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 contact Lily Polowin at lpolowin@ideas-idees.ca if you wish to propose a blog article. 

We Must Tackle and Dismantle Systemic Racism and White Supremacy.

Guest blog by Dr. Bathseba Opini, Assistant Professor of Teaching, The University of British Columbia

The exploitation, control and violence against Black people in the Americas is not a new phenomenon. We have seen the world of Black people worsen each day, month, year, decade, and century. The events of May 25, 2020 were another breaking point in the long history of Black oppression by systems and structures controlled predominantly by white people. George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was murdered in cold blood by Derek Chauvin – a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Black people have been punching bags of racist white police officers and white systems for centuries. Black people have been pinned down for ages by white systems which empower white people like Chauvin to use a knee to neck tactic to restrain Floyd. Anti-Black racism must be understood as different from racism, which is a systemic reality; killing, institutionalized abuse and...

Category Tags

Read more »

Emma Donoghue: “We’re relying on the arts more than ever.”

Lily Polowin, Digital Communications Officer at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

On Tuesday, June 2, the Association for College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) will present the plenary Generation Gaps with renowned Irish novelist and scholar Emma Donoghue. This will be Donoghue’s very first digital lecture (apart from a Facebook Live with author Philip Pullman!) and I had the honour to interview her for the occasion.

Generation Gaps will be a talk (with short readings) about the challenges – technical, psychological, political and even ethical – raised by writing about both youth and age. It is a subject even more timely than usual...

Category Tags

Read more »

Accessibility on the Fringes in a Time of Crisis

Guest blog by James Deaville, professor and musicologist at Carleton University.

Post-secondary institutions have responded with alacrity to the needs of undergraduate students, whose lives and studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate students whose research relies upon lab work, ethnography or archival study have found themselves more severely disadvantaged by the novel coronavirus’ impacts on access to these vital resources (Zahneis 2020). Faculty and staff have experienced significant disruptions of their own, as entry to campus offices is prohibited and the distinction between home and work further erodes. Some of us have the extra charge of home-schooling children while teaching, administering and—as time and energy permit—engaging in research activities. Add to that the veritable...

Category Tags

Read more »

The value of connection: work-from-home reflections on World Telecommunication and Internet Society day

Guest blog by Fenwick McKelvey, Associate Professor in Information and Communication Technology Policy in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University.

Here in Montreal, the pandemic coincided with an unusually cold spring, so my family has been spending our days indoors, connected to the outside world through the Internet. As someone who studies how we measure the Internet, I have been thinking about the value of my connection. On World Telecommunications Day, I would like to share my reflections on the relationship between how we measure the Internet and how we judge its effectiveness during a pandemic.

Like the weather, there are lots of ways to describe Internet. It. Instead of temperature, UV index or that...

Category Tags

Read more »

Soundscaping COVID-19: Experiential learning in a floating and then quarantined classroom

Guest blog by Shumaila Hemani, Ph.D in Music from the University of Alberta and Instructor at the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta.

In what ways can we adapt our teaching in times of crisis to exhibit resilience such that the arts we teach inspire and empower students to act, especially in times of stress and crisis, and nurture their right to imagination?  I was part of the Music faculty at the Semester at Sea’s Spring 2020 voyage that abruptly ended a month early as a result of COVID-19.  I responded to the loss in experiential learning opportunities as a result of cancellation of the students’ field-classes in South Africa by bringing forward my own artistic practice and research at...

Category Tags

Read more »

Pages