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. 

How to Get SSHRC Funding: Tips and Advice on the Granting Process

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram (she/her), PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

Representatives from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Sébastien Cadieux, Nadine May, and Julia Warnes, came together to detail the variety of funding opportunities available for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in Canada. The panel focused on outlining the different funding streams for masters, doctoral and postdoctoral candidates, advice on how to navigate the application process, and helpful tips on preparing a strong application. 

Julia Warnes kicked off the panel detailing some changes to funding applications that we can expect in the coming year: “starting this year, all SSHRC doctoral and postdoctoral award applicants will be required to indicate as part of a new application module, whether diversity considerations are applicable to their proposed research...

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Taking on Anti-Oppression through Interdisciplinary Research

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram (she/her), PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

In an interdisciplinary feminist panel, hosted by the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), speakers explore difficult and important issues of settler colonialism responsibility, the gendered implications of colonial violence, Black resistance to ongoing white supremacy, and violence against disabled women. A stand out aspect of the “Bridging Divides, Building Solidarity for Change: Feminists Confronting Colonialism, Anti-Black Racism and Patriarchy” panel is its centreing of new scholars and PhD students doing exceptional work in anti-oppression.  

The first speaker, Sheri McConnell, Assistant Professor at Memorial University, focused her talk on a call for collective reckoning with the responsibilities of settler colonialism. McConnell structured her talk in a series of powerful queries to...

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Building Antiracist Capacity in Universities - What we learned from Ibram X. Kendi’s Big Thinking Discussion

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Being “not-racist” is not enough to eradicate racism, social inequities and injustices. As Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Big Thinking discussion pressed upon attendees: for radical change we must be antiracist...in our thoughts, policies and actions.  

Defining “racism,” “racist,” and “antiracist” 

Racism is inherently structural and describes a system of prejudice and inequality. Racist is a descriptor for a single thing: a policy, a person, a statement.  

Something that is antiracist firmly and unequivocally opposes something that is racist. “There is no neutrality between racism and anti-racism,” explained Dr. Kendi.  

Race is an idea: false notions are systematically and relentlessly taught to people 

Racist ideas are reproduced over time. Dr. Kendi gave the...

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Looking at Racism from a Broader Perspective

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

The Canadian Sociological Association’s “Anti-Asian Racism during the COVID-19 Pandemic” open event webcast explored the rapid and ferocious rise in racism fueled by the spread of COVID-19 around the globe. The panel, including Xiaobei Chen (Carleton University), Cary Wu (York University) and Hijin Park (Brock University), clarified the particularities of anti-Asian racism and its impact on their sense of safety and well-being during the pandemic. Further, they analysed the positionality of Asians in the politics of anti-racism and how it ought to be understood in the context of anti-Black racism, North American settler colonialism, and colonialisms and imperialisms in the Asia Pacific. 

Xiaobei Chen, a university professor well-versed in research on racism, colonialism and multiculturalism, started her presentation...

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Lessons Re-Learned in the Pandemic: Opportunities for Equality and Justice in Internationalized Higher Education

 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

How has COVID-19 opened opportunities for equality and justice in internationalized education? What risks do internationalizing university communities face in the year ahead? These were the two guiding questions of an interactive panel discussion that examined the privilege that exists in internationalized higher education.  

Revealing problems and privilege, at home and abroad 

As Dr. Christina W. Yao poignantly explained, “the pandemic was a new circumstance that highlighted many issues that weren’t really new at all.” Indeed, deeply ingrained social and political issues of Black and Asian racism, discriminatory immigration policy, and increasing revenue and enrolment pressures on universities have come to the forefront, with us watching, hoping, to see them finally be addressed.   

Dr. Crain Soudier...

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