Four researchers at Trent University are contributing to research projects that received a total of $231,596 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the Insight Development Grant (IDG) program.
Dr. Katrina Keefer (Cultural Studies), Dr. Bharati Sethi (Political Studies), Dr. Alec McLellan (Anthropology) and Dr. Eric Guiry (Anthropology) are each part of inter-institutional research projects advancing our understanding of both historical and modern topics in the humanities and social sciences.
“It’s wonderful to see researchers at Trent University contribute their expertise to local, national, and international research projects,” said Christopher Rooney, senior director, Office of Research & Innovation at Trent University. “We encourage exploring new ways of uncovering and mobilizing knowledge across disciplines, sectors, and borders, and seeing Trent researchers receiving and linked to IDG funding, grants specifically intended to catalyze and support early-stage research projects, furthers our reputation as an institution with interdisciplinary work at its core.”
Bunce Island: Through the Mirror – Dr. Katrina Keefer
Dr. Katrina Keefer, an adjunct professor in Cultural Studies at Trent, is leading the project "Bunce Island: through the Mirror,” which received a $70,329 IDG grant. Professor Keefer will work with international scholars from Canada, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, as well as the Nairobi-based game studio Jiwe Studios to develop an immersive digital game based on present-day Sierra Leone and eighteenth-century Sierra Leone at the height of the region. The game aims to tell a story set during the trans-Atlantic slave trade that features respectful cultural, anticolonial representations and data visualization that provides students with an immersive digital learning space. The free and open-access digital tool will be deployed in classrooms across Sierra Leone, Canada, and the world via online distribution platforms such as Steam and Google Play, and attempt to break new ground in research dissemination.
Employment and Deskilling: Lived Experiences among Racialized Immigrants in Canada – Dr. Bharati Sethi
One of Trent’s newest Canada Research Chairs (CRC) and a professor in Political Studies at Trent, Dr. Bharati Sethi is working alongside Dr. Karun Karki from the University of the Fraser Valley to understand the experiences of racialized immigrants as they seek employment, training, and education in medium-sized urban centers in the Lower Mainland British Columbia. The project received a $72,000 IDG, and Professor Bharati will lend her expertise as the CRC in Care Work, Ethnicity, Race, and Aging to uncover unique trends, gaps, and challenges among racialized immigrants in their search for employment to inform immigration policy solutions.
Maya Reactions to Spanish Colonial Policy of Congregación - Dr. Alec McLellan
Adjunct anthropology professor Dr. Alec McLellan will lend his expertise on colonial interactions, landscape archaeology, and Ancient Maya archaeology to study how Maya groups reacted to Spanish colonial efforts to concentrate native populations into nucleated settlements in the 16th century. Professor McLellan and Prof. Cara Tremain (principal applicant) from Langara College received $53,706 in IDG funding, which will support their investigation of the size and density of settlement during the colonial period at Coco Chan, the nature of occupation in the civic-ceremonial centre of the site, and the material evidence of Spanish trade, contact, and influence.
Iroquoian-Pikeperch Interactions on the North Shore of Lake Ontario: A Genetic Perspective – Dr. Eric Guiry
Trent adjunct graduate faculty member Dr. Eric Guiry and Trent alumni Dr. Thomas Royle ’08 (Simon Fraser University) are collaborating on a study that received $35,561 through the IDG program. They are looking into the relationship between Iroquoian peoples residing in what is now Ontario and pikeperches, a genus of fish that includes two species native to Ontario—walleye and sauger—and the effect of European colonization on pikeperch populations. Dr. Guiry will support sample collection and complete isotopic analyses through the Trent Environmental Archaeology Lab and Water Quality Centre, which will complement genetic analyses by Dr. Royle. By understanding the past and changes to genetic diversity of walleye and sauger over time, this study can inform present-day conservation efforts by offering a baseline that can be used to assess the amount of genetic diversity that has been lost since European settlement.