2018 Celebration of Research: Research. Creativity. Impact.

Faculty of Arts and KIAS researchers showcase the ways their work helps us to better understand ourselves and our world.

Donna McKinnon - 6 March 2018

The Faculty of Arts and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) will present the 2018 Celebration of Research on Thursday, March 8 at the Timms Centre for the Arts. This annual event brings together academics and performers from across a diversity of disciplines, voices, and mediums to share and reflect on research activities within the social sciences, humanities and fine arts.

This year's theme - "Research, Creativity and Impact" - captures the reciprocity and relevance of the work undertaken in the Faculty of Arts, from innovative projects that push the boundaries of thinking and creative expression, to the impact of this research in the local and global communities.

"Scholarly and social impact are the hallmark of Arts research and creative activity," says Steve Patten, Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Arts, and organizer of the event, which will begin with a performance by the Edmonton Transcultural Orchestra.

Each of the six researchers will have three minutes to present their research and respond to the topic question. KIAS Director Geoffrey Rockwell will conclude with the formal announcement of the recipients of the 2018 Kule Research Cluster Grants in support of the activities of interdisciplinary research teams in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts.

Presenter and anthropologist Jack Ives will discuss the "extraordinary" perishable artifacts discovered in the dry caves at Promontory Point, Utah. In particular, he is interested in the hundreds of moccasins made and decorated in a northern style, which he says are not only out of place in the Great Basin area of the United States, but also possibly reflective of the southward passage of Navajo and Apache ancestors originally from Subarctic Canada.

"Moccasins are especially evocative to work with," says Ives. "In them, we can clearly sense individuals from the past, from the imprint of an adult's foot in the leather, to the love and care invested in beautifully crafted moccasins made for little children."

For her presentation, linguist Johanne Paradis will consider how children from immigrant and refugee families learn English as a second language. "Learning English is fundamental to learning to read and, ultimately, to academic success and social integration," says Paradis. "And, with the recent influx of refugee children to Canada, knowing how to better support their English learning has become increasingly important."

Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika (Women's and Gender Studies) studies gender and higher education in Africa, and in more general terms, the African diaspora, particularly as it relates to African immigration to Alberta. "Given the diversity of histories, cultures and circumstances of migration within this population, African immigrants in Alberta could provide crucial insights for improving current policies and practices in the field," she says. "This is an exciting study by an interdisciplinary team of scholars that actively engages African communities in a dialogue that delves into immigrant lives before, during and after migration."

These fast-paced presentations promise to be both thought-provoking and entertaining - a peak into the ways in which faculty and KIAS researchers are enriching the understanding of our shared human experience.

"[Our] researchers and creative artists are advancing knowledge, reshaping research agendas, and producing contributions that impact positively on society at the local, national, and international levels," says Patten. "The Celebration of Research is an opportunity to acknowledge this."

Presenters and discussion topics:

  • Johanne Paradis (Linguistics): Children learning ESL: Do they soak it up like a sponge?
  • Kenneth Williams (Drama): Whispers of My Ancestors: Storytelling as Acts of Indigenous Resilience and Resistance
  • Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika (Women's & Gender Studies): Gender Relations within African immigrant families in Alberta
  • Jack Ives (Anthropology): Footsteps: The Evocative Archaeological Record of Utah's Promontory Caves
  • Marilène Oliver (Art & Design): Re-materializing the Digitized Body
  • Dominique Clément (Sociology): Dragging the Liberal Arts into the 20th Century (21st Century to be determined)

The Celebration of Research will begin at 3 p.m. at the Timms Centre for the Arts on Thursday, March 8, followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public. Click here to RSVP.

To read more about the presenters and their research, visit the 2018 Celebration of Research home page.