October 2013


Preparing students for the challenges and wonders of the 21st century


Federation President Antonia Maioni was invited to speak at the University of Winnipeg recently as part of the school’s 100th convocation celebrations. Her address touched on the vital role universities play in our communities, and the overall value of studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences. She congratulated the University on all its accomplishments, many of which demonstrate the idea behind her speech: that a university education in the liberal arts is “A Pathway to Progress in the 21st Century”.

The University of Winnipeg’s commitment to relevant and innovative learning, Maioni said, is evident in the school’s identity as a place for students to “Discover. Achieve. Belong.” She suggested universities must continue to foster more interdisciplinary perspectives and recognize the “interdependence of various fields of academic pursuit” to realize their full...

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Digital Humanities Summer Institute registration is open


Submitted by the DHSI

Registration for the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (June 2-6th 2014, University of Victoria) is now open. This year, 27 courses ranging from old favourites to exciting first-time ventures will be on offer. There will also be a weeklong training workshop, as well as morning and afternoon colloquia, lunchtime unconferences, and keynote lectures led by Aimée Morrison (University of Waterloo) and Alex Gil (Columbia University).  Tuition scholarships are available for students, and members of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences can register at a discounted cost of $300.00 for...

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SSH News: Big Thinking updates, Canadian University Report, and SSHRC policy projects and videos


A video recording of the October 2013 Big Thinking lecture with Richard Hawkins is now available to view online. The next Big Thinking lecture takes place on November 21st with Ron Deibert, Director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. His talk, which will address cyber security, will be of particular interest in light of recent revelations about Canadian espionage activities in Brazil, new Facebook policies, and Bell Canada’s plan to...

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Watch the new Imagining Canada’s Future videos by the SSHRC Regional Panel of the National Capital Region & Southern Ontario

As part of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future project, the SSHRC Regional Panel of the National Capital Region and Southern Ontario has released a series of videos highlighting key research in the social sciences and humanities. The panel members, which include the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Queen’s University, Royal Military College of Canada, Saint-Paul University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, created videos reflecting each of their research strengths and strategic areas of interest in the social sciences and humanities to demonstrate how research in these areas can help solve the future challenges for Canada in a globalized context.

Following a nation-wide consultation period in 2011, the...

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Speech from the Throne: Ideas can help us thrive


Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In the Speech from the Throne yesterday, the federal government unveiled its priorities for the next session of Parliament. As expected, creating jobs and securing economic growth remain top priorities. Other highlights included a new Free Trade agreement between Canada and the EU, balanced budget legislation, consumer protection, safeguarding families and communities, and celebrations to mark important milestones in Canada’s history. There were few references to research and scholarship, except for a commitment to update the S&T strategy.  However, early on in the throne speech, there was some...

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Minds mingling at the 2013 World Social Science Forum


Eleanor Fast, Director of Policy & Programming, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Over a thousand people gathered in Montreal this past weekend for the World Social Science Forum, which brought together social science researchers from 80 countries to address the theme of “Social Transformations in the Digital Age”. Sessions took place on a diverse range of topics – from cyber politics to the role of digital games in aging well – and there was palpable energy and excitement in the air as scholars from around the world exchanged views and ideas with one another.   

The conference program also included a number of...

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SSH News: Federation updates, Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars report, OECD Adult Competencies survey results, and Canada’s first Leibniz Lecture


Christine McKenna Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

It’s been just over a week since the first Big Thinking lecture of the 2013-2014 season – Dr. Richard Hawkins’ “Whither innovation? Moving beyond the buzzword”. The event, which was presented in partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science Society and Policy (ISSP) and hosted at HUB Ottawa, drew an enthusiastic crowd and led to some excellent discussion. A video of the lecture will be available on our website in the coming weeks.

In other Federation news:

  • President Antonia Maioni’s speech at the recent Power of the Arts National Forum can now be read on our...

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Innovation for the nation


Christine McKenna Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The 2013-2014 season of Big Thinking kicked off on October 3rd with Dr. Richard Hawkins, Professor at the University of Calgary and Fellow of the Institute for Science Society and Policy (ISSP) at the University of Ottawa. While prorogation meant this month’s lecture couldn’t be held at the usual venue on Parliament Hill, the alternative location at HUB Ottawa – a collaborative working space designed to promote social innovation – provided an environment that nicely matched the theme of Hawkins’ address: “Whither innovation? Moving beyond the buzzword.”

Does Canada ...

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The Governor General’s Literary Awards recognize ASPP-funded books


Jessica Clark Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to congratulate authors Sandra Djwa and Dominique Perron for qualifying as finalists for this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards. Djwa’s book, Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, is a finalist in the English Non-Fiction category, and Perron’s book, L’Alberta autophage : Identités, mythes et discours du pétrole dans l’Ouest canadien, published by University of Calgary Press, is a finalist in the French Non-Fiction category.

The publication of both books was supported by the Federation’s Awards to Scholarly Publications Program.


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The Power of the Arts

Jean-Marc Mangin Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This weekend, Carleton University and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation held the first Power of the Arts National Forum. It was a resounding success. I have rarely taken part in a conference that resonated with so much energy and hope for our country. The Forum participants, consisting of artists, researchers, community workers, students and various health professionals, developed an action plan for the following themes:

  • Physical and mental health
  • Citizenship and democratic...

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New Congress hashtag


The 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences was a huge success in terms of online engagement between attendees, the Federation, and our hosts at the University of Victoria. One of our key social media platforms was Twitter, and the #congress2013 hashtag became a valuable place to connect, share information, and discuss the ideas so abundant during the week. From June 1-8 we measured 7,600 tweets using #congress2013, and about 1,600 of those took place in just one day!

To visit #congress2013 now, however, is a different story. Currently, and even during Congress, the feed is also occupied by tweets about different events that use the same hashtag, as well as angry rants about US politics. The same applies for #congress2012, and every future Congress if we were to continue using this format. All these other...

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