Popular memory research gets funding

Communication, Popular Culture and Film professor Russell Johnston was recently awarded a research grant from the Council for Research in the Social Sciences (CRISS).

The grant will support an ongoing project investigating popular memory in Niagara, a project undertaken with Geography professor Michael Ripmeester.

In their most recent work, Johnston and Ripmeester were surprised to find that winemaking has been embraced by St. Catharines residents as an important aspect of the region’s heritage despite its relatively recent arrival in Niagara. The funds provided by CRISS will allow them to see if the same attitudes are prevalent in other centres in Niagara.

Johnston called the CRISS award “immensely helpful.” The money will be used to hire four Brock students to assist with a survey.

“These students will gain hands-on experience with public opinion research on a local issue, while obviously contributing to the larger project in a meaningful way,” Johnston said. “And that’s just an ideal situation for the community, for the students, and for us as researchers.”

CRISS awards are made to faculty members in the social sciences three times a year.

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