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

Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History

Guest blog by Stephen Bocking, Trent School of the Environment, Trent University

Headlines today tell of melting ice and scrambles over resources and boundaries – signposts of an Arctic experiencing unprecedented transformation. But these accounts require historical context. Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History,  recently published by the University of Calgary Press, provides this context, exploring a century of change across the north.

Ice Blink is the product of a new generation of scholars pursuing the environmental history of northern Canada. The stories they tell concern the evolving relations between people and the northern environment throughout the twentieth century. Some of the...

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Ryerson presents… An evening with Cornel West

Guest blog by Dean Pamela Sugiman, Ryerson University 

Celebrating Congress 2017, Ryerson University is pleased to present “An evening with Cornel West.”

Known for his passion, humility, grace and humour, Cornel West is one of America’s most outspoken critics on race, poverty and democracy. The Princeton University professor and civil rights activist is committed to keeping alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. — a legacy of truth-telling and bearing witness to love and justice. Dr. West's incisive commentary on race and justice lays at the core of the Congress 2017 theme: Canada the Next 150 On Indigenous Lands.

On the street, in prisons, churches, or lecture halls, Dr. West’s writing, speaking, and teaching mash the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics...

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Wendy Robbins: Beyond Anger and Apathy to Action and Collaboration

Guest blog by Louise Forsyth, Professor Emerita in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, French and Drama at the University of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with Jennifer Brayton, Sociologist at Ryerson University and current Moderator of PAR-L

Louise Forsyth was President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences,1998-2000.
Wendy Robbins was Vice-President, Women's Issues, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2000-2004.

Wendy J. Robbins – feminist activist with awesome capabilities, internationally acclaimed scholar, person with serious political influence, and woman whose heart has been filled with laughter, love, and uncompromising passion – died suddenly of an aneurysm on April 18, 2017. We shall miss her...


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Ryerson presents … five special events you will not want to miss

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

The Ryerson team is hard at work putting the finishing touches on what we know will be a memorable Congress for all attendees. This is the first time Ryerson University is hosting Congress and the excitement is building on campus. Beyond the...

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Polaris: The Chief Scientist's Recollections of the American North Pole Expedition, 1871-73

William Barr, Senior Research Associate, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, and Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan

Charles Francis Hall’s American North Pole Expedition was probably the most bizarrely disastrous expedition in the history of polar exploration. Although quite lavishly financed by the United States government and blessed with unusually favourable ice conditions as it pushed northwards, its ultimate attempts at advancing north by boat or sledge were half-hearted at best, it was riven with dissension, its leader Charles Francis Hall died under suspicious circumstances, and the expedition suffered the further misfortune of becoming split into two parties, one of which drifted on an ice floe...

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