May 2016

Archives

We’re all in this canoe called Canada together

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

Referencing the famous statue “Spirit of Haida Gwaii” by Indigenous artist Bill Reid, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada) addressed the issue of accommodation in her Big Thinking lecture The Rule of Law in a Multicultural Society, hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences on May 30th.

The Chief Justice argued that accommodation is not a state to be achieved or a destination to be reached; it is an ongoing process, an ideal for which we must ever strive.

She spoke passionately about how to deal with diversity in modern society, how to deal with the “other,” which she sees as the most challenging issue facing the world today. She argued that Canada was founded as a nation that constitutionally recognized diversity (of various indigenous and European peoples under an umbrella of federalism that recognized differences in...

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We need to enlarge our circle of compassion, says Naomi Klein

 

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

There is no doubt that climate change is real and contributing to natural disasters around the world: our global temperature has risen by approximately one degree since the preindustrial era; recently we have seen how the Fort McMurray wildfires have displaced thousands of families; and the current extreme heat wave in India and Pakistan is expected to cost many lives. Climate scientists have said that this is the decade to make significant changes in order to prevent global warming. Urgent and swift action is needed. Award-winning author and journalist Naomi Klein believes that nations must take a leap, rather than small steps, in order to shift the world to a place where climate change does not pose the level of threat it does today.

Klein emphasizes an important point: climate change is not only a cause—a cause of disaster and the Earth behaving in strange ways—but also a symptom. It is a symptom...

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HSS grads in the workplace: Better than Baristas

 

Peter Severinson, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

If you work in the humanities and social sciences (HSS), there is likely one myth you are tired of hearing: that their graduates will not be able to find good jobs, that they’ll all be working as overeducated baristas. Well, thanks to an enlightening presentation entitled Barista or better? Where will a university or college degree take you? on the opening day of Congress 2016 by Dr. Ross Finnie, we now know this isn’t true.

Finnie, whose background is in economics, is the Director of the Education Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa. His group is studying the labour market outcomes of students who graduated from 14 universities and colleges between 2005 and 2012. The final report is not available yet, but Finnie was able to share an enlightening sneak peek to his Congress audience.

Finnie’s current project is a...

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Margaret Atwood: Compassion under contemporary conditions

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

How can you describe a talk by Canadian literary icon and living legend Margaret Atwood? To do it true justice would take the literary chops of Ms. Atwood herself, something I will never claim to have. What I can say is that she is an intellectual iron gauntlet under a velvet glove of quiet dignity and razor-sharp wit.

As part of her keynote address today for the University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing’s Compassion Under Contemporary Conditions Interdisciplinary Symposium, Atwood dared to ask the question, “compassion: how much is too much?” Those of us who see compassion as a universal good might bridle at this inquiry; but in laying out a popular history of the nurse in Western culture (wives and mothers kept locked out of public life because of their “natural compassion,” near-angelic Florence Nightingale carbon copies, passive and sexually available objects)...

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The Power to Change: Leadership, community and resiliency

 

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

“Aho Mitayyuke Oyasin.” Mayor Naheed Nenshi greeted a full auditorium of Congress attendees with a traditional Indigenous greeting: “greetings to all of my relations.” This phrase, taken from the Lakota language, emphasizes the oneness and entwinement of society. Nenshi used the importance of this concept to deliver a gripping lecture on creating prosperous, resilient and functioning communities. He emphasized the necessity of people from all walks of life to work together in order to make good ideas a reality within their communities.

As arguably the most well-liked mayor in Canada, Nenshi was in a good position to speak on this matter. Recounting a tough moment in Calgary’s history, Nenshi told of his experience in responding to the 2013 floods in the city. A few facts that highlight the severity of this include: the Elbow River usually flows 30-40 cubic metres per second and at the time of the...

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Vaudeville as a form of indigenous self-expression

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

What do you think of when you hear or read Vaudeville? Nostalgia for a simpler time of gas-lamp lit stage productions? A smile at the thought of the slapstick, episodic comedies that gave rise to early cinema and classic cartoons? Or maybe more problematic images such as the racialized minstrel shows?

I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t have thought of Vaudeville as a space where indigenous performers could practice greater autonomy, self-determination and identity building than in any other venue available at the time. But this was one of the central points of Christine Bold’s fascinating lecture, “Indigenous Modernities: From Wild West to Vaudeville.”

Professor Bold (University of Guelph) described some of the results of her ongoing project to recover a hidden history in which native performers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries used the Vaudeville stage to construct modern indigiocity....

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'The Container' theatre performance at Congress is innovative and fresh

 

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 is about more than groundbreaking academic panels and innovative keynote speakers; it’s also about showcasing cultural events organized by the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). The first of these performances is an excerpt of the play The Container by Clare Bayley, directed and designed by University of Calgary MFA graduate students Azri Ali and Michael Sinnott.

Mr. Sinnott’s stage design features a wood and plexiglass replica of a standard shipping container wherein three female refugees, desperate to reach safety in Britain, must contend with an antagonistic agent working to smuggle them across the border—for a price. Placed on either side of the container, in a format that Mr. Sinnott describes as a “parliamentary stage” (political implication definitely intended), the audience is forced to contend not...

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Congress in the news - May 28

 

Congress 2016: Pseudolus

CBC

This weekend you've got a chance to see an ancient Roman play -- first performed way back in 191 B.C -- at a baseball diamond at Foothills Stadium. Clem Martini is the Chair of the U of C's drama department...

University of Calgary to host an inside scoop on Canadian politics

The Globe and Mail

It is often described as the academic Olympics, but the upcoming Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences that runs for the next week at the...

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The 2016 Calgary Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada: Some thoughts on the university as a community

Guy Laforest, President-Elect of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor, Departement of Political Science, Université Laval

This blog was published on Guy Laforest's website on May 25th, 2016

The University of Calgary, placed at the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, will be the host, from May 28 to June 3, 2016, of the congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. More than 8,000 participants, representing over 70 scholarly associations in the great family of the humanities and the social sciences will hold their annual meeting in the economic metropolis of Alberta, united around a federating topic: energizing communities. In a country as immense as Canada,...

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The 2016 Calgary Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada: Some thoughts on the university as a community

Guy Laforest, President-Elect of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor, Departement of Political Science, Université Laval

This blog was published on Guy Laforest's website on May 25th, 2016

The University of Calgary, placed at the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, will be the host, from May 28 to June 3, 2016, of the congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. More than 8,000 participants, representing over 70 scholarly associations in the great family of the humanities and the social sciences will hold their annual meeting in the economic metropolis of Alberta, united around a federating topic: energizing communities. In a country as immense as Canada,...

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Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship: The Evolving Role of the Professor

By Stephen Higham, M.A. - Policy Analyst

Universities have always been essential contributors to their communities. But they are increasingly being turned to as resources to resolve pressing social and economic challenges in the communities they serve, and as important bridges between the academy and these communities.

These professors play an essential (but often underappreciated) role within in Canada’s innovation ecosystem. Not only do they produce original research, lead major projects, and contribute to the day-to-day administration of our universities, they also provide mentorship to the next generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs.

There are nearly 17,000 professors in Canada across a range of disciplines, and they are the backbone of what is arguably our greatest strength as an innovative nation: research excellence. Canada is among the...

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Arctic sovereignty & security: Conflict, cooperation or something else?

Sarah Hertz, Marketing Administrator, University of Calgary Press

The Arctic is front page news in Canada and around the world. Mixed messages from journalists, academics, and government representatives predict both conflict and cooperation in the region. On the one hand, there is talk of “a new Cold War” brewing, tied to a “race for resources” – with nations scrambling to claim the riches of this newly accessible region, producing military technology specially designed for Arctic operations. On the other hand, many observers believe this to be an era of increased cooperation between nation states, rooted in international law, with a respect for sovereign rights and responsible stewardship.

There is lively debate in Canada about what these developments mean for the future of our Arctic and the circumpolar world more generally. Although Canadians allegedly eschew conflict, competing viewpoints can clarify the issue and stimulate discussion....

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Roméo Dallaire to conclude a full day of exploring gender and sexual security with Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Kathleen Lahey and Sarelle Azuelos through a unique event during Congress 2016

By Nancy Janovicek, Annette Timm and Jennifer Robitaille

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 June 1, 2016, the Faculty of Arts will host Spaces of gender and sexual security. This truly interdisciplinary event will feature University of Calgary campus workshops and plenary sessions with tours of art and historical...

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The wounded ones: Conversations about the multiple legacies of colonialism

Peter Midgley, University of Alberta Press

Sunday, May 29 from 11 am to 12 pm
Congress 2016, Main Expo Event Space
Light refreshments provided

For countries like Canada, Namibia, Rwanda, and Palestine, the ravages of colonialism represent unresolved trauma that has been passed from generation to generation. The effects of such inter-generational trauma are often difficult to identify and broach in conversation, and raise more questions than answers.

Come and join moderator Marcello Di Cintio and our panelists as they discuss the experiences of genocide from around the world and attempt to answer some of these questions. Peter Midgley looks back at the Namibian genocide and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which served as a model for the Canadian TRC, while Juliane Okot Bitek discusses her work remembering the Rwanda genocide. Ghada Ageel speaks about Palestine and whether what is...

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De l’ordre et de l’aventure. La poésie au Québec de 1934 à 1944

François Dumont, professeur titulaire, Université Laval

 

Le Prix d’auteurs pour l’édition savante (PAES) a été créé en 1941. Dans le cadre des célébrations du 75e anniversaire du programme en 2016, les membres du Conseil scientifique du PAES ainsi que d’autres érudits réputés contribueront à la série de blogues Livres à vous! en évoquant des livres marquants qui ont bénéficié d’une subvention du PAES et qui ont tenu une grande place pour leur discipline ou pour eux personnellement en tant que chercheurs, enseignants ou étudiants....

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Some reflections on the founding of Canada

Guy Laforest, Professor, Departement of Political Science, Université Laval

This blog was published on Guy Laforest's website on May 15th, 2016

« The 1864 Conference of Québec 150 years later : understanding the emergence of the Canadian federation ». Such is the title of a collection of essays, edited by Eugénie Brouillet, Alain-G. Gagnon and myself, that just got published in French by Presses de l’Université Laval (https://www.pulaval.com/produit/la-conference-de-quebec-de-1864-150-ans-plus-tard-comprendre-l-emergence-de-la-federation-canadienne). This book is part of a...

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Research methods: The right tool for each job

By Michael Todd, Social Science Communication Manager, SAGE Publishing

Some years ago, two great research traditions arose in social and behavioral science: talking to people and gathering data and numbers about people. A hybrid tradition, which goes by various names but which we’ll call ‘mixed methods,’ arose in the interstices of those qualitative and quantitative approaches.

But something else arose in those traditions: partisans of each method. The advocates of one tradition could at times have a ‘take-no-prisoners’ attitude toward practitioners of the other one—a divide that grew as the volume of data available to quants grew exponentially. This “methodological...

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We live for this – Our first Congress

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

In the fall of 2015, the Federation took on three new staff members to join its events team: Lindsey DenBoer, Emily Nelms and myself (Ashley Craven). We all come from varying backgrounds within the meetings and events industry, which makes us a dynamic and well-rounded team. In pairing with our Manager of Congress, Terry D’Angelo, and our Registrar, Donna LeLièvre, who has been with the Federation for over 15 years, we have come together to pore over every logistical detail for our 8,000+ expected attendees.

Our “Ideas can..." branding at the Federation couldn’t be a more accurate description of the culture here in our office in Ottawa. Our fresh ideas along with the expertise of the veterans on our team are fusing together to execute the biggest academic conference in Canada. For the three of us, this is our first Congress and we are proud to have worked behind...

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Research at the University of Windsor offers new possibilities for international student

Robyn Dugas, Communications Coordinator, Mitacs

Yashasvini Rajeswar knew from her first year at IIT Madras in India that she wanted to pursue a research opportunity in Canada. “I had previously travelled to Canada. I fell in love with the country and knew that I had to return eventually. I learned about the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship in my first year and had heard stories about it from older classmates and friends.”

Yashasvini’s degree is in development studies, so she researches topics such as globalization, gender studies and urban development. After applying for the internship, she was matched with Dr. Roy Amore in the University of Windsor’s political science department.

Their research project explores the intersection of religion and...

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Manager’s welcome to the Hotel Alma

Amy Turner-Keller, General Manager, Hotel Alma & Seasonal Residence

When the University of Calgary was chosen to host the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, we made sure to attend the preceding Congresses at Brock University and at the University of Ottawa to learn all we could. It's now our turn; we've taken what we've learned, added our own blend of Calgary hospitality, and created what we hope to be an outstanding experience.

As a proud ambassador of both the university and of Calgary, let me be the first to welcome you to our campus and to our city. We couldn't be prouder of both!

With over 8,000 attendees ready to make the most of Congress, preparations are being undertaken all over...

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Panel Discussion - The role and future of community associations: to discuss the importance of community associations and the role they play in our daily lives

By Brian Conger Urban Policy Program, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary and Jyoti Gondek, Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies, Haskayne School of Business, 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 Thursday, June 2, 2016 The School of Public Policy’s Urban Policy Program, in partnership with the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the...

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