Equity and diversity

Our President-Elect asks universities to evolve, not transform radically

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

“I love you, please change.”

These words succinctly capture Stephen Toope’s message to Canadian universities in his rich, nuanced and compelling October 2014 report for Taking Action for Canada: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century. An initiative of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Taking Action for Canada seeks to bring together educators, governments and businesses to develop solutions and best practices for keeping the next generation of Canadian workers engaged. 

Toope, a scholar of international law, is President-Elect of the Federation. He has also served as President of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, President of the...

Read more »

A new imagination - Catherine Dauvergne and the new politics of immigration

Samara Bissonnette

In an installment of the Big Thinking series for Congress 2014, Catherine Dauvergne delivered one of her newest big ideas yesterday at Brock University in a presentation titled "The End of Settler Societies and the New Politics of Immigration". As a member of The Trudeau Foundation, which was founded in 2001 in tribute to the humanitarian virtues of Pierre Trudeau himself, Dauvergne acts as a pro-bono lawyer, a teacher, and a student of research herself, as she researches a new understanding of the politics of immigration around the world, with particular attention to our Canadian home. As a professor, she imparts advice and assistance to young scholars in her field and maintains the belief that "to really do justice to a big idea, you need time more than anything else", to which she added that "the Trudeau Foundation is a gift of time" to her...

Read more »

Russian anti-gay legislation sparks critical thought--Sochi and beyond

Liz Smith

Recent events in Russia are certainly at the forefront of a number of important geopolitical conversations. Things that might stand out include: the detaining of the 'Arctic 30' Greenpeace activists, granting temporary asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as the recent military intervention in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Of course, the international spectacle of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games was, indeed, on the public radar, and Putin's enactment of the so-called 'anti-gay propaganda law' immediately before the Sochi Opening Ceremonies caught the attention of the masses. It was this topic that constituted the framework for a vibrant discussion by a roundtable of political and historical experts at Sunday night's Congress panel put on by the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), entitled "...

Read more »

Challenging casual homophobia

Liz Smith

How often do you hear “That’s so gay”? What about “faggot”, “dyke”, and “queer”? Here’s a less comfortable question: how often do you yourself use these words? While terms like these permeate our language, they are seldom challenged let alone recognized as a significant part of our popular discourse. Perpetuating this language without rigorous consideration of the connotations it holds is part of what enables a culture of ‘casual homophobia’—something that characterizes our contemporary society, even at times below our level of conscious awareness, and which has detrimental effects for sexual minorities.

Dr. Kristopher Wells, Director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta (iSMSS), and Wade Davis, former American Football player and...

Read more »

SSH News: Innovation, Humanities in the Digital Age, Big Data

Last Saturday was International Women’s Day, so it’s only fitting to share that ideas can be… smart and beautiful! “For years now, the call for more real-looking models to be used in clothing ads has been echoed by women around the globe. A San Francisco-based fashion retailer appears to be heeding that cry this season -- at least in part -- by using PhDs and doctoral candidates instead of fashion models to show off its goods” (CBC News).

While equity and diversity are being embraced in the digital age in this way, ubiquitous advanced technologies are also impacting the pace of innovation and the social sciences and humanities. This week, Bill Gates “disagreed forcefully...

Read more »

ASPP Books: "Free to Believe: Rethinking Freedom of Conscience and Religion in Canada"


Mary Anne Waldron

University of Toronto Press, 2013

Christine McKenna Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

It was revealed this week that the government of Quebec is aiming to introduce a new piece of legislation called the “Charter of Quebec Values.” This bill would ban the display of religious symbols in the province’s public institutions – including by civil service employees, who would be...

Read more »

Status of Black Women in the Academy on International Women’s Day

Njoki N. Wane, University of Toronto
Guest contributor

“Despite some notable progress in the past decade towards greater diversity, the Canadian academy remains largely white and male,” according to a recent CAUT Educational Review. Further, the 2006 “Census data shows an ongoing underrepresentation of women, First Nations, and visible minority professors, as well as significant earnings and unemployment gaps for many of these groups.”


Read more »

Remembering December 6: Linking Structural and Interpersonal Violence in LGBTQ Lives

Janice Ristock, University of Manitoba
Guest Contributor

This entry is part of the CFHSS’s VP Equity Issues series on issues related to LGBTQI2-S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, intersex and Two-Spirited) peoples.

December 6th, today, marks the national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. It is the anniversary of the 1989 l’École Polytechnique de Montréal massacre where fourteen women were singled out and murdered by Marc Lepine, a man who blamed women and feminists for his...

Read more »

Trans Trouble: Structural and ‘Administrative En-gendering’ as the Academic-Corporate Complex

Bobby Noble, York University
Guest Contributor This entry is part of the CFHSS’s VP Equity Issues series on issues related to LGBTQI2-S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and Two-Spirit) peoples.

As I sit down to draft this blog entry, Dean Spade’s important book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Practice and the Limits of Law literally lands at my door. I’ve been thinking for a while now about the relationship between what Spade calls administrative violence and structures of binary genders...

Read more »