March 2017

Archives

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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Back in hallowed halls: Experiences of a Public Servant-in-Residence

Jean-Pierre Morin, Adjunct Research Professor and Public Servant-in-Residence, Department of History, Carleton University

Since the age of 12, I have had only one career goal: to be an historian working in the federal government. Yes, this is a rather strange life goal for a kid, but everyone has their dreams. I set out to study history and after completing my graduate studies, I joined the federal department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) in 1999. Throughout my studies, I never had any intention of working in academia – I wanted to be a career public servant and I was very happy being the “departmental historian” at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

In the winter of 2014, however, a stray hyperlink at the bottom of a government of Canada web page got me thinking about something else. After 15 years with the “Feds,” I was looking for new opportunities as an historian and public servant....

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The Lowdown on Big Data

Michael Todd, SAGE Publishing

Who’s doing big data?

Based on the buzz that the term has been creating since the turn of the century, perhaps a better question is who isn’t doing big data. Certainly the awareness of giant datasets and their potential to be mined for good, or ill, is well-nigh universal. As political scientist Gary King, who heads Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, is fond of saying, “My mom now thinks she understands what I do.”

As with anything buzzy, the truth is that not nearly so many people really understand what big data really is, and an even smaller number are actively working with it. Last year, SAGE Publishing took a stab at figuring out who was doing big data work and what sort of support they needed. More than 9,000 people, mostly academics, worldwide answered SAGE’s survey. That survey resulted in a white paper,...

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President Lachemi welcomes Congress 2017 to Ryerson University

Guest blog by Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University 

How does a university prepare to host 10,000 visitors? By building a team, planning down to the smallest details and getting support from across campus, including the president’s office.

With the approach of Congress 2017, Ryerson is getting ready for the largest event it has ever hosted, the culmination of years of preparation. My executive team meets regularly with the organizers, and we are keenly interested in making this Congress an outstanding experience for all attendees. Aside from the number of visitors and events, it is an important moment for our university with so many scholars from across the country visiting our campus for the first time.

The excitement is building on...

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Budget 2017 focuses on innovation and skills

 

Federal Budget 2017 sets out a goal to boost Canada’s prosperity and to ensure this prosperity is shared across society. To achieve this, the government is relying primarily on innovation and lifelong skills development. 

This budget may not have had the kind of major funding announcements for science and research as Budget 2016 (which included significant new increases of $95 billion that year to the research granting councils' base budgets and $2 billion over three years for university and college infrastructure), but it offers some important commitments. Furthermore, much of the story remains to be written, as we look for more details and watch for significant reports and reviews to come. You can read the Federation’s media release here and find a more detailed review of Budget highlights of relevance to our sector in the Federation’s...

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Ryerson presents… Leanne Simpson

Guest blog by the Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University

Ryerson University is presenting a wide range of events over the course of Congress 2017, ranging from interdisciplinary lectures, to cultural programming, and more. These diverse community events are intended to compliment Congress 2017 and showcase the thought leadership and vitality of Ryerson University’s downtown campus. For a full list of upcoming events please visit Ryerson Programming.

For example, celebrating the Congress 2017 theme “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands,” Ryerson University is pleased to present “Freedom Sings: Land/Bodies/Resurgence” by Leanne Simpson. 

Simpson, an award-winning Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg musician, writer, academic and First Nations activist, is one of the most influential and compelling Indigenous voices of her generation.

Through story, song and video,...

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Tools that help us talk about impacts in the humanities

Tim Kenyon, Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of Arts, Research, University of Waterloo; member of the Federation’s Impacts Project Advisory Group

On February 8-9, I was very happy to meet with colleagues at the University of Manitoba, during a visit organized by the Institute for Humanities. In presentations and discussion sessions, we covered topics relating to the measurement and appraisal of humanities research. A summary of some of the themes raised in those discussions follows.

When asked to provide evidence or descriptions of research impact, humanities researchers typically face two related difficulties. The first is the prevalence and influence of research metrics that do not capture humanities research accurately; the second is the difficulty of proposing characterizations of research impact that do capture humanities research accurately.

We discussed ways in which both difficulties can be addressed through an open,...

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Parochialism and protectionism are the enemies of enlightenment: President Deane

 

This article was published in McMaster Daily News on February 28, 2017.

By Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University

On January 27, 2017, the White House issued its now notorious Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. As I write this, the order has been blocked by the courts and theoretically citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted by the ban are able to enter the United States as before. A new Executive Order is said to be imminent, however, so it is reasonable to assume that in one form or another discrimination on the basis of faith or ethnicity will continue to be an element in US immigration policy under the present administration.

That the issuing of the Executive...

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A Possible Canada for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples

Geraldine Cahill, Manager, Programs and Partnerships, SiG National


Manager of Programs and Partnerships at SiG Geraldine Cahill (second from left) and Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement Jessica Bolduc (centre) at a project design meeting at Hub Ottawa.

I first heard the question “What does 2067 look like?” asked by the leadership team at MaRS’ Studio Y in Toronto in early 2015. It echoed a similar question posed in a Possible Canadas workshop convened by the J.W. McConnell...

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Where Are Women Safe? Some Thoughts on International Women’s Day

Naila Keleta-MaeAssistant Professor, Theatre and Performance Program, University of Waterloo

*Below is an excerpt from a talk prepared as the Distinguished Guest Speaker at the University of Waterloo’s 2017 International Women’s Day Dinner.

November 9, 2016:
The morning after Donald J. Trump is elected President of the United States of America. A white male colleague enters my office with tears in his eyes. He asks, “How are you...

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