Welcome to the blog for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Posts on this site are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Federation, its staff or its board of directors. Entries are posted in the language of the author.

Members of the university research community are invited to make guest blog submissions on issues relating to the wellbeing of the humanities and social sciences research and learning enterprise in Canada. Click here to read the Federations’ blog policy. Please send your submission to

Five surprising truths about language mixing

Guest blog by Dr. Shana Poplack, Member of the Order of Canada, Canada Research Chair in Linguistics and founding director of the Sociolinguistics Laboratory, both at the University of Ottawa.

On this International Day of Multilingualism, I celebrate coexisting languages and their speakers everywhere. I’m in good company, since more than half the world’s population is said to speak more than one language, often many more. This means that multilingualism is not the exception, but the norm. And yet this most ordinary state of affairs continues to be associated with a variety of deficits, mainly linguistic. One of the most salient and stigmatized is language “mixing”, widely considered to display laziness and ignorance, when not blamed for the deterioration or even demise of one or all of the languages involved. ...

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Le français vue de chaque côté : une conversation entre deux membres de notre équipe de communication à l’occasion de la journée internationale de la Francophonie

Pour encourager chacun à réfléchir à son lien avec la langue française, nous avons demandé à deux de nos collaboratrices bilingues de parler de leur expérience: l'une dont la langue maternelle est le français, l'autre qui parle le français comme langue seconde. Bonne journée internationale de la Francophonie !

Géraldine Gautier: Née et élevée à Paris, je me suis établie au Canada il y a 21 ans. Quand je repense aux facteurs qui m’ont conduits à vivre ici, il y en a eu beaucoup. Sans doute l’un marquant a été d’abord mon environnement familial porté sur d’autres cultures et langues étrangères. J’habite Ottawa depuis 1999 mais j’ai fait une parenthèse de 5 ans dans la région de Toronto. Une chance car grâce à cette dernière expérience, j’ai vraiment réalisé que le bilinguisme et la Francophonie ne...

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What does International Women's Day mean to you? Federation staff perspectives.

Lily Polowin, Communications Coordinator at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation currently has 18 staff members, 14 of which are women. Being part of a team of strong women inspires me daily, and so this International Women’s Day, I wanted to probe my colleagues to see what empowering thoughts were blooming within. I asked staff if they’d be interested in answering this question: What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Here are the answers I received. Enjoy, and Happy International Women’s Day!

Lamis El-Zein, Executive Assistant:

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate girls and women all over the word, and to honour those who...

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Welcome to Congress 2020: “Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism.”

Guest blog by Jeff Tennant, Academic Convenor of Congress 2020 and Associate Professor, Department of French Studies, Western University

The Congress theme this year is incredibly timely as Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast navigate thorny issues from the Wet'suwet'en land dispute to the global coronavirus outbreak, not to mention a highly divisive presidential campaign currently underway south of the border that will greatly affect us all no matter the outcome.  

For nearly 90 years, Congress has united more than 70 scholarly organizations under a common banner. It’s an opportunity for academics, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas and build partnerships that focus on Canada’s future.


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