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Translating research into documentary, and documentary into impact

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Documentaries are a tremendous vehicle for academics to communicate their research to the public, popularize their ideas, and make impactful social change. They make knowledge accessible...Rather than let valuable research sit on a shelf, behind a journal paywall, or even locked in an academic vernacular that only a handful of people understand, documentaries translate and deliver evidence to audiences to make a real impact.  

How can you translate your research into documentary format? Panellists from “Show, Don’t Tell: Breaking Bottlenecks Between Evidence and Impact Via Documentary” suggest building two things: 1) relationships with broadcasters, media and producers; and 2) a solid pitch for the story your research tells. 

Click Your Own Adventure Activity: following Tim Fox’s story  

Today’s session...

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Rethinking the contemporary university: possibilities for decolonization

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Today’s session “Examining Anti-Racist and Decolonial Possibilities in the Contemporary University” delivered a variety of perspectives from academics around the globe, on whether possibilities to decolonize contemporary university systems exist, and what anti-racist work in universities looks like.  

Dr. Breitner Tavares of the Universidade de Brasília began the panel by discussing his paper "The Importance of Affirmative Action for Black Students as a Strategy Against Mental Illness and Suicide in Brazilian Universities."  

The social inequalities between white Brazilians and Black Brazilians overtime have manifested in different ways within Brazilian academia. First, it was in student numbers: very few Black students attended universities when they were established. Then, as more Black Brazilians...

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Bridging the gaps in employability for social science and humanities academics

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

“We have an underutilization of talent in Canada; we produce exceptional [social science and humanities] graduates, but don’t do a great job hiring them,” said Gail Bowkett, member of The/La Collaborative and panellist in today’s discussion on bridging employment gaps for SSH grads. Indeed, the Canadian landscape of work is saturated with employers who want university-educated employees, and university grads who remain locked out of public and private sector employment due to a perceived lack of ‘skills’ and ‘experience’. 

Members of The/La Collaborative discussed how to address this problem by transforming the ways we build talent, capacity and employability in SSH students and how to do so while preserving the research integrity and foundational knowledge of the disciplines. The discussion centred around their 2021 report,...

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Pulling Back the Curtains: Unveiling Untold Stories in Canada’s History


Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 

Hosted by the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), the “On the Other Side(s) of 150 Book Launch” open event celebrated the launch of the book, On the Other Side(s) of 150: Untold Stories and Critical Approaches to History, Literature, and Identity in Canada

The co-editors of the book, Bishop’s University Professor Linda Morra and Simon Fraser University Assistant Professor Sarah Henzi, were both present at the panel. According to Morra, untold stories have the power to both nuance and complicate existing stories. “Our book is located in a research trajectory that reveals how there’s so much more work to be done in terms of what is yet hidden or covered up,” said Henzi. 

Morra and Henzi were joined by the following contributors to the book: Deanna Reder, Simon Fraser University; Alix Shield, Simon...

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Let’s Imagine What’s Possible and Transform Our Universities from Within to Enable Indigenous Scholarship

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Universities are human-made, so with willpower and a commitment from administration and faculty, universities can be transformed from within to reflect and support Indigenous knowledge, consciousness and tradition. As moderator President of Vancouver Island University Dr. Deborah Saucier noted, the panel discussion “Enabling Indigenous Scholarship in Canadian Higher Education” gave everyone who attended “much to chew on.”   

Panelist Dr. Frank Deer of the University of Manitoba told a story of a young Indigenous student who desperately wanted to ‘see herself’ at her university; however, the climate and culture didn’t provide the space for her, nor was she given support. Dr. Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost, Indigenous Programming & Research, University of Alberta, echoed this experience saying when she was a young...

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