Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Celestina the Procuress a constant, transforming figure in Picasso’s art and life

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

Professor Carol Salus (Kent State University) wrote a fascinating presentation for Congress entitled Picasso, prostitution, and his favourite procuress, but was unable to attend this year’s Congress. Fortunately, Professor Enrique Fernandez (University of Manitoba) stepped in on June 1to present Professor Salus’s paper on her behalf.

Professor Salus described how the figure of Celestina, the aged madam/bawd from the fifteenth century Spanish novel La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas, remained a constant figure in his art throughout his career. Picasso was not, of course, the first artist to feature Celestina in his paintings, drawings, and etchings: Celestina and other “procuresses” like her appear in pan-European visual art from the Early Modern period onward (as can be attested by the multimedia Celestina gallery that Professor Fernandez curated for Congress 2016 and within...

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Celestina the Procuress a constant, transforming figure in Picasso’s art and life

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

Professor Carol Salus (Kent State University) wrote a fascinating presentation for Congress entitled Picasso, prostitution, and his favourite procuress, but was unable to attend this year’s Congress. Fortunately, Professor Enrique Fernandez (University of Manitoba) stepped in on June 1to present Professor Salus’s paper on her behalf.

Professor Salus described how the figure of Celestina, the aged madam/bawd from the fifteenth century Spanish novel La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas, remained a constant figure in his art throughout his career. Picasso was not, of course, the first artist to feature Celestina in his paintings, drawings, and etchings: Celestina and other “procuresses” like her appear in pan-European visual art from the Early Modern period onward (as can be attested by the multimedia Celestina gallery that Professor Fernandez curated for Congress 2016 and within...

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The Harper Decade: reflecting on ten years of Conservative government

Zahura Ahmed, Congress student blogger

From 2006 to 2015, Canadian federal politics were marked by the distinctive leadership style and priorities of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party. From domestic and foreign policy, to institutions and structures, little in Canadian politics was left untouched. This morning, three prominent Conservative Canadians, Preston Manning, Ian Brodie, and Tom Flanagan, provided their reflections on the ‘Harper Decade’ at Congress 2016.

The three panelists spoke about Harper’s legacy, including their views on what were his major accomplishments as well as missteps. They highlighted his role in consolidating a strong new Conservative Party that was able to hold power and the support of many Canadians for so long. Panelists commented that under Stephen Harper the geopolitical centre of gravity of the party and Canadian politics shifted to the right, demonstrating that this is possible, which represents his...

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Canada’s Energy Paradox

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

How do we reconcile the fact that our economy is driven by fossil fuels while facing an urgent need to transition to a low-carbon energy system? This is a contentious issue that is on the minds of many political leaders around the world, and was addressed by  one of Canada’s leading writers and speakers on sustainability, Chris Turner, at an event hosted by the Environmental Studies Association  at Congress 2016.

Turner began with a blunt fact: leaders have recently been making grand promises about renewable technologies, when it is in fact impossible to fulfill such promises in their suggested timeframes due to the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. While reducing this reliance is the most urgent priority  of our time, it will take decades to do so--this is a problem that is multi-generational. Turner believes that the scope of the problem and the duration of the response has been misrepresented,...

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Workshop panelists offer sage advice on expanding your research methodologies

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

During their June 1st Career Corner workshop at Congress 2016 Can we all get along? Bridging the quantitative-qualitative divide (hosted by SAGE Publishing and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences), Professors Alex Clark (University of Alberta), Ian Milligan (University of Waterloo), and Michael Young (Royal Roads University) offered advice on developing comprehensive methodologies that embrace both the quantitative and the qualitative.

Professor Clark spoke about how qualitative method users need to learn how to speak to the gatekeepers of certain specialist journals who are more familiar with quantitative methodologies in order to get their work published. He gave three critical pieces of advice: care about methods by talking, sharing, writing and publishing about your methodology and ontology (he suggested Twitter as a great place to start); be crystal...

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Panel describes how Bill C-14 fails to conform to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to decriminalize medical assistance in dying

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

“This is the Alps of ethics; there are slippery slopes as far as the eye can see.” I can’t think of a better way to describe the issues discussed in “The future of end-of-life decision-making in Canada,” a panel held on May 29, at Congress 2016 hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and sponsored by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). The words are those of Professor Daniel Weinstock (McGill University), who along with Professor Jocelyn Downie (Dalhousie University), spoke about the future of medical assistance in dying in Canada.

Professor Downie laid out the roadmap that brought us to our current political crossroads, beginning with the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Carter v Canada, which ruled for the decriminalization of medical assistance in dying in a 9-0 decision and ending with the ongoing debate over Bill C-14 in our parliament today. Professor Downie...

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Knowledge Waiting to be Discovered: Leroy Little Bear speaks on Blackfoot Metaphysics

By Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

Questioning our very way of thinking, long-time First Nations education advocate and scholar Leroy Little Bear delivered a mind-blowing Big Thinking lecture to a packed house at Congress 2016 this afternoon with wisdom, wit, and extraordinary knowledge. Little Bear explained his view of the limits of Western metaphysics. Metaphysics are those things that are so embodied within an individual that they form the foundational and often unconscious basis of one’s thoughts and behaviour, as well as the organization of society.

Little Bear stated thatWestern metaphysics has been largely shaped by the Enlightenment period of European history.  Western ways of thought are primarily driven by rationalism: everything is about matter; we look at things in isolation; and, we are future-oriented. It rejects arriving at truths through faith, reliance on the past, or intuition, and rejects anything to...

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Eugenics and its modern world implications

 

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

Imagine having no agency over your reproductive decisions. Imagine that those around you believe that you are not capable of making decisions for yourself and your future. Now, imagine a society in which your body is policed to the point where institutions have the right to legally sterilize you without your consent. From 1928 to 1972, this was a reality for persons with disabilities or mental illnesses in Western Canada, predominantly practiced in Alberta. The Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta disproportionally affected vulnerable populations, including women, indigenous persons and institutionalized persons.

Nicola Fairbrother presented insights on the history of eugenics in Western Canada in the session entitled Surviving Eugenics in Alberta at Congress 2016. Fairbrother’s research focused on the story of eugenic survivors, as this problematic part of history remains largely...

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