Mapping for Change: Trent University Research Explores Environmental Inequity and Injustice
More than $260,000 in federal research funding supports Trent-led projects aimed at better understanding environmental inequality, advancing scholarship in feminist philosophy
An exploration of the intersection of environmental justice, equity, and inclusion in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong is at the heart of a Trent University-led research project that has been awarded more than $135,000 in funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grants.
This project is one of two Trent projects that have received funding through SSHRC. The second project, awarded more than $55,000, aims to advance feminist philosophical scholarship.
“Trent University researchers are well-known as thought leaders advancing conversations around equity, diversity of perspectives and inclusion. We are delighted that SSHRC will provide Trent University and two of its outstanding researchers with vital resources to pursue their research passions,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice-president of Research and Innovation at Trent University. “This work advances how we create inclusive communities both within our geographical landscapes as well as within academia.”
Dr. Stephanie Rutherford, associate professor in the Trent School of the Environment, received $138,316 in funding to support a collaborative research project that draws on expertise from the University and local community. Mapping for Change: Environmental Inequality and Resilience in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough County is the first project at Trent to receive funding through SSHRC’s Partnership Development Grant.
Dr. Kathryn Norlock, professor of Philosophy, received $55,820 through the SSHRC Aid for Scholarly Journals to support Feminist Philosophy Quarterly – a journal of which she is co-editor.
Professors Rutherford and Norlock’s research projects were among 809 across Canada celebrated in a national announcement by SSHRC, which aims to support partnered research activities that will inform decision-making within organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Addressing the intersections of environmental justice and equity
Over the next three years, Prof. Rutherford will lead research that brings in collaborators from Trent University, the University of Toronto, as well as Peterborough community organizations including the Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC) and Community Race Relations Committee (CRRC). Her research explores environmental injustice in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough and is animated by an attention to environmental justice, equity, inclusion, and access; the project will document how racialization and class are implicated in the experience of environmental harm in this region.
“I am so grateful to receive SSHRC support for this project,” says Prof. Rutherford. “But the credit really belongs to the two community partners: CRRC and KWIC. It is because of their expertise and years of experience in social and environmental justice organizing that the proposal was successful. I look forward to working with them on what respectful and reciprocal community engaged research ─ that seeks to effect positive change ─ can look like.”
This research also pulls in an interdisciplinary team of expertise, including co-applicant Dr. Michael Classens, assistant professor in the School of the Environment at the University of Toronto, and Trent faculty members. Dr. Nadine Changfoot, professor of Political Studies, Dr. Finis Dunaway, professor of History, and Sociology associate professor Dr. Naomi Nichols, who holds in the Canada Research Chair in Community-Partnered Social Justice.
Advancing accessible and high-quality feminist philosophical scholarship
Prof. Norlock will utilize the SSHRC funding to support Feminist Philosophy Quarterly (FQP) an online, peer-reviewed, and open-access journal of feminist philosophy published since July 2015. As an open-access journal, FQP aims to make feminist philosophical scholarship of the highest quality widely available, free of charge to authors and readers, while improving presence and impact of women and feminist philosophers.
“My co-editors and I were so honoured when we received SSHRC’s first “Aid to Journals” grant to us in 2018, and we were thrilled to succeed in our application to renew that application for funding this past year,” shares Prof. Norlock. “Being part of open-access publishing with no cost to authors or readers is important to us, and without SSHRC funding, we would not be able to provide such high-visibility, high-access publication opportunities to scholars. SSHRC helps us to ensure that feminist and critical work is a presence in philosophy.”
Three additional Trent projects also bolstered by SSHRC
In addition to the two Trent-led projects included in the federal announcement today, the following three projects have also received funding from SSHRC recently:
- Addressing the Loneliness Epidemic: Religion and Culture in a Changing World - Dr. Denise Handlarski, assistant professor in the Trent School of Education, has received $18,731 in support through the SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant to pull together research and promising practices that address the loneliness epidemic through emerging and evolving religious and cultural institutions and groups.
- Examining Criminal (In)Justice Across the Spectrum - Led by Dr. Stephanie Ehret, assistant professor of Sociology, this project has received $23,544 through the SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant to investigate the views autistic people hold of criminal justice in Canada based on their perceptions and/or personal experiences.
- De la culpabilité. Une notion aujourd'hui bafouée? - Dr. Catalina Sagara, associate professor of French and Francophone Studies at Trent, recently received $24,777 in funding through the SSHRC Connection Grant to hold a conference that focuses on the theme of guilt while addressing a complex investigation into what we can do to avoid continued repetition of events of extreme violence.