultural, national and sectoral perspectives about how best to engage Indigenous knowledge traditions, including:

  • the dynamics of responsibility within Indigenous knowledges;
  • the complex meanings of community outside and inside the academy;
  • the relationship with place-based knowledge and how it travels;
  • the ownership of, care for, and protocols governing Indigenous (and indeed any) knowledges.

This is important because:

  •  any meaningful research program that might “advance understanding of reconciliation” must include Indigenous knowledges as deemed appropriate by Indigenous communities, knowledge holders and academics;
  • Indigenous communities are vigorously reclaiming their distinctive knowledges;
  • because growing numbers of Indigenous and allied academics are creating their own “knowledge communities”; and
  • universities are, in a variety of ways, making claims on Indigenous knowledge—and opening up to the claims of Indigenous communities.

Please join scholars and practitioners Zoe Todd, Jill Carter, Carrie Bourassa, Dawn Martin Hill, Jean-Paul Restoule, Deborah McGregor, Marie Battiste, Kim Anderson, Falen Johnson, Leah Levac and others on May 30, at 6:30pm in the Sandbox (formerly known as the Launch Zone) on the 3rd Floor of Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre at Yonge and Gould Streets. As moderator of this session, I am very much looking forward to an open and engaging exchange on Indigenous knowledge systems, the evolving research landscape in Canada, and the ongoing work of decolonization and reconciliation.

 

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017SSHRC

Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

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Mercredi 26 avril 2017

Guest blog by Aaron Franks, Mitacs-SSHRC Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation

Read Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

I had the privilege of attending a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the release of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People (RCAP, 1996) last November. One of the participants at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) session on research and reconciliation expressed concern about the phrase “Indigenous ways of knowing.” Why single out “Indigenous,” and why qualify human logic and comprehension with the squishy phrase “ways of knowing”? This person had spent many years thinking through these issues, working hard to improve opportunities for Indigenous peoples, but I was  struck by the intensity of the concern – centred, I think, on the possibility that  identifying “Indigenous ways of knowing” might prove to be another strategy to marginalize Indigenous voices and interests.

I respect this person’s concern, which was based in their lived experience. My own interest comes from a different place. I am a postdoctoral researcher, a SSHRC-Mitacs Visiting Fellow in Indigenous Research and Reconciliation. I am ‘embedded’ at SSHRC, though not employed by the agency; my views are my own and shaped with my growing knowledge community (including many associates at SSHRC). I count myself as one of SSHRC’s “critical friends.”

I am Métis and mixed European, and do not have a landed community. In coming to know my positionality and my place in the Canadian story, I depend on a materialist historical reading of the overlays between my family’s journey and the enterprise of Canada, between myself and the colonial present. This enterprise has always been commercial, territorial, cultural and inescapably intellectual, including the physical and mental structures of the academy.

For some people, Indigenous ways of knowing mean place-based knowledge, but uncertainty (or even fear) blocks any further engagement, and denies these supposedly parochial knowledges any real standing in Canadian institutions. For other people, Indigenous ways of knowing are confined to performance and craft, such as dancing at powwows, or to ‘iconic’ images of West Coast and Inuit carving. Indigenous ways of knowing have been reified and collected as Indigenous knowledge (IK) or traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). They have been, variously, depending on circumstances, greatly admired, brought in as a source of helpful but local and secondary information, or merely tolerated as stories.

I might be making straw men, but there is some truth in each of these interpretations in the sense that they reflect dominant understandings of the nature and value of Indigenous knowledges.

These understandings — based in cognitive and cultural realities bound up with colonialism — have often also been found within the research community.

But this is changing. Indigenous researchers and knowledge workers, together increasingly with allies, are finding powerful paths to enact and express Indigenous ‘space-times’ (hey, I’m a human geographer…) across multiple communities—in urban, water-based, transnational, on reserve, digital (for example check out the series and app Coyote's Crazy Smart Science Show), and even celestial contexts.   

(Image used with permission from Coyote's Crazy Smart Science Show. Created and produced by Loretta Todd, art work by Dedos Nelson Garcia)

Governments, universities, funding agencies like SSHRC, all need to keep up. I keenly hope that this Congress, a face-to-face gathering on the Indigenous Lands of Tkaronto, gets us running in the right direction.

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017SSHRC

International student explores Indigenous youth wellbeing with arts and culture

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Vendredi 21 avril 2017

Guest blog by Robyn Dugas, Content Specialist, Mitacs

Jessica Blain was a third-year undergraduate student from Australia’s University of Sydney.Through a Mitacs Globalink Research Internship at Concordia University, she helped evaluate the impact of a community-based theatre program on the wellbeing of young people in a remote First Nations community in Northern Saskatchewan. Her experiences showed her the potential for arts-based programs to provide a positive space for fostering creative development and leadership among Indigenous youth.

Participatory arts and culture activities created by and for Indigenous communities is an approach that’s gaining traction. Researchers and community members collaborate to empower Indigenous youth, who get to explore their creative sides with storytelling, culture sharing, and performance. The inclusion of local researchers helps ensure that the youth find meaning and value by participating.

Jessica’s gained a new perspective from this research, especially when combined with her previous experience as a youth program coordinator in rural Australia. “This research at Concordia is giving me a different lens on issues that many Indigenous people in Canada and Australia face. It’s helping me to think more critically and develop my understanding of potential, practical ways to explore and address very complex issues by facilitating and honouring community-based solutions,” she says.

Following her internship, Jessica is contributing to an anthology that explores community theatre’s impact on health and well-being. She’ll highlight the benefits of participatory theatre for Indigenous youth. “I think this is what Mitacs Globalink is all about,” she says, “Learning all about Canada and Canadian culture, while also contributing to important research that is making a difference. It’s really been a blessing and privilege to come here, and I’m going to relish this experience for years to come.” 

University faculty: get a top-ranked undergrad for your Summer 2018 research projects. The Globalink Research Internship is accepting faculty project submissions until June 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. PDT. Learn more at the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship.

Mitacs is hosting the following events at Congress:

About Mitacs
Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that delivers research and training programs for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. We work with universities, companies and not-for-profit organizations, international partners, and governments to build partnerships that support social and industrial innovation in Canada.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Effective policy making needs voices from the social sciences and humanities

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Mercredi 19 avril 2017

Guest blog by Steve Higham, Policy Analyst

Poorly informed policy decisions can have significant and lasting consequences. Often, critics assume that negative policy decisions can be avoided if only decision makers are guided by data and scientific evidence. However, data and evidence are not the only factors that inform the policy-making process. On most issues, decisions will be influenced by cultural and political considerations, with corresponding beliefs, principles, and values that a government may or may not support.

This is not necessarily a negative aspect of the policymaking process. Without proper context and understanding, decisions based solely on data and evidence can be incomplete, unpopular, or lead to unintended consequences. As policymakers seek informed ways to respond to complex and multifaceted challenges, they require the perspectives of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including the social sciences and humanities.

Changing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, and automation, are expected to have profound economic and social impacts, and they raise important social and ethical questions that aren’t easily resolved by data and information alone. For example, as the collection of individual behaviour data becomes increasingly ubiquitous, how do we balance the desire for customizable, efficient services with our rights to privacy? If automation displaces large numbers of workers, how might we ensure that they remain engaged, contributing citizens? How should a driverless car value the life of a child versus an adult (or two adults) in a scenario where injury to one or the other is likely?

Further, in a “post-truth” world, both decision makers and ordinary citizens may feel skeptical about data and evidence if it is not presented and explained with proper context. Decision makers may view researchers as irrelevant academics who do not fully understand the nuances of policy-making processes. Citizens may view experts as out-of-touch “elitists” who use data and facts to advance their political or economic agendas.

Voices that can interpret, contextualize, and effectively communicate complex knowledge are essential to ensuring that issues are understood and policy responses are supported. These voices can, and often do, come from scientists and researchers with STEM degrees. However, the perspectives of philosophers, historians, political scientists, psychologists, and those from the many other branches of both the humanities and social sciences are equally important. To deal with pressing policy challenges like the ones described above, we need critical voices and new ideas from across disciplines.

The federal government appears to understand this, based on encouraging signs such as the Chief Science Advisor posting. The posting calls for applicants who can “combine knowledge and experience and effectively address the limits of science, the insufficiency of evidence, and appropriately framing uncertainties.” Further, The Federal Review of Fundamental Science has been tasked with determining if review processes and funding structures are “fair and effective in supporting excellence across all disciplines” (emphasis mine). And last fall, Canada’s Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan stated, “Social sciences and humanities researchers help us to understand issues affecting our daily lives and provide evidence for sound policy making.

But as enrolments in the humanities have fallen at universities across the country, and conversations of “science policy” at times tend to focus on the role of researchers from STEM backgrounds, the value of that the humanities and the social sciences bring to the policy-making process is worth exploring. For this reason, at Congress 2017, Mitacs will convene a panel of individuals who have direct experience informing policy from diverse perspectives, including two inaugural Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellows. They will meet to explore such questions as:

  • How do the humanities and social sciences fit into the relationship between the science and policy communities?
  • What are the strengths that researchers from the humanities and the social sciences have in influencing policy? What are the weaknesses?
  • How can policy-making processes be efficient and responsive while considering multiple perspectives?

Congress 2017 Career Corner: What’s next for your social sciences and humanities degree?
Mitacs is also hosting a Career Corner event on May 31, 2017, aimed at social sciences and humanities (SSH) graduate students interested in career opportunities outside academia.

About Mitacs
Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that delivers research and training programs for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty from across disciplines. We work with universities, companies and not-for-profit organizations, international partners, and governments to build partnerships that support social and industrial innovation in Canada.

 

 

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Congress 2017

Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow

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Mardi 11 avril 2017

Brian D. McInnes, Professor, Department of Education, University of Minnesota Duluth 

Francis Pegahmagabow (1889–1952), a member of the Ojibwe nation, was born in Shawanaga, Ontario. Enlisting at the onset of the First World War, he became the most decorated Canadian Indigenous soldier for bravery and the most accomplished sniper in North American military history. After the war, Pegahmagabow settled in Wasauksing, Ontario. He served his community as both chief and councillor and belonged to the Brotherhood of Canadian Indians, an early national Indigenous political organization. Francis proudly served a term as Supreme Chief of the National Indian Government, retiring from office in 1950. (From University of Manitoba Press)

Sounding Thunder largely emerged from research I did as a university student back in the 1990s. I was interested in the connection between storytelling and land-based life-experience, and the Elders I visited were quite generous in helping me understand the history of the community. I worked closely with two of Francis Pegahmagabow’s children, Duncan and Marie, who took the opportunity to share with me many of their father’s stories and experiences. I had always hoped to write some kind of book specifically about Francis but this possibility evaded me after the recordings were lost during a series of moves. This material remained lost for well over decade. When these recordings finally resurfaced, I felt the impetus to do something now, while I had the opportunity.

Sounding Thunder is based on a number of stories that Duncan and Marie told me about their father’s life. I transcribed many of the key narratives, and translated them into English. There was quite a variety of different stories, including traditional legends, teachings, war recollections, and even a love story. However, without the proper historical, cultural, political and social context, the narratives seemed disconnected and incomplete. The notes I wrote contextualizing each of these stories eventually become the various chapters that constitute Sounding Thunder.

Writing Sounding Thunder was an extraordinary experience that helped me fulfill my great aunt’s and uncle’s wishes to more broadly share their father’s story. By the time I wrote the book, virtually everyone featured in its pages had long passed on. It is a significant tribute to some great people, and an important way to more broadly share some of Francis’s stories, teachings and perspectives. I think my favorite part of both the research and the writing process was how encouraging and helpful everyone was. The encouragement, love and kindness shown to me was a continuing testament to the values that the Ojibwe Anishinaabe people have always tried to live by. My grandmother, Priscilla Pegahmagabow, was extremely helpful to me throughout the project, gently correcting any errors in language or historical facts. Being able to read to her from the newly-released book shortly before she passed away is something I will always cherish.

My hope is that Sounding Thunder will help herald in a new genre of mainstream Canadian literature that puts Indigenous languages and cultural perspectives first. In this important moment of reflection, as we consider what the last 150 years have meant for Native peoples in the country, it is clear that new paradigms are necessary if Indigenous languages, cultures, and perhaps even identities, are to thrive or even survive. Sounding Thunder shares some important thoughts on pre-Confederation history, place names and prophecy. It reminds us of some of the important contributions that Indigenous people such as Francis Pegahmagabow have made to Canadian life and the dehumanizing policies and restrictions that were placed on their lives. Sounding Thunder, and works like it, can bring the voices of Indigenous Canadians forward into the present, when we may all be finally ready to listen.

Brian D. McInnes is a faculty member in the Department of Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth. A member of the Wasauksing First Nation, McInnes is a great-grandson of Francis Pegahmagabow.

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmark It!

As the voice of the humanities and social sciences in Canada, the Federation is a great supporter of books. Our Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP) has supported the publication of important Canadian scholarly books since 1941. Bookmark it! shares the story behind some of these fascinating books. Occasionally, we’ll also highlight other books that are significant to Canadian culture, society and research. Read more posts.

Livres à vous!

En tant que porte-parole des sciences humaines au Canada, la Fédération est une fervente défenseuse des livres. Notre Prix d’auteurs pour l’édition savante (PAES) soutient la publication d’importants livres savants canadiens depuis 1941. Livres à vous! dévoile les coulisses de ces livres fascinants. De temps en temps nous mettrons en avant d’autres livres qui jouent un rôle important pour la culture, la société et la recherche canadiennes. Lire d’autres billets.

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Livres à vous!

Media release: Fundamental Science Panel sets bold vision for Canadian research system

 

OTTAWA, April 10, 2017 — Today’s landmark report on fundamental science proposes a compelling plan to strengthen the contributions of Canada’s research system, with unprecedented attention to the vital role of the humanities and social sciences.

“This remarkably thoughtful report has laid out a comprehensive vision to improve and transform Canada’s research ecosystem and position us as a global research leader,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. “The report successfully conveys the urgency and ambition with which Canada must leverage excellence across all research disciplines to take on the complex challenges of today and tomorrow.”

The report was prepared by an independent advisory panel chaired by David Naylor, former President of the University of Toronto and was commissioned by Science Minister Kirsty Duncan in June 2016. The panel concluded that Canada must urgently increase both resources and aspirations for research if it is to seize “the leadership moment” to advance excellence and impact in Canadian research.

The report calls for balance across all research disciplines as a foundational principle for funding and recognizes the significant contributions that the humanities and social sciences make to Canada’s ability to thrive in the 21st century. It urges cumulative increases to the base funding of the federal research granting councils and other key research entities to reach annual spending of $4.8 billion by 2022, phased in over four years—up from an annual $3.5 billion at present.

The first priority is to increase funding for independent, investigator-led research. Notably, there is a call to reassess the balance of allocations across the granting councils as an early priority, given evidence that program changes have significantly diminished funding opportunities for scholars in the humanities and social sciences. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council currently receives just 15 percent of federal investments in the granting councils.

Also significant is the report’s emphasis on increasing support to diversity in research — not only across disciplines, but among researchers at all career stages, and with greater attention to gender equity and participation of visible minorities, reinforcing excellence as fully compatible with diversity. The report specifically calls on the granting councils to develop a strategy to bolster and provide long-term support for research undertaken by and with Indigenous communities, guided by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Other important recommendations and priorities of the report are to address new forms of support for multidisciplinary and international funding, and to ensure greater coordination and collaboration among the granting councils.

“The panel has shown remarkable vision in its recommendations,” added Toope. “We thank all panel members for undertaking this important work. The Federation looks forward to engaging Canadians over the next months in an important conversation about the need to step up our research efforts – and about the value that humanities and social sciences research delivers to the country.”

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. 

Media inquiries        
Nicola Katz                                
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees  

Litigation and negotiation work together to advance Aboriginal rights, says professor

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Lundi 10 avril 2017

As a historian specializing in Aboriginal rights and history, Arthur J. Ray has often been called as an expert witness in court proceedings involving Aboriginal land claims.

After decades of research, and many appearances in court, Ray found himself wondering whether the adversarial legal arena was the best forum for settling Aboriginal rights issues. Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate these things instead?

In a new book that examines how native peoples’ rights are handled in five countries, Ray concludes that there’s no single, direct path to Aboriginal rights. What seems to work best, he says, is a mix of litigation and negotiation – tempered by an awareness on the part of everyone concerned that different groups can have very different perspectives on the same event.

Ray’s book, Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History, looks at how indigenous people’s rights have been handled in Canada, the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The book has won the 2017 Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences awarded by the Federation.

Ray says that each of the five countries he examined has wrestled with the litigation/negotiation question. Litigation, which is adversarial in nature, is not well suited to dealing with historical issues, he says. On the other hand, negotiation doesn’t always work.

“What comes out of it all is that you have to have both litigation and negotiation,” he says. “One depends on the other. If you set up a commission or tribunal, in some ways it’s the ongoing litigation that keeps pushing the settlement process forward.”

Ray says this is true in all the countries he studied. “No country has been able to do one or the other; they have to do both.” He adds that case law and academic research actually evolve in tandem in what he calls a “circular cumulative process.” Each builds on the work of the other.

Ray says one of the big issues for either the courts or tribunals is perspective. Each group involved needs to be aware that others don’t necessarily see things the same way they do.

Native perspective is based on oral history and traditions, he says. Academic perspective (and European legal traditions) are based on documentary records.

The perspectives sometimes clash,” he notes. “And one of the difficulties courts or commissions face is how to evaluate those different perspectives.”

For example, he says that to accommodate native perspectives, the courts have sometimes had to bend the rule that says hearsay evidence is inadmissible.

And he says there is no one perfect forum for accommodating varying perspectives. Whether it’s the courts, a tribunal or a commission, each has advantages and shortcomings.

Aboriginal rights claims, he says, “challenge what are standard understandings of colonial history, because we have to consider from the Native perspective what the newcomers did.

“The good thing about Canada is that while at the beginning of the claims process the native perspective was dismissed out of hand, that’s not the case anymore. “That is a legacy of the claims process. The Canadian courts have moved the ball forward quite a lot.”

Arthur J. Ray is professor emeritus of history at the University of British Columbia. Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History is published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Photo credit to Michelle Blackwell.

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Prix du Canada

Letters show women were politically engaged during the 1837-38 rebellions

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 10 avril 2017

In the 19th century, there was a sharp distinction between home life – a private domestic world that was essentially feminine – and the public life of business and politics, which was dominated by men.

In a new book, Mylène Bédard of Laval University demonstrates that the boundary between the two worlds was more permeable than it had been believed, particularly for women. By analyzing letters written by some of the women in the lives of the “Patriotes” – the leaders of the 1837-38 rebellions in Quebec – Bédard shows how these women were involved in the political world from which, officially, they were excluded.

Bédard’s book, Écrire en temps d’insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usages de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840) (Writing during the insurrection : Letter-writing and newspaper use among Patriote women (1830-1840)) is the winner of a 2017 Canada Prize awarded by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Bédard says she chose the topic because she wanted to explore what she calls a blind spot in Quebec’s history – the contribution of women to the rebellions.

Many historians, she says, say the women of that time left little in the way of written records. But after a painstaking search through archives – and she invites other historians to go back to original sources – Bédard was able to unearth some 300 letters from five women with links to prominent Patriotes: Julie Bruneau-Papineau (wife of Patriote leader Louis-Joseph Papineau); Rosalie Papineau-Dessaules; Marguerite and Reine-Marie Harnois; and Marguerite Lacorne-Viger.

Her book presents an analysis of those letters. It shows that in addition to having political awareness, these women exerted influence, either to support a husband or to make demands of public authorities. The women of the time formed their opinions by reading newspapers. “The press was for them a springboard to political ideas,” explains Bédard.

And the opinions they formed were expressed in their letters, which were often written just after they had finished reading the morning papers. “It’s kind of like today, when you see something on Facebook and then you comment on it,” explains Bédard.

Julie Bruneau-Papineau, for example, wrote to her husband after reading that he had recently taken a stand on a burning issue of the day. She chastised him for not having talked to her about it, explaining that people in the town were asking her for information on the topic – information she was embarrassed to be unable to provide.

Politics is not the sole topic of the letter. The women also wrote of the children and the ups and downs of domestic life. But Bédard says she is struck by how these women wanted to broaden their world. “There was a desire to not remain silently within the private, domestic world.” she says. “There was a desire to not be excluded from the political arena.”

In fact, she says, the women were on the boundary between two worlds. They entertained each other with elegant dinners, while at the same time talking revolution.

“What fascinates me is that they kept one foot inside what was seen as acceptable for women, while taking advantage of the opportunity offered to them to expand the concept of feminine behaviour.”

Mylène Bédard is a professor in the Department of Literatures at Laval University and a membre of the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la littérature et la culture québécoises. Her book, Écrire en temps d’insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usage de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840) is published by Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

 

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Prix du Canada

Media release: Winners of Canada Prizes announced

 

OTTAWA, April 10, 2017 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Canada Prizes.

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best books by Canadian scholars in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. Winners are selected from books that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, which is administered by the Federation.

“These books are representative of the excellence in scholarly publications in Canada,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “Both of this year’s winning authors examine difficult times in our history — one examining the extreme discord around litigation of Indigenous rights and treaty claims in this country, the other looking at bravery behind the written works of Lower Canadian “Patriotes” in the turbulent 1830-40s. Despite stemming from different disciplines and perspectives, both of these books deepen the understanding of how we grew to be who we are today, and help prepare us for where we are headed as a nation.”

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Arthur J. Ray, Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

Arthur J. Ray’s masterful study is based on three decades of experience in academic research and in courtrooms as an expert witness in the litigation of aboriginal rights and treaty claims in Canada. Contrasting native peoples’ forms of transmitting history with that of academic disciplines like Law, History, and Archaeology, his work illustrates the profound discord between historical evidence based on robust oral traditions and that grounded in the documentary records of European societies.

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales

Mylène Bédard, Écrire en temps d'insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usages de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840) (Presses de l’Université de Montréal)

From the jury’s citation :

Written in a highly accessible style, Écrire en temps d’insurrections examines the epistolary practices of patriot women in Lower Canada between 1830 and 1840. Mylène Bédard’s fascinating analysis of previously untapped sources recognizes the role of women during a turbulent period in Canadian history.

A media kit including biographies and photos of the 2017 winners, along with the full jury citations and brief articles on each book, is available on the Federation’s website.  

The prizes, each valued at $5,000, will be presented at a ceremony during the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University on Sunday, May 28.

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries
Nicola Katz
Manager, Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
T: 613-238-6112 ext. 351
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees #canadaprizes

Statement on Central European University

 

OTTAWA, April 7, 2017 — The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences expresses its deep concern regarding proposed legislative measures that threaten the current status of the Central European University in Budapest.

The legislative measures run counter to the fundamental principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy, which are essential to the role of universities to teach and advance knowledge.

The Federation urges the government of Hungary to withdraw the proposed legislation, endorses the Canadian Political Science Association statement issued on this matter April 6, 2017, and joins academic organizations around the world in its support for Central European University and its 1,500 students from more than 100 countries.  

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. 

Media inquiries: 
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees  

The Doctoral Dissertation – A Consultation

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 6 avril 2017

Guest blog by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS)

There was a time when a PhD dissertation in the Humanities or most Social Sciences was an early version of a single-authored scholarly manuscript. Things are changing. Today, the three-article thesis is accepted –  even the norm – in some disciplines. And dissertations comprised primarily of creative works are a basic requirement in other programs. 

In 2014, Eric Weissman’s (PhD Indi -Concordia) multi-media, interdisciplinary work “Spaces, Places and States of Mind: a Pragmatic Ethnography,” was given CAGS’s Distinguished Dissertation Award. Weissman’s approach recognized that the complexities of homelessness couldn’t be organized into a traditional manuscript. Another example is the recently published thesis on the presence of hip hop in community activism, school-based education and theatre.

There’s no going back.

Humanities and social science disciplines have led the way in contesting the boundaries of the dissertation. Concerns about the changing character of scholarly communication and the employment prospects of Humanities PhDs have been a significant driver. That has prompted the consultations and research done by the CAGS Working Group studying the “Purpose, Content, Structure, Assessment of the Doctoral Dissertation”.  The project is a work in progress and CAGS is partnering with the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences to hold its next consultation session Monday, May 29 between 1530 and 1730 at Congress 2017.

We encourage you to read the document and share your thoughts and observations. If you’re unable to attend this event but have comments you can send them to CAGS Executive Director Sally Rutherford at phd-doctorat@cags.ca  The working group is also seeking further consultations. If you would like to organize one at your institution, contact CAGS. 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Media release: Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences announces new Board members for 2017-18

 

OTTAWA, April 6, 2017 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the results of elections to its 2017-18 Board of Directors. The 2017-18 Board will take office following the Federation’s Annual General Meeting on May 28, 2017.

Elected to the 2017-18 Board during the recent online elections are:

Julia Wright was re-elected for a second term as Director, Associations. Wright is a Full Professor in the Department of English (cross-appointed to European Studies) and University Research Professor at Dalhousie University. Her research primarily involves nationalism and other theories of political sovereignty as they are framed in 18th and 19th century British and Irish literature, particularly in sentimental and gothic modes, and she is currently working on the Irish poet Thomas Moore and Romantic-era Irish literary theory in this context. 

Sandra Lapointe was elected as Director, Associations. Lapointe is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University and a Research Affiliate at the Bertrand Russell Research Centre. Her research focuses on 19th and 20th century philosophy of logic, language and mind. She has published, as author and editor, twelve books and more than fifty specialized articles, has presented her work on four continents and has organized dozens of events of international significance in her field in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Lapointe is the current President of the Canadian Philosophical Association.

The following four positions were acclaimed:

David Sylvester was acclaimed as Director, Institutions. Sylvester is the 8th Principal of King’s University College at Western University, now in his second five-year term. A social-economic historian, Sylvester’s research focuses on the nature of community in the Middle Ages, with a particular interest in the culture of medieval port towns related to activities of shipping, trade, fishing, and piracy.  He maintains a tenured appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of History at King’s and continues to publish on the medieval English urban confederacy known as the Cinque Ports.

Claudia Malacrida was acclaimed as Director, Research Policy. She is Associate Vice-President Research and Professor of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge and is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in the fields of disability studies and the sociology of the body. Her research focuses on qualitative research methods, the history of medicine, childbirth and medicalization, the social construction of difference, and the history of institutionalization and eugenic sterilization in Canada.

Lisa Young was acclaimed for a second term as Director, Institutions. She has been Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary since 2011 and is a Professor of Political Science. Her research interests are Canadian party and electoral politics, with a particular interest in examining how the research environment in Canada, coupled with challenges facing post-secondary education, requires strong advocacy for humanities and social science scholarship and teaching.

Michael E. Sinatra was acclaimed for a second term as Director, Research Dissemination. He is a Professor of English at the Université de Montréal, and Past-President of the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities. He has great professional interest in the impact of technologies on knowledge transfer in the humanities and social sciences. For nearly two decades, his research and professional activities have encompassed such issues as open access, fair dealing in copyright, and archiving and sustainability.

The following two re-appointments were made by the Board of Directors at its March 24-25, 2017 meeting:

Carmen Charette was re-appointed for a second two-year term by the Board to the role of Treasurer. She is Vice-President, External Relations at the University of Victoria, where her broad portfolio includes alumni relations, fundraising, community and government relations, university communications and marketing, ceremonies and events. Charette was previously Executive Vice President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Charette has been a passionate advocate for the support of post-secondary education, research and innovation for over 25 years.

Anne-Marie Fortier, Chair, Award to Scholarly Publications Program Academic Council was extended by the Board for six months. She is a Professor in the Department of Literature at Université Laval. Her area of research expertise is in 19th and 20th century French and Québécois Poetry and she has a strong personal and professional interest in promoting the value of the humanities and their contributions to society.

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The Federation’s new Board of Directors for 2017-2018, effective May 28, 2017:

Guy Laforest, President - Full Professor, Université Laval
Stephen J. Toope, Past President - Director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
Carmen Charette, Treasurer - Vice-President, External Relations, University of Victoria
Cindy Blackstock, Director, Equity and Diversity - Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada; Professor, McGill University, and Director, First Nations Children's Action Research and Education Service (FNCARES)
Anne-Marie Fortier, Chair, ASPP Academic Council - Professor, Département des littératures, Université Laval
Tim Goddard, Director, Teaching and Learning - Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Prince Edward Island
Sandra Lapointe, Director, Associations - Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, McMaster University
Claudia Malacrida, Director, Research Policy - Associate Vice-President Research, Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
Michael E. Sinatra, Director, Research Dissemination - Professor, English Department, Université de Montréal
David Sylvester, Director, Institutions - Principal, Associate Professor, Department of History, King’s University College at Western University
Julia Wright, Director, Associations - Professor, Department of English, Dalhousie University
Lisa Young, Director, Institutions - Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. 

Media inquiries:
Nicola Katz
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
E: nkatz@ideas-idees.ca

 

Expo Passport is back!

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 5 avril 2017

Guest blog by Ashley Craven, Event Planner, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Expo Passport is back for Congress 2017! Once again, attendees will have the opportunity to win great prizes while they visit our exciting Congress Expo exhibitors. Expo is sold out this year and we are looking forward to featuring over 50 exhibitors for our attendees to meet. Check out a full list of exhibitors here

The Expo Passport will be attached to the outside of the Congress Essentials Guide that you will receive at registration. Keep this with you whenever you are in the Expo tradeshow in the Congress Hub. Whether it be to grab a quick snack or refuel on coffee at the RAMS Café, attend a Career Corner session, stop by a book signing, or join one of the many events being held in the two event spaces, make sure you also visit as many of our dynamic exhibitors you can. They all have something interesting to offer.

While you’re there checking out their organization or purchasing a new book hot off one of the university presses, be sure to have your passport stamped by their booth staff. You will need 20 stamps from 20 different exhibitors to have a completed entry. Once it’s completed, drop off your passport to the friendly staff at the Federation booth (booth #11)! All valid entries will be entered to win one of two Congress 2018 packages (including registration and two nights’ accommodations in Regina) or our grand prize of an iPad pro!

You have the full duration of Congress to complete your Expo Passport, so whenever you have some downtime between sessions or during lunch, come take a stroll through Expo and connect with leading community partners, discover remarkable literary works, and network with the best and brightest scholarly minds from across the country and beyond.

Just think how much work you could get done on the go on your new iPad pro with its 12.9-inch display and incredibly fast A9X processor! Alternatively, you could watch untold numbers of episodes of your favourite series on Netflix on the couch while procrastinating on that next deadline. It’s up to you!

All of us at the Federation and all of the exhibitors at Congress Expo can’t wait to connect with you and stamp your passport. See you at Congress!

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Media release: Federation congratulates winners of T-AP Digging into Data Challenge

 

OTTAWA, March 31, 2017 — New funding announced today by research funding agencies in North America, South America and Europe will transform the use of big data in the social sciences and humanities, says the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Federation congratulates the winners of the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) Digging into Data Challenge, as well as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), which is leading Canada’s participation in T-AP. 

Sixteen funders from 11 countries on three continents awarded a total of approximately (US) $9.2 million to 14 international project teams examining big data computational techniques applications specifically in humanities and social sciences research.

“The list of winning projects is diverse and represents many of the areas in which humanities and social science researchers are harnessing the power of big data,” said Christine Tausig Ford, Interim Executive Director of the Federation. “In our highly interconnected world, this kind of international research collaboration is absolutely essential to responding to complex and challenging issues.”

Canada is represented on six of the 14 winning projects, with funding for the Canadian teams coming from SSHRC and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council:

The T-AP initiative is unprecedented­­ in the scope of its collaboration. “We congratulate SSHRC for its work as the Canadian leader of the Trans-Atlantic Platform, which is an important initiative that strengthens and adds to the dynamism of the humanities and social sciences,” Tausig Ford added. “Canada will benefit tremendously from the outcomes of this fascinating work.” 

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries          
Nicola Katz                                
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees

The role of poets as cultural game-changers

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 29 mars 2017

Guest blog by Manina Jones, President, Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English

What is the importance of the poet in the public sphere? 

George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada and E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, is a literary critic keen to understand the rich history and continuing influence of Canadian literary cultures, the role of poets as cultural game-changers who can mobilize the power of language to challenge the way we think. As a poet, Clarke steps up to this role himself, in accessible, dramatic writing, and moving public performances. A scholar, poet and activist, Clarke pursues the mandate of Parliamentary Poet Laureate “to encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language in Canadian society” with a characteristic combination of intellectual vigour, contagious enthusiasm, and personal panache.

In “Poets Revisioning the Constitution,” Clarke’s address at Congress 2017, he will revisit the works and lives of four iconic Canadian poets and their representations of and responses to the données of Canadian civil rights and attitudes toward Indigenous peoples, multiculturalism, bilingualism, and sexual equality, reconsidering their early- and mid-20th-century conceptualizations from the vantage point of Canada’s sesquicentennial. These writers’ diverse commitments to participation in the public realm and influence on Canadian identities in their poetry, policies, and practices, is both powerful and controversial: they include Duncan Campbell Scott, a bureaucrat in the Department of Indian Affairs and engineer of the residential schools system; F.R. Scott, a constitutional lawyer and member of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism; Pauline Johnson, a Mohawk essayist-activist and early feminist performance artist; and A.M. Klein, a Jewish civil rights advocate, speech-writer, and lawyer.

Clarke is a celebrated poet, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, anthologist and literary scholar who has written extensively about race, social justice, and civil society in Canada. Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, a seventh-generation Canadian of African-American and Mi’kmaq heritage, Clarke coined the term “Africadian” and pioneered the study of African-Canadian literature.

Clarke will speak at the joint plenary session of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, the Association of Canadian and Quebec Literatures, and the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, on Sunday, May 28th, at Ryerson University, Heidelberg 201. His lecture is open to the Public.

 

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Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017

Back in hallowed halls: Experiences of a Public Servant-in-Residence

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 29 mars 2017

Jean-Pierre Morin, Adjunct Research Professor and Public Servant-in-Residence, Department of History, Carleton University

Since the age of 12, I have had only one career goal: to be an historian working in the federal government. Yes, this is a rather strange life goal for a kid, but everyone has their dreams. I set out to study history and after completing my graduate studies, I joined the federal department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) in 1999. Throughout my studies, I never had any intention of working in academia – I wanted to be a career public servant and I was very happy being the “departmental historian” at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

In the winter of 2014, however, a stray hyperlink at the bottom of a government of Canada web page got me thinking about something else. After 15 years with the “Feds,” I was looking for new opportunities as an historian and public servant. That stray link — a link to the Canada School of the Public Service’s Public Servant-in-Residence Program — was about to bring me back to a world that I knew, but never thought was the right fit for me.

The Public Servant-in-Residence program places public servants in universities to conduct research, teach, share information and practices, and create links between academia and the public service. Participation in the program requires approval from Deputy Ministers, and university administrators and departments. Ranging from six months to two years, the residency allows participants to interact with faculty members and students, undertake research and collaborate in projects. Upon returning to their home departments, participants can bring new approaches, findings and skills acquired back into the public service.

For my residency, I was hosted by the History Department at Carleton University in Ottawa thanks to the support of Drs. Dominique Marshall, David orugout Dean and John Walsh. In their opinion, I brought a unique public practitioner perspective to the discussion of the role and impact of history beyond academia. For me, the expectations were two-fold: first, that I would bring my experiences as an historian into the classroom through teaching, but also to show that the public service should be a consideration for employment for students of history.

During my time at Carleton, I’ve taught classes on the use of historical thinking in policy-making, on the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada as well as on Canadian political history. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in conferences in Canada and the United States, representing both Carleton and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Most importantly, I’ve met hundreds of students from all walks of life and been able to discuss and debate the use of history, the impacts of government policy on Indigenous peoples, and even helped a few of them find jobs in the public service of Canada.

Working for the federal government means serving the Canadian public. The Public Servant-in-Residence Program helps us reach one segment in which public servants rarely interact. Public servants have unique perspectives and experiences that can enrich the learning opportunities of students and faculty members. Just as important as what a public servant can bring to the classroom, however, is what we can bring back into government: new perspectives, new connections and new approaches.

Hopefully, my time at Carleton has enriched the classroom, because I know that it will enrich the remainder of my career as a public servant.

For more information on the Public Servant-in-Residence Program, please see the Canada School of the Public Service website.

Jean-Pierre Morin is the departmental historian at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Public Servant-in-Residence in the Department of History at Carleton University since September 2015.

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Research and Programs

The Lowdown on Big Data

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 28 mars 2017

Michael Todd, SAGE Publishing

Who’s doing big data?

Based on the buzz that the term has been creating since the turn of the century, perhaps a better question is who isn’t doing big data. Certainly the awareness of giant datasets and their potential to be mined for good, or ill, is well-nigh universal. As political scientist Gary King, who heads Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, is fond of saying, “My mom now thinks she understands what I do.”

As with anything buzzy, the truth is that not nearly so many people really understand what big data really is, and an even smaller number are actively working with it. Last year, SAGE Publishing took a stab at figuring out who was doing big data work and what sort of support they needed. More than 9,000 people, mostly academics, worldwide answered SAGE’s survey. That survey resulted in a white paper, Who Is Doing Computational Social Science? Trends in Big Data Research, and is the genesis of panel at the Congress on June 1.

The survey responses were genuinely global, with 35 countries each supplying at least 50 completed surveys; more than 350 Canadians answered.

Disciplines of respondents were also all over the map, with education, psychology and health sciences each providing more than a thousand respondents. Nonetheless, fields as diverse as the law, nursing, marketing and history joined more traditional social science disciplines such as political science, demographics, criminology and sociology in supplying respondents.

One third of respondents self-identified as having been involved in big data research of some kind, with one of four of them reporting that all or most of their research involved big data or data science methods. Predictably, who is doing the most big data research is in large part explained by type of research associated with the respondent’s discipline. And so, the most common disciplines reporting any big data research were social statistics and research methods, where almost three out of five respondents had been involved in big data research at some point, economics (about half), demography, population studies, and human geography (slightly less than half), and health sciences (slightly less than two out of five).

“Overall,” wrote the white paper’s authors, “these percentages seem very high (especially in the case of history and anthropology, which are not typically disciplines associated with big data), and this further suggests that researchers who are very interested in big data and who are already engaged in big data research were more likely to complete the survey. It may also indicate ambiguity about what people understand by the terms big data and data science.”

Of the remaining two thirds of respondents, those who have not yet engaged in big data research, half of them (3,057 respondents) said that they are either “definitely planning on doing so in the future” or “might do so in the future.” That means that a substantial number of respondents don’t expect to do any big data work period, and while it might seem difficult to escape some brush with big data, some 1,083 of respondents said they definitively are not planning on doing it.

The white paper authors asked social and behavioral researchers about what data sources they used and what tools they used to tap these sources. Among respondents who are already active in computational social science, by far the most common data source they had most recently used for their endeavors was administrative data – government generated data on subjects as diverse as government departments and can include health, education or income. Some 55 percent of respondents reported having used that in their most recent research involving big data.

The next largest source, cited by 29 percent, was social media data, such as Facebook or Twitter. (Multiple answers were possible.) The third most commonly cited was commercial or proprietary data, cited by 23 percent of respondents. Giving an idea of the scope of what can constitute ‘big data,’ the fourth most common response included photographs, video or audio sources.

Because ‘big data’ is new, interdisciplinary and, well, big, the authors posited that it would present “unique problems” to researchers. In fact, a lot of the biggest problems faced by researches will ring true in any academic endeavor – elusive funding, elusive data and that elusive perfect collaborator.

Among big data researchers surveyed about their challenges, 42 percent identified funding as a “big problem,” followed by 32 percent who cited gaining access to commercial or proprietary data and 30 percent “finding collaborators with the right skills and knowledge.” (Multiple answers were allowed.) Of course, the nature of those challenges may have a different complexion for social data researchers, and the respondents also identified challenges that definitely had a big data cast. For example, 30 percent cited learning new software as a major challenge, and 27 percent “learning new analytic methods for myself.”

***

For those interested in learning more about using big data in their social science or humanities research, SAGE Publishing is sponsoring a panel at Congress titled “Getting Comfortable with Big Data” from 10:30-noon on Thursday, June 1. The session takes place at the Expo Event Space in the MAC-Mattamy – Congress Hub.

For more information on SAGE’s work in this area please contact Michael Todd at  Michael.Todd@sagepub.com or visit MethodSpace.com.

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Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

President Lachemi welcomes Congress 2017 to Ryerson University

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 28 mars 2017

Guest blog by Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University 

How does a university prepare to host 10,000 visitors? By building a team, planning down to the smallest details and getting support from across campus, including the president’s office.

With the approach of Congress 2017, Ryerson is getting ready for the largest event it has ever hosted, the culmination of years of preparation. My executive team meets regularly with the organizers, and we are keenly interested in making this Congress an outstanding experience for all attendees. Aside from the number of visitors and events, it is an important moment for our university with so many scholars from across the country visiting our campus for the first time.

The excitement is building on campus. We are anticipating a wonderful and inspiring few days, and an amazing opportunity to show you our university and our city. In fact, our vibrant and diverse Toronto is at the forefront of everything we do, and I can tell you we are all in as a partner in building a great city.

As you plan your trip to Congress 2017, know that we are working hard to make it a memorable event for you and your colleagues. We look forward to seeing you!

Mohamed Lachemi

President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University

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Congress 2017

Budget 2017 focuses on innovation and skills

Partagez ceci:
Jeudi 23 mars 2017

 

Federal Budget 2017 sets out a goal to boost Canada’s prosperity and to ensure this prosperity is shared across society. To achieve this, the government is relying primarily on innovation and lifelong skills development. 

This budget may not have had the kind of major funding announcements for science and research as Budget 2016 (which included significant new increases of $95 billion that year to the research granting councils' base budgets and $2 billion over three years for university and college infrastructure), but it offers some important commitments. Furthermore, much of the story remains to be written, as we look for more details and watch for significant reports and reviews to come. You can read the Federation’s media release here and find a more detailed review of Budget highlights of relevance to our sector in the Federation’s briefing note.  

The Budget includes no new commitments to increase the base budgets of Canada’s federal research granting councils and there is no word on the Canada Foundation for Innovation. But Canada’s research community will get a better idea of the government’s long-term plan for research funding with the release of the long-awaited Naylor report – the report by the independent panel, chaired by former University of Toronto president David Naylor, that was tasked last year to carry out a consultation and review of Canada’s fundamental science system.  The Federation is keen to engage with the recommendations of this Panel on the important role of university discovery research and knowledge infrastructure, across all disciplines.  We also welcome the announcement of 25 new Canada 150 Research Chairs, worth $117.6 million over eight years, funded by reallocating resources from the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program.

As noted, the primary focus of the budget was on innovation and skill development, and the document includes investments to help more Canadians access education and training, including:

  • $225 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $75 million per year thereafter, to establish a new organization to support skills development and measurement in Canada working with provinces and territories.
  • $221 million over five years starting in 2017–18 to help Mitacs meet its strategic goal of facilitating 10,000 work-integrated learning placements a year for graduate students and post docs from all disciplines.
  • $454.4 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $46.3 million per year thereafter, to expand eligibility for the Canada Student Grants program, which includes raising the income eligibility threshold and expanding eligibility to part-time students and students with dependent children.

The Federation was also pleased to see long-awaited investments to help more Indigenous students access post-secondary education, including $90 million over two years, beginning in 2017–18, in increased funding to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program, intended to provide an additional 4,600 Indigenous students with financial support to access post-secondary education; $5 million per year for five years, starting in 2017–18, for Indspire (contingent on them raising $3 million per year in matching funds from the private sector); and $14.7 million over three years starting in 2017–18, to extend and enhance the Northern Adult Basic Education Program.

We also look forward to the promised comprehensive and collaborative review of federal PSE programs for Indigenous students, and note the important commitments to support Indigenous culture and languages, centered on the principle of Indigenous control.

In many ways, Budget 2017 feels like the second film in a trilogy: it develops the themes of the first film and sets up story lines to be developed in a finale. And in the meantime, it tries to tell a compelling story of its own, in this case one in which ideas, innovation and continuous skill development support inclusive prosperity. This is a plan with which the humanities and social sciences community can engage as we continue to take on some of the world’s toughest questions, world-leading research and teaching that will equip new generations of citizens, leaders and innovators.

Let us know your thoughts!

Contact Peter Severinson, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
pseverinson@ideas-idees.ca, @pseverinson

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Federation newsFederal policyFederal budget

Media release: Budget 2017 focuses on skills, talent and innovation

 

OTTAWA, March 22, 2017 — The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes the government of Canada’s long-term plan to help position Canadians for a changing economy and society. Placing Canada’s skilled, talented and creative people at the heart of a more innovative economy will be key to retain and attract talent, develop new ideas and knowledge and keep Canada globally competitive and influential in the years to come.

Many of the details of the federal government’s plan for research and innovation remain unclear. There was no announcement in the Budget of new funding to the base budgets of the federal granting councils, nor to the Canada Foundation for Innovation. This follows substantial new investments made by the federal government last year in discovery research. Last year’s Budget provided an additional $95 million per year to the budgets of the research granting councils starting in 2016–17 — the highest amount of new annual funding for discovery research in more than a decade. 

Details on the government’s plans for university research will likely be included in the report and recommendations of the independent panel reviewing federal funding for fundamental science, chaired by David Naylor. Budget 2017 confirmed that this report will be made public shortly.

“We look forward to the report of this panel and to a discussion about the important role of university discovery research and knowledge infrastructure, across all disciplines,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation and Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. “Sustained long-term increases in federal funding for university research — including in the humanities and social sciences — will be essential to maintaining and enhancing Canada’s role on the world stage.”

A new program announced in the Budget will award 25 Canada 150 Research Chairs to attract top-tier international scholars and researchers to Canada over the next eight years. This program is encouraging as a recognition of the importance of research excellence. The $117.6 million set aside for the new chairs comes from a reallocation of existing resources in the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program.

“Solutions to many of the problems facing Canada today can be found in the classrooms, labs and collaborative spaces where humanities and social sciences faculty conduct research and teach,” said Toope. “Researchers in the social sciences and humanities are helping Canadians deal with a complex and deeply interconnected world.”

The Federation recognizes the federal government’s approach in Budget 2017 must, by necessity, be cautious, given world events and Canada’s economic and fiscal outlook. The Budget announced a number of government reviews, including an examination of its own business innovation programs, and the creation of six “economic strategy tables” to identify innovation opportunities in areas such as clean technology, digital industries and agri-food.

Underpinning the government’s approach to innovation in Budget 2017 is a recognition that Canada’s ability to thrive in a rapidly changing world will depend on our capacity to innovate, adapt, communicate, acquire new knowledge and continue to produce world-leading research.

University researchers in the humanities and social sciences are helping to build new creative industries; to preserve Canada’s cultural and linguistic heritage; to work with Indigenous communities on such issues as self-governance; and to identify ways to make Canada a more inclusive and welcoming country, the Federation notes. “We are encouraged by the federal Budget’s openness to continued progress in making Canada’s research capacity globally significant,” Toope added.

Budget 2017 takes important steps to help ensure that Canada’s future growth is inclusive. The Budget includes investments in Indigenous access and success, with a pledge by the government to undertake a comprehensive review, together with Indigenous partners, of all its current federal programming for Indigenous students seeking post-secondary education.

Announced today were increased funds to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program: $90 million over two years beginning in 2017-18. This increase will support an additional 4,600 students in those years. The Budget also pledges $5 million over five years starting in 2017-18 for Indspire, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting bursaries and scholarships for Indigenous post-secondary students. Funding to support the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages is also included in the Budget.

“New funding to enhance access and success for Indigenous post-secondary students is a welcome step forward,” said Toope. “These funds can be expected to make a contribution to the process of reconciliation.”

The need for greater investment in work-integrated learning experiences for university students has been recognized in Budget 2017 in the expansion of opportunities for students to benefit from meaningful work-integrated learning and mobility experiences. Beginning in 2017-18, $221 million over five years has been allotted to Mitacs, which provides Canadian and global research opportunities and training, including in the humanities and social sciences.  

"The federal government’s emphasis on skills, talent and creative people is a vital step in making Canada more innovative and globally competitive,” Toope concluded.   

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About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit www.ideas-idees.ca.

Media inquiries          
Nicola Katz                                
Manager of Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489
nkatz@ideas-idees.ca
Follow us @ideas­_idees

 

Ryerson presents… Leanne Simpson

Partagez ceci:
Mercredi 15 mars 2017

Guest blog by the Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University

Ryerson University is presenting a wide range of events over the course of Congress 2017, ranging from interdisciplinary lectures, to cultural programming, and more. These diverse community events are intended to compliment Congress 2017 and showcase the thought leadership and vitality of Ryerson University’s downtown campus. For a full list of upcoming events please visit Ryerson Programming.

For example, celebrating the Congress 2017 theme “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands,” Ryerson University is pleased to present “Freedom Sings: Land/Bodies/Resurgence” by Leanne Simpson. 

Simpson, an award-winning Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg musician, writer, academic and First Nations activist, is one of the most influential and compelling Indigenous voices of her generation.

Through story, song and video, Simpson will explore Indigenous nationhood and resurgence.  Sharing works from her recent album f(l)ight (RPM Records), her new book of short stories This Accident of Being Lost (House of Anansi) and her forthcoming academic work on The Radical Resurgence Project (UMP Press), Simpson is sure to provide a provocative, poetic and crucial window into Canada’s colonial practices and how Indigenous communities continue to grow.

“Leanne is a gifted writer who brings passion and commitment to her storytelling and who has demonstrated an uncommon ability to manage an impressive range of genres from traditional storytelling to critical analysis, from poetry to the spoken word, from literary and social activism to song-writing. She is, in my opinion, one of the more articulate and engaged voices of her generation.” — Thomas King

Accomplished, insightful and outspoken, Simpson is an exciting choice to kick off a series of special events being hosted by Ryerson University over the course of Congress 2017.

“Freedom Sings: Land/Bodies/Resurgence” by Leanne Simpson
Sunday, May 28th from 3 to 4 p.m.
ENG 103, George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, Ryerson University
245 Church St., Toronto
Free Admission 

About Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a band member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of four books, including This Accident of Being Lost, Islands of Decolonial Love, and Dancing on Our Turtle's Back, and she is the editor of three anthologies. Leanne is a faculty member at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning in Denendeh, Northwest Territories, and has lectured at a number of universities across Canada and the United States. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and was the winner of the Native American Indigenous Studies Association’s Best Paper Award for “Land as Pedagogy” in 2014.  As a writer, Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King, and she has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards.  Leanne’s new album, f(l)ight, is a haunting collection of story-songs that effortlessly interweave Simpson’s complex poetics and multi-layered stories of the land, spirit, and body with lush acoustic and electronic arrangements. Recorded and produced by an acclaimed cast of Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians, f(l)ight and was released in the fall on RPM Records.

 

 

Mots-clés

Congress 2017

Tools that help us talk about impacts in the humanities

Partagez ceci:
Mardi 14 mars 2017

Tim Kenyon, Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of Arts, Research, University of Waterloo; member of the Federation’s Impacts Project Advisory Group

On February 8-9, I was very happy to meet with colleagues at the University of Manitoba, during a visit organized by the Institute for Humanities. In presentations and discussion sessions, we covered topics relating to the measurement and appraisal of humanities research. A summary of some of the themes raised in those discussions follows.

When asked to provide evidence or descriptions of research impact, humanities researchers typically face two related difficulties. The first is the prevalence and influence of research metrics that do not capture humanities research accurately; the second is the difficulty of proposing characterizations of research impact that do capture humanities research accurately.

We discussed ways in which both difficulties can be addressed through an open, interdisciplinary conversation about research cultures and practices. An extremely valuable tool in preparing for and conducting such a conversation, I suggested, is the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ 2014 working paper “Impacts of Humanities and Social Science Research,” the first product produced through the Federation’s Impacts Project.

Some research reporting and measurement schemes in the university sector are based on assumptions rendering them ill-suited to capture the power and significance of research in the humanities (and in broad swathes of the social sciences as well, though our focus in these meetings was on the humanities). Problematic assumptions can include metrics or evaluation processes that are unduly sensitive to:

  • rapid onset impacts, those that emerge in the short or medium term frame after publication/creation;
  • impacts linked directly to commercialization; or
  • publication and citation practices characteristic of relatively few disciplines in the academy – especially those favouring journal publication over books and conference proceedings, those in which it is common to include large numbers of citations in published articles, and those with highly liberal co-authorship standards.

Humanists are justifiably uneasy about the use of inaccurate metrics. On the other hand, it’s reasonable to want some ways of characterizing and observing research impacts in the humanities in order to understand the effects of humanities research, to be able to defend its value to the polities that materially support it, and to make strategic institutional decisions about research goals. Jointly these considerations speak to the value of a campus-wide conversation aiming at a shared understanding of scholarly practices and research outcomes. If there is a gap between the reality of humanities research and the accuracy of some research metrics, it is important to address both sides of the matter: pointing out weaknesses in the proposed metrics, but also making a positive case about humanities research that will enable better characterizations of it.

The positive case for characterizing humanities research has traditionally been hard to make, simply because it is difficult to spell out the extremely broad sweep of impact forms that humanities scholarship generates. This is where the FHSS’s Impact Project becomes especially valuable, proving to be one of the most useful resources for humanities professors and organizations in Canada (or internationally, for that matter). My presentation brought out some of the respects in which the Federation’s Impacts resources can play a role:

  • building understanding and sharing knowledge within the humanities and social science community of what counts as an impact, and how it may be demonstrated;
  • engaging the research community in a conversation about how best to discuss HSS impacts;
  • developing tools to help SSH researchers demonstrate the impact of their work; and
  • advocating for institutional and systemic policies and practices that characterize the SSH research community accurately.

Of particular importance, I suggested, are the contents of the “bins” of research impact indicators provided in the 2014 impact document. These are collections of impact indicators, grouped by types, which provide researchers, students, staff, institutional leaders, stakeholders, and the public with illustrations of the kinds of impact that humanities research can have. (Readers should also be on the lookout for a forthcoming second paper from the Federation, which considers approaches to assessing impacts in more depth.)

Mots-clés

A Voice for the Humanities and Social SciencesLearningResearchFederal policyEducation

Parochialism and protectionism are the enemies of enlightenment: President Deane

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 13 mars 2017

 

This article was published in McMaster Daily News on February 28, 2017.

By Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University

On January 27, 2017, the White House issued its now notorious Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. As I write this, the order has been blocked by the courts and theoretically citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted by the ban are able to enter the United States as before. A new Executive Order is said to be imminent, however, so it is reasonable to assume that in one form or another discrimination on the basis of faith or ethnicity will continue to be an element in US immigration policy under the present administration.

That the issuing of the Executive Order would provoke protest from civil liberties and immigrants’ rights organizations was entirely to be expected. The volume of complaint from the university sector, on the other hand, may have come as a surprise both to the public and to the authors of the Order. The American Association of Universities issued a statement almost immediately, noting that the ban “is already causing damage and should end as quickly as possible,” and calling on the Administration, “as soon as possible, to make clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome the most talented individuals from all countries to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at our universities.” Scores of institutions—including most of the country’s leading universities—also posted individual statements expressing grave concern about the direction of American immigration and border policy.

Here in Canada reaction from the academic sector was also immediate and followed a similar pattern: Universities Canada led the way, with institutions across the country subsequently releasing their own declarations. Interestingly, on both sides of the border these communications frequently drew attention to their own exceptionality. Thus, “Universities Canada does not typically comment on executive action being taken by another country, but we do so today because of the real impediment this new executive order poses to the free flow of people and ideas and to the values of diversity, inclusion and openness that are hallmarks of a strong and healthy society.”

That last sentence summarizes very well why the Executive Order has triggered such a vehement response from the academy. The sequence tells it all: the “hallmarks of a strong and healthy society”—diversity, inclusion and openness—are essential to the effective functioning of any and all institutions in a democracy; but it is “the free flow of people and ideas” on which the life of any great university specifically depends. Parochialism and protectionism are the enemies of enlightenment, progress and discovery, and no institution can expect or continue to be great if it is walled off from the rest of the world. That is precisely why America’s finest universities spoke out so quickly and with such force on this issue.

Inclusion and openness are not merely desirable conditions for the prosecution of the academic mission, they are for historical reasons essential to it. Universities in the West came into being for no other reason than to protect the unimpeded flow of people and ideas that was understood to be a prerequisite for learning and human advancement. In twelfth-century Bologna the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa intervened to protect foreigners who had come together there to study; and out of that moment in history came both the structural model for institutions of higher learning as well as the intellectual concept that must underpin any university worthy of the name—academic freedom. Implicit in that genealogy is the important point that where there is injustice, intolerance or exclusion, there cannot be academic freedom. Universities have therefore a fundamental and essential obligation to oppose bigotry and closed-mindedness in all its forms.

Those young learners in Bologna were called “clerici vagantes,” “wandering clergy,” and sometimes they were also known as “vagabundi,” a name which should help us see more clearly the historical kinship between the students enrolled in our universities, the academics who work in them, and the world’s migrant populations. Mobility is what links them all: in the case of refugees the goal is home as a geographical place; in the case of “clerici vagantes,” “home” is any milieu in which their curiosity and imaginations can work unfettered for the betterment of humanity. Universities seek to be homes in that sense, but without the free traffic of ideas and the movement of people hungry to engage with the world’s problems and to understand the complexities of life, they cannot properly fulfill their mission. Our universities, like our society, are only enriched and strengthened by diversity of opinions, academic disciplines and people. In recognizing and celebrating that strength, and in responding to those who would seek to restrict it, we commit ourselves even more deeply to the mission of providing a welcoming and inclusive home to scholars from around the globe, to protecting the free flow of ideas and to opposing hatred and intolerance in all its forms.

Understanding and improving campus culture

The University recognizes the strength of a diverse and inclusive campus. McMaster is committed to building a community that is welcoming and respectful of all, and that allows civil debate and academic discourse to flourish.

University campuses though are not immune to the impact of global events and pressures. It is important that, as a community, we recognize and raise awareness of incidents of racism and discrimination, while promoting an appropriate tone and providing supports for marginalized communities.

The President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) has provided insights and recommendations in a new document: Report on Challenging Islamophobia on Campus Initiative: December 2015-May 2016.

Staff members of the Equity and Inclusion Office, Raihanna Hirji-Khalfan and Khadijeh Rakie, undertook the Initiative as part of the Equity and Inclusion Office’s education portfolio. They explain, "We developed the Challenging Islamophobia on Campus Initiative as a result of the violent backlash targeting Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslims, after the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 2015.  The backlash created a climate of fear within the Canadian Muslim community including here at McMaster.  We wanted to be proactive in acknowledging that the demonization and marginalization of Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim, has normalized a culture of Islamophobia where people feel justified in their discriminatory words and actions.  This reality makes it difficult to seek help or even name Islamophobic incidents when they occur.  It was our goal to offer a supportive space for those who have experienced, or fear experiencing, Islamophobia and to work collectively to identify practical means for challenging Islamophobia when it occurs on campus.  We are thankful to the campus members who took part in and offered their support of the Initiative”.

The report was submitted to the President last week and he welcomes the opportunity to review its recommendations and continue the discussion.

The University has undertaken many initiatives over the past year to support diversity and enhance inclusivity. These measures include beginning the process of recruiting a new senior level academic leader – the Vice Provost Equity and Inclusion – who will be responsible for ensuring McMaster is proactively fostering a culture of respect, equity and inclusivity.

The recent Perspectives on Peace initiative sought to build understanding and respect for the perspectives and experiences of people from differing cultures, backgrounds and faiths.

The work of promoting diversity is always ongoing and McMaster continues to explore appropriate ways to raise awareness of issues and provide supports to affected communities.

Mots-clés

Institutional Growth and ChangeLearningTeachingFederal policyEducation and EquityEducation

A Possible Canada for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples

Partagez ceci:
Lundi 6 mars 2017

Geraldine Cahill, Manager, Programs and Partnerships, SiG National


Manager of Programs and Partnerships at SiG Geraldine Cahill (second from left) and Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement Jessica Bolduc (centre) at a project design meeting at Hub Ottawa.

I first heard the question “What does 2067 look like?” asked by the leadership team at MaRS’ Studio Y in Toronto in early 2015. It echoed a similar question posed in a Possible Canadas workshop convened by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and Reos Partners earlier that year. It’s the kind of question that passionate young people get excited about answering. And then they did.

Since that time, a cohort of youth leaders and youth-led organizations have been exploring the development of a vision for a possible Canada and how we could get there together: 4Rs Youth Movement, Apathy is Boring, Studio Y and graduates from the University of Waterloo’s Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation among them.

Together, these groups represent a range of experience, knowhow and action—from systems thinking to movement building, to civic action to reconciliation, to deep partnership. Together we set about finding our North Star: a vision statement for the way forward.

This is where we landed:

In 2067, the diversity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples who share these lands are in an authentic and inclusive relationship with each other and with the natural environment.

Importantly, these words built off of those first spoken by Jess Bolduc, who leads the 4Rs Youth Movement. She placed the language of our North Star in an Indigenous context with particular attention to our relationship to the land.

We then turned our attention to designing a pathway to get there, and Canadian milestone events helped reveal a focus. By the end of 2015, the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released, including 94 Calls to Action. The first Indigenous Innovation Summit was held in Winnipeg and the newly elected federal government announced an inquiry into the deaths of murdered and missing Indigenous women.

It felt right for our small team to focus our vision on Reconciliation as well. Concurrently, the 4Rs had developed a cross-cultural dialogue framework that they have been sharing with a growing number of young people. It is designed to be a shared experience to engage in dialogue that furthers respect, reciprocity, reconciliation, and relevance.

As a team, we have now placed the 4Rs approach at the centre of our work. We are working to amplify their outreach on and off university campuses, support evaluation and storytelling and join them in a national gathering in early 2018 to look ahead and design what’s possible together. The 2018 gathering is a Canada 150 Signature Initiative and promises to be a dynamic and important event in the Reconciliation journey. This work will also be strengthened by partnerships with more and different organizations and networks, including the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, which has provided support, will help to encourage university student participation, and with whom we share a common vision for the future.

If you are between 18-30 years old and would like to attend a 4Rs gathering, please sign up to receive updates on potential events near you. 

Mots-clés

Equity M