More than 90 U of A research projects worth almost $5 million were named as the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada released the results of the 2012–13 research grants and scholarship programs.
"Funding for the Arts supports research into social life, in its ordinary and extraordinary forms. It helps us to understand how and why we communicate in the ways that we do; how, why and by what mechanisms some people have power and others do not; what issues matter in our political and social world and how they come to matter," said Lesley Cormack, dean of the Faculty of Arts. "From hockey arenas, to meat-packing plants, to civil strife, the Arts are what help us to understand, express and contest the social dynamics of the world
Of the awards, 15 research grants went to U of A-involved projects as part of the Insight Grants program, which enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada by building knowledge and understanding, and by facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society. Another 10 projects were awarded Insight Development Grants, which are designed to support research in the initial stages.
Jack Ives, professor in the Department of Anthropology, received a $184,285 SSHRC grant to investigate the archeological record of the13th-century departure of the Apachean people from the Canadian Subarctic to the Promontory Caves in Utah—one of the largest human migrations in history.
Ives says transit of Apachean ancestors can provide vital analogies for problems of paramount importance today.
“Apachean ancestors left a comparatively water-rich world for arid Great Basin, Southwestern and Southern Plains homes, often filling [dwellings] left behind by horticulturalists who could no longer sustain those lifeways,” said Ives, of the mainly bison-hunting people’s relocation to an area in the midst of a drought severe enough to chase off the area’s former occupants. “Here, archaeological
research can offer relevant comparisons and contrasts for critical
cultural and environmental factors today.”
Ives says the funding will help colleagues continue research on Dene prehistory and create opportunities for graduate research, which includes access to a site with unparalleled preservation.
“This allows not merely for acutely framed research questions with extraordinary temporal control, but will also impact long-term student attitudes about the archaeological record,” said Ives. “In this way, the Promontory materials inevitably teach researchers humility—even good archaeological records elsewhere pale in comparison."
Ives says this research will also help the Dene people tell their full story.
“Our knowledge mobilization plan can bring that journey to wider audiences, in ways that will foster greater understanding of the complexity of the First Nations heritage among mainstream Canadians,” he said.
Grad students took home the bulk of the U of A’s 2012–2013 SSHRC awards, which included 38 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada master’s scholarships, each worth $17,500; 14 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada doctoral scholarships, each worth $105,000 over three years; 17 SSHRC doctoral fellowships worth $20,000 per year for up to four years; and one SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship: $80,000 to Rebecca Graff-McRae for a project entitled Neither Prison Nor Museum: The Politics of Conflict Memory in Northern Ireland.
U of A Insight Grant winners
David Gramit, Department of Music ($142,970): Resituating the local: Early Edmonton and the urban musical practices of settlement
David Beck, Linguistics; Grzegorz Kondrak, Computing Science; Yvonne Lam, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies ($449,068): Upper Necaxa Totonac in context: Exploring the past, present, and future of Northern Totonac
John Ives, Anthropology ($184,285): Apachean origins: New explorations of the Canadian heritage of 13th century Dene at Promontory Point, Utah
Jane Samson, History and Classics ($83,219): George Sarawia: Multiple masculinities in the Melanesian Mission
Robert Klassen and Mark Gierl, Educational Psychology ($270,042): Developing tools to predict new teacher effectiveness
Alison Taylor, Educational Policy Studies ($159,088): Beyond learning for earning: A cross-university study of Canadian students in community service learning programs
Florin Sabac, Accounting, Operations and Information Systems; Dorothee Feils, Marketing, Business Economics and Law ($92,400): Accounting performance measures and corporate governance
John Parkins, Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology ($380,190): Exploring and transforming a cultural imaginary of energy development in Canada (also involved in a project at another university that received $443,559)
Pirkko Markula, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation ($87,601): So you think you can dance: Dance as a physical cultural practice
Elena Nicoladis, Psychology; Paula Marentette, Augustana Campus ($414,772): Gestures as a potential cue to children’s verb learning
Lukas Roth, Finance and Statistical Analysis ($107,253): The economic consequences of shareholder voting: A cross-country analysis (also involved in a project at another university that received $123,271)
David McConnell, Occupational Therapy ($206,878): Social inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in Canada
Christian Andersen, Faculty of Native Studies ($191,255): The forgotten era of the Forgotten People: A hidden history of Métis in Parkland, Saskatchewan, 1918–1965
This article originally appeared in Folio.
Photo: Jack Ives at the mouth of one of the Promontory caves in Utah.