Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

A look back at Congress 2012

Milena Stanoeva Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

There are now less than 200 days left until Congress 2013 (not that we’re counting down, or anything). To mark the occasion, we decided to round up some of our favourite blog posts and videos from Congress 2012, which took place at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.

As always, the Big Thinking lectures were key moments at Congress 2012. Attendees saw speeches by luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Governor General David Johnston and Chris Hedges. Other stand-out events include Shari...

Read more »

Congress 2013 @ the edge

Milena Stanoeva
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

at the edge - a la fine pointeWhat does it mean to be “@ the edge”? With the 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences taking place in coastal Victoria, BC, the theme seems to suggest itself.

However, “@ the edge” is also a call to expand discussion and welcome marginalized voices, including those of people who are socially marginalized through economics or health factors, people who are physically distant from centres of power and influence, and indigenous peoples whose languages and cultures are endangered. It is a call for the social sciences and humanities to focus on issues of inclusivity, marginalization and diversity and offer innovative solutions. It is a call to test the boundaries of disciplines and take a leap into uncharted...

Read more »

Crossroads: Race and Gender in the Canadian Academy – Searching for Equity

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

During the afternoon of May 31, Frances HenryCarol TatorCarl James, and Ena Dua gathered to present their research and findings on the marginalization of racialized faculty in Canadian universities. Research was conducted using personal interviews, surveys, and site visits and the results were not surprising. As Tator explained, universities have been very slow to make positive changes to make their universities a more equitable environment for racialized faculty members. What often occurs is that administrations will pay lip service to equity issues for faculty but no real changes will take place.

The majority of faculty surveyed who identified as a visible minority were...

Read more »

Crossroads: The Status of Gender, Women and Sexuality in the Academy

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Many scholars in the social sciences and humanities have spent years critically examining the social constructions of gender and sexuality in society and how women are expected to behave in social settings. While academic settings seem to be environments that welcome difference, many professors who identify as gender-queer are met with social resistance in their own workplace. In addition, female professors are expected to perform according to traditional gender roles. As one panel audience member recalled: “my teaching evaluations have been the highest they’ve ever been when I am kind, caring, and soft spoken towards my students.”

Together, Janice RistockMargaret Ann Armour, and André P. Grace ...

Read more »

Differently Abled: The Brave New World of Techno/Cyborg Sports and Culture

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In my opinion, what makes disability studies such a unique discipline is its emphasis on storytelling and the experience of disability. As one of the few academic disciplines which values the intimate personal stories of individuals and the collective (much like Women’s Studies and History to name a few), disability studies can inform academic work in an enriched way that theory alone cannot.

This unique aspect of disability studies was beautifully illustrated by Roxanne Mykitiuk and Eliza Chandler in their digital storytelling project, which they presented during the first of two panels on equity and disability that took place at Congress 2012. Accompanied by presentations from Jennifer Rowsell and...

Read more »

Rethinking Creativity and Innovation from a Disability Studies Perspective

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Disability is often seen as a condition that requires a solution. Growing up with a sibling living with a physical disability, I can clearly recall the long rides to numerous doctors’ appointments. For years, I watched my younger sister get prodded, poked, examined, photographed, and scanned by various medical professionals.

In the second of two equity panels on disability and culture, Tanya Titchkosky, Michael J. Prince, and Rod Michalko explored how disability studies challenges the common conception of what it means to be human. Collectively, the three presentations deconstructed ableism as a cultural concept, and challenged the audience to re-vision their understanding of ability.


Read more »

Dignity, Equality, Freedom: The Charter 30 Years On

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

On May 28, I attended the first equity panel in the series sponsored by the Equity and Diversity Portfolio at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Later, as I re-read the pages of notes I took during the panel, I realized how many questions I had which had been left unanswered. To say that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a complex piece of legislation is a gross understatement. Thankfully, I’ve completed some of my undergraduate course work on the Charter and I was familiar with the relevant case law that was referenced by the panelists – don’t worry, I have no intention of delving into that sort of detail here. Instead I’ll discuss my particular interest in Carissima Mathen’s analysis of equality and...

Read more »

News from the social sciences and humanities

Milena Stanoeva Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Record wrote about Congress earlier this week. In particular, the article discusses the trail festival, which will be held on May 25 as a way of celebrating Kitchener-Waterloo’s trails and welcoming congress-goers with live music, crafts, tours and talks. Times Higher Education featured an article on the rise of the number of...

Read more »

Equity matters at Congress 2011

With Congress 2011 officially launching tomorrow at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University in Fredericton, we're giving you a sneak preview of the Equity Issues content that will be going on throughout the week.

Under the theme "Transforming the Academy: Indigenous Education," the Federation's Equity Issues Portfolio, under the leadership of VP Equity Issues Malinda Smith, has pulled together a stellar line up of speakers and panels.

A Big Thinking lecture on May 30 with Chief Shawn Atleo starts off the programming...

Read more »

Haiti Earthquake: What we can do

A man exits a restaurant after he looked for his belongings. An earthquake rocked Port au Prince on January 12. Photo Marco Dormino/ The United Nations Development Programme on Flickr

One week later, the world has a better understanding of the scope of the earthquake in Haiti and has mobilized to provide much needed help to the local population.  Canadians from all walks of life and from every region are deeply affected by the suffering of the people of Haiti and are donating to support the work of humanitarian organizations.

One of the earthquake’s direct results is the human loss of...

Read more »