FHASS Research Shines at Sheridan Creates
By Christian Knudsen
On October 28th, Sheridan hosted its inaugural conference to showcase faculty research and creative activities entitled Sheridan Creates. The exciting day-long event during Reading Week celebrated and explored some of the cutting edge scholarship and teaching at Sheridan across disciplines and faculties. The event was a tremendous success and included over thirty-nine concurrent sessions and workshops which were presented by over fifty different faculty members.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was particularly well represented and collectively organized fourteen sessions – more than any other faculty! The range of research and creative activities addressed in these presentations and workshops was also impressive. From First Nations’ storytelling, Canadian literary prize culture, and community engaged scholarship in the social sciences, to research into medieval naughty nuns, mothers on social assistance and nostalgia-based marketing in vegan cookbooks – FHASS faculty are working on some pretty amazing things. The conference also provided our faculty the opportunity to collaborate and network on future projects through workshops on topics ranging from SSHRC grants, ethical research considerations and community engaged projects such as our Film for Thought series.
The day also highlighted many of Sheridan’s upcoming initiatives related to Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities (SRCA) including our new and exciting institutional repository called Sheridan SOURCE (http://source.sheridancollege.ca/). The repository is an online website, portal and digital commons that collects, archives and publishes research and creative activities happening throughout the college including journal articles, books, research posters, creative works such as photography, music, artwork, films, plays, as well as outstanding student work. For example, one recent addition to the repository showcased the student-designed public history posters on Black History created last winter in the general education elective “Canada in the Making: Understanding Canadian History” which had been exhibited in collaboration with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton and the Oakville Museum.
During the conference, Mardy Frazer and Brian Jervis also announced the launch of a new SRCA fund which will provide 10 grants of up to $5,000 and five grants up to $10,000, awarded on a competitive basis, for full time professors and librarians who wish to advance their scholarly, research or creative activities. Recipients could use these funds in any number of ways which support their research such as hiring student research assistants, course releases, purchasing needed equipment or licensing specialized software.
The day concluded with an inspirational keynote address from David Usher, Juno award-wining musician and creativity expert, as part of the Creative Campus Series. At the heart of Usher’s thesis was a belief familiar to all Sheridan faculty that creativity is not some random spark but rather a “learnable skill” available to everyone.
The inaugural Sheridan Creates conference highlighted not only how active and engaged our faculty is in research and creativity initiatives but also how this work affects our pedagogical practices in the classroom and the community at large. Indeed, linking curriculum to research and building community partnerships were recurring themes in many presentations that day and demonstrate our continued strength in applied research.
Click here to view the full conference program (and to marvel at the range and extent of FHASS’s contributions!)