Talk the talk, walk the walk: A lifelong commitment to Human Rights and International Law

In November 2023, Criminology Assistant Professor Dr. Mark Kersten was invited to speak to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development about Canada’s approach to diplomacy, particularly its inconsistent commitment to international law. As an expert witness, he testified about his hope that Canada could be a leader in human rights and concerns over Canada’s double standards in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide – both abroad and in Canada. Mark was also asked to submit a written brief to the Standing Committee, which is now part of the House of Commons official record.

As a human rights practitioner and professor, Mark emphasizes the importance of serving as a role model for students and demonstrating that a commitment to human rights extends beyond the classroom.

It is important to me that my students know that I don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. A genuine commitment to human rights and international justice can’t end when the bell rings at the end of class or when it’s time to go home after work. It truly is a life commitment. By sharing with my students, the that work I do outside the university, I hope to leave them with the impression that human rights matter not simply as an intellectual project, but in everyday life, and to the most powerful political actors in the country. I also hope this work leaves my students with the impression that human rights and international law and justice matter, not some of the time, but all of the time.

When asked about the lessons and insights he gained from serving as an expert witness, Mark highlights the misconception that human rights are something distant from daily life.

Sometimes people think human rights and a commitment to international law is something that happens ‘elsewhere,’ away from day-to-day life. That’s the farthest thing from the truth! Many people, including students and professors, enjoy the lives they have precisely because of hard-fought gains in the field of human rights, whi

ch have often come at immense sacrifice. Like the famed lawyer Bryan Stevenson says, I want aspiring professionals to know that the measure of our character is how we treat the most marginalized and vulnerable people in our communities and in our world. A dedication to improving the human rights and access to justice for those whose rights are most fragile and least respected can and does improve all of our rights.

Reflecting on his experiences as both an expert witness and a professor, and the legacy he hopes to leave in shaping the next generation of leaders and influencers, Mark underscores the importance of showing people that human rights and international laws matter.

I hope that I’m nowhere near the point of reflecting on my legacy quite yet! But in my work, I do hope to leave the impression that human rights and international law matter. They are relevant in our neighbourhoods and communities. They are relevant across Canada and around the world. Our shared humanity depends on adherence to the basic standards of human rights law and decency, and we can’t be too privileged or too distracted to forget that or take it for granted.

Faculty Publications & Projects | April & May 2023

Arts & Integrated Studies

Arts and Integrated Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Dale McCartney has been named the Assistant Editor of the journal Comparative and International Education.

 

 


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology Professor Emeritus Dr. Yvon Dandurand wrote an article on child justice reform. Dao, L. T., & Dandurand, Y. (2023). Social, cultural, and systemic barriers to child justice reform: Lessons from Vietnam, 23(1), 29-48.

Dr. Dandurand and Dr. Darryl Plecas produced a report on assistance and support services for survivors of human trafficking. The report is based on a qualitative survey and analysis of the types of services and supports most needed by survivors of labour and sex trafficking, including the perceived usefulness and effectiveness of these services. The study also examined service delivery models, sources of referrals, models of inter-agency collaboration, and accessibility of relevant services in British Columbia and Alberta for meeting the needs of labour and sex trafficking survivors (including those at risk of or are currently being trafficked). Dandurand, Y., Plecas, D., Winterdyk, J., & Chin, V. (2023, April 26). Assistance and Support Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking: A Qualitative Study. International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy.

 

Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Amanda McCormick presented on policing domestic violence. Stickle, B., & McCormick, A.V. (2023, March). Policing domestic violence in rural communities: Tennessee police data. Presented at the 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. New York, NY.

She also presented at the 3rd Community Forum for Safe Relationships Safe Children. Her presentation focused on Intimate partner-related brain injuries among service providers. She is also scheduled to present on barriers to reporting intimate partner violence to police at a May 16th community event co-hosted by UFV and the Ann Davis Transition Society on Women’s Equity and the Link to Femicides in BC. Additionally, Dr. McCormick will also present on “Project Safe Relationships: Evaluation of a Healthy Relationships Program for Adolescents in Abbotsford” at the 13th Annual Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR) Conference on May 25.

 

Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Jon Heidt published an article on cannabis and research ethics, outlining how the history of controlling cannabis research has led to various harms, injustices, and ethical complications. Wheeldon, J., & Heidt, J. (in press). Cannabis, research ethics, and a duty of care. Research Ethics.

 

 

Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Hayli Millar co-authored a brief with Dr. Tamara O’Doherty that was submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women. This brief addressed the House of Common study on human trafficking of women, girls, and gender-diverse people in Canada.

 

 

Criminology Associate Professors Dr. Irwin Cohen and Dr. Amanda McCormick presented at the Focus on the Future Western Regional Conference on Problem Gambling Awareness in Seattle, Washington. Their presentation focused on “Participant experiences while transitioning into voluntary self-exclusion.”

 


English

English Associate Professor and newly appointed Department Head Dr. Heather McAlpine hosted the 4th UFV Young Authors’ Conference on April 27, 2023, at the UFV Chilliwack campus. The conference welcomed 75 middle school students from Chilliwack and offered 7 workshops led by a team of twelve UFV student volunteers.

Dr. McAlpine is also set to publish an article in the journal Pedagogy in May. Titled “Digital Meters: Using Text Encoding to Teach Literature in the Undergraduate Classroom”, this article draws on research as well as interviews with over a dozen instructors from all over the world to demonstrate that using the digital humanities practice of text encoding — embedding information about a digitized text into the source code — can be a valuable way of teaching literary analysis to undergraduates.

 

On April 16th, English Associate Professor Dr. Prabhjot Parmar gave a talk titled “I Will Bid”: The Changing Face of Punjabi Cinema at the 10th Punjabi Ma Boli International Film Festival in Surrey. The talk offered a brief history of Punjabi Cinema and highlighted the portrayal of caste in recent films.

 


Modern Languages

In a recent workshop presented at WEFLA 2023, an international conference on Canadian studies held in Holguín, Cuba, Modern Languages and Arts Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Maria de Luna presented a workshop titled “Estudiantes construyendo conocimiento que va más allá del salón de clase” [Students building knowledge that goes beyond the classroom walls]. The workshop was held at the Facultad de Comunicación y Letras, y la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Holguín, and was part of the XVII Seminario Internacional de Estudios Canadienses.


 

Philosophy

Dr. Peter Raabe, emeritus professor of Philosophy, led a ZOOM workshop on the topic “Philosophical Practice Today” at an international philosophy conference held in Japan. His paper, titled “On Self-defeating Mental Viruses: An Interdisciplinary Study in Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Mental Healthcare” will appear in the upcoming journal of the Japanese Society of Philosophical Practice (JSPP). The conference was hosted by Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan on May 20, 2023.

 


Political Science

Political Science Assistant Professor Dr. Noah Schwartz published an article in the Journal of Politics and Policy titled “Taking Stock: the contribution of the policy studies to our understanding of gun policy”. Dr. Schwartz has also published an op-ed article with Tim Thurley in the National Post: Opinion: Mass Casualty recommendations wouldn’t have stopped N.S. massacre, and won’t stop others, which was quoted by MP Stephen Ellis (Cumberland-Colchester) in a debate yesterday in the House of Commons.

 


Psychology

Dr. Anna Cook, an Assistant Professor and Department Head of Philosophy, led two panels at the American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division Meeting held from April 5-10, 2023. The conference showcased her expertise in the field, and attendees had the opportunity to learn from her during two sessions. The first panel explored “Native Knowing, Endangered Languages, and the Meaning of Life,” while the second discussed “Reconfiguring the Canon of Nineteenth-Century American and British Philosophy.” The conference was an important event for philosophers and academics, providing a platform for the exchange of ideas and insights.


School of Creative Arts

Theatre Assistant Professor Dr. Anna Griffith presented at the Architecture, Media, Politics, Society (AMPS) conference: Applying Education in a Complex World and shared a paper titled “Futures Teaching and Interdisciplinary Praxis” about her pedagogical principles in SOCA 401.

 

 

 

Aimée Henny Brown, an assistant professor of Visual Arts, has been making waves in the art world lately. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, including Create Magazine’s Magic Issue #34, which was released in March 2023. The book “Folklore of the Upper Nithsdale” also showcases Brown’s work alongside other international collage artists, all of whom reimagine stories of witches, ghosts, and other spirits from Sanquhar, Scotland, in a contemporary context.

In addition to those publications, Brown’s collage and installation piece “Metaphorical Rocks” was featured in the Mythical Landscape: Secrets of the Vale Exhibition. This exhibition was a collaborative effort among international artists who travelled to Sanquhar, Scotland, to investigate the region’s history and folklore. Brown’s work, along with others, was inspired by stories from the past (true or otherwise) and considered the history of the region.

Brown was also one of the featured artists in an International group exhibition at the Sharp Hands Gallery, which celebrated educators in collage. The exhibition highlighted the work of several accomplished artists, including Michael Toti, Lyz Wendland, Miranda Millward, Craig van den Bosch, Ann E. Lawton, and of course, Aimée Henny Brown. The exhibition was curated by Cheryl Chudyk and Kevin Sampsell.

Brown’s contributions to the art world have not gone unnoticed, and she was recently invited to participate as a guest panellist at the Artists at Work Symposium, hosted by the Kent Harrison Arts Council at the Ranger Station Art Gallery. During the symposium, Brown and other artists shared their experiences, including both successes and failures, inspiring attendees with valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of pursuing a creative life.

Looking ahead, Brown has been awarded an artist residency with PADA Studios in Barreiro, Portugal, in August 2023. Her research, conducted during an initial ROSA research + project phase, has led to her residency, where she will continue her exploration of artist books, possible architectures, and speculative futures with peer mentors, curators, and other artists. Overall, Brown’s art reflects her ability to blend traditional and contemporary techniques while exploring themes of folklore, history, and imagination.


School of Culture, Media and Society

Dr. Satwinder Bains, Director of SASI and SCMS Associate Professor and Thamilini Jothilingam co-presented a paper titled “Connecting the Dots: Building Support for GLAM Partners in Digital Repository Networks with Arca/British Columbia Electronic Library Network” at the Archives Association of BC conference. Their work highlighted SACDA’s collections, archival strategy, and open access. Along with Alisa Sohi, Dr. Bains and Thamilini Jothilingam also led a metadata creation workshop based on SACDA collections at the ConnectED 2023 conference at UFV.

On April 19th, Historica Canada released a Heritage Minute about Paldi, a welcoming and inclusive town founded by immigrants on Vancouver Island, BC. The Paldi Heritage Minute is the first to be released in Punjabi (in addition to English and French). SASI Director Dr. Satwinder Bains was on set during the shooting as a historical consultant.


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Faculty Publications & Projects | February 2023

Arts and Integrated Studies

Dr. Ho has also participated in interviews across a diverse range of media platforms:


Communications

  • Communications Department Head and Associate Professor Dr. Rashad Mammadov co-authored a manuscript titled “Russian Journalists and the ‘Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union’” published in the Journal of Slavic Military Studies. The article focuses on the role of Russian journalists and their reporting during World War II.
  • Communications Sessional Instructor Dr. Adam Vincent guest edited an academic journal for their special issue on arts-based educational research (ABER) and wrote the editorial (published in Dec 2022): Vincent, A. (2022). The Way of Rigorous Aesthetics. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal, 15(2).

Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Criminology Assistant Professor Dr. Mark Kersten was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on global criminal justice. Dickson, J. (2023, January 25). S. ambassador for global criminal justice ready to play long game with Russia.
  • Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Jon Heidt published a book on cannabis. Wheeldon, J., & Heidt, J. (2023). Cannabis criminology. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. 
  • Criminology Professor Emeritus Dr. Yvon Dandurand authored a report on organized crime. Dandurand, Y., Bird Ruiz Benitez de Lugo, L., Madueke, K., & Zombre, O. (2023, January). Building resilience to organised crime: A policy review. ECOWAS Commission. Commission de la Cedeao Comissão da Cedeao.
    • Dandurand also presented at a seminar on organized crime. Dandurand, Y., Bird Ruiz Benitez de Lugo, L., Madueke, K., & Zombre, O. (2023, January 31). Resilience to organized crime: new insights from West Africa. ECOWAS Commission. Commission de la Cedeao Comissão da Cedeao.
  • Criminology Associate Professors Drs. Amanda McCormick and Irwin Cohen presented at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference. McCormick, A.V., Cohen, I.C., Davies, G., & Haarhoff, T. (2023, February 4). The perils of using police data to understand criminal pathways. Paper presented at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, February 2-4, 2023.
  • Criminology Assistant Professor Dr. Carlos Ponce presented at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference. Ponce, C. (2023, February 4). Doubling up to maintain control: Redundancy in the execution of an extortion racket in El Salvador. Paper presented at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, February 2-4, 2023.
  • Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Stanislav Vysotsky presented at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference. Vysotsky, S. (2023, February 3). Hard and soft targets: Counter-protest, violence, and far-right strategy. Paper presented at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, February 2-4, 2023.

Global Development Studies

  • Dr. Geetanjali Gill, Assistant Professor in Global Development Studies, and Dr. Rita Dhungel, Assistant Professor in Social Work, have obtained $472,442 from the New Frontiers in Research Fund for their project, “Participatory Action Research with female sex-trafficking survivors living with HIV/AIDS in Nepal: addressing intersectional gender oppression and advocating for well-being and inclusion”.

Modern Languages

  • In observance of Black History Month, the Modern Languages Department’s French Associate Professor, Dr. Ghizlane Laghzaoui, organized a workshop on “African Storytelling” in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Makosso. Mr. Makosso is a celebrated theatre director, actor, writer, and storyteller who was a featured guest in the workshop, held on February 14.

Philosophy

  • The Philosophy department held a Publication Celebration on February 9, which featured Philosophy Associate Professor Dr. Wayne Henry’s forthcoming book, “A Philosopher’s Guide to Natural Capitalism: A Sustainable Future Within Reach.” The book is scheduled to be released on July 7, 2023, by Routledge.
  • Philosophy LTA Instructor Dr. Joseph Carew presented at the last PHIL Café on February 16. His talk titled “Hegel on the Logic of Human Life” summarizes several key themes of Dr. Carew’s new interpretation of Hegel’s logic.

Political Science

  • Dr. Edward Akuffo, Head of the Political Science Department, was a featured expert at a recent webinar organized by the Africa Study Group of the Canadian International Council. The webinar centred on the Canadian government’s proposed Canada Africa Strategy, and Dr. Akuffo specifically presented on the peace and security aspect of the proposed strategy.

School of Creative Arts

  • Assistant Professor, Foundations, 3D, and Extended Media Aimée Henny Brown was a guest panellist at Artists in the Archive: Collage and Place in Archives, hosted by Kolaj Institute and the Henry Shelby Museum, in Middlebury, Vermont. Her presentation addressed how artists and galleries can employ resources from the past, such as archives and collections, as ways to instigate research and practices of imagining possible futures. The webinar accompanied their exhibition Artists in the Archive: Community, History and Collage.Aimee was also a guest speaker at the ACT Art Gallery in Maple Ridge and delivered a talk titled “Projecting Outwards:” which imagined possible futures through collage and accompanied their exhibition Intricate Arrangements. A public lecture was held on February 4, 2023.Additionally, Aimée has been awarded an artist residency with PADA Studios in Barreiro, Portugal, in August 2023. Based on the research performed through an initial ROSA research + project phase she will continue her research on-site with studio mentors and artist collaborators to further the exploration of artist books, possible architectures, and speculative futures.
  • SoCA’s School Director Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, valued at $62,908, for the project, Performance in the Pacific Northwest. With collaborator Sasha Kovacs (University of Victoria), she is investigating the role of theatrical and non-theatrical performance practices in the establishment of settler colonial structures in the Pacific Northwest and the ways that artifacts and documents in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums can be reinterpreted to contribute to understandings of settler colonial practices.

Faculty Publications & Projects | December 2022 & January 2023

A woman wearing a red scarf and red blouse in front of a mic is doing a presentation in front of a crowd.

Criminology

  • Criminology Associate Professors Drs. Amanda McCormick, Zina Lee, and Irwin Cohen completed a report for the Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association that evaluated their program to educate youth about dating violence. McCormick, A.V., Lee, Z. & Cohen, I.M. (2022, December). Evaluation of Project Safe Relationships. University of the Fraser Valley: Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research.
  • Criminology Assistant Professor Dr. Carlos Ponce was interviewed about the militarization of communities controlled by criminal structures for the electronic newspaper ElSalvador.com.
  • Criminology Professor Emeritus Yvon Dandurand co-authored a conference proceedings paper. Dao Le Thu & Dandurand, Y. (2022). International Criminal Justice Cooperation in Combating Transnational Crime in ASEAN: Mechanisms, Challenges and Future Prospects. Proceedings of the International Conference on Cooperation Between Vietnam and Southeast Asian Countries in the Fight Against Crime. Hanoi: Hanoi Law University.
    • He also presented at Hanoi Law University about International Criminal Justice Cooperation in Southeast Asia and has been appointed as a Distinguished International Research Fellow of the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research, School of Law, Vietnam National University.

Economics


Philosophy

  • Philosophy Professor Dr. Joseph Carew collaborated in the edited volume of “The Palgrave Schelling Handbook.” He co-wrote the chapter “Introduction to Schelling” and co-edited the chapter “Schelling and Hegel.” Sean J. McGrath, Joseph Carew, and Kyla Bruff, eds. The Palgrave Schelling Handbook. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.

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Faculty Publications & Projects | November 2022

Criminology

  • Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Jon Heidt wrote an article on cannabis legalization. Heidt, J., & Wheeldon, J. (in press). Blowing in the wind: Cannabis legalization, insiders, and methodological insights from British Columbia. The Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology.

 

  • Criminology Professor Emeritus Yvon Dandurand presented at a Canadian Bar Association workshop. Dandurand, Y. (2022, October 26). Access to Justice Pathways: Problem Resolution Routes for People Experiencing Civil and Family Law Problems in British Columbia. Canadian Bar Association workshop on “Access to Justice Research from the Edge,” an event as part of Access to Justice Week Canada.

Economics

  • Economics Department Head Dr. Michael Maschek was a guest speaker at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Fraser Valley Chartered Professional Accountants Association. He presented on “Decision Making Under Economic Uncertainty: Lessons from Research in Behavioural Economics.”

Philosophy

  • Philosophy Associate Professor Dr. Anastasia Anderson and Philosophy Department Head Dr. Anna Cook presented at the 2022 BCSSTA (BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association) Conference: Teaching for Inquiry: Philosophy, Pedagogy and Praxis in October 2021. Dr. Anderson presented a workshop session on “Facilitating Philosophical Dialogue in the Classroom.” She also presented alongside Dr. Cook at the conference’s closing plenary.

 

Faculty Publications & Projects | October 2022

Communications

– Communications Assistant Professor Nicole Stewart published an article titled “Virtual reality, metaverse platforms, and the future of higher education” for Media Development.

    • Nicole is also attending the National Communication Association’s (NCA) 107th Annual Convention in New Orleans in November, where her co-authored paper (“Dialogues for Equity: Precarious Parent-Scholars in Times of Crisis”) has been selected as a “Top Paper in Ethnography.” She has also been invited to sit on an NCA-organized panel called “LYEDIL: Living Ya DEI Lifestyle in Communication Strengthening a Central PLACE for DEI in Communication Studies.”
    • She was also recently appointed as the Faculty Ambassador in Canada for the International Association of Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR) and is launching a new academic podcast called IAMCR and friends.

– Communications Sessional Instructor Dr. Adam Vincent published a new book, “Poetic inquiry: Unearthing the rhizomatic array between art and research”. This book offers a key contribution to the study of poetic inquiry, and in particular, it honours the legacies of those who have made poetic inquiry possible. Vincent’s vision for the future is rooted in equitable, inclusive and diverse applications, and as a result, this book serves as an open invitation to students and scholars alike to take up these practices.


Criminology

– Criminology Assistant Professor Dr. Mark Kersten has contributed two opinion pieces on the war crimes in Ukraine.

– Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Jon Heidt wrote an article on cannabis and criminology. Wheeldon, J., & Heidt, J. (in press). Cannabis and criminology: A history of race, addiction, and inconvenient research. Journal of Criminal Justice.

– Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Jon Heidt wrote an article on cannabis legalization. Wheeldon, J., & Heidt, J. (in press). The paradoxes of normalization: Cannabis as nuisance crime, medicine, and consumer good in British Columbia before and after legalization. Deviant Behavior.

– Criminology Professor Emeritus Yvon Dandurand and Associate Professor Dr. Jon Heidt wrote a book on youth crime prevention and sports. Dandurand, Y., & Heidt, J. (2022). Youth crime prevention and sports: An evaluation of sport-based programmes and their effectiveness. Bristol University Press.

– Criminology Associate Professor Dr. Kim Polowek was appointed as an Independent Chairperson for the Correctional Service of Canada’s Pacific Institution.


Economics

– Economics Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Batu and Associate Professor Dr. Bosu Seo published a research article on “Gender roles and safety of women at home in the COVID-19 era: evidence from 101 countries.” The article was published in the International Review of Applied Economics Journal and is available at Taylor and Francis Online.


Global Development Studies

– Dr. Geetanjali Gill, Assistant Professor in Global Development Studies, will present on a panel with NGO Right to Play speakers at the Canadian Conference on Global Health, November 21-23, 2022. The theme is ‘Localizing the development of participatory tools to understand social norms related to gender-based violence amongst adolescents in refugee settings.’


Philosophy

– On October 21, 2022, Philosophy Department Head Dr. Anna Cook and Philosophy Associate Professor Dr. Anastasia Anderson presented at the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association 2022 BCSSTA Conference: Teaching for Inquiry: Philosophy, Pedagogy and Praxis.


Political Science

– Political Science Department Head Dr. Edward Akuffo co-published a section titled “Reflections on Natural Resource-Based Development in Africa in the 2020s” in the book “Natural Resource-Based Development in Africa: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?” edited by Nathan Andrews, j. Andrew Grant and Jesse Salah Ovadia.


School of Creative Arts

Canadian Theatre Review magazine cover showing the image of six people wearing a red outfit with their faces painted in white, and two people holding a poster where it reads "Climate Emergency Acts".
Canadian Theatre Review | Extractivism and Performance, edited by Kimberly Richards and Heather Davis-Fisch (published in Spring 2020).

– SoCA Director and Theatre Associate Professor Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch received the 2022 Patrick O’Neill Award for best-edited collection of essays from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research. Heather received the award with Kimberly Richards for their issue of Canadian Theatre Review on Extractivism and Performance (published in Spring 2020).

    • Heather’s chapter, “The Royal Arctic Theatre and the Search for the Franklin Expedition,” was published in the anthology Canadian Performance Documents and Debates: A Sourcebook(University of Alberta Press, 2022).

– SoCA Assistant Professor Aimée Brown completed an artist residency in Sanquhar, Scotland, with the MERZ Gallery in September. The residency focus was responding to place, collage, recorded histories, and the Folklore and Genealogies of Uppermost Nithsdale written by William Wilson in 1904.

    • Aimée’s artwork ‘Metaphoric Rocks’, which investigates how stones and rock formations are featured in the local geography and folklore, was featured in the MERZ Gallery group exhibition Mythical Landscape: Secrets of the Vale in September 2022.
    • Aimée is a contributor to the UNESCO publication RisiliArt 100, which was launched at the MONDIACULT 2022 conference, in Mexico City, on September 28, 2022. Collected from panels, debates and conversations between artists and cultural professionals from around the world, the project features 100 recommendations on how to rebuild the creative sector with more resilience and inclusion, gathered through the #ResiliArt.
    • On October 07, 2022, Aimée was shortlisted for the 2022 Collage Awards in two categories: analogue portfolio and analogue series. The Contemporary Collage Magazine selected the shortlist from over 450 international artists currently engaged with collage as part of their studio practice.

– Theatre Assistant Professor Dr. Anna Griffith received a $10,000 Strategic Innovation Fund grant from UFV for the Creativity Lab for Climate Resilience project. The project, which was developed and implemented with Hannah Celinski, Chantelle Marlor, and student RA Kyla Mitchell-Marquis, brought together UFV students, staff, and faculty from various disciplines, along with members of the community, including local artists, activists, and representatives from Fraser Basin Council, Fraser Valley Nature Conservancy, Abbotsford Arts Council, Fraser Health, the Abbotsford School District, Abbotsford Community Foundation, the Golden Ears Transition Initiative and more. In each of the four Labs, participants worked to develop cohesive, transdisciplinary, and cross-community project ideas to support (Re)Building for Climate Resilience in the Fraser Valley. The projects have been compiled into a “seed bank of ideas” and will be published as part of a research report this fall.

    • Anna has also received a ROSA award for a research project titled Regenerative Education: Aligning Education for Sustainable Development and Indigenous Pedagogies, to be completed in fall 2022. This project builds on her work related to anti-racism, decolonial pedagogy, and education for sustainable development (ESD). The goals of the project include articulating how ESD can help non-Indigenous faculty and students move into better alignment and understanding of Indigenization efforts through an emphasis on reorienting our relationship with nature.
    • Anna Griffith is presenting a 45-minute workshop titled “High Impact Inclusion and Sustainability” at the Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education (GCSHE), hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, on October 18, 2022.
    • Anna is also releasing season 2 of her research podcast Creative Praxis in mid-November. Season 2 features interviews with participants from the Creativity Lab for Climate Resilience. These conversations focus on the bridges and intersections between creativity and sustainability.

– SoCA Assistant Professor Alejandro Yoshizawa and colleague UBC English Assistant Professor Y-Dang Troeung have received a $60,000 Canada Council for the Arts grant for their short film project, set to shoot in early Fall 2022. The film is inspired by the true events of Prof. Troeung’s Cambodian refugee family’s resettlement in Canada in the 1980s, as they negotiate the everyday questions of what it means to survive in a new country, to carry the painful wounds of the past, and to remake a new life as an Asian family in a small town, rural setting. The film will interweave the historic “Easter Epic” hockey game (one of the longest games in NHL playoff history) with the events of April 18th, 1987, as lived by the Cambodian refugee family.

– SoCA Associate Professor Davida Kidd has been invited to have her presentation for IMPACT 12 BRITSOL, The Dark Side of The Digital, “Composite Artifacts and the Cosmonauts of Virtual Synthesis,” screened at the Print in Action Festival in Plymouth this October.

– Visual Arts Associate Professor Grace Tsurumaru participated in a group exhibition titled Piers, curated by Kim Dhillon, an art theorist and award-winning writer of art criticism. Piers showcases contemporary artwork ranging across media by 18 artists spanning generations, nationalities, and backgrounds and explores how artists’ practices change through teaching, learning, and mentorship. The exhibit includes a collection of creative non-fiction, essays, and poetry and is available to view until December 15, 2022, at the Legacy Art Gallery, Victoria.

– SoCA Assistant Professor Melanie Jones was awarded a Research and Creation Grant in the Canada Council Explore and Create Program. The grant was to write the first draft of a short experimental film called “Astronomical Bodies. The story will explore themes of isolation and human connection through three intertwined character journeys set in the vastness of space.

– Theatre Associate Professor Parjad Sharifi is the winner of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Lighting Design in the Large Budget Division in 2022. This award is for the production of Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, directed by the Arts Club Theatre Company, which has also won the Outstanding Production of a Musical this year.

 

The image shows an art studio with a few drawings on the left side, a painter in the middle and a non-binary person stand in front of the painter. The performer is a white person with a blond short hair and is using a black outfit with short sleeves and black short pants.
Drawing Tending Tying: An Art and Rope Experiment | Shel Stefan and Sharon Pink

– SoCA Associate Professor Shel Stefan collaborated in a live art performance at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago, Illinois, entitled Drawing Tending Tying: an art & rope experiment which was live-streamed from the museum and was recently published. Read more about this performance on the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), Instagram and the Chicago Tribune website.

 

– SoCA Instructor Toni Latour, in collaboration with Dr. Syrus Marcus Ware (Toronto), received $70,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and $15,000 from the BC Arts Council for the creation and exhibition of The Black Lives Matter Memorial Project. They have commissioned an original new piece of classical music composed by Maestro Jason Ikeem Rodgers and performed by Orchestra Noir (Atlanta) for this project.

 

Cultivate Connect – A link between practicum, research, and the Fraser Valley farm-to-market supply

When students first hear about practicums, some may think these opportunities will not help them pursue a career that uses their research skills. This project proves this wrong.

Back in May 2020, Joshua Vanderheide, founder of Field House Brewing, East Abby Hospitality Group, and UFV Graphic and Digital Design sessional instructor, approached the College of Arts, expressing a need for a survey project on the impact of COVID-19 on local food systems. With enthusiasm for the project from English Assistant Professor Dr. Michelle Superle, the project was created.  With Meagan Pitcher as the practicum student co-researcher, they formed the project.

Along with Dr. Superle and Meagan, the project further extended collaborative student opportunities with the School of Land Use and Environmental Change. Associate Professor Dr. Cherie Enns was instrumental in connecting two recent UFV graduates as research assistants (Gemma Bridgefoot and Sharon Alamwala). All the parts involved gained exceptional and extensive knowledge of multiple factors related to food systems.

This amazing experience connected College of Arts students and faculty with the Fraser Valley agricultural community/industries. As a result, the students collaborated with a variety of local stakeholders, gained extensive knowledge about the impact of research, and moved their learning beyond the classroom.

Click here to read the full report about the Cultivate Connect project.

You May Be Wrong, But You May Be Right: Exploring Biases with Sven Van de Wetering

“People who think they’re always right are almost always wrong. People who are always willing to consider the possibility they’re wrong tend to be right much more often,” says associate psychology professor Sven Van de Wetering.

It is this basic conundrum that Van de Wetering wanted to explore in a course he’s designing — one that looks at ideological biases from a psychological perspective. Heuristics, Biases and Critical Thinking, will be available in Winter 2019 and Van de Wetering sat down with the College of Arts blog to talk about his inspiration for this new offering.

“We know a huge amount about how we, as human beings, fool ourselves,” says Van de Wetering. In fact, he says, there is no shortage of psychological literature on the topic and he recently found a book that listed 99 different biases, which he says isn’t even complete.

What isn’t discussed as much is how to recognize these biases in your own thinking and how to account for this not only in research, but in day-to-day discussions.

One of the things that led him to the topic is a recent crisis in his field of social psychology, where liberal thinkers have been accused of shutting out their more conservative-minded colleagues. Van de Wetering was at first determined to do some research into this question, but eventually he and his research assistant, Flora Oswald realized that what social psychologists really need is more help identifying their biases from the outset. He considered developing a workshop for his peers, but decided that those who chose to attend such a program were probably already aware of the need to take other perspectives into account.

“Maybe, what I need to do instead, is catch them young,” he told himself.

Fortunately, Van de Wetering, who has been teaching psychology at UFV for 20 years and has access to a new crop of students every semester, is in a good position to do this. Encouraged by Oswald, he came up with a 13-week course in about 20 minutes. Still he wasn’t sure how interested students would be in the idea of studying their own prejudices and biases, so he offered a prototype in winter 2018. The response, he said, was overwhelming.

Moving away from the typical lecture format, Van de Wetering asked students to do a great deal of reading ahead of time and then to spend class time discussing real-world issues through the lens of various biases. Issues like: should there be a ban on pit-bulls? (an interesting topic, but one Van de Wetering says he’ll probably never use again, as it was too inconclusive.)

Van de Wetering also made it clear from the outset that the students would have input into the way the class ran.

“Just about my first line . . . was ‘I am not the only smart person in the room. I’m counting on you guys to help me figure out what it is we’re actually doing to think critically in this course,’” he said.

Students, he says, loved being so involved. “I think I’ve touched a nerve – I think I’m offering something that they really, really want: relevance and an active role in the overall design of the course.”

With algorithms constantly directing content on our social media channels to things we’ve shown interest in before, Van de Wetering thinks a class about biases is particularly relevant today.

“If you are actually seeking the truth, having people echoing your prejudices back to you is not a good thing,” he says. “You want people to challenge you even if it turns out that they’re ultimately wrong.”

A Few Examples of Cognitive Biases

  • Confirmation Bias: Favoring information that conforms to your existing beliefs and discounting evidence that does not conform.
  • Halo Effect: Your overall impression of a person influences how you feel and think about his or her character. This especially applies to physical attractiveness influencing how you rate their other qualities.
  • Self-Serving Bias: The tendency to blame external forces when bad things happen and give yourself credit when good things happen. When you win a poker hand it is due to your skill at reading the other players and knowing the odds, while when you lose it is due to getting dealt a poor hand.
  • Narrative bias (from Van de Wetering): The tendency, when one has embraced a narrative that can be used to explain a certain group of facts, to ignore facts and possibilities that do not cohere with that narrative.