Blog

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 communications@ideas-idees.ca.

#BlackProfessorsMatter: Intellectual survival and public love

Guest blog by Wesley Crichlow, Associate Dean of Equity and Diversity, Ontario Tech University, and the Federation’s Board Director of Equity and Diversity

There is a distinct paucity of material, scholarly or otherwise, on the experiences of African Black Canadian scholars within the Canadian academy. This #BlackProfessorsMatter blog post — and others in the Equity Matters series — aims to help fill and contribute to a Black intellectual space to create an international conversation that includes Black professors across the country. It builds on the tradition of past Equity Matters blogs, through which, since 2010, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been fostering scholarly debate on diversity...

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Talking Teaching at the Pedagogy Hub

Guest blog by Tiffany Potter, Congress 2019 Pedagogy Hub Convenor, Associate Head, Department of English Language and Literatures

Congress brings together scholars from dozens of universities, myriad disciplines, and uncountable research niches. Within this diversity, there is one thing almost all of us have in common: in our profession, we teach. Congress 2019 at UBC will recognize this shared ground with a new feature: the Pedagogy Hub. Located in the heart of Congress, next to the book Expo and registration zone on the second floor of the Nest, the Pedagogy Hub will create a physical and intellectual space for a Circle of Conversation around teaching and learning. The Hub invites crossover discussions among associations and disciplines over the course of...

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Welcome to Congress 2019 at UBC!

Guest blog by Laura Moss, Academic Convenor, Congress 2019

I remember my first Congress so clearly: it took place at the University of Calgary in 1994. I was a new PhD student and I was terrified to be presenting my first conference paper. I remember the flight of butterflies I had in my stomach before giving my paper on magic realism in The Moor’s Last Sigh. If I close my eyes, I can still see the room I presented in. What I remember most clearly, however, are the encouraging smiles from my fellow students and senior faculty alike. It was the first time I really felt like I could actually belong in academia.

Over the past 25 years, I have been to 16 more Congresses. Some of my memories are academic, some are social....

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Assisted Reproduction Policy in Canada: Framing, Federalism, and Failure

Guest blog by Dave Snow, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph

My interest in assisted reproduction began on an airplane. In August 2017, I was flying from Fredericton, New Brunswick to Calgary to begin a Master’s degree in political science. The day before my flight, I had grabbed a book – Margaret Somerville’s The Ethical Imagination – from my father’s collection to read on the plane. The book, which explored the ethics of assisted reproduction and genetic manipulation, was my first foray into the subject area. Before that, I had intended to study how Canadian courts had shaped our electoral system in my MA thesis. When I arrived in Calgary to meet my supervisor, I spoke of my new interest in ethical debates surrounding technologies and practices such as surrogacy, gene editing, and embryonic research. Given my interest in the courts, perhaps I could study judicial involvement in assisted...

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The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution

Guest blog by Ann Travers, Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University

My research with and on behalf of trans and gender nonconforming kids brings my personal experience together with my scholarship in a particularly powerful way. I was a gender nonconforming kid and experienced very harsh gender policing. I now identify as trans non-binary and wish there had been more options when I was growing up. My own experience really influenced my efforts as a parent to keep people from imposing gender categories and norms on my own children. This often felt like a losing battle, as people and institutions are relentless when it comes to dividing children into girl and boy categories and attempting to restrict the...

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