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Standard Research Grants 2006

Standard Research Grants awarded to members of the Faculty of Arts.

Éric Bélanger, Political Science
Hassan Benchekroun, Economics
Laurel Bossen, Anthropology
Nicole Couture, Anthropology
David A. Davies, Philosophy
Normand Doiron, French Language and Literature
Jane Everett, French Language and Literature
Peter Gibian, English
Elisabeth L. Gidengil, Political Science
Heather Goad, Linguistics
Yael Halevi-Wise, English and Jewish Studies
Jennifer Hunt, Economics
Jose Jouve-Martin, Hispanic Studies
Erik Kuhonta, Political Science
Takashi Kunimoto, Economics
Yvan Lamonde, French language and literature
Robert Lecker, English
Mary E. MacKinnon, Economics
Kristin Norget, Anthropology
Phil Oxhorn, Political Science
Laila Parsons, Islamic Studes
Carrie Rentschler, Communication Studies
Peter Sabor, English
Steven Saideman, Political Science
Kathleen M. Sibbald, Hispanic Studies
Jeffrey Speaks, Philosophy
Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, History
Christina Tarnopolsky, Political Science
Morton Weinfeld, Sociology

image of eric belanger

Éric Bélanger
Émergence et évolution des tiers partis provinciaux au Canada
Amount awarded: $74,765

The political scene in Canada may well have its widest dividing line between red and blue, but what about those political parties in our system that wear different colours? What are the conditions that make these "non-traditional" parties viable as leaders within the communities and provinces that choose to elect them? Professor Bélanger and his collaborator, Richard Nadeau, from the Université de Montréal, will perform an historical analysis of third party support at election time in the ten Canadian provinces over a 60-year period (1945-2005); and conduct a survey fielded at the time of the next Quebec provincial election to examine support for the Action Démocratique du Québec and the new party, Québec Solidaire. They aim to show that third parties are successful when popular dissatisfaction toward politics and government is high, and when the main opposition party is organizationally weak.

Key words: systèmes partisans, réalignements électoraux, tiers partis, vote

image of hassan benchekroun

Hassan Benchekroun
Incentives to join a coalition under resource constraints
Amount awarded: $90,433

Chinese girl

Laurel Bossen
China's missing girls: land, population controls, and sex imbalance in rural China
Amount awarded: $96,907

Professor Bossen believes that the need to better understand the dynamics producing a deficit of daughters in Asia is a pressing one and that the sheer magnitude of sex imbalance in the large populations of China and India suggests that their problems are not theirs alone. She will conduct her research with the aim of discovering the underlying causes of strong son preference and to contribute to national policies that will reduce the daughter deficit. Eventually, Professor Bossen's research findings will be disseminated through a book on missing girls, land and population control in rural China based on four village case studies, as well as articles, book chapters, conferences, papers and lectures, and eventually on the internet through a dedicated website.

Key words: rural China, missing girls, family planning, land rights, population policy

Photo of Nicole Couture

Nicole Couture
Urban archaeology at Tiwanaku, Bolivia
Amount awarded: $182,201

Although highland Bolivia is far removed from downtown Montreal, the work of Professor Couture will bring these two locales a little closer. Professor Couture will work with a team of researchers from the United States and Bolivia on archaeological research in a residential neighbourhood and a cemetery in the pre-Columbian city of Tiwanaku in highland Bolivia. Their work will involve the staples of archaeological research, including excavations, mapping, a geophysical survey, laboratory analyses of pottery, human remains, and animal bones. Through this research, Professor Couture hopes to find evidence of different forms of social diversity (e.g. ethnicity, class, gender, age, occupation, kinship) through both ritual practices and the garbage of every day life.

Key words: urban archeology, South America, Bolivia, Tiwanaku

David A. Davies
How making matters: Provenance and the epistemology, ontology, and axiology of art
Amount awarded: $49,469

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Normand Doiron
Interpréter le déplacement
Amount awarded: $56,012
Professor Normand Doiron plans to trace the notion of travel through the ages, from Homer to Modern Europe, showing that the vision of the world is shared by each culture and its times. On the completion of this philological enquiry, he will publish a book on his findings.

Key words: littérature française, récits de voyage, ancien régime, littérature grecque et latine de l'antiquité, philosophie, théorie du déplacement, herméneutique

Jane Everett
Rewriting(s): The anthologization of Gabrielle Roy
Amount awarded: $51,111

image of peter gibian

Peter Gibian
A Traveling Culture: Cosmopolitanism in 19th-century American Literature
Amount awarded: $52,559
As a scholar of American literature, Professor Gibian has specific questions regarding the popular concern of cultural identity in the era of globalization. With his grant, he will study the emergence of American Literature over the long 19th-century and trace the development of a "cosmopolitan tradition" in American thought and writing. His grant will enable him to visit archives, attend conferences, and write articles. Professor Gibian plans to produce two books: one, a scholarly monograph on "cosmopolitanism in 19th-century American literature"; the other an edited collection on American Literature in transnational perspective.

Key words: American literature (19th-c.), cultural history, literary theory, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, multiculturalism, ambassadorship, travel, tourism, flanerie, Franklin, Irving, Melville, Fuller, du Bois, James, Wharton

image of elisabeth gidengil

Elisabeth L. Gidengil
Electoral Dynamics in Canada
Amount awarded: $129,393
Canada has experienced dramatic changes over the past 40 years. The population has grown and become much more diverse, and more of it is concentrated in Canada's largest metropolitan areas. At the same time, Canada's party system has undergone significant transformations. Professor Gidengil's grant will enable her and her team of researchers to provide an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of electoral change in Canada since 1965 in light of these changes, while contributing to larger debates over the nature and extent of the processes that are seen as driving electoral change in established western democracies. The resulting book will represent the first comprehensive interpretation of electoral change in Canada since the advent of large-scale survey-based election studies.

Key words: electoral change, voting behaviour, attitude dynamics, political persuasion

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Heather Goad
Abstractness in representation in emerging grammars
Amount awarded: Amount awarded: $185,000

A large body of evidence reveals that children display patterns of speech behaviour akin to those most commonly found in all languages. However, early grammars also display patterns which are unexpected, patterns which are, at best, rare and possibly universally illicit. The central question Professor Goad and her co-applicant plan to address with this grant is whether children possess 'rogue grammars', systems which differ in fundamental ways from adult grammars, whether these peculiar patterns truly reflect non adult-like developing systems or whether they can be explained through systems that are constrained by the notion 'possible grammar', that is, systems that abide by the same constraints as adult grammars. The overall objective of their research is to come to a better understanding of rogue phenomena. They believe that a systematic investigation of these regular patterns is essential to further knowledge of the relationship between developing and adult grammars.

Key words: phonology, first language acquisition, prosodic structure, consonant clusters, truncation, rogue grammars, rich representations, covert contrasts, markedness

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Yael Halevi-Wise
A bridge among nations and generations: Judeo-Spanish history in contemporary Latin American literature and world literature
Amount awarded: $85,414

With the aim of understanding parallel manifestations of Sephardism in literatures beyond Latin America, Professor Halevi-Wise believes that only a comparative approach can illuminate the unique contours and significance of this phenomenon in any national literature. Her grant will fund her investigation of representations of medieval Judeo-Spanish history in 19th and 20th century historical novels. With her findings, Professor Halevi-Wise plans to publish a collected volume on representations of Judeo-Spanish history in World Literature and a monograph on representations of Judeo-Spanish history in contemporary Latin American novels. She plans to further disseminate her research results through public forums interested in world literature or in Jewish history and literature.

Key words: Latin America, historical fiction, Judeo-Spanish history, Sephardism

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Jennifer Hunt
Using international micro-data to study the determinants of society
Amount awarded: $66,200
With her grant, Professor Hunt will analyze international individual-level data to understand the process by which a public official receives a bribe from a client. Her main research activities will involve determinants of corruption and crime, causes and effects of migration, causes of unemployment, and transition from communism.

Key words: corruption, bribery, governance, institutions, development

image of jose jouve-martin

Jose Jouve-Martin
From slaves to scribes: slavery, orality and literacy in Peru
Amount awarded: $48,081
Professor Jouve-Martin aims to question the assumption that African slaves and their descendents were fundamentally illiterate, confined to a mostly oral culture and, as such, unable to participate in the written culture that developed throughout the colonial world. His grant will help fund archival research in Spain and Peru as well as other archival repositories in Latin America, as he seeks to understand the role of writing and literacy in the development of Afro-hispanic communities during colonial times and as a pre-condition to the emergence of Afro-hispanic literature in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Key words: orality, literacy, slavery, Afro-Latin American literature, Spanish American colonial literature

Erik Kuhonta
The origins of party institutionalization in Southeast Asia
Amount awarded: $92,641
Political Science is truly a worldwide discipline, as evidenced by Professor Kuhonta's research into the origins of party institutionalization in Southeast Asia, focusing on Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. With his grant, he plans to interview party officials and do archival work in five countries in Southeast Asia, and will also perform a comparative-historical analysis of secondary materials available in Montreal and in Singapore. His goal is to explain why Malaysia and Singapore have parties that are highly institutionalized, while Thailand and the Philippines have low institutionalization, and Indonesia ranks in the middle. He believes that the explanation hinges on whether social cleavages were articulated into the party system in the post-world war period.

Key words: political parties, institutionalization, social cleavages, Southeast Asia, comparative-historical analysis

Takashi Kunimoto
Robustness of equilibrium analysis in incomplete information games with an application to implementation
Amount awarded: $52,132
Professor Kunimoto believes that modern economic theory relies heavily on the language of game theory and its solution concepts, and that the theory of mechanism design has been used to justify a number of "unrealistic" mechanisms. With his grant, Professor Kunimoto will determine what unrealistic mechanisms are the products of "robustification". During the course of the project, Professor Kunimoto will take a close look into various relationships between the structure of the game, the solution concept, and the notion of the proximity of information. The project will lead to several research papers, which will eventually be submitted to academic journals for publication, and the results will be communicated through distribution of working papers, conferences and workshops, visiting other institutions and collaborating with other researchers.

Key words: bargaining, contracts, game theory, implementation theory, mechanism design

Photo of Yvan Lamonde

Yvan Lamonde
La modernité au Québec (1930-1960)
Amount awarded : $136,450

With his grant, Professor Lamonde will begin writing his third volume in Histoire des idées au Québec (1930-1960), a series whose previous books have been acknowledged with the Prix Raymond Klibanski, the Canadian Historical Association's Clio Prize, the Prix Percy Foy and the Prix Richard Arès. This project revisits the idea of the "Révolution tranquille" and its origins and meaning; and it brings a new balance between Quebec's "américanité" and French heritage. Plans for knowledge mobilization include interviews with Le Devoir, La Presse, The Gazette; as well as participation in These Paths, in Toronto.

Key words: modernité, histoire des idées, révolution tranquille

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Robert Lecker
A history of English-Canadian literary criticism, 1951-2005
Amount awarded: $94,389
From A.M. Klein to Douglas Coupland, Sheila Watson to Margaret Atwood, Canadians have produced a host of great writing in the past 50 years. Of course, with all this great writing comes much writing about writing. Professor Robert Lecker, himself an author and literary critic, plans to write a book about the history of English-Canadian literary criticism from 1951 to the present. With his grant, he will study the material construction of Canadian literature and criticism by looking at the ways in which literature and literary taste is formed by the intersection of aesthetics, politics, economics, university and government policies, and the values associated with professionalization in the industry of Canadian literature.

Key words: literary history, literary criticism, canonical theory, literature and economy, arts funding

Mary E. MacKinnon
The emergence of national markets in Canada 1870-1940
Amount awarded: $72,888
Professor MacKinnon plans to take a different approach to studies on Canadian economic history, which have previously focused mainly on finding data to develop price indices much more than trying to explain the observed patterns. Her research project will involve both further collection and analysis of prices, and in an effort to better understand the observed patterns of prices, research to improve understanding of how distribution networks have developed over time. To gain a better understanding of the distribution sector and how changes in distribution were linked to changes in consumer prices, Professor MacKinnon and her team of researchers will study the characteristics of wholesale and retail firms in Canada and the northern United States. Their research will be published in a series of papers and in refereed journals such as the Journal of Economic History, Explorations in Economic History, and the Business History Review.

Key words: consumer price indices, national income deflators, retail distribution, rural-urban price gaps

Kristin Norget
Indigenous theology, the Catholic Church, and Indigenous peoples in contemporary Mexico
Amount awarded: $80,691

With her grant, Professor Norget aims to formulate an illuminating, comprehensive analysis of indigenous theology in Mexico, including an interpretation of the meanings indigenous theology has for representatives of the Church, and for indigenous people themselves. Using participatory observation and structured and non-structured interviews, Professor Norget's field research will be conducted in Oaxaca, Chihuahua, and Mexico City. The results will be communicated to academic audiences through papers presented at Canadian and international conferences. In addition to articles for publication in refereed journals, Professor Norget plans to write a book based on her research, and hopes to reach a broader audience by disseminating her results in published sources (e.g. newspapers) that would be accessible to the non-academic communities in both Canada and Mexico.

Key words: Mexico, indigenous peoples, catholic church, religion, sociopolitical change, politics of syncretism, identity

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Phil Oxhorn
Citizenship as consumption or citizenship as agency: competing models of citizenship in Bolivia, Chile, and Mexico
Amount awarded: $88,276

According to Professor Oxhorn, Latin America is more democratic than any time in its history. While this democratic entrenchment is as welcome as it is unprecedented, important questions are now arising about the kinds of democracies that are becoming entrenched. To understand the paradox of "undemocratic" democracy, Professor Oxhorn, will focus on the social construction of citizenship. Through case studies of Bolivia, Chile and Mexico, Professor Oxhorn will analyze actual processes of the social construction citizenship and their impact on the quality of democratic governance. The ultimate aim of the project is a scholarly book, as well as several articles in refereed journals and conference presentations. Additionally, through a network of contacts outside the academic community including the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the World Bank, Professor Oxhorn hopes to continue to share his research with both academic and non-academic communities.

Key words: citizenship, democratization and democracy, civil society, local government, Latin American comparative politics, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile

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Laila Parsons
Soldiering Arab nationalism: The life and times of Fawzi al-Qawuqji
Amount awarded: $57,513

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Carrie Rentschler
Remaking victims : news and the politics of victims' rights
Amount awarded: $150,648
Across the political spectrum, cultural critics describe the increasing visibility of victims over the past 20 years as an especially significant phenomenon. With her grant, Professor Rentschler will explore victims and victims' rights representation in the American news media by analysing journalism education materials, industry publications and manuals. Specifically, she will examine how victims' rights rhetoric has influenced American news and conventions. Eventually, Professor Rentschler hopes to make her research publicly accessible by creating a website on which she can archive materials and report on her findings. By making the findings available in multiple public venues and in journalism education, she hopes that the project can shape public deliberations over the social and political significance of seeing news as a platform on which some victims can assert their rights to representation.

Key words: analysis of victims' rights discourse, observations and discursive analysis of journalism training in victims' rights, analysis of grammar of victims' rights in news profiles of life

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Peter Sabor
The court journals and letters of Frances Burney
Amount awarded: $100,644
According to Professor Sabor, interest in 18th century author Frances Burney, both scholarly and popular, is now greater than at any time since 1778, when her first novel, Evelina, made her the most admired English novelist of her time. With his grant, Professor Sabor will reach his primary research objective of producing a definitive, six-volume critical edition of the Court Journals and Letters of Frances Burney (1786-91). As general editor of the edition, Professor Sabor will edit the first of the six volumes himself, while overseeing the work of a group of editors producing two other volumes. During the period of his grant, Professor Sabor will also present papers on particular aspects of Burney's court journals, and will participate in interdisciplinary conferences

Key words: 18th century diaries and letters, British, textual editing, Frances Burney, women's literature, history of British Monarchy, history of British empire

Photo of Stephen Saideman

Steven Saideman
Double hats, double trouble: understanding the problem of delegation in multilateral military intervention
Amount awarded: $83,837

With his grant, Professor Saideman seeks to understand the dilemmas facing military commanders of multilateral peace operations. In order to answer the question of how commanders of multilateral peace operations handle the problem of having two distinct bosses—their home country and the multinational organization—Professor Saideman and his collaborators will interview retired and active Canadian and American military officers and their civilian counterparts. Ultimately, they hope to produce a book and a series of articles on their findings.

Key words: intervention, military organization, international organization, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Balkans

Photo of Kathleen Sibbald

Kathleen M. Sibbald
Outsiders: radical feminism and autobiography in modern Argentina
Amount awarded: $61,309

Jeffrey Speaks
The role of mental states in the philosophies of action and language
Amount awarded: $54,506

Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert
The Barrio's colonial configurations: structures, identities and politics in the popular urban quarters of San Luis Potosi Mexico, 1592-1810
Amount awarded: $128,527

According to Professor Studnicki-Gizbert, cities were key sites of social and cultural change in colonial Latin America as immigrants streamed in from indigenous villages to form a culturally mixed populace. The changes primarily took place inside the barrios (urban quarters) as residents defined and redefined the structure and identity of their community. With his grant, Professor Studnicki-Gizbert will perform an in-depth investigation of the six barrios that surrounded the central Spanish core of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, from the foundation of the city in 1592 to 1767, the date of a major uprising led by the barrios. His research findings will be communicated through conference paper presentations, a workshop held at McGill, and eventually, a database and a book containing the different dimensions of his findings.

Key words: urban history, sociability, ethnicity, social networks, popular politics, Mexico, popular urban quarters

Photo of Christina Tarnopolsky

Christina Tarnopolsky
What's so negative about negative emotions?
Amount awarded: $75,459

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Morton Weinfeld
The Jewish polity and Israel: Canada and the United Kingdom compared
Amount awarded: $68,798

How can minority groups in multicultural Canada, and notably their communal leaders and advocacy organizations, integrate loyalties to Canada with ties to their group identity and/or their homeland, when there may be real or potential conflicts of interest or ideological clashes between the two? With is grant, Professor Weinfeld will analyze interviews, official documents and correspondence, and general and ethnic press content from Canada, Great Britain and Israel to review how Canadian and British Jewish advocacy groups have managed this delicate task since the early 1990s. The results of his research will eventually be communicated through several academic articles in journals dealing with the sociology of ethnic and racial minorities, as well as a book, book chapters and articles in the general press.

Key words: ethnicity, immigration, multiculturalism