News from the social sciences and humanities

Friday, December 2, 2011

Milena Stanoeva
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Government of Canada has launched a competition for 10 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs. CFHSS is pleased that the new competition includes three Chairs in fields that are relevant to the digital economy, as well as four Chairs open to all areas of inquiry, including the social sciences and humanities.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has launched a new consultation for the renewal of its Talent program, which supports graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. SSHRC is accepting feedback on three key issues surrounding the program until December 15.

Canadian educators attending the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Qatar this November expressed concerns that Canada’s educational system is failing to prepare students to innovate and succeed in the global economy. Dr Deborah Buszard, a professor at Dalhousie University's College of Sustainability, argues that Canadian educators need to refocus on teaching students to understand and process information, rather that emphasizing the learning of content.

Macleans On Campus’s Todd Pettigrew defends “courses with crazy titles,” such as Harry Potter 101 and Superhero Science. While media commentators love pointing to these courses as evidence of the decline of earnest intellectual pursuit at universities in favour of trendy topics with little academic value, Pettigrew points out that these critiques never go beyond a course’s attention-grabbing name to actually examine the content. As someone who has gotten my fair share of odd looks when I mention that I’m heading to “Social History of Sexuality” or “Gender and Pop Culture,” I can attest that critical theory and rigorous research are not solely found in courses with more conventional titles.


SSH news