Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Jump to:

Introducing the Report of the Congress Working Group

In December 2017, the Federation Board established an ad hoc Congress Working Group to provide advice to the Executive Director and Board on how best to meet its strategic directions and objectives through Congress and other events. The Working Group was unanimous and emphatic in one respect: that this report represents only a first step toward the re-imagining of the role Congress will play toward the future shaping of humanities and social sciences education and research. The group’s emphasis was on the need to work “through and with associations” and in collaboration with the university members of the Federation.

It is the hope of all members of the Working Group that this report will serve as a springboard for Board discussion and significant further member consultation. There are 28 recommendations put forth in the report. Some are already being addressed, others will be in the short term, and still others require additional consultation with members before they are addressed.

The Federation is proud to share this report with its membership and welcomes feedback from its members as well as the broader community. Please be in touch via email at

About Congress

Unrivaled in scope and impact, the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the convergence of over 70 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella. Now in its 88th year, this flagship event is much more than Canada’s largest gathering of scholars across disciplines. Congress brings together academics, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas, and build partnerships that will help shape the Canada of tomorrow.

Typically spanning seven days in late May and early June, and attracting an average of 8,000 attendees, Congress is organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and hosted by a different Canadian university each year. The Federation, host university, scholarly associations and partners develop a full week of presentations, workshops, panels, public lectures, cultural events and receptions. It also features Canada’s largest academic trade show. The result? Luminaries, researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and students from across Canada and abroad meet, share ideas and engage in discussions that have direct importance for Canada and the lives of Canadians.

Congress programming is open to attendees, academics and non-academic audiences. From theatre research, literature studies and history to education, sociology and communications, Congress represents a unique showcase of scholarly excellence, creativity, and leadership.

Future Congresses




Congress 2020
Western University
May 30 to June 5, 2020

Congress 2021
The planning process for Congress 2021 is already underway. Please contact for more information.

Congress 2022
The bid process for Congress 2022 will begin in a few months. Please contact for more information.

[back to top]

Congress 2019 Highlights



Congress 2019 brought together 10,600 scholars, students and members of the public to share perspectives, discuss ideas and build connections at Canada’s largest academic conference. Hosted by The University of British Columbia, Congress 2019 took place from June 1 to 7. This year’s theme, “Circles of Conversation,” sparked important discussions around community, inclusivity and reconciliation in Canada. In the span of one week, more than 6,000 papers were presented by researchers from 73 associations, and over 291 free events were open to attendees and the general public:

  • The first ever Big Thinking lecture series featuring the arts as a platform to engage with scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. 
  • The University of British Columbia offered a plethora of exciting programming options, with 196 open sessions including featured talks, exhibitions, performances and — new this year — a Pedagogy Hub.
  • Thirty reconciliation-themed events focused on the role the humanities and social sciences can play in addressing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with another 24 Indigenous-focused events specifically put on by UBC.
  • This year’s Career Corner professional development series proposed 22 workshops to help academics of all levels advance their careers, publish and market their research, and improve their lesson planning and teaching skills.

Congress 2019 media

Congress 2019 was widely covered by regional and national media, with over 800 media stories running in online, print, radio and TV outlets. The following are but some of the most noteworthy media highlights:

Incident at Congress 2019 on June 2

Many members contacted the Federation to express their concern and outrage regarding the incident that took place at Congress on June 2, 2019. Instances of anti-Black racism, racial profiling and racial discrimination are deeply troubling no matter when or where they may take place. The Federation is taking action to address this issue and is committed to keeping the community informed as we move forward. On June 5, the Federation issued an initial statement about the incident as well as an open letter to the Black Canadian Studies Association. On June 10, Patrizia Albanese, as the Federation’s President, issued another update. The Federation thanks all members who have raised their voices and demanded action. We are listening, we are learning, and we are taking action. We remain committed to keeping our community informed as we work towards resolving the issues at hand.

Past Congresses

  • Congress 2018 - University of Regina
  • Congress 2017 - Ryerson University
  • Congress 2016 - University of Calgary
  • Congress 2015 - University of Ottawa
  • Congress 2014 - Brock University
  • Congress 2013 - University of Victoria
  • 2012 Wilfrid Laurier University & University of Waterloo
  • 2011 University of New Brunswick & St. Thomas University
  • 2010 Concordia University
  • 2009 Carleton University
  • 2008 University of British Columbia
  • 2007 University of Saskatchewan
  • 2006 York University
  • 2005 University of Western Ontario
  • 2004 University of Manitoba
  • 2003 Dalhousie University
  • 2002 University of Toronto/Ryerson Polytechnic University
  • 2001 Université Laval
  • 2000 University of Alberta
  • 1999 Université de Sherbrooke/Bishop's University
  • 1998 Université d'Ottawa/University of Ottawa
  • 1997 Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • 1996 Brock University
  • 1995 Université du Québec à Montréal
  • 1994 University of Calgary
  • 1993 Carleton University
  • 1992 University of Prince Edward Island
  • 1991 Queen's University
  • 1990 University of Victoria
  • 1989 Université Laval
  • 1988 University of Windsor
  • 1987 McMaster University
  • 1986 University of Manitoba
  • 1985 Université de Montréal
  • 1984 University of Guelph
  • 1983 University of British Columbia
  • 1982 Université d'Ottawa/University of Ottawa
  • 1981 Dalhousie University
  • 1980 Université du Québec à Montréal
  • 1979 University of Saskatchewan
  • 1978 University of Western Ontario
  • 1977 University of New Brunswick
  • 1976 Université Laval
  • 1975 University of Alberta
  • 1974 University of Toronto
  • 1973 Queen's University
  • 1972 McGill University
  • 1971 Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • 1970 University of Manitoba
  • 1969 Université York University
  • 1968 University of Calgary
  • 1967 Carleton University
  • 1966 Université de Sherbrooke
  • 1965 University of British Columbia
  • 1964 Prince of Wales College (PEI)
  • 1963 Université Laval
  • 1962 McMaster University
  • 1961 McGill University
  • 1960 Queen's University
  • 1959 University of Saskatchewan
  • 1958 University of Alberta
  • 1957 Université d'Ottawa/University of Ottawa
  • 1956 Université de Montréal
  • 1955 University of Toronto
  • 1954 University of Manitoba
  • 1953 University of Western Ontario
  • 1952 Université Laval
  • 1951 McGill University
  • 1950 Royal Military College
  • 1949 Dalhousie University
  • 1948 University of British Columbia
  • 1947 Université Laval
  • 1946 University of Toronto
  • 1945 Queen's University
  • 1944 McGill University
  • 1943 McMaster University
  • 1942 University of Toronto
  • 1941 Queen's University
  • 1940 University of Western Ontario
  • 1939 McGill University
  • 1938 Ottawa
  • 1937 McMaster University
  • 1936 Ottawa
  • 1935 Queen's University
  • 1934 McGill University
  • 1933 Ottawa
  • 1932 Ottawa & Toronto
  • 1931 Ottawa

[back to top]