Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work

Ashley Stewart, student blogger at Congress 2015

What world can we imagine in 20, 30, even 50 years in the future? How rapid will technology advance and how do we develop policy to match the speed of development? How many times will my job description change? What do we do when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence? These are just a few of the many questions that I have after the "Technological Unemployment and Future of Work" interdisciplinary symposium at Congress 2015.

I sat down for the symposium intrigued about the topic, but didn’t fathom the scope of what I would learn. It is both fascinating and terrifying the scenarios presented about what technology could possibly bring to society and what that means for our lives. Trying to comprehend...

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Seeing the whole: innovation in learning

Ashley Stewart, student blogger at Congress 2015

Innovation in learning was the topic of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada’s Big Thinking lecture at Congress 2015. Focusing on improving the way we learn by drawing on all areas of research, His Excellency called on his audience to embrace different perspectives and work together across disciplinary boundaries.

In this era of complex research problems, multi-disciplinary research should be common, if not the norm. Sharing ideas across disciplines will help us appreciate the multifaceted nature of any given problem. Living in a time of rapid change and a communication revolution, we are learning new ways of thinking that used to be unimaginable. Building on success with bold and creative...

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Capitalizing on research: from Idea to Impact with Mitacs Internships

Prajeena Karmacharya, student blogger at Congress 2015

During a Congress 2015 panel titled "Capitalizing on research: from Idea to Impact", Mitacs presented an interesting perspective on collaboration between researchers, industry, government and community. Through its internship programs, Mitacs supports applied research in partnership with universities, industry and various levels of government, strengthening connections between these sectors to stimulate innovation and create jobs. In this panel, speakers focused on the impact of this kind of research-based innovation on society.

The panelists for the session were Renee Jackson, Teresa Branch-Smith, Philip Beesly and Angelique Manella. Speakers provided examples of research...

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Immigration and multiculturalism in North America and Europe

Prajeena Karmacharya, student blogger at Congress 2015 & Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences 

Immigration and multiculturalism are important aspects of North American society. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are welcomed by Canada and the United States every year. This Big Thinking panel at Congress 2015 examined integration policies as well as the rights and challenges of immigrants in North America and Europe, in an attempt to understand how immigration policies on these two continents differ.

Irene Bloemraad, Chair of Canadian Studies at UC Berkeley and Scholar with the Canadian Institute...

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Plaidoyer pour les sciences sociales et les humanités

Gabriel Arruda, étudiant-blogueur au Congrès 2015

Les enjeux du 21e siècle sont nombreux et complexes. Mondialisation, changements climatiques et terrorisme ne sont que quelques exemples des défis que devront affronter les sociétés au courant des prochaines décennies. C’est pour cette raison que ces sujets sont aujourd’hui étudiés et analysés par les sciences sociales et les humanités. Après tout, ces disciplines s’intéressent à comprendre l’expérience humaine dans toute sa complexité.

L’ironie contemporaine soulevée par Stephen Toope, Président de la Fédération des sciences humaines, est que si les sciences sociales sont désormais capables d’offrir des solutions à ces problèmes, celles-ci sont aujourd...

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Food and health on the western reserves: The deep roots of indigenous insecurity

Prajeena Karmacharya, student blogger at Congress 2015

A passionate and heartfelt presentation from Jim Daschuk, Associate Professor at University of Regina at Congress 2015 highlighted the history of food culture among Canadian indigenous people since the 17th century. His recent book “Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life” talks about the deep injustices, genocide and starvation of natives living on reserves following European settlement.

Daschuk took the audience back to the 17th century, when bison were one of the main sources of food and the centre of native people’s lives. He said, “Métis culture was developed around annual...

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#HackCongress: Bring your own data

Victoria Hawkins, student blogger at Congress 2015

The all-day hackfest at Congress 2015 was certainly not reserved for computer geniuses only. Researchers of all levels of technology know-how gathered to collaborate on different methods of tackling research data.

The event encouraged experimentation in learning new technologies, and beginner workshops such as Catherine McGovernan’s “How to Clean up Messy Data” were presented as accessible and user-friendly. Jeanette Hatherill, one of the event’s organizers, explained that technology doesn’t have to be intimidating, and that HackCongress was meant partly to show what researchers can do without needing to write code or worry about "breaking" the software.

Some participants in the event were returning to academia...

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Publishing and marketing your scholarly book

Ashley Stewart, student blogger at Congress 2015

At Congress 2015, publishers from across Canada joined academics in a Career Corner panel discussion on publishing and marketing your scholarly book. The publishers spoke passionately about books and provided practical tips and advice, especially for scholars looking to publish their first book.

The different types of scholarly publishers in Canada range from university presses to large, multi-national textbook publishers, trade publishers, small literary presses, and hybrid publishers that publish both trade and academic work. Emily Andrew from UBC Press commented that early academics usually publish with a university press first and...

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Being private in public

Christine McKenna, student blogger at Congress 2015

Dr. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is a professor and chair of Modern Media and Culture at Brown University, and her background in both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature has helped to shape a unique perspective on New Media and digital technology. She visited Congress 2015 and presented some fascinating ideas in a talk called “New media: Wonderfully creepy.”

Waiting for the event to begin, I sat chewing on the lid of my coffee cup, while absentmindedly scrolling through Twitter on my phone. As always, the muscles in my right hand remembered the subtle movements necessary to navigate between menus, screens, and applications. But rarely does my mind feel consciously engaged. I found myself checking the time on my phone, then checking...

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The people’s playlist

Omar Mouallem

SHARCNET was funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Innovation Fund. Matthew Woolhouse will be attending the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences to present “Decomposing the Human Development Index with Respect to Music” as part of a session called “Consuming Culture” at the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities conference tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3. This article originally appeared on Innovation.ca in July 2013.

This summer, music lovers will descend on music festivals around the world to listen and dance to their favourite bands. And when they do, they’ll be participating in a practice as ancient as the...

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