April 2016

Archives

Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control

Alex Marland, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Before entering academia, I worked in communications consulting and in government. In the private sector, we had lots of time to ruminate about marketing strategy. But in government, the best laid plans were often dispatched in the rush to deal with the tyranny of the urgent. Why? In the public sector, the intensity of media attention is unrelenting. Communicators lunge from issue to issue. It is a world of nonstop 24/7 media, smartphones, social media outbursts and impossible expectations.

My research in Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control argues that message control and party discipline is important to anyone who rises to the top. I draw on information from over 70 interviews with...

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New to Congress Expo, the Expo Passport

By Ashley Craven, Event Planner at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Formerly known as the Book Fair, our Congress trade show has changed a lot over the past several years. Now known simply as Expo and housed in the Congress Hub, it features over 50 exhibitors that are looking to connect with the attendees at Congress. This year, we have introduced the Expo Passport for our attendees to have the opportunity to win great prizes while they visit our exciting Congress Expo exhibitors.

The Expo Passport will be attached to the outside of the Congress Guide that you will pick up at registration. Keep this with you whenever you are headed to Expo in the Congress Hub. Whether it be to grab a quick snack or refuel on coffee at the Thinking Cup Café, check out the...

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Remembering Stephen Clarkson: Public intellectual, teacher and scholar

Mel Watkins, Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, University of Toronto

Stephen Clarkson was my colleague and friend for more than 50 years. Gracious and congenial, he was an intensely private person.

He was a legendary teacher who could give a polished lecture without notes. I taught a course with him for many years and he set the bar high. He was much respected by students, who gave him high evaluations.

He was a prolific researcher and writer who received many awards. Fittingly, indefatigable at 78, still not retired and with serious health problems, he was in Portugal on a research tour with students when he fell fatally ill. He died on the go, students in his wake, with pen in hand.

He was proficient in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian and Italian.

He...

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Faculty of Environmental Design embraces Congress 2016 theme of “Energizing Communities” through full-day tour of Calgary

Jennifer Robitaille, Communications Specialist, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary

As part of the Congress 2016 exciting line-up of events, the University of Calgary will host six Interdisciplinary symposia to exhibit the university’s most compelling and leading-edge thinking and research. This article is part of a six-part series showcasing each event, all of which are open to Congress attendees and the general public.

On May 30, 2016, the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS) will host Energizing by design: Examining how design-based research is transforming the built environment. This unique, off-campus event is a full-day, multi-...

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Getting radically interdisciplinary with the sciences

Natalie Brender, National Director, Genomics in Society, Genome Canada

 

More visibly than ever, advocates for the humanities and social sciences (HSS) are making the case that their fields must be considered not just on par with, but actually as partners with, the natural sciences in contributing to societal goods. The new federal environment is propitious, with the government’s announced reviews of science policy and innovation policy, as well as a commitment to evidence-based policymaking. These developments offer a new receptiveness to the notion that the natural sciences are most productive when combined with HSS insights.

There are also signs that the natural sciences are becoming more aware of the benefits of getting radically interdisciplinary—meaning not just chemists talking...

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Rethinking graduate education to access greater career opportunities

By Veronica Vincent

As part of the Congress 2016 exciting line-up of events, the University of Calgary will host six Interdisciplinary symposia to exhibit the university’s most compelling and leading-edge thinking and research. This article is part of a six-part series showcasing each event, all of which are open to Congress attendees and the general public.

The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Graduate Studies has taken bold steps over the past few years to enrich the graduate student experience and has made new headway in preparing students for work, not just in academic professions, but also for the private and public sectors.

On May 31, 2016, the Faculty will host an Interdisciplinary symposium called Mobilizing Graduate Students for Diverse...

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10 Ways to Use Digital Humanities to Enhance Your Research, Teaching and Dissemination: June 2 and 3 at Congress

Constance Crompton, Assistant Professor, Digital Humanities and English, Department of Critical Studies | Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies

The DHSI@Congress returns for a third year with eight hands-on workshops and two plenary talks that introduce Digital Humanities (DH) techniques, tools  and methods. Developed for faculty, students, and staff who are curious about DH, but would like a hand getting started, the series features 2.5-hour workshops on topics from project management to DH pedagogy, from theoretical issues to command line 101 (and more!). If you have ever wondered how to create your own multimedia digital exhibits, trace stylistic shifts in a novel, share files with collaborators, or integrate DH into the...

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Powerful Quebec families’ influence still felt today: author

Quebec’s social elite worked for decades to impose its values on Quebec society, and was successful to the point where even public spaces like churches, cemeteries and parks still shape our behaviour, says a McGill University historian.

Brian Young is the author of Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords, which has won the 2016 Canada Prize in the Humanities awarded by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The book follows two prominent families over the course of 150 years, from roughly 1780 to 1930.

The Taschereaus are French and Catholic; the McCords are English-speaking and Protestant. Both families followed a similar path: they parlayed important land holdings into money and influence, and worked hard to make sure each succeeding generation...

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Indigenous knowledge points the way to sustainability, says author

Nancy Turner says the knowledge accumulated over thousands of years by indigenous peoples shows it’s possible to develop a sustainable approach to the use of natural resources. That knowledge, she says, allowed people to survive and thrive through climate change events as important as the end of the last ice age.

Turner, an ethnobotanist, has won the 2016 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences for her two-volume study of the knowledge of plants possessed by indigenous peoples in northwestern North America. The prize is awarded by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Entitled Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America, Turner’s book examines the relationship between people and plants in an area that...

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Food and Power: When the elites tell us what to eat

 

Food, says Caroline Durand, brings together a number of different aspects of human life, such as health, science, relations between the sexes, social relations and our relationship to nature. Food is therefore an interesting prism through which to examine humans.

In her book Nourrir la machine humaine : Nutrition et alimentation au Québec, 1860-1945, Durand paints the portrait of a society in which the people with power try to impose their values through food. The book has won the 2016 Canada Prize in the Humanities awarded by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The period Durand studies roughly covers Quebec’ industrialisation and the massive movement of people from the countryside to the cities. At the same time, people were beginning to adopt processed food, which...

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Teens and sexy outfits: Taking a second look at the issue ‘hypersexualization’ of fashion

About a decade ago, singer Britney Spears set off a storm of controversy when teenage girls started imitating her ‘sexy’ style of dress.

Caroline Caron, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, has taken a second look at the issue in a new book that attempts to deconstruct the debate – in part by hearing what teenage girls have to say about it.

Her book Vues, mais non entendues : Les adolescentes québécoises et l’hypersexualisation has won the 2016 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences.

Caron says that there never was a proper debate around the issue of teenage girls imitating Britney Spears’ style of dress, because at the time everyone seemed to agree that it was a bad thing.

“There seems to have...

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The Faculty of Nursing’s symposium will take a fresh, multidisciplinary approach to compassion during Congress 2016

As part of the Congress 2016 exciting line-up of events, the University of Calgary will host six Interdisciplinary symposia to exhibit the university’s most compelling and leading-edge thinking and research. This article is part of a six-part series showcasing each event, all of which are open to Congress attendees and the general public.

On Sunday May 29, the Faculty of Nursing will host an Interdisciplinary symposium on compassion called Compassion under Contemporary Conditions: Keynote with Margaret Atwood; panels with scholars and community leaders. Why compassion and why now?  Glad you asked!   Symposium leads Graham McCaffrey (RN PhD) and Shane Sinclair (BA, MDiv, PhD) answer all your burning questions.

Q: So why compassion and why now?

McCaffrey: Compassion has become a subject of interest...

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Philosophy researchers bring their perspectives to partners’ research challenges

 

Robyn Dugas, Communications Coordinator, Mitacs

Mitacs and the University of Waterloo’s Department of Philosophy have partnered on an initiative that sees graduate and postdoctoral researchers using philosophical approaches in their collaborations with regional partners.

The collaboration emerged following a 2014 internship between Teresa Branch-Smith, a philosophy PhD candidate at the university, and Philip Beesley Architects. Together, they examined philosophical constructions of life and living as applied to “near-living” architecture. The project’s success demonstrated the potential for collaborations between philosophers and...

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Access to Social Justice symposium will explore social justice issues in Calgary

By Natalie Dawes and Alison Abel

Law and Social Work faculties aim to develop policies and action plans that will make real improvements in access to social justice. Top speakers include Thomas Cromwell, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and more—read on!

As part of Congress 2016 exciting line-up of events, the University of Calgary will host six Interdisciplinary symposia to exhibit the university’s most compelling and leading-edge thinking and research. This article is part of a six-part series showcasing each event, all of which are open to Congress attendees and the general public.

On May 28, the Faculties of Law and Social Work will...

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