Blog

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 contact Lily Polowin at lpolowin@ideas-idees.ca if you wish to propose a blog article. 

Reimagining the World through Disability Arts and Justice 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram, PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

In the fourth panel of the Big Thinking series at Congress, audience members were treated to an invigorating lecture-performance by Alice Sheppard, the Artistic Director of Kinetic Light. Kinetic Light is a project-based ensemble working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity, and technology to create transformative art and advance the intersectional disability arts movement. 

The most striking element of “Disability Will (re)...

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Translating research into documentary, and documentary into impact

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

Documentaries are a tremendous vehicle for academics to communicate their research to the public, popularize their ideas, and make impactful social change. They make knowledge accessible...Rather than let valuable research sit on a shelf, behind a journal paywall, or even locked in an academic vernacular that only a handful of people understand, documentaries translate and deliver evidence to audiences to make a real impact.  

How can you translate your research into documentary format? Panellists from “Show, Don’t Tell: Breaking Bottlenecks Between Evidence and Impact Via Documentary” suggest building two things: 1) relationships with broadcasters, media and producers; and 2) a solid pitch for the story your research tells. 

Click Your Own Adventure Activity: following Tim Fox’s story  

Today’s session...

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Rethinking the contemporary university: possibilities for decolonization

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

Today’s session “Examining Anti-Racist and Decolonial Possibilities in the Contemporary University” delivered a variety of perspectives from academics around the globe, on whether possibilities to decolonize contemporary university systems exist, and what anti-racist work in universities looks like.  

Dr. Breitner Tavares of the Universidade de Brasília began the panel by discussing his paper "The Importance of Affirmative Action for Black Students as a Strategy Against Mental Illness and Suicide in Brazilian Universities."  

The social inequalities between white Brazilians and Black Brazilians overtime have manifested in different ways within Brazilian academia. First, it was in student numbers: very few Black students attended universities when they were established. Then, as more Black Brazilians...

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Bridging the gaps in employability for social science and humanities academics

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Claire Kroening, University of Alberta human geography alumna and communications professional 

“We have an underutilization of talent in Canada; we produce exceptional [social science and humanities] graduates, but don’t do a great job hiring them,” said Gail Bowkett, member of The/La Collaborative and panellist in today’s discussion on bridging employment gaps for SSH grads. Indeed, the Canadian landscape of work is saturated with employers who want university-educated employees, and university grads who remain locked out of public and private sector employment due to a perceived lack of ‘skills’ and ‘experience’. 

Members of The/La Collaborative discussed how to address this problem by transforming the ways we build talent, capacity and employability in SSH students and how to do so while preserving the research integrity and foundational knowledge of the disciplines. The discussion centred around their 2021 report,...

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Pulling Back the Curtains: Unveiling Untold Stories in Canada’s History


Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 

Hosted by the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), the “On the Other Side(s) of 150 Book Launch” open event celebrated the launch of the book, On the Other Side(s) of 150: Untold Stories and Critical Approaches to History, Literature, and Identity in Canada

The co-editors of the book, Bishop’s University Professor Linda Morra and Simon Fraser University Assistant Professor Sarah Henzi, were both present at the panel. According to Morra, untold stories have the power to both nuance and complicate existing stories. “Our book is located in a research trajectory that reveals how there’s so much more work to be done in terms of what is yet hidden or covered up,” said Henzi. 

Morra and Henzi were joined by the following contributors to the book: Deanna Reder, Simon Fraser University; Alix Shield, Simon...

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