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

Much ado about mentoring

Malinda Smith, VP Equity

Let’s be audacious and say it: Some of the most innovative – socially innovative – developments in human history have occurred in the social sciences and humanities. I think mentoring is one of them: Mentoring is a social innovation, whose improbable beginnings can be traced to, of all things, a poem. The modern idea of mentoring often is traced back to the figure Mentor who appeared in Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey, over 3,000 years ago.

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Canadian Economics Association responds to SSHRC's program changes

James Brander, President, and Michael Veall, Vice-President On behalf of the Executive Council of the Canadian Economics Association
Guest Contributors

We have reviewed the proposed changes described in the “Briefing on SSHRC’s Renewed Program Architecture” of March 2010. We applaud the SSHRC for seeking to assess and improve its procedures and we recognize that many of the proposed changes will be helpful to the research process. However, we would like to express our concern about two proposed changes.

1.  Research Record. Section V on “Research Grants” indicates an intention to reduce the weight placed on the “capability” of the applicant to 20%. The other...

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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2010: Racism, anti-racism and the academy

Frances Henry, York University
Guest Contributor

Anti-racist scholars across the country are raising critical issues about the dynamics of racial inequity in the Canadian academy. An increasing literature written largely by racialized and Indigenous scholars questions the persistence of hegemonic whiteness of the university by asking questions such as: Who is represented in the academy? Whose voice is heard and who is ignored?  Whose knowledge counts and whose knowledge is discounted?

More and more...

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Congratulations to Holberg Prize Winner

Canadian humanities researchers have yet again proven their ability to compete internationally, with the Holberg International Memorial Prize being awarded to a Canadian for the second year in a row.  Natalie Zemon Davis from the University of Toronto has won the prestigious $785,000 prize, a portion of which she plans to donate to research libraries, according to the Globe and Mail.

When asked to comment on the prize, Noreen Golfman, president of the Federation stated, “Often it takes validation from outside – whether it's Hollywood or Norway – before we're allowed to celebrate our own. It's a huge deal and a great, great honour in an area that people seem to think of as increasingly marginal.”

This is truly an example of the excellence and innovation inherent in our community.

You can read the full story from the Globe and Mail online...

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