Articles by author: Brock University

  • Reflecting on Iraq War can prevent future tragedy, says Brock expert

    EXPERT ADVISORY: 20 March 2023 – R0024

    It has been 20 years since the U.S. invaded Iraq to end Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and locate weapons of mass destruction. In that time, there has been a significant shift in the way the war is now perceived as part of history, says Martin Danahay.

    “A majority of Americans now think the Iraq War was a mistake and there is much soul searching in the media as to why and how this misguided war started in the first place,” says the Brock Professor of English Language and Literature, who was living in the U.S. when the war broke out in 2003.

    Danahay’s 2022 book, War Without Bodies, relates his personal experience “on the ground in Texas being opposed to the war but overwhelmed by pro-war propaganda.”

    Through his analysis, he hopes to help prevent a similar invasion from happening again.

    War Without Bodies explores how war is represented in ways that minimize damage and death to make it more acceptable. It examines the use of communications technologies to make war more ‘real’ and present while simultaneously refraining from showing the corpses of soldiers and civilians.

    Time has shed a new light on the Iraq War, changing the way it is remembered by not only the public, but also those directly involved — and emboldening them to step forward, Danahay says.

    “Recent media coverage has interviews with Iraq veterans and some of the people responsible discussing why the Iraq War started. There is much regret among some, but not all, responsible,” he says. “When the war started, it was impossible to voice doubts about the war without being called a coward or traitor.”

    The war was supposed to “liberate” the people of Iraq and create a pro-American democracy, Danahay says.

    “Instead, Iraq is in much worse condition now than before the invasion because the war created internal warfare that was not there before,” he says. “The war was supposed to be part of America’s ‘war on terror’ but, ironically, it opened the door for anti-American terrorist groups to establish themselves. Afghanistan is in much the same position now.

    “Only by learning from mistaken wars like this and being alert to attempts to manipulate us into unjustified attacks through fear can we prevent this from happening again,” Danahay says.

    Brock University Professor of English Language and Literature Martin Danahay is available for media interviews on the topic.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Maryanne St. Denis, Manager, Content and Communications, Brock University or 905-246-0256

    – 30 –

    Categories: Media releases

  • Researchers working with Indigenous communities to better deliver heart-health information

    MEDIA RELEASE: 17 March 2023 – R0023

    In the weeks leading up to a heart attack, most people experience classic symptoms that if recognized and treated, can prevent the attack from happening.

    While this and other heart-health information is readily accessible to the public, that is not the case in many Indigenous communities, says a Brock University research team.

    “We need to educate our people on heart disease because it is pretty rampant in Indigenous communities,” says Michelle Bomberry, Research Assistant in the Heart Innovation Research Program and current PhD student at Brock University.

    “With all the literature and educational resources out there, something is still missing,” she says. “We’re trying to find out how to get the message across; it’s a paradigm shift that we need to do with our entire community.”

    Bomberry, who is Haudenosaunee, has teamed up with Associate Professor of Nursing Sheila O’Keefe-McCarthy on their research project “Early Warning Signs of Heart Disease: An Indigenous Research Creation.”

    Although the duo has participated in a few conversations with participants at Six Nations, and off reserve, they are still looking for Indigenous women and men over the age of 18 years who have been diagnosed with heart disease and are connected with the Indigenous community within Six Nations and in the general Niagara area.

    Contact or for more information on how to get involved.

    Funded by Brock University’s Indigenous Research Grant, Bomberry and O’Keefe-McCarthy are working with Six Nations to develop, design and deliver heart health informational resources based on Indigenous ways of knowing.

    The educational materials focus on describing early warning signs of heart disease, called ‘prodromal symptoms,’ as well as acute signs of severe heart disease.

    Symptoms, the presence and intensity of which may vary in men and women, include pain or discomfort in the chest, arm, jaw, back or shoulder, unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, heartburn, tingling in the arms or hands, sleep disturbance, dizziness, anxiety and headaches.

    O’Keefe-McCarthy says the research is focused on how prodromal symptoms are experienced and described by Indigenous women and men with heart disease.

    “Sometimes clinicians’ words are not sufficient and not the words used by an Indigenous person experiencing symptoms related to cardiac pain,” she says. “It’s important for people to help us understand what their experiences are like and help us ask questions that we don’t know that we need to ask because it’s not our information, it’s theirs to share.”

    The creation of educational materials will take an arts-based approach that could include information being conveyed through painting, sculpting, poetry, music, drumming, dance and other means in addition to, or instead of, the written word, the researchers say.

    Bomberry says the balancing of Western scientific research methods with Indigenous ways of knowing and being provides a model of effective holistic inquiry.

    “Our research project is going to be an example of how the community is working with the University to hear the truths of Indigenous Peoples and have community develop the promotional and educational ways to communicate this Indigenous heart-health knowledge,” she says.

    This latest research builds on O’Keefe-McCarthy’s long-running work to educate the public about the early symptoms of heart disease and the use of art to understand what it’s like to live with heart disease.

    “The arts-based approach bridges the art-science divide so that people can recognize the information in a way that’s meaningful to them,” says O’Keefe-McCarthy.

    She says this is particularly important for First Nations Peoples, who are three times more likely to develop heart and vascular diseases, such as diabetes, compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.

    Indigenous Peoples have higher rates of heart attacks, angina, heart-related disability and death compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts, she says.

    “This is why this research is so important,” says O’Keefe-McCarthy. “The knowledge gained in our conversations with Indigenous Peoples who have experienced heart disease is vital to create educational materials that connect with an Indigenous way of knowing, doing and being.”

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

    * Doug Hunt, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Brock University or 905-941-6209 

    – 30 –

    Categories: Media releases