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.

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What does International Women's Day mean to you? Federation staff perspectives.

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

The Federation currently has 18 staff members, 14 of which are women. Being part of a team of strong women inspires me daily, and so this International Women’s Day, I wanted to probe my colleagues to see what empowering thoughts were blooming within. I asked staff if they’d be interested in answering this question: What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Here are the answers I received. Enjoy, and Happy International Women’s Day!

Lamis El-Zein, Executive Assistant:

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate girls and women all over the word, and to honour those who...

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Welcome to Congress 2020: “Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism.”

Guest blog by Jeff Tennant, Academic Convenor of Congress 2020 and Associate Professor, Department of French Studies, Western University

The Congress theme this year is incredibly timely as Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast navigate thorny issues from the Wet'suwet'en land dispute to the global coronavirus outbreak, not to mention a highly divisive presidential campaign currently underway south of the border that will greatly affect us all no matter the outcome.  

For nearly 90 years, Congress has united more than 70 scholarly organizations 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.


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Boxes and trolleys and tape, oh my! The Federation moves offices.

Lily Polowin, Communications Coordinator, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The first time I experienced the joy of moving was when I packed up my teddy bear, band posters, my first laptop, and my dignity in many boxes and made the trek out to Lennoxville, QC to move into my residence at Bishop’s University where I was going to be studying music and philosophy. In second year, I recall living in a very cramped four-bedroom apartment on top of the local poutine restaurant, and in third year, a horrific day in which a roommate and I moved two apartments’ worth of contents into separate apartments. Watching my roommate haul his fridge up four flights of stairs is a sight I will never forget....

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Beyond a Single Story: Black Lives and Hidden Figures in the Canadian Academy

photo of Dr. Malinda S. Smith standing in front of bookcase wearing redGuest blog by Dr. Malinda S. Smith, a Professor of Political Science and a 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow at the University of Alberta, a former Executive member (Equity & Diversity) on the FHSS Board, coauthor of The Equity Myth (2017), and a coeditor of the forthcoming book, The Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy.

As Congress 2020 undertakes to “Bridge Divides” and confront the intersections of colonialism and anti-Black racism, it is critical to confront the histories and multiplicity of Black lives in Canada. As Desmond Cole’s new book reminds us, Black lives are neither reducible to “...

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