Research and Programs

Halifax Regional Conference on the Humanities

June 9-10, 1949 - First Regional Conference on the Humanities in Halifax

The conference is organized by Dean G.E. Wilson of Dalhousie University and Professors R.M. Fraser and Desmond Pacey, of Acadia University and the University of New Brunswick, respectively. Funding comes from the Rockefeller Grant to the Humanities Research Council of Canada (HRCC). The topics for discussion are humanities in high schools and universities, maritime cultural movements and the work of the HRCC. Over the next four years, the HRCC will fund four more regional conferences, in Kingston, Montréal, Québec City and Edmonton.

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Studying Canadian biculturalism

1947 - CSSRC Committee on the Study of Biculturalism in Canada

Established in May 1947 with B.S. Keirstead as its chair, the committee's goal is to encourage research on the political, historical, religious and cultural relationship between French and English groups in Canada. While many projects are envisioned, the primary focus is on a historical study of the relationship between French and English Canada to be undertaken by French historian Marcel Giraud. Unfortunately, changes in council membership and troubles with long-distance communication result in a misunderstanding between Professor Giraud and the committee, further resulting in his resigning from the project in 1951. The whole affair is nearly abandoned. However, in June 1954 a new work structure is established and eventually, under the leadership of Jean-Charles Falardeau, the committee publishes La Dualité canadienne/Canadian Dualism in 1960.

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Supporting humanities publications

1947: HRCC Committee on Aid to Publication

Although it has existed since the founding of the Humanities Research Council of Canada (HRCC), only after the publication of The Humanities in Canada is the Committee on Aid to Publication able to start providing grants in earnest. Although the committee only has $1,000 to start with, they quickly get to work. In 1948 and 1949, five works are published with the committee’s help. By the end of its first decade of work, the committee will have helped support the publication of 27 scholarly works. This would later become part of the Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP).

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Researching the social credit movement

1944 - Beginning of series of studies on the social credit movement

In the 1930s, the social credit movement becomes a significant political force, especially in Alberta where they are the ruling provincial party. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Canadian Social Science Research Council decide that the movement’s origins and rise to power are topics worthy of extensive study and a good way to encourage social science research in Canada. Professor S.D. Clark of the University of Alberta is selected to lead the project, which results in the publication of several volumes dealing with various aspects of the movement. It is expected to be completed in two years. However, it is not until 1959 that the final volume is released. Despite the long incubation time, in the final account, the project results in the publication of ten valuable volumes on Western Canadian history, economics, religion and politics.

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Researching the North

1943: CSSRC Canadian Northland Project

The Second World War increases the importance of the Canadian North in the minds of many, due to its natural resources and its geographical location. Because of this interest, the Canadian Social Science Research Council (CSSRC) decides to begin a project evaluating the North’s resources and geography. They receive a special grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to begin the study. While finding personnel to study the North is difficult, the council cooperates with researchers and institutions who are already interested in the region in order to complete the project. Their research is collected in The New Northwest, edited by C.A. Dawson and published in 1947.

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Supporting social science publications

1941 - Rockefeller Grant for CSSRC Committee on Publications

One of the first tasks taken up by the members of the Canadian Social Science Research Council (CSSRC) is establishing various committees to provide aid to scholars. Among these is the Committee on Publications, for which the council receives a $5,000 grant from the Rockefeller foundation for use in 1941-1942. Of this, $500 is set aside for the Canadian Historical Review and the Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, with the rest used to help authors publish scholarly works. Seven grants are awarded this year. At the end of its first decade of work in 1951, the committee has helped publish 26 books by men and women across the country, despite delays caused by the war. This would later become known as the Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP).

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