Six York University professors receive SSHRC Connection grants

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has awarded Connection Grants to York University Professors Jamie Cameron, Joseph DeSouza, Philip Girard, Susan McGrath, Richard Saunders and Marlis Schweitzer.

The grants, which are valued up to $25,000 each, support events and outreach activities geared toward short-term, targeted knowledge mobilization initiatives related to the professors’ research. The total funding for this year amounts to $143,554.

“York University is delighted with the success of our researchers,” said Robert Haché, vice-president research and innovation at York University. “I want to congratulate the Connection Grant recipients – Professors Cameron, DeSouza, Girard, McGrath, Saunders and Schweitzer – and wish them every success as they move forward with their research projects.

The following are the details for upcoming Connection Grant events. The summaries are presented in order of the dates for each event:

Susan McGrath, professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies – Connecting Emerging Scholars and Practitioners to Foster Critical Reflections and Innovation on Migration Research, ongoing to March 31, 2019

Susan McGrath

McGrath, a professor of social work and the resident scholar in the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, is using her Connection Grant to support a series of outreach activities in refugee and migration studies. Her project involves the development of knowledge clusters, formed through in-person conference round tables and online working groups, to bring together a global network of emerging and established scholars and practitioners on forced migration. The clusters will produce new opportunities for emerging scholars and practitioners to interrogate current research methodologies, dissemination practices and policy, and will facilitate new connections.

The intent is to develop international communities of practice for researchers and practitioners to share literature and ideas, learn about migration issues in different contexts, cultivate connections for collaborations and support new and innovative ideas in migration research.

Leveraging two large migration conferences, the cluster leads will hold in-person round tables in Ottawa and Thessaloniki, Greece. (The Ottawa round tables took place in May at the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Conference. The round tables in Greece will take place in July.) Knowledge gained will be mobilized through round-table summaries and briefs, an online discussion article series and a mini podcast series. Papers on the cluster thematics will be submitted to the Refugee Review, an open access online e-journal for emerging scholars and other journals.

Richard Saunders, professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies – Resource Nationalism in Southern Africa: Emerging Challenges and New Opportunities, September 22 to 26

Richard Saunders

In recent years, demands for greater national control over and benefit from foreign-owned mining operations have escalated in mineral rich countries in Southern Africa. A resurgent “resource nationalism” has been at the heart of social and economic debates aimed at re-imagining development efforts by local governments. There has been little comparative assessment of objectives, mechanisms and outcomes. Most research has remained focused at the national level and the development consequences of different approaches have not received comprehensive analysis. Saunders, who is a professor of political science, received a Connection Grant to support two linked events that will begin to address this gap in knowledge.

The events will take place in Harare, Zimbabwe this September. The first is a research workshop running from Sept. 22 to 24 that will bring together leading mineral policy researchers from Canada and three Southern African countries (Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) at the forefront of resource nationalist debates. The second is a policy forum taking place Sept. 25 and 26 at which evidence-based research on the current state of mining policy reform will be presented and serve as the basis for engagement with mining sector stakeholders. The resulting knowledge will be disseminated through the publication of workshop papers, policy briefs and summaries of findings aimed at mining stakeholders, policy makers and the public.

Marlis Schweitzer (with co-applicant Banting postdoctoral Fellow Heather Fitzsimmons Frey), professor, School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design – Playing with History: A Performance-Based Historiography Symposium, October 11 and 12

Marlis Schweitzer

Working with her co-applicant Heather Fitzsimmons Frey, who is a a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at York University, Schweitzer, a professor of theatre, will use her Connection Grant to support a two-day event that will bring together 16 emerging and established scholars from across Canada for Playing with History: A Performance-Based Historiography Symposium.

The event will examine the socio-political, pedagogical and community outreach potential of an emerging research methodology known as performance-based historiography, which bridges theatre, performance studies, cultural history, dance studies and anthropology. Performance-based historiography uses living 21st-century people to embody aspects of past performances to reveal information and questions and to probe a past moment or practice differently than archival or text-based analysis allows.

Heather Fitzsimmons Frey

There have been relatively few opportunities for Canadian scholars to share their projects and discuss the advantages and limitations of performance-based historiography. The symposium will present a needed opportunity for exchange and collaboration through presentations, a workshop and keynote lecture/performance. The knowledge will be shared through a publicly available website with materials generated from the symposium, a co-edited section of the journal Theatre Research in Canada, a video-recording of the keynote that will be posted to the website, podcast interviews with presenters, a co-authored chapter for the Cambridge Handbook for Material Culture Studies, and an annotated bibliography that will be posted to the website.

The following are summaries of the Connection Grant events that have taken place:

Jamie Cameron, professor, Osgoode Hall Law School – Defamation Law and the Internet, May 3

Jamie Cameron

Cameron’s Connection Grant funded a one-day conference in partnership with the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) titled, Defamation Law and the Internet. The conference took place on Thursday, May 3 at the Donald Lamont Learning Centre in Law Society of Ontario building in downtown Toronto.

The conference featured an international cohort of scholars and practitioners. Topics discussed at the conference were: defamation, online speech and reputation; the relationship between freedom of expression and privacy; whether or how Internet intermediaries (such as Facebook or Google) should be responsible for online defamation; Internet content moderation; dispute resolution; and access to justice.

The conference papers and proceedings will be published in a peer-reviewed special issue of the Osgoode Hall Law School Journal along with outreach and profile on the LCO website. The conference is part of the LCO’s Defamation Law in the Internet Age project.

Joseph DeSouza, professor, Faculty of Health – First International Symposium for Dance and Well-Being: Advancing Research, Policy and Practice, May 24 to 26

Joseph DeSouza

Joseph DeSouza

DeSouza is a professor of psychology in the Faculty of Health. His Connection Grant funded a three-day symposium co-presented with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens at the new Édifice Wilder Espace Danse in Montreal.

The symposium featured workshops and learning opportunities for researchers, students, performers and practitioners from dance and other fields. In addition to the workshops, attendees took part in poster presentations, experiential education activities and knowledge exchange sessions to gain insight into how to approach and understand the danced body differently.

The symposium provided a new platform where the dance for well-being practices were presented side by side with academic research. Dance scholars, kinesiologists, choreographers and practitioners shared knowledge and opportunities for future interdisciplinary collaboration.

Philip Girard, professor, Osgoode Hall Law School – Beyond Harvard; Transplanting Legal Education International Conference, June 5 and 6

Philip Girard

A professor of law at Osgoode, Girard’s Connection Grant supported a two-day conference at the Law Society of Ontario. The conference explored the role that U.S. legal education has played historically in the development of the law and law schools globally during the 20th century.

The U.S. has a well-established tradition of critical writing about legal education, including its history. This work has underscored the relationship between legal education, lawyering, law, legal consciousness and local and national politics. It has also challenged rationalizations of the present state of legal education and encouraged law professors to view their situation differently.

Beyond the U.S. it is rare to find a similarly large body of work that maps the origins, contours and changing state of the discipline of law within a particular region. An international cohort of legal scholars attended the event. The conference focused on creative and innovative thinking about legal education reform.

Proceedings from the symposium include a synthetic report, a video archive of presentations and the academic publication of conference proceedings.

Courtesy of YFile.