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Two Robarts Centre associates appointed to York Research Chairs

Congratulations to Professors Anna Hudson (Visual Arts and Art History, School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design) and Fuyuki Kurasawa (Sociology, LA&PS), who have both been appointed to positions as York Research Chairs.

Prof. Hudson is a member of the Robarts Executive, and is the Principal Investigator on the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant, Mobiliziing Inuit Cultural Heritage, which is run through the Centre.

Professors Hudson and Kurasawa are both Associates of the Robarts Centre.

Politics of Evidence Working Group

The Robarts Centre is now an institutional partner of the new working group, The Politics of Evidence, currently housed in the Institute for Science and Technology Studies at York University. The Politics of Evidence Working Group is a coalition of academics, scientists, and activists. Together we aspire to challenge the fraught politics of evidence in Canada today, troubling the obstacles that interfere with our “right to know” about the health and wellbeing of our bodies, communities, and environments.

Robarts executive member and faculty associate Jody Berland (Humanities) has joined the Politics of Evidence steering committee and will co-edit a spring 2015 issue of Canada Watch, a publication of the Robarts Centre, on problems of evidence in contemporary Canadian science and society.

Information about the group's mandate, partnerships and activities can be found on its website:

Members of the York community interested in participating should contact Jody Berland at or Natasha Myers, director of the ISTS, at

Scheduled events:
"Science of the Labs” (co-sponsored by York University Faculty of Science)
When: TBA
Where: York University
What: The CBC documentary “Science of the Labs” will be presented, followed by a round table where faculty members and graduate students will think together about the politics of evidence in Canada today.

Workshop with Max Libroiron on the nexus between activism and scholarship
When: January 23, 2015, 1-3 pm
Where: Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto
What: Before the Technoscience Salon on Evidencing Disaster, Activist-researcher Max Libroiron will host our first workshop on the nexus between activism and scholarship.

Public Forums:
Town Hall on Canadian Health at York University (co-sponsored by YUFA and Scientists for the Right to Know)

When: February, 2015
Where: York University

Environmental and Reproductive Justice Forum (cosponsored by the Technoscience Research Unit, University of Toronto)

When: March, 2015
Where: TBA

Robarts goes POP!

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Canadian Popular Culture

How does Canadian popular culture inform the construction of Canadian identity? The Robarts Centre’s second annual interdisciplinary graduate conference is interested in theories, forms, genres, and representations of Canadian popular culture both past and present. We welcome multiple interpretations of the conference theme from a wide range of disciplines, seeking presentations that deal with the role of popular culture in Canadian identity formation.

We are also interested in the extent to which our identity is informed by other nations’ depiction of Canada (e.g.; the depiction of Canadian culture through exaggerated stereotypes in South Park; the belief that Canadians are passive and polite, Commentary of Canada through social media [for example: Norm MacDonald's #PrayForMoncton story], etc.).

We invite proposals of no more than 300 words that address the conference theme from those engaged in the study of Canadian popular culture in all disciplines or research areas (arts and media, history, languages, geography, literature, archaeology, economics, politics and policy) and from multiple perspectives (urban or rural; local or global; indigenous, immigrant, or diasporic; virtual or embodied).

Possible approaches to the conference theme include:
• Interpretations of Canadian Popular Culture
• Canadian Cultural Icons and Iconicity
• Politics in/of Canadian Popular Culture
• Canadian Popular Culture in Film, Television, Literature, Theatre, and Fine Arts
• Issues of Identity, Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture
• Popular Culture and French Canada
• Sport Cultures and the Body
• Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches to Canadian Popular Culture

Please send proposals to by January 26th, 2015.

The conference will be held from April 17th-18th, 2015.

For more information visit

1st Nature’s Past Podcast of 2014-15 Season

Episode 44: The Second World Congress for Environmental History, 24 September 2014 [48:01]
Download Audio

For five days this past July, environmental historians from around the world convened in Guimarães, Portugal for the Second World Congress for Environmental History. This is the main event for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations. It brings together scholars from nearly every corner of the globe every five years to share new research in the field and to think about environmental history from a global perspective.

This year, several scholars from Canada attended the conference (as they did five years ago). They took the opportunity to learn from colleagues in other national fields and they shared research findings from the Canadian context.

There were dozens of panels and round tables, big plenary lectures, and a poster session, so much that no one person could see it all. On this episode of the podcast, we speak with a group of environmental historians who attended the Second World Congress for Environmental History.


The streets of Guimarães.

The streets of Guimarães.

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Stephen Bocking
Jessica DeWitt
Matthew Evenden
Alexander Hall
Tina Loo
John Thistle
Jocelyn Thorpe

Works Cited:

Music Credits:


Kheraj, Sean. "Episode 44: The Second World Congress for Environmental History" Nature's Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 24 September 2014.

Two Robarts Centre prizes awarded earlier this summer

The 2013-14 recipients of the Odessa Prize for the Study of Canada and the Barbara Godard Prize for the Best York University Dissertation in Canadian Studies were announced in Y-File in July.

Monique Giroux (Music) was awarded the Barbara Godard Prize for her dissertation "Music, Power and Relations: Fiddling as Meeting Place between Re-settlers and Indigenous Nations in Manitoba."

Catherine Timms (History) received the Odessa Prize for her paper "Frederick G. Gardiner: An Exploration of High Modernism and the Metropolitan Toronto Council, 1953 - 1961."