May 2015


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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‘Mean’ is not a girl thing

Kate Hammer

Marnina Gonick is project leader on two projects funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Leaders Opportunity Fund (now named the John R. Evans Leaders Fund). She will be attending the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences to present “The Blank Page: Literacy, Girlhood, and Neoliberalism” as part of a session called “Neoliberalism and the Production of Childhood” at the Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (WGSRF) conference tomorrow, Sunday, May 31This article originally appeared on in July 2013.


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On the Move: the mobile workforce and policy challenges

Delphine Nakache

The On the Move Partnership is partnering with CBC Ideas and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences to present: “On the Move: Temporary Foreign Worker Policy in Canada,” a panel discussion followed by an audience Q&A.

A 7-year, SSHRC-funded research study, the On the Move Partnership is investigating the spectrum of employment-related geographical mobility (ERGM) and its consequences for workers, families, employers, communities, and Canadian municipal, provincial and federal governments. Many workers...

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Introducing the Trans-Atlantic Platform

In October 2013, a consortium of major funders of social sciences and humanities research joined forces to launch the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP). The funders came from three continents—North America, South America and Europe—and set up T-AP with the prime objective of facilitating transatlantic research collaboration among researchers, funders and other stakeholders.

Thus far, T-AP activities have revolved around the scoping work needed to move forward with its international research cooperation agenda, among which are learning about the various funding models and processes T-AP members use, what their peer review systems are like, and how they finance awards.

T-AP has also undertaken an inventory of the transatlantic research projects being...

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Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries


Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada

As President of Universities Canada, I always look forward to participating in Congress, and I congratulate the organizers on their formidable work in assembling one of ‎    the largest multidisciplinary academic conferences in the world. At Congress, I am continually reminded of how today’s researchers are thinking in connected and interdisciplinary ways, which is one of the great strengths of the social sciences and humanities. Many of this year’s Interdisciplinary symposia events examine issues with truly global impact, such as climate change, children’s rights, artificial intelligence, and...

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The urgency of embracing multinational federalism in uncertain times


Alain-G. Gagnon, MSRC, 2010 Trudeau fellow, and Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies at UQAM.

On June 4, 2015, Trudeau fellow Jean Leclair will give a Big Thinking lecture—“Imagining Canada in a disenchanted world”—in which he will reflect on one way that federalism might reframe our relationships with Canada’s Indigenous peoples (read more in this blog post by Jean Leclair). Might there be other ways in which federalism can help us conceptualize relationships with minority peoples?

Ours is an era where identity-related demands have multiplied in contexts of...

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The push and pull of open government

Thom Kearney, Government of Canada – Open Government Secretariat

The 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is happening at a watershed moment for Open Government in Canada. In November 2014, the Government of Canada released its Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16, a series of commitments to sustain a more transparent and accountable government. More recently, the third International Open Data Conference, hosted by the Government of Canada, the World Bank, and the International Development Research Centre, took place on May 29, 2015, in Ottawa.

At its core, Open Government is about giving Canadians...

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Truth and Reconciliation at Congress

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As thousands of scholars congregate in Ottawa for Congress 2015, the capital will be anticipating the release of the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The report will contribute towards truth, healing and reconciliation in response to Indian Residential Schools.

Justice Sinclair, Chair of the TRC is the opening Big Thinking speaker at Congress on May 30th and will offer a call for action towards reconciliation in Canada, including the role of...

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Gobbledegook, or how to avoid it by entering the SSHRC Storytellers contest

Carla Funk, Doctoral Candidate at Royal Roads University and a Top 25 finalist in the SSHRC Storytellers contest

British Dictionary definition for gobbledegook
1.       pretentious or unintelligible jargon, such as that used by officials

Has this happened to you?

You are out socializing when a friend asks you about your research, and you answer. They ask another question, and you reply again, this time a little more in-depth. Then, said friend turns to others and says, “Isn’t it funny? She just talked for 10 minutes and I don’t understand a word she just said!”

As a doctoral candidate I struggle to communicate with friends and family about something I am...

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Discover the capital during Congress 2015

By Erika Hansen, Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost, University of Ottawa

There is no shortage of things to see and do in Ottawa, whether it’s your first time in the nation’s capital or a repeat visit. To help you decide what to do in your spare time during Congress, we have compiled a list of some of our favourite activities on our What’s on in Ottawa page. See what piques your interest, be it touring the iconic Parliament buildings, visiting a local brewery, or urban rafting on the Ottawa River! Don’t forget that, as a Congress attendee, you are entitled to discounted visits to certain attractions, tours and restaurants through the...

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The contemporary challenges of francophone communities in Canada

Simon Langlois, President of the Academy of Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada

As part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Academy of Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada is hosting a Big Thinking presentation by Joseph Yvon Thériault on the topic of contemporary challenges of francophone communities in Canada, specifically in Quebec and in minority settings. The Academy brings together the best social science experts in...

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SSHRC Scholarships and Fellowships 101 at Congress


We in SSHRC’s Research Training Portfolio know that applying for a SSHRC award can be challenging. You spend all that time developing a great research question, pulling together all of your supporting documents, and getting feedback on your proposal from colleagues and peers to create something great.

This is why we’ve prepared an information session on SSHRC funding as part of Career Corner at Congress.

Join us on Wednesday, June 3 at 10:30 a.m. in the Congress Hub—East Expo Event Space for SSHRC Scholarships and Fellowships 101. There,...

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SSH News: May 7, 2021

Here is our list of the most interesting news articles on the humanities, social sciences and higher education from the past week. Voici notre liste des plus intéressants articles concernant les sciences humaines, sciences sociales et l’enseignement supérieur de la semaine passée.

Humanities and Social Sciences | Sciences humaines et sociales

Arts Advantage: Why enrolling in the liberal arts is smarter than you think
April 2015 | Literary Review of Canada

How not to reform the humanities
May 4, 2021 | University Affairs


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