Congrès des sciences humaines

Workshop offers alternate model for student engagement in and out of the classroom

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

On June 2 at Congress 2016, Lisa Stowe (University of Calgary) lead a special session of Career Corner hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the University of Calgary entitled Flip your classroom to increase student engagement. Stowe laid out an alternative to traditional lecturing by creating a community of learners in the classroom and by breaking down the traditional boundaries between instructors and students.

This community of learners is formed by literally flipping the environments in which new content is disseminated to students and in which students demonstrate knowledge of and make use of said content. In the flip method, new material is assigned as “homework” (in the form of online resources such as podcasts, YouTube clips and PowerPoint presentations), while creative engagement with that material is performed in the classroom.

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The Harper Decade: reflecting on ten years of Conservative government

Zahura Ahmed, Congress student blogger

From 2006 to 2015, Canadian federal politics were marked by the distinctive leadership style and priorities of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party. From domestic and foreign policy, to institutions and structures, little in Canadian politics was left untouched. This morning, three prominent Conservative Canadians, Preston Manning, Ian Brodie, and Tom Flanagan, provided their reflections on the ‘Harper Decade’ at Congress 2016.

The three panelists spoke about Harper’s legacy, including their views on what were his major accomplishments as well as missteps. They highlighted his role in consolidating a strong new Conservative Party that was able to hold power and the support of many Canadians for so long. Panelists commented that under Stephen Harper the geopolitical centre of gravity of the party and Canadian politics shifted to the right, demonstrating that this is possible, which represents his...

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Canada’s Energy Paradox

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

How do we reconcile the fact that our economy is driven by fossil fuels while facing an urgent need to transition to a low-carbon energy system? This is a contentious issue that is on the minds of many political leaders around the world, and was addressed by  one of Canada’s leading writers and speakers on sustainability, Chris Turner, at an event hosted by the Environmental Studies Association  at Congress 2016.

Turner began with a blunt fact: leaders have recently been making grand promises about renewable technologies, when it is in fact impossible to fulfill such promises in their suggested timeframes due to the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. While reducing this reliance is the most urgent priority  of our time, it will take decades to do so--this is a problem that is multi-generational. Turner believes that the scope of the problem and the duration of the response has been misrepresented,...

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Workshop panelists offer sage advice on expanding your research methodologies

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

During their June 1st Career Corner workshop at Congress 2016Can we all get along? Bridging the quantitative-qualitative divide (hosted by SAGE Publishing and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences), Professors Alex Clark (University of Alberta), Ian Milligan (University of Waterloo), and Michael Young (Royal Roads University) offered advice on developing comprehensive methodologies that embrace both the quantitative and the qualitative.

Professor Clark spoke about how qualitative method users need to learn how to speak to the gatekeepers of certain specialist journals who are more familiar with quantitative methodologies in order to get their work published. He gave three critical pieces of advice: care about methods by talking, sharing, writing and publishing about your methodology and ontology (he suggested Twitter as a great place to start); be crystal...

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We need to enlarge our circle of compassion, says Naomi Klein

 

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

There is no doubt that climate change is real and contributing to natural disasters around the world: our global temperature has risen by approximately one degree since the preindustrial era; recently we have seen how the Fort McMurray wildfires have displaced thousands of families; and the current extreme heat wave in India and Pakistan is expected to cost many lives. Climate scientists have said that this is the decade to make significant changes in order to prevent global warming. Urgent and swift action is needed. Award-winning author and journalist Naomi Klein believes that nations must take a leap, rather than small steps, in order to shift the world to a place where climate change does not pose the level of threat it does today.

Klein emphasizes an important point: climate change is not only a cause—a cause of disaster and the Earth behaving in strange ways—but also a symptom. It is a symptom...

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'The Container' theatre performance at Congress is innovative and fresh

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 is about more than groundbreaking academic panels and innovative keynote speakers; it’s also about showcasing cultural events organized by the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). The first of these performances is an excerpt of the play The Container by Clare Bayley, directed and designed by University of Calgary MFA graduate students Azri Ali and Michael Sinnott.

Mr. Sinnott’s stage design features a wood and plexiglass replica of a standard shipping container wherein three female refugees, desperate to reach safety in Britain, must contend with an antagonistic agent working to smuggle them across the border—for a price. Placed on either side of the container, in a format that Mr. Sinnott describes as a “parliamentary stage” (political implication definitely intended), the audience is forced to contend not...

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