Frost Report 2012
Frost Centre News & Activity for 2011-2012
Julia Harrison, DPhil
I want to start by thanking everyone involved with the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies (FC)—faculty, students, alumni, research associates, adjunct faculty, and those behind the scenes, donors, who contribute in so many ways to making my task as Director so rewarding. I particularly want to acknowledge the work and support of Cathy Schoel, the Frost Centre Administrative Assistant and Graduate Programs & Research Centre Coordinator.
As always, this year was a very rich and busy one for the Frost Centre. We welcomed twelve new students this year— four PhDs and nine MAs. We saw seven leave us as we had one PhD student, three thesis based MA students, and three course-based Major Research Paper (MRP) MA students successfully complete their degrees. Congratulations to all of you on your magnificent accomplishments, with particular note to Rachel Herron for her receipt of the Governor General’s Gold Medal at this year’s Convocation. Congratulations also to all of our alumni who have received numerous awards for their work this year and passed several benchmarks, many of which are reported in the pages that follow.
The academic year for the PhD students began with a the second annual late August gathering at the Department of Canadian Studies Haliburton retreat centre, Windy Pine. This year we were joined by students and colleagues from Carleton, offering an opportunity to strengthen the links in the joint program. As I write this report I am making plans for the third retreat, which the PhD students unquestionably feel must become a permanent fixture for the program.
The Frost Centre welcomed Dr. Allice Legat in January 2012 as the third Roberta Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies. Dr. Legat, an anthropologist who has worked with Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories for over two decades, recently completed her PhD at the University of Aberdeen. She gave the first talk in The North at Trent 2012 lecture series in February. The Frost Centre was pleased to welcome anthropologist Dr. Julie Cruikshank to give another talk in this series. Trent’s Dr. John Milloy completed the series with a talk on his work as a member of the research team with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For more details on the series read on.
The Frost Centre hosted two major conferences this year and assisted with sponsorship of another held at Traill. It supported a wide array of events and colloquia held across campus as well. We also organized a small symposium on ‘museums as contested spaces,’ which drew in a good representation from various cultural agencies in the community. A lunchtime series of talks by Frost Centre faculty and PhD students whose work has been supported by Frost Centre research funds provided a forum for good discussion and an opportunity to learn about the work of our colleagues.All of these are reported on in detail in this issue of the Frost Report, but I particularly want to acknowledge the work of Susan Ashley, James Onusko, Julia Smith, Adam Guzkowski, Sean Carleton, Caitlin Gordon- Walker, Anne Showalter, Tim Querengesser, Jessica Ellison, Jenny Ellison, and Beth Evans for making these events so successful. We had two international visitors this year: Emilio Rodriguez Barroso from Cuba and Chen Xiaoying from China. Thank you to Andy Cragg, an alumnus of the Frost Centre, for initially making the connections with Dr. Chen in China. It is important that we continue to build our international linkages.
This year marked the launch of the Frost Centre Student Association (FCSA), an entirely student-driven initiative, but one fully supported by myself and the Frost Centre Board. The FCSA intends to bring FC MA and PhD students together for academic, collegial, and social events. This is an important and valuable initiative on the part of our students! A report on their activities is included here. Frost Centre spaces in Kerr House got a much-needed facelift this year. The computer room was completely renovated, offering a greatly improved work and social space. The Kerr House seminar room is now fully wired, ensuring its maximum use by both classes and students. Thank you to Cathy Schoel for all of her work in conceptualizing and directing these projects. Cathy also got the Frost Centre on to Facebook and launched us actively into the world of Twitter this year. Those who have been ‘tweeting’ for us are impressed with the range and scope of people who now follow us.
I served for a second year as Secretary-Treasurer for the newly founded professional association for scholars of Canadian Studies in Canada, the Canadian Studies Network- Réseau d’études canadiennes (CSN-REC). I am joined on the CSN-REC executive by CAST PhD student Meaghan Beaton. Our work here not only contributes to building the foundation for the CSN-REC but also informs us of the depth and breadth of work in Canadian Studies being done nationally and internationally, keeping us abreast of opportunities for both Frost Centre students and faculty. I was invited to serve as the external reviewer for the Canadian Studies program at Dalhousie this winter, offering me an in-depth perspective on the richness of the work being done at that institution. As Director and member of Senate, I made contributions to Trent’s first Academic Plan which was released earlier this year. Both as Director of the Frost Centre and as a member of the CSN-REC executive, I wrote submissions to a range of federal officials to protest the cancellation of the long-standing Understanding Canada program. This program had offered modest but critical support for many international Canadian Studies scholars and programs. It is worrying to see its demise.
As this academic year comes to an end, both Cathy Schoel and I (along with a very supportive and helpful team of faculty and student workers) are fully immersed in preparing self-study reports for the Institutional Quality Assurance Program reviews, which both the Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies MA and the Canadian Studies PhD will undergo in 2012/2013. These reviews will ensure that next year, my fourth year as Director (and an extension of my original three-year term), will be a busy and productive one as we move through various steps of the process. Thank you to everyone who showed confidence in me and supported my re-appointment as Director for another year. I am very pleased to have the chance to continue to work with everyone. Directing the Frost Centre is a very gratifying experience.