Status of women in the academy

Telling your research story - make it accessible!

Victoria Hawkins, student blogger at Congress 2015

We all dread the presenter who reads directly from the slides or paper in a monotone voice. Worse still is when that monotone voice uses heavy jargon that no one outside the field will understand. 

Shari Graydon says “scholars are trained to be critical and they apply that to their assessment of colleagues”. The resulting pressure encourages presenters to read from their papers “because that way they’ll get every single sentence right”.  The result is glazed-over eyes, even among the audience members who understand the content.

Graydon’s Career Corner workshop "Ideas Matter: Telling Your Research Story" focussed on the engagement of a broader audience. By choosing...

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A unique Canadian invention: 84th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Jean-Marc Mangin and Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Some things change…

It can be hard to imagine that Congress, a meeting of more than 8,000 scholars and researchers, started when a handful of Canadian learned societies began exploring the idea of hosting their annual meetings at the same place, at the same time. In fact, there is evidence of this happening as early as 1922. Early players like the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), the Canadian Historical Society (now the Canadian Historical Association) and the Royal Society took the lead on this through the 1930s and 40s, calling themselves the ‘Learneds’. This may sound very grand, but our best estimates suggest that the whole population of...

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Understanding Video Games: Interview with Professor Sean Gouglas

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The most economically important cultural medium out there today, a cultural touchstone for two generations of Canadians, and a fantastic medium for expression, entertainment and social commentary.

This is how Professor Sean Gouglas described video games in his interview with the Federation.

Gouglas is Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Alberta, and...

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Women in science: challenges and opportunities

Mélanie Béchard, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Curious. Bold. Resilient. Lucky.

These were all adjectives used by the panelists at a recent roundtable discussion at McGill University entitled Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities.

The esteemed panelists – whose titles, accomplishments and accolades are too numerous to mention here – included Brenda Milner, Victoria Kaspi and Rima Rozen from McGill, and Jane Stewart from Concordia.

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ president-elect Antonia Maioni chaired the discussion, which was hosted by the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of the UK.

Interestingly, most members of the panel felt they had never personally experienced gender-related bias during their careers as leading scientists.

...

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Gender and academe: Council of Canadian Academies releases report on women researchers

Milena Stanoeva Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Yesterday, the Council of Canadian Academies released its report on women’s representation in Canadian universities and the particular challenges that female academics face. The report has been two years in the making – it was commissioned in 2010 by then-Minister of Industry Tony Clement after not a single woman was nominated to the 19 newly-appointed Canada Excellence Research Chairs. Léo Charbonneau published an excellent summary of the key findings, as well as the history of the report, in University Affairs.

When the first round of CERCs was announced, the Federation responded with an...

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News from the social sciences and humanities: Graduate students, university funding and academic publishing

Milena Stanoeva Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Last week, Federation president Graham Carr, wrote an op-ed for the Globe and Mail on the importance of preparing graduate students for life outside of university. His recommendations include teaching graduate students professional skills, increasing internationalization and making graduate program requirements more flexible. Read the whole article here.

Le Devoir published an article by Robert Lacroix that presents an interesting take on the issue of the underfunding of Canada’s universities, and specifically the situation in Quebec, where the issue of tuition fees is particularly fraught.

The Chronicle of Higher...

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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 ...

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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.”

...

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Equity & Diversity

The Federation has been committed to equity, diversity and inclusivity since its founding, with equity and diversity concretely ingrained in the Federation’s vision. Consecutive Boards have broadened the aims of the Equity and Diversity Portfolio from ‘women’s issues,’ to ‘women and equity issues’ to a more holistic and inclusive approach as ‘equity and diversity issues’. This ‘big tent’ thinking includes advancing equity issues for women, Aboriginal people, people of colour, people with disabilities and people of diverse sexual orientation who work and study in the humanities and social sciences in Canada.

As such, the Federation's Equity and Diversity Portfolio is committed to raising awareness about equity issues within the academy. Under the leadership of the Vice-President, Equity and Diversity the Federation creates spaces for dialogue around equity and diversity. The Vice-President chairs, and is...

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