Interdisciplinarity is considered a hallmark of Trent University. Since its founding in 1964, the University has fostered a unique environment where students and faculty can cross discipline lines to engage one another on the most pressing questions of the day. The Trent Centre for Aging & Society (TCAS) keeps this spirit of collaborative research and education alive and well, and this is part of what draws aging studies scholars from around the world to Peterborough every year.
Since opening in 2013, TCAS has welcomed more than 15 scholars from 11 countries to work with Trent faculty and to share their research as part of the Centre’s Aging & Society Seminar Series. The range of topics is expansive, exploring everything from the use of documentaries in end of life care and late life creativity to digital technologies and aging.
Most recently, the Centre hosted Dr. Dorothy Lin, an expert in linguistics and social gerontology, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. When applying for the 2018 Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program, Professor Lin was encouraged to reach out to a prominent scholar in Canadian literature and critical aging studies, Dr. Sally Chivers, director of TCAS. Through this exchange, an agreement was made for Prof. Lin to work out of TCAS for the duration of her stay.
Prof. Lin has focused on translating several scholarly articles about Canadian short stories – including works by Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood – and the gerontological issues reflected through them. In the past nine months, Prof. Lin has completed a draft translation of “The Canadian Short Story: Interpretations,” edited by Reingard M. Nischik. Her visit also coincided with TrentAging2019 – an international aging studies conference held at Trent University in May 2019.
“It was during the conference that I realized how international and how large in scope the field of aging studies can be,” remarked Prof. Lin. “At TCAS, I’ve learnt that aging studies can be done so successfully in an interdisciplinary way that my confidence in carrying out and maintaining this field of reach in China is strengthened.”