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Strategic Grants 2009

Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada

Sandra Hyde, Anthropology
Paul Yachnin, English

International Opportunities Fund (IOF)

Amanda Grenier, School of Social Work

Northern Communities: Towards Social and Economic Prosperity

Nicole Ives, School of Social Work
Marianne Stenbaek, English

Research Development Initiatives (RDI)

Hans Beck, History

SSHRC Research Grants- Canadian Environmental Issues

Hassan Benchekroun, Economics

All information in this section is courtesy of the researchers.


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Sandra Hyde
The anthropology of addiction: science, therepy and regulation
Amount awarded: $21,471


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Paul Yachnin
Richard Helgerson and Making Publics
Amount awarded: $24,229

Richard Helgerson, one of the founders of the SSHRC/MCRI-funded "Making Publics: Media, Markets, and Association in Early Modern Europe" (MaPs) project, was, according to Professor Yachnin, one of the leading Renaissance scholars of his generation. Among his most important publications was Forms of Nationhood: the Elizabethan Writing of England, a book on the early discourses of nationhood, which won the MLA's James Russell Lowell prize for the best book in any area of literary studies. Helgerson passed away in April 2008 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. This workshop begins with the recognition that his work, from The Elizabethan Prodigals (1976) to A Sonnet from Carthage (2007), developed what Professor Yachnin sees as brilliant accounts of literature, theatre, and painting in their social contexts and as powerful shaping influences on society and history. The members of the workshop will engage with Helgerson's work with a view to understanding the degree to which his scholarship was about public-making before the inception of MaPs itself, thereby ensuring that his work remains a vital part of this unfolding research project. The workshop will honor the memory of a great scholar and teacher in a way that Professor Yachnin is confident would have met with his approval: by including senior and junior scholars and by working across disciplinary borders in order to advance understanding of the people, ideas, and works of the past. Following the workshop, a number of the presentations will be recorded and uploaded as podcasts to the Making Publics website.

Key words: Richard Helgerson; public-making; interdisciplinarity; early modern Europe


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Amanda Grenier
Contemporary issues in critical gerontology: An international initiative
Amount awarded: $25,000

According to Professor Grenier, critical inquiry by Canadian scholars into the experiences of aging is challenged by disciplinary boundaries and geographical distances. She believes that Canada "requires a formalized network of scholars working within critical gerontology in order to understand how contemporary issues may impact older people in Canada and contribute to international debates on aging." With this grant, Professor Grenier will bring together researchers from the UK and Canada whose approaches to the study of aging include the exploration of social issues, contemporary policies and practices, the experience of diverse groups of older people and the participation of older people. The Canadian component includes scholars from the Centre de recherche et d'expertise en gérontologie sociale (CREGES) in Montreal. The team's objectives are to develop a Canadian-based institutional home and website for international scholars working on critical approaches to aging and to secure a prominent Canadian presence within the international scene based primarily at the international Institute for Life Course Studies at Keele University in the UK and its' affiliated projects.

Key words: critical gerontology, lifecourse perspective, older persons, family, intergenerational issues, social policy, diversity, organizational practices, lived experiences


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Nicole Ives
Community capability and development in Nunavik: mobilizing knowledge in the transition to self government
Amount awarded: $147,458

Building on the work of a previous SSHRC-funded grant ("Community Capacity Development in Nunavik" (CCDiN)) this project brings together researchers, policy experts and community members to mobilize and discuss the knowledge gathered through CCDiN and another project funded by the Ministère de l'Education, du Loisir et du Sport de Quebec (MELSQ) entitled, "Rethinking Social Work Education in First Nations and Inuit Communities". These projects, conducted in the lead-up to Nunavik self-governance in 2011, "explore issues of key concern for the new Nunavik government: the relevance and appropriateness of existing social policies in Nunavik and the support and training needed by frontline social service workers who implement many social policies." Professor Ives believes that understanding these social issues will be a critical determinant of the new Nunavik government's success. In addition to the two community researchers, two graduate students will be engaged in the dissemination activities, which will include a series of written formats (issues and options papers, policy briefs and newspaper and magazine articles), designed to spark public interest and facilitate dialogue. A series of three public community forums, held in Nunavik, will then build on the written dissemination materials. In addition to these activities, Professor Ives and her team will conduct a feasibility study on expanding the dialogue directly to all 14 Nunavik communities through the creation of a permanent social networking website and videoconferencing.

Key words: knowledge mobilization, community forums, research dissemination, policy briefs, issues papers, media articles, media presentations


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Marianne Stenbaek
Development of an updated Inuit Arctic policy
Amount awarded: $75,000

Arctic sovereignty, Northwest Passage, Inuit Youth and Children, Truth and Reconciliation—as the Arctic becomes a worldwide concern, Professor Stenbaek notes the increasing urgency of Arctic Policy. The principle objective of this project is to revise and update the existing Inuit policy document, "Elements and Principles of a Comprehensive Arctic Policy". Based on the fact that the Inuit have used this document since 1993 as the foundation upon which to negotiate and interpret policies formed by national and international organizations and states, she feels that the updated version will be of great benefit to Inuit communities. In consultation with Inuit communities and informed experts, Professor Stenbaek and her partners in the Inuit Circumpolar Council will examine which factors in this policy document need to be changed and expanded, as well as which issues are no longer pertinent. This expanded perspective will maintain and honor the original version, originally written from an Inuit perspective, taking into account the changes that have occurred in the last 15 to 20 years. The new policy document will be distributed at the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) General Assembly in July 2010 and, unlike the prior document, to interested organizations as well as all schools and educational and government institutions in the four Inuit regions. The communities will be kept informed and consulted throughout the process and Professor Stenbaek and her team will disseminate information through radio broadcasts, television and the Internet.

Key words: Inuit Arctic policy, climate change, environment, cultural issues


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Hans Beck
Ancient world elites- aristocratic power in antiquity
Amount awarded: $29,020

As a result of globalization, the composition of students and faculty at most North American Universities has become increasingly diversified; subsequently, both research topics and teaching curricula have been transformed. Professor Beck notes that these changes require a new approach toward the cultural foundation of human society, particularly in terms of course offerings. Along with Professor Griet Vankeerberghen, Professor Beck will conduct a comparison of some of the most basic foundations of what is generally referred to as the Eastern and Western worlds: the political cultures of ancient China and the ancient Mediterranean. Employing the knowledge of past cultures, Professors Beck and Vankeerberghen aim to make the academic dialogue between them relevant to the intellectual and moral reflections that accompany the forces of globalization by examining three topical clusters in particular: people, places and songs. This initiative is designed to transform both the researchers' and their students' academic curiosity into new intellectual discoveries. In the long run, Professor Beck hopes that the comparative knowledge on the cultural foundations of Europe and Asia will also help to facilitate the cultivation of a new type of social meaning.

Key words: political culture: Greece, Rome, China; elite power, rhetoric, communication; social hierarchy and coherence; historical texts and traditions; cultural foundations of a globalized world


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Hassan Benchekroun
GHG mitigation policies in Canada: regional, national, international and competitiveness issues
Amount awarded: $249,458

While the importance of climate change and the necessity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions ranks high in Canada, Professor Benchekroun notes that so far, no official plan has been implemented to achieve Canada's 1997 agreement under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHG emissions by 6% of recorded levels in the 1990s. With this project, Professor Benchekroun and his team of researchers plan to examine two major issues that they feel must be addressed in the design of an effective GHG mitigation policy. The first is a regional dimension, in the sense that Canada is a federation, and as such, the political feasibility of a successful environmental policy requires the participation of both provincial and federal jurisdictions. The second issue is international competitiveness; that is, while climate change is a global phenomenon, only a limited number of the key players have agreed to take some actions to curb their emissions. Several graduate students will participate in all phases of the research and will be trained in environmental policy modeling for public policy. Professor Benchekroun and his group will write policy-oriented papers and present their research results at government and environmental research center seminars, as well as academic conferences. In order to maximize the impact of their research, the group plans to gear their policy papers toward a less technical audience, publishing their research findings in journals specializing in economics, environmental economics, natural resource or energy economics.

Key words: tbc

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