2019 In Review

    The Faculty of Arts' Top Stories of the Year

    By Donna McKinnon on December 18, 2019

    In a faculty as diverse, as engaged and as robust as ours, the storytelling possibilities are ridiculously rich – whether we are profiling groundbreaking research, marking the achievements of our distinguished faculty, students, staff and alumni, or cheering on our latest graduates.

    Here then, are the top stories of 2019:

    Citizen historian Bashir Mohamed exposes Edmonton's racist past

    With white supremacy on the rise around the world, the political science alum (he graduated in 2018!) is using the city and provincial archives to reveal a strong KKK presence in Alberta during the ’20s and ’30s.

    Bashir Mohamed ('17 BA), citizen historian

    Fall Convocation 2019: A Passion for Bringing Worlds Together

    Mpoe Mogale (’19 BA Hons, Political Science) has always had big dreams. Growing up, they had their sights set high – literally – with plans to one day explore the universe by studying astronomy. But when it came time to apply to university, they realized their true passions were grounded here, in the complexities of this world, and switched their focus to an Arts degree.

    Mpoe Mogale is graduating with a BA (hons) in Political Science from the Faculty of Arts

    Mpoe Mogale is graduated with a BA (hons) in Political Science this fall

    Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40

    A perennial favourite, Avenue Magazine released its annual list of Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40 late in November, and as always, our Faculty of Arts community (three alumni, one academic!) were well-represented. Check out the amazing ways they are changing society for good.

    Kisha Supernant, Faculty of Arts,  Anthropology 

    2019 Top 40 Under 40 Kisha Supernant, Associate Professor, Anthropology 

    Spring Convocation 2019: Doctoral student's journey comes full-circle

    Shama Rangwala’s life took her all over the world before she returned to her hometown to pursue a PhD in English and Film Studies, focused on cultural studies — a discipline that investigates the political dynamics of contemporary culture. Fascinated by the discipline, it allowed her to interrogate the relationship between culture and politics, and unpack systems of oppression that directly affected her as a woman and a person of colour.

    Shama Rangwala, Faculty of Arts,  English and Film Studies, Convocation

    Shama Rangwala’s life took her all over the world before she returned to her hometown to pursue a PhD in the Faculty of Arts

     Alumni Awards 2019: A powerful voice for the Métis experience

    Through her poetry, Alumni Honour Award recipient Marilyn Dumont has inspired generations of Indigenous writers and scholars.

    Through her poetry, Faculty of Arts Alumni Honour Award recipient Marilyn Dumont has inspired generations of Indigenous writers and scholars

    Through her poetry, Faculty of Arts Alumni Honour Award recipient Marilyn Dumont has inspired generations of Indigenous writers and scholars

    Alberta Policy Internship Program Launched

    Developed over the last year, the new Alberta Policy Internship Program (APIP) is the pillar of the new Masters of Arts in Policy Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta, set to launch in 2020 and overseen by Jared Wesley. The internship program will facilitate graduate training for policy professionals.

    UAlberta Associate Professor Jared Wesley serves as the Director of Master’s Programs in Political Science in the Faculty of Arts

    Associate Professor Jared Wesley, who serves as the Director of Master’s Programs in Political Science, will oversee the APIP

    Inspired by a childhood book on human evolution, anthropology grad Jennifer Miller finds a career

    The day that Jennifer Miller received her PhD in anthropology, she was struck by a memory of herself as a young girl when she had been given a book about human evolution. The ideas in that book would shape the direction of her life, leading to a career in archaeology.

    Kate Kingsbury helps bring Mexican death goddess to life on big screen

    When the third instalment of the hit Bad Boys movie franchise featuring Will Smith opens in January 2020, there’s a good chance producers will get the details right when the plot turns to the veneration of Santa Muerte, the female Mexican deity of death. That’s because the film’s production company consulted with anthropologist Kate Kingsbury, an expert on a badass female folk figure that has exploded in popularity across Mexico over the past decade.

    Modern Languages and Cultural Studies launches new, streamlined degree

    The Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies launched its new single major in the fall, replacing multiple, individual degrees previously available through the department. Inclusive of the overall breadth of this field of study, the degree will now be called a BA in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies.

    The School in Cortona Celebrates 20 Years

    Perched on a hillside 600 metres above the Val di Chiana (Chiana Valley) in the Tuscan countryside, the ancient town of Cortona has been the backdrop for one of the most extraordinary study abroad opportunities available to students at the University of Alberta over the last two decades.

    The Faculty of Arts

    2019 Kule Research Cluster Grants announced

    In March, the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) announced the recipients of the 2019 Kule Research Cluster Grants. These grants support the activities of interdisciplinary research teams in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts.

    Political scientist Yasmeen Abu-Laban appointed Fellow of the CIFAR program Boundaries, Membership and Belonging

    Is it possible to have a world without “us” and “them”? In exploring ways to create and empower groups without falling back on divisive and hierarchical concepts, Abu-Laban says the answer to this question can lend insight into how to build stronger and more inclusive social and political practices.

    Political scientist Yasmeen Abu-Laban appointed Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

    Political scientist Yasmeen Abu-Laban appointed Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) program, Boundaries, Membership and Belonging

    Digitization project aims to preserve Indigenous voices

    Thousands of Indigenous multimedia recordings spanning nearly 60 years will live on through a partnership involving the University of Alberta’s Sound Studies Institute.

    The Department of Drama announces new BFA in Production degree

    A new BFA in Production degree allows students to specialize in one of three theatrical focuses — Design, Technical Production or Stage Management — with opportunities to work on professional productions for course credit. It streamlines three longstanding BFA programs (Theatre Design, Technical Production, and Stage Management) and offers students more hands-on experience and a healthier school-life balance.

    Department of Drama announces new BFA in Production degree

    BFA student Brianna Kolybaba (centre) received hands-on experience with Properties Master Jane Kline (left), creating props for MFA student Sofia Lukie’s (right) Studio Theatre production.

    Opioid crisis has cost Canada nearly $5 billion in lost productivity

    Economics student Alex Cheung estimates the financial toll of a drug epidemic that has claimed more than 11,000 lives since 2016.

    Q & A: Mary Marshall Durrell

    As the undergraduate student advisor in English and Film Studies retires after 30 years, Mary Marshall Durrell shares some parting words of wisdom.

    Teen pregnancy research earns U of A sociologist prestigious Killam award

    Lisa Strohschein was among 29 professors (along with Women’s and Gender Studies professor Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika), post-doctoral researchers and grad students who received prestigious Killam awards at a ceremony on October 16. The sociologist was recognized for her outstanding research on teen pregnancy in Canada, profiled in this folio story. 

    Sociologist Lisa Strohschein, named a Killam Annual Professor today, is studying teen pregnancy in Canada.

    Sociologist Lisa Strohschein, named a Killam Annual Professor today, is studying teen pregnancy in Canada.

    New bookshop offers more than just books

    The Glass Bookshop, run by Faculty of Arts’ alumni Matthew Stepanic and Jason Purcell, opens up space for marginalized voices.

    Faculty of Arts alumni Jason Purcell and Matthew Stepanic

    Faculty of Arts alumni Jason Purcell and Matthew Stepanic, co-owners of Glass Bookshop 

    21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages receives 2019 SSHRC Partnership Grant

    Linguist Antti Arppe’s project aims to place Indigenous language tools on the same plane as majority languages.

    Discovery helps international team of researchers better understand changes experienced by hunter-gatherers over hundreds of thousands of years

    Led by archaeologist Andrzej Weber, two decades of research yields fresh insight into hunter-gatherer cultures of the Holocene.

    Archaeologist Andrzej Weber, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

    Archaeologist Andrzej Weber in Moty-Shamanka, on the Irkut River, Siberia

     

    Happy Holidays from the Faculty of Arts!

    Read the Top 2018 stories here.