Blog

Welcome to the blog for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Posts on this site are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Federation, its staff or its board of directors. Entries are posted in the language of the author.

Members of the university research community are invited to make guest blog submissions on issues relating to the wellbeing of the humanities and social sciences research and learning enterprise in Canada. Click here to read the Federations’ blog policy. Please send your submission to communications@ideas-idees.ca.

Le confinement comme prétexte politique

Blogue invité par Patrick Ouadiaboutou, Enseignant chercheur et auteur, Université Marien Ngouabi,Congo Brazzaville. 

L’année 2019 s’est refermée sur une crise sanitaire d’ampleur mondiale qui augure des lendemains sombres du premier semestre 2020. En effet, commencée dans la Wuhan comme épidémie le 17 Novembre 2019, le coronavirus deviendra très vite une pandémie compte tenu de son expansion rapide sur tous les continents. Entre autres mesures prises pour endiguer ce fléau  jusqu’ici sans remède, figure le confinement des habitants en vue de stopper la chaîne de contamination. L’Afrique, un des cinq continents, n’en est pas épargné. Le Congo-Brazzaville en Afrique centrale, au pire de sa crise économique vit une nouvelle crise : la pandémie dite COVID-19. Au regard des mesures prises sur ce continent,...

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Exhausted? Slow Down and Listen (to Disabled Wisdom)

Guest blog by Erika Katzman, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.), and Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King’s University College at Western University.

When I met Gini* five years ago, I was surprised to learn that she doesn’t get any extra break time at work. The context of our meeting was that she hired me to give her a hand with everyday physical tasks: things like dressing, using the toilet, and getting in and out of bed. At home, Gini’s personal support needs are met by a publicly funded attendant care service. When Gini travels, however, she pays out of pocket for supports that can travel with her.

Because I help Gini with toileting, I know that it takes her at least 15 minutes to execute a simple pee break. When I am at work, my relatively able body can...

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We Must Tackle and Dismantle Systemic Racism and White Supremacy.

Guest blog by Dr. Bathseba Opini, Assistant Professor of Teaching, The University of British Columbia

The exploitation, control and violence against Black people in the Americas is not a new phenomenon. We have seen the world of Black people worsen each day, month, year, decade, and century. The events of May 25, 2020 were another breaking point in the long history of Black oppression by systems and structures controlled predominantly by white people. George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was murdered in cold blood by Derek Chauvin – a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Black people have been punching bags of racist white police officers and white systems for centuries. Black people have been pinned down for ages by white systems which empower white people like Chauvin to use a knee to neck tactic to restrain Floyd. Anti-Black racism must be understood as different from racism, which is a systemic reality; killing, institutionalized abuse...

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Emma Donoghue: “We’re relying on the arts more than ever.”

Lily Polowin, Digital Communications Officer at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

On Tuesday, June 2, we’re very excited to be presenting, along with the Association for College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), the plenary Generation Gaps with renowned Irish novelist and scholar Emma Donoghue. This will be Donoghue’s very first digital lecture (apart from a Facebook Live with author Philip Pullman!) and I had the honour to interview her for the occasion.

Generation Gaps will be a talk (with short readings) about the challenges – technical, psychological, political and even ethical – raised by writing about both youth and age. It is a...

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Accessibility on the Fringes in a Time of Crisis

Guest blog by James Deaville, professor and musicologist at Carleton University.

Post-secondary institutions have responded with alacrity to the needs of undergraduate students, whose lives and studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate students whose research relies upon lab work, ethnography or archival study have found themselves more severely disadvantaged by the novel coronavirus’ impacts on access to these vital resources (Zahneis 2020). Faculty and staff have experienced significant disruptions of their own, as entry to campus offices is prohibited and the distinction between home and work further erodes. Some of us have the extra charge of home-schooling children while teaching, administering and—as time and energy permit—engaging in research activities. Add to that the veritable...

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