Open Minds: Celebrating UAlberta's Social Sciences and Humanities Research

Humanities and social science research open minds and helps shape a better, brighter future and quality of life for us all by advancing our understanding of social, cultural, political, legal, technological, economic and environmental issues. Through the study of people and society, our past and present, humanities and social scientists help us better understand ourselves, and our world. By exploring our place in the world now and in the past, humanities and social scientists help identify what we need to survive and thrive in current and future complex and challenging times. 

Each fall, the Office of the Vice-President (Research and Innovation) and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study co-host Open Minds in celebration of talented and innovative humanities and social sciences colleagues at the University of Alberta. The event features lightning talks from researchers funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). It showcases the importance of their work in helping us better understand ourselves and our world through the study of people and society.

This year's event took place on Tuesday, November 27th, 4:00pm - 5:30pm in the Telus Centre (Room 150), followed by a reception in the Atrium.

The 2018 roster of speakers included:

  • Kenzie Gordon (Faculty of Arts): Powering up: Games for sexual violence prevention
  • Julie Rak (Faculty of Arts): What happened to the books in the basement? Inuit writing and government intervention (1968-1985)
  • Astrid Ensslin (Faculty of Arts): Writing New Bodies
  • Sarah Moore (Alberta School of Business): How do I love thee, and how many people should I invite? Wedding guest number, love, and marriage length
  • Diego Coraiola (Augustana): Art, under the influence
  • Anne Bissonnette (Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences): A Revolutionary Decade: Fashion & material culture in the 1790s
  • Danielle Peers (Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation): Moving toward inclusion? An online audit of disability inclusion in Canadian sport
  • Dan Mason (Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation): The good, the bad, and the ugly? Hockey arenas, status, and quality of life in entrepreneurial cities
  • Sara Carpenter (Faculty of Education): Obstructed Paths: Understanding university access initiatives for migrating young adults

Themes of last year's Open Minds lightning talks included: Indigenous students and theatre arts, Syrian Refugee families' transition to Canada, children's language use, temporary foreign workers, perceptions of the environment among religious settlers, human rights in municipal planning, feminists' contributions to future energy options, school sport programs for low-income youth, and women premiers in Canada and Australia.

Presentations in previous years covered topics such as growing resilience among sexual and gender minority youth, energy transition in Canada, using art and creative practices to commemorate and help the public in understanding difficult times in Aboriginal history from residential schools to post-war hospital programs in Canada, the impact of social concerns on business, culture and institutions, and the complexities of watershed governance.

You can browse our video archive by clicking on the images in the video archive boxes!