Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Keeping Ontario on the map! Exploring our transforming landscapes online

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...

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Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 2 of 2

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 Federationblog 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...

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Indigenous ways of knowing and the academy: Part 1 of 2

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...

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Une étudiante étrangère explore le bien-être des jeunes autochtones à l’aide des arts et de la culture

Blogue par Robyn Dugas, Spécialiste de contenu, Mitacs

Jessica Blain était une étudiante en troisième année du premier cycle de l’Université Australia à Sydney. Par un Stage de recherche Mitacs Globalink à l’Université Concordia, elle a aidé à évaluer l’impact d’un programme de théâtre communautaire sur le bien-être des jeunes d’une communauté éloignée des Premières nations du Nord de la Saskatchewan. Ses expériences lui ont démontré le potentiel qu’ont les programmes artistiques pour fournir un espace positif afin de promouvoir le développement créatif et le leadership parmi les jeunes autochtones....

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International student explores Indigenous youth wellbeing with arts and culture

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...

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L’élaboration efficace de politiques nécessite des voix des sciences sociales et humaines

Blogue par Steve Higham, Analyste des politiques

Les décisions politiques mal éclairées ont des conséquences importantes et durables. Souvent, les critiques tiennent pour acquis que les décisions politiques négatives peuvent être évitées seulement si les décideurs sont guidés par des données et des preuves scientifiques. Toutefois, les données et les preuves ne sont pas les seuls facteurs qui éclairent le processus d’élaboration de politiques. Pour la majorité des questions, les décisions seront influencées par des considérations culturelles et politiques, avec les croyances, principes et valeurs correspondants qu’un gouvernement peut ou pas...

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Effective policy making needs voices from the social sciences and humanities

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...

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The Doctoral Dissertation – A Consultation

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...

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Expo Passport is back!

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...

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The role of poets as cultural game-changers

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...

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