Trent Anthropology Researchers Top Recipients of $828,445 in Funding for Humanities and Social Sciences

July 19, 2019

Projects receiving SSHRC grants include studies on pre-Hispanic agriculture in the Andes, water management in pre-historic Myanmar, and how Fitbits have transformed walking into a game

Trent Student in Anthropology Lab.

Eight researchers at Trent University investigating historical and modern humanities received a total of $828,445 in Insight Grants through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), announced yesterday by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport.

“We’re very pleased with the announcement that the University will receive more than $800,000 in SSHRC funding, and kudos to Trent’s Anthropology department, one of the most highly regarded in Canada, for securing a large majority of the funding,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president of research and innovation at Trent University. “Grants such as these not only demonstrate the government’s investment in social sciences, but also recognize Trent researchers as leaders in expanding our knowledge of the world.”

Faculty and graduate students in Trent’s Anthropology department secured five of the eight grants, which represent a total of $643,633. Anthropology professor and Canada Research Chair Dr. Paul Szpak received the largest grant of $313,001 over five years for his work on identifying intensification in pre-Hispanic Andean agropastoral systems.

Other Trent research that secured funding through the SSHRC includes a study of body marks to discover African identities during the slave trade, and a project on what we can learn from long-term Indigenous-Settler alliances.

In total, Minister Duncan announced more than $285 million for more than 6,900 researchers and graduate students across Canada, supporting research in areas including education, immigration, Indigenous health and the environment.

SSHRC president Ted Hewitt says research in the social sciences and humanities generate ideas and innovations that improve the lives of Canadians.

“This investment will strengthen research training for students, connect Canadian and international researchers across disciplines and sectors, and equip Canada with the talent, knowledge and insights that are essential to meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Hewitt says. 

Trent University’s grants are as follows:

Dr. Paul Szpak, Anthropology:  Identifying Intensification in Prehispanic Andean Agropastoral Systems ($313,001 over five years)

Dr. Gyles Iannone, Anthropology: An integrated socio-ecological history for residential patterning, agricultural practices, and water management at the medieval Burmese (Bama) Capital of Bagan, Myanmar (11th to 14th Century CE) ($99,342 over five years)

Dr. Anne Meneley, Anthropology: Fitbit frenzies: The quantification and gamification of walking in material worlds ($86,640 over five years)

Dr. Laure Dubreuil, Anthropology: Investigating the transition to agricultural societies in the Southern Levant through the study of ground stone tools ($79,980 over five years)

Dr. Philippe Messier, Anthropology: Connecting People Positively? The Infrastructure of Mobility in Democratic India and Socialist Vietnam ($64,670 over two years)

Dr. Lynne Davis, Indigenous Studies: For the Long Haul:  What We Can Learn from Long-Term Indigenous-Settler Alliances ($65,593 over two years)

Dr. Katrina Keefer, History: Decoding Origins: Using body marks to discover African identities during the slave trade ($72,505 over two years)

Dr. Suzanne Bailey, English: ‘Wanderers in a Distant Country’: Preserving and Adapting Britishness in the Writing of Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie ($46,714 over two years)