Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Being private in public

Christine McKenna

Dr. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is a professor and chair of Modern Media and Culture at Brown University, and her background in both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature has helped to shape a unique perspective on New Media and digital technology. She visited Congress 2015 and presented some fascinating ideas in a talk called “New media: Wonderfully creepy.”

Waiting for the event to begin, I sat chewing on the lid of my coffee cup, while absentmindedly scrolling through Twitter on my phone. As always, the muscles in my right hand remembered the subtle movements necessary to navigate between menus, screens, and applications. But rarely does my mind feel consciously engaged. I found myself checking the time on my phone, then checking again...

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The people’s playlist

Omar Mouallem

SHARCNET was funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Innovation Fund. Matthew Woolhouse will be attending the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences to present “Decomposing the Human Development Index with Respect to Music” as part of a session called “Consuming Culture” at the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities conference tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3. This article originally appeared on in July 2013.

This summer, music lovers will descend on music festivals around the world to listen and dance to their favourite bands. And when they do, they’ll be participating in a practice...

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Les héritiers de l'Amérique française

Gabriel Arruda

C’est en terrain connu que le sociologue Joseph-Yvon Thériault présenta sa conférence «Qu'est devenue l’Amérique française » dans le cadre des causeries Voir grand  du Congrès des sciences humaines. Titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en Mondialisation, Citoyenneté et Démocratie à l’UQAM, l’intellectuel acadien fut cependant professeur de sociologie à l’Université d’Ottawa durant une trentaine d’années. C’est donc au sein de son alma mater que le sociologue dressa le portrait de la francophonie nord-américaine dans le contexte des commémorations des 400 ans de présence française en Ontario. Loin d’être uniquement les réminiscences d’un projet colonial manqué, le français en Amérique est encore aujourd’hui...

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Bringing history into the future

Roberta Staley

Constance Crompton is project leader on a project funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. She will be attending the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences to present as part of a panel called “From Documents to Data” at the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities conference tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2This article originally appeared on in January 2015.

This past year, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, or Vatican Library, famously began to digitize its vast and remarkable archive that includes the...

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Identity and dignity: Bolivia’s Minister of Decolonization talks education

Christine McKenna

As the Honorable Félix Cárdenas Aguilar stepped up to the podium, I placed over my ears a fragile pair of grey plastic headphones. As he began a lively address to the packed auditorium, a gentle female voice echoed in my ears, translating his words from Spanish and Aymara to the English I can understand. Aguilar is the Vice Minister of Decolonization in Bolivia, and he travelled all the way to the unceded Algonquin territory known as Ottawa to share with us his insights on reconciliation, education, and justice, building on the theme of reconciliation and the academy at Congress.

A member of the native Aymara...

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Telling your research story - make it accessible!

Victoria Hawkins

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 accessible language, using...

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Academia responds to the call for action towards truth and reconciliation in Canada

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

It is perhaps telling of new stirrings in the academy that the inaugural Big Thinking lecture at this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences was presented by Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. No sooner had the Judge finished taking questions from the spirited and packed auditorium, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences announced its own commitment...

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Research Collaboration Snapshot: First-of-its-kind collaboration brings philosophy to near-living architecture


In the summer of 2014, University of Waterloo graduate student Ty Branch started a Mitacs Accelerate internship as a philosopher in residence at the architecture firm Philip Beesley Architect Inc. (PBAI). The project, a first-time partnership between Mitacs and the university’s Department of Philosophy, focused on how near-living architecture interacts with its environment.

Near-living architecture is an emerging style that incorporates biological features to make environments more responsive to occupants in that space. Ty’s research asked what it means to be living and what applications near-living architecture might have to theories of emergence. Even the terms used to define this architectural style are important because they speak to fundamental questions of what “living” means. During her internship, Ty...

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Trans-Atlantic Platform workshops at Congress aim to define future research agenda

On June 1, during the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will host three workshops on behalf of the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP). All of the workshops are open to the public and will be held in Tabaret Hall 112 at the University of Ottawa.

These workshops aim to engage researchers and other stakeholders to develop a future research agenda in three priority areas – areas identified following scoping activities involving the 16 funding agencies in the Platform. An additional objective is to better understand how Horizon 2020...

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Research Collaboration Snapshot: Accelerate intern eases immigrants’ transitions to Canada


Daniela Tuchel embarked on a Mitacs Accelerate internship with the Asia Pacific Foundation to explore recent immigrants’ impressions of Canada and the challenges they face after arrival. As a master’s student at Royal Roads University, Daniela’s research also provided recommendations to improve immigration processes between Canada and China.

As a result of her research project, Daniela was nominated for—and won—the Mitacs Master’s Award for Outstanding Innovation. This award is part of the Mitacs Awards, which honour the contributions of emerging researchers in Canada. Daniela accepted her award in November 2014; click the video to learn more about her project:

Mitacs is hosting the “...

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