Open Minds: Celebration of 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 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 will take place on Tuesday, November 7th, 4:30pm - 6:00pm in the Telus Centre (Room 150), followed by a reception in the Atrium. RSVP here.

Themes of 2017's Open Minds lightning talks include: 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. For the speakers list and abstracts see below the poster.

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 image to the right!

Open Minds 2017 poster


Open Minds 2017 Speaker List

Please check back for abstracts later. 
  • Dr. Sandeep Agrawal, Professor & Inaugural Director (Faculty of Science)
  • Dr. Diane Conrad, Associate Professor (Faculty of Education) 
  • Dr. Juhani Järvikivi, Professor (Faculty of Arts)
  • Dr. Bukola Salami, Assistant Professor (Faculty of Nursing)
  • Dr. Lauren Sulz, Assistant Professor (Faculty of Education) 
  • Dr. Linda Trimble, Professor (Faculty of Arts)
  • Dr. Joseph Wiebe, Assistant Professor (Augustana Campus)
  • Dr. Sheena Wilson, Associate Professor (Campus Saint-Jean)
  • Dr. Sophie Yohani, Associate Professor (Faculty of Education)