Brock University hosts Canada’s largest academic conference


Today marks the kick-off of the 2014 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This year’s Congress, hosted by Brock University and organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, includes more than 8,000 delegates from 75 associations in Canada’s largest interdisciplinary academic gathering.

Congress brings together scholars, students and policy-makers involved in a broad spectrum of disciplines including political science, literature, sociology and education. The 2014 Congress theme “Borders without Boundaries” focuses on the links between communities and universities, on US-Canada relations, on dynamics between rural and urban spaces, and on the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the digital world.

“With its contribution to reimagining the Niagara economy and to living the reality at the US border, Brock University offers a unique setting to think beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries,” said Jane Koustas, Congress 2014 academic convenor. “Embracing fully where we come from and our unique history, Congress can help us imagine our common future.”

“We live in a hyper-connected world that defies and crosses traditional boundaries on all levels. This year’s Congress will invite reflection and new ideas on the transformation of the academy as it adapts to and embraces the new reality of increasingly transdisciplinary research and career trajectories,” said Antonia Maioni, president of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Congress consists of eight days of meetings, panel presentations, keynote speeches, and more than 5,000 presentations of research at more than 2,500 events. Beyond the academic discussions, a wide array of panels, performances and exhibits will be free and open to the public.

“Congress is a highlight of Brock University’s 50th anniversary year,” says Jack Lightstone, president and vice-chancellor of Brock University. “Brock has evolved tremendously over that time and so has the academic community in our country. Congress offers us an opportunity to set our sights on new challenges.”

Big Thinking Lectures
The Big Thinking at Congress lecture series features forward-thinking research, ideas and solutions to critical questions and issues of our time. This year’s line-up includes:

* Lyse Doucet – Borders without boundaries: Whose stories are ours? (Saturday, May 24, 12:15 p.m.)
* Cindy Blackstock – Children’s voices have power: Ending inequalities affecting First Nations children and families (Sunday, May 25, 12:15 p.m.)
* Tim Cook – The borders between life and death: Stories of the supernatural and uncanny among Canada’s Great War soldiers (Monday, May 26, 7:45 a.m.)
* Lise Bissonnette – Servitude et grandeur universitaire (Monday, May 26, 12:15 p.m.)
* David Plotz – Fast, cheap, and out of control: How the Internet has made journalism better than it’s ever been (Tuesday, May 27, 7:45 a.m.)
* Catherine Dauvergne – The end of settler societies and the new politics of immigration (Wednesday, May 28, 12:15 p.m.)
* Benjamin Barber – If Mayors ruled the world: Is the city democracy’s best hope? (Thursday, May 29, 7:45 a.m.)
* Lawrence Hill – Blood: The Stuff of Life (Thursday, May 29, 12:15 p.m.)

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