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.

Graduate student awards

André Magnan, Congress 2018 Academic Convener and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Regina

Graduate students are the lifeblood of universities. Their energy and creativity help research programs thrive – so it’s vital students seize upon opportunities to publicly present their research.

On a student budget, this can be tough. But I also know that Congress is worth it.

In 2003 I attended my first Congress in Halifax as a PhD student studying sociology. While my department provided me with some funds to make the trip, I covered most of the bill myself.

Despite the costs, Congress was my first big conference presentation and was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I met peers from across Canada, presented my research to respected scholars, received valuable feedback...

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Members come first

Guy Laforest, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

It’s important to keep your promises.  Since taking on the role as President of the Federation, my number one priority has been to build a closer, more collaborative relationship with our members. The organization made a strong commitment to improve member engagement in its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, and it is a commitment I plan to uphold in my tenure over the next 18 months.   

In my first six months, I have been actively listening and learning about member needs, looking for ways to improve the work we do:

  • as a voice in Ottawa for scholars,
  • as the organizer of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences...
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On the Side of the Angels: Canada and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

Guest blog by Andrew S. Thompson, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo

Otto Von Bismark once famously remarked that: “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” I respectfully disagree. I first decided to write On the Side of the Angels: Canada and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights because I wanted to better understand the diplomacy behind international human rights law – the how and why the sausages are made, not just the final outcome or the what. As a constructive middle power and liberal democracy committed to multilateralism, Canada seemed like an obvious actor – the who – to investigate. I...

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We need a better understanding of ‘good’ research impacts

Paul Benneworth, Senior Researcher, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente, the Netherlands

My starting point is to welcome the recently published Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences report, Approaches to assessing impact in the Humanities and Social Sciences as a valuable addition to a growing policy understanding of the diversity of ways in which humanities and social sciences research (HSS) creates societal impact. It matches what has been found elsewhere by the British Academy in the UK, the AWTI in the Netherlands...

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#SeeYouInRegina: An event team perspective

Ashley Craven, Event Planner, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Sitting at the Toronto airport, waiting to board my connecting flight to Regina ahead of the Congress 2018 planning meetings, I was very excited. Members of the Federation team, the host university team and association organizers meet every fall for very important operational meetings to kick off the planning cycle for the upcoming Congress. It is a very exiting time.

Since I started at the Federation two years ago, the entire team has been very excited about Congress in Regina for a number of reasons. Among these are the facts that the campus is beautiful, and that both the city and the university are excited to host us. Our Congress Registrar, Donna Lelievre, who has been with the Federation over 16 years, recalls that one...

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