Funded Research

Dr. Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain

(2021-2025) Dr. Jennie Dailey-O'Cain received a SSHRC Insight Grant for her research "Ideologies of English in the linguistic landscape"

People across the world are using English in their daily lives—but how are they doing this, and why? This project investigates conflicts between emerging permissive and older purist ideologies of English as observed in Germany. German young people seem to be driving the emergence of a permissive ideology of English that breaks down its traditional associations with the US and the UK; it is instead coming to be viewed as a culturally neutral language that anyone may use. This conflict makes present-day Germany a good “living laboratory” for the broader study of trans-national English. This project investigates this ideological shift within two German cities’ “linguistic landscapes”, or the visible written language in their public spheres. Linguistic landscapes are a powerful way of exploring the interplay of socio-historical and ideological influences on languages and how these become a part of our everyday environment. This means that a study focusing on Germany's linguistic landscape, where the conflict between permissive and purist ideologies of English are playing out in a visible way, can serve as a window onto how ideologies of English can vary within the same society. To better understand the different ideologies shaping these dynamics, the project employs a novel methodology that pairs data from linguistic landscapes with data from focus groups through interactional sociolinguistics, thereby relating the analysis of language ideologies directly to the visible language use of the linguistic landscape. This integration of techniques makes it possible to trace how participants’ ideas about how English is and should be used relate to images of the linguistic landscape. The project’s eventual results will help sociolinguists understand the link between language ideologies and linguistic landscapes, and also inform emerging theories of transnational English.

Dr. Sathya Rao

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (2019-2021)
Le Francopass ( is a web application co-developed by the Department of MLCS (Dr. Rao), Department of Computing Science (Dr. Stroulia, Marissa Snihur, and Ashley Herman), and Campus Saint-Jean. Drs Cavanagh and Cammarata) designed to encourage students to attend French-speaking events on campus and in the local Francophone community. Drawing upon a gamification framework, Le Francopass makes it easier and fun for students to immerse themselves into the Franco-Albertan community. Le Francopass is supported by several community partners including Alberta Regional Consortia, Association Canadienne-Française de l'Alberta, Alliance française of Edmonton, Canadian Parents for French-Alberta, and Le Consortium provincial. Please consult our Youtube channel for more information:

Dr. Daniel Laforest

(2021-2023) Dr. Laforest obtained in collaboration with PhD student Jonathan Garfinkel, a MITACS Accelerate grant for 2021-2023. The project title is: Hacking Our Bodies. A Health Humanities Internship with the OPEN Project Exploring Novel Do-It-Yourself Artificial Pancreas Systems. 

(2020-2021) Dr. Daniel Laforest received a SSHRC Connection grant for his upcoming international conference "Literary Arts and Health Humanities Today and Tomorrow." Megan Perram and Jonathan Garfinkel, MLCS PhD students, will both be presenting a paper.

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(2017-2021) Received a SSHRC Insight Funding for his research "The Biomedical Body and Everyday Life in Québec and Canada. A Literary Inquiry"

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Dr. Astrid Ensslin, Dr. Chris Reyns, Dr. Walter Davis

"The Interactivity Project" (2020-2021)
Interactivity is commonly recognized as an important feature of contemporary games and media, but its roles in older modes of communication and its potential as an exploratory tool are not widely understood. Under the direction of Chris Reyns-Chikuma (MLCS), Astrid Ensslin (MLCS-HC) and Walter Davis (EASIA), and sponsored by SSHRC, KIAS, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, and several Departments, the Interactive Project (TIP) proposes that interactivity should be both a subject of investigation and a means of generating new understanding. Staging a 5-week (Sept.28-Oct.30 2020), cross-disciplinary event, the project will bring scholars, creators, students, and the general public together to explore the complex ways in which interactivity has articulated human experience throughout our history and continues to do so today.
TIP has 4 main goals. First, showcase interactive media from across history and cultures, ranging from oral storytelling, the manuscript, and the printed book to video games. Second, collaboratively explore how these diverse media can complement each other. Third, draw together scholars and students from diverse departments, spanning spatial, administrative, and mental divisions and building bridges on key contemporary issues. Fourth, throughout the preparation and holding of the event, collectively explore transmedial curatorship as a form of research-creation by staging a space with activities that will encourage participation by colleagues, students, and the public.

Dr. Laura Beard

Dr. Laura Beard's new SSHRC IDG-funded project, "Wanted: A Life Narrative in Deadwood," supports research on a life narrative by John S. McClintock, Pioneer Days in the Black Hills: Accurate History and Facts Related by One of the Early Day Pioneers " (1939; University of Oklahoma Press, 2000). Bits and pieces of McClintock's memoir have become part of the public knowledge of history-used as an authoritative source by academic historians, popular historians, scriptwriters for HBO, by the City of Deadwood on their own website and in their public displays in town-yet there has never been an academic study of McClintock's memoir or the ways in which it has been used as a historical source. Beard's research into McClintock's memoir, its influence on the written and popular history of Deadwood and the Black Hills, and the traces of that history in present day cultural heritage tourism in Deadwood (specifically the Days of 76 events) allow her to explore how both individual acts of memory and collective acts of memory participate in the construction of national narratives. Beard is interested in what Marianne Hirsch and Carolyn Miller have called, in another context, "the persistent power of nostalgia" and the affective will to know that drives so much genealogy research, life narrative and cultural heritage tourism.

Dr. Odile Cisneros

(2016-2019) Received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for her project entitled " An Online Resource on Environment & Poetry from Latin America."

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Dr. Odile Cisneros, Dr. Sathya Rao, and Dr. Ann De Leon

(2018-2020) This MLCS researchers team have received a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant. Odile Cisneros, Ann De Leon, and Sathya Rao have partnered with Charlene Ball and the City of Edmonton on a project entitled "Empowering Communities through Translation: The Case of the Newcomer's Guide to Edmonton." The project will look at city-level translation policy and procedures as well as the impact of translation on our communities.

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Dr. Natalie Van Deusen

(2020-2022) SSHRC Insight Development Grant for a new research project, entitled "'Completely Healed': Miracles, Cures, and Constructions of Disability in the Old Norse-Icelandic Sagas of Bishops," 

(2016- 2020) SSHRC Insight Grant for her project entitled "Mirrors of Virtue: Holy Virgins and Models for Womanhood in Early Icelandic Verse." Currently completing monograph on its findings. 

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Dr. Carrie Smith

(April 1, 2013 - March 31, 2016) SSHRC funding for "Technologies of Popfeminist Activism"

Digital technology’s transnational reach and temporal immediacy has broadened the potential impact of feminist activism, but when it comes to body politics it has also complicated the materiality of feminist work and muddied the line between engagement with and consumption of activist actions. This SSHRC IG project engaged with this question, culminating in the book, Awkward Politics: Technologies of Popfeminist Activism (McGill-Queens UP, 2016) in which PI Carrie Smith and collaborator Maria Stehle explore the awkward politics that such activism produces. Awkwardness is a political emotion that offers a way of engaging with the transnational circulation of feminist activism that accounts for and harnesses the messy conveyance of meaning as the digital meet the material. The book examines contemporary German popfeminist performances (both transnationally and locally situated) that leverage the explicitly sexualized female body for political action, provocative reception, and commercial success. These performances often question any discursive frameworks that might easily (historically, politically, theoretically) explain their political implications. In their awkwardness, they embrace the ambivalence of effectiveness in feminist creative work that refuses clear meaning-making while nevertheless insisting that their position is intentionally, if ambivalently, political. The SSHRC IG also resulted in the collected volume Digital Feminisms (Routledge, 2016) and the website, which houses three ongoing projects.

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