SSH News: New Rhodes Scholars, Humanities around the globe, watch Ron Deibert’s Big Thinking lecture online

The 2014 class of Rhodes scholars has been announced and the list of 83 includes 11 Canadian students. The social sciences are fairly well represented among the Canadian scholars’ fields of study, with areas of interest ranging from public health to international security, social entrepreneurship, philosophy, and First Nations and public policy.

An article in the ...

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SSH News: Mitacs blog, Young Arts Entrepreneur grant, COU & CAUT reports, next Big Thinking lecture


Mitacs launched a new blog this week that is set to feature posts about research, innovation and funding opportunities, as well as news and other issues related to the connection of academics and industry. Their first post looks into the future of Canadian postdoctoral researchers, and is based on a recent survey carried out with the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars. Click here to read the first installment of the Mitacs blog, and perhaps leave a comment! You can also subscribe to the RSS feed to be notified of new posts.

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation has introduced a new initiative to assist young people who want to start their own arts...

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SSH News: the Fate of the Humanities, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s support for research funding, #SSHRCStorytellers, and Big Thinking with Ron Deibert


A new series in the New York Times this week addressed “The Fate of the Humanities”, an issue that has been widely debated in the United States since the release of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Heart of the Matter report this past June. The New York Times has published a number of articles and op-eds about studying the humanities in recent months, and this latest installment sees six different members of the higher-ed community discuss a range of considerations for the state of the discipline.

But what about the social sciences? Science Magazine...

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Preparing students for the challenges and wonders of the 21st century


Federation President Antonia Maioni was invited to speak at the University of Winnipeg recently as part of the school’s 100th convocation celebrations. Her address touched on the vital role universities play in our communities, and the overall value of studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences. She congratulated the University on all its accomplishments, many of which demonstrate the idea behind her speech: that a university education in the liberal arts is “A Pathway to Progress in the 21st Century”.

The University of Winnipeg’s commitment to relevant and innovative learning, Maioni said, is evident in the school’s identity as a place for students to “Discover. Achieve. Belong.” She suggested universities must continue to foster more interdisciplinary perspectives and recognize the “interdependence of various fields of academic pursuit” to realize their full...

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The Power of the Arts

Jean-Marc Mangin Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This weekend, Carleton University and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation held the first Power of the Arts National Forum. It was a resounding success. I have rarely taken part in a conference that resonated with so much energy and hope for our country. The Forum participants, consisting of artists, researchers, community workers, students and various health professionals, developed an action plan for the following themes:

  • Physical and mental health
  • Citizenship and democratic participation
  • ...

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SSH News: CIBC report responses, volunteer at the World Social Science Forum, and the Royal Society of Canada names new fellows and award winners


Last week saw the release of a report from CIBC about the current state of employment prospects for university graduates. Since then, discussions about the value of a university education have ramped up across the Canadian media, with many questioning the practicality of studying in disciplines associated with the liberal arts. In response, an article in the ...

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SSH News: CIBC report, call for papers for Sexuality, Human Rights, and Public Policy conference, and the official website for Congress 2014


Earlier this week the CIBC released a report suggesting that Canadian postsecondary students are widely choosing to enter fields of study that are not compatible with today’s high-demand areas of employment. Consequently, the report argues that Canada is experiencing an excess supply of post-secondary graduates whose skills do not reflect the needs of the contemporary labour market. The implications of the report have been discussed in a...

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Liberal arts education: good for your mind and your wallet


Jean-Marc Mangin Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

With the excitement, anticipation and promise of a new academic year inevitably come questions about the long-term value of a degree.

Recently, Benjamin Tal and Emanuella Enenajor at CIBC World Markets attempted to quantify the long-term economic value of post-secondary education, concluding that “Canada is experiencing an excess supply of post-secondary graduates,” and that students are making unprofitable decisions by choosing in vast numbers to study in the humanities and social sciences.

A discussion on the value of education is always welcome. Taking Tal and Enenajor’s numbers at face value, their conclusions are very much open to debate and, I will argue, not based on their own evidence.

But before entering into the discussion at all, let’s...

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SSH News: University arts program woes, “Designing Healthy Campus Communities”, and the Global Young Academy calls for new members


Christine McKenna Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The University of Prince Edward Island has seen its enrolment of students into arts programs drop 22% for this September, and registrar Kathy Kielly suggests the arts decline is part of a nationwide trend. Similarly, the University of Alberta has chosen to suspend admission into 20 arts programs due to low student enrolment, an adjustment related to its budget cuts of $84 million over the next 3 years. Maybe the humanities in Canada are not as safe as we thought.

A collaboration between the...

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Ninth International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

The International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences is an international, interdisciplinary event that examines the nature of disciplinary practices, and the interdisciplinary practices that arise in the context of ‘real world’ applications. It also interrogates what constitutes ‘science’ in a social context, and the connections between the social and other sciences. The focus of presentations range from the finely grained and empirical, to wide-ranging multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary practices, to perspectives on knowledge and method.

The 2013 conference, held in Prague, Czech Republic, saw over 250 delegates representing over 45 countries.

We are inviting proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, or colloquia addressing Interdisciplinary Social Sciences through one of the following themes:
* Social and Community Studies
* Civic and Political Studies
* Cultural Studies
* Global...

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