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

Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture

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...


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

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....

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What you need to know about Congress 2018 calls for papers

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...

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Graduate student awards

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...

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Members come first

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...
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