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Dissecting the Canadian Higher Education System

 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

The Canadian Society for the Study of Education’s Foundations of Higher Education webcast at Congress 2021 was an open event featuring presentations by Sarah Elaine Eaton from the University of Calgary, James Czank from Lakehead University, Linda Wheeldon from Acadia University, Sandra Bruneau and Michelle Forrest.  

Canadian higher education 

Canadian higher education institutions were developed under the models of Britain and France.  

“In some important respects, Canada's higher education is the story of a network of institutions that break all the rules in terms of accepted norms of organizational theory and system design”- Glen Jones. 

Drawing on this quote, Eaton discussed Canada’s lack of a national system, National Ministry of Higher Education, National Education, Higher Education...

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In the Wake of Injustice: The Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization 

 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram (she/her), PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

Members of the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization met with the academic community to review and reflect on their report and recommendations entitled “Igniting Change.” The discussion rested somberly in the wake of the recent discovery of 215 Indigenous bodies that were found on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, as confirmed by Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanna Casimir. The session began with a moment of silence for the injustice and was reflected on continuously throughout the meeting.   

A standout moment of this meeting came when Lindsay Heller, a Nehiyaw scholar from Simon Fraser University and skilled facilitator from the Michel First Nation, led an inquiry into the report’s outcomes. Heller...

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Performing Narratives of Black Racial Identity in the Digital-Era

 
Congress 2021 blog edition
 
By Megan Perram (she/her), PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 
 
Playwright, Canadian television broadcaster, and social activist Rita Deverell, from Mount Saint Vincent University, takes her audience through an exploration and reflection of her award-winning play “Who you Callin’ Black Eh?” Deverell writes a narrative that dives deep into the nuances of racial identity and the politics of claiming membership to a racial community.  
 
Deverell begins her talk with a discussion of her lived experience and prolific career in broadcasting by starting with her birth in 1945 Houston, Texas. Deverell explains: “And for the record, I have been Black and female ever since then. Which you can quickly do the math is 75 years. This has never been, in fact, a source of question for me. I am...

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Effective, successful and happy academics—do they know something we don’t?

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

The academic world is full of possibilities and opportunities, so there is a lot of noise we must navigate through as we determine our career paths. Dr. Alex Clark and Bailey Sousa talked about how to set ourselves up for success and fulfillment in our work in a workshop offered by the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and the University of Alberta. 

Align your work with your values: Know your values and articulate them to yourself. Knowing the ‘big why’ that underscores what you do will reinforce your work’s purpose and offer your career direction. Aligning your work with your values as you move forward can help you decide what you should do, rather than taking on projects and responsibilities just because they are there.  

To identify your values, ask yourself why you got into your work in the first...

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What Does It Mean to “Flinch from Black Touch?” Dr. Shirley Anne Tate Speaks on Racism in Our Academic Institutions in Big Thinking Session

 

Congress 2021 blog edition 

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

Dr. Shirley Anne Tate has analyzed the effects of institutionalized anti-Black racism for more than a decade. In her Big Thinking series lecture entitled “Racism's touch: 'I can't quite put my finger on it'”, she discussed these effects--shame, fear, hate, disgust and contempt--and how they exist in the ‘post-race’ academic world.  

Somehow, it seems anti-Black institutional racism has disappeared into thin air. Yet, the intensity of racism’s effects remain--we sense it. It’s just that now, racism is so familiar and so frequent. “Racism permeates the walls of institutions and animates interactions with such intensity that we can sense it effectively, but cannot voice these feelings because of their deniability.” Deniability can be reinforced by university policies and procedures around complaints.  

Black...

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