Arts, Social Science Research Receives Federal Support

August 28, 2008 - News Release

Research in the arts, humanities and social sciences at the University of Guelph received a $630,000 boost today.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) announced it's investing more than $76 million over three years in some 900 of Canada's top researchers. Nine of the recipients are from U of G, with research projects ranging from the history of white magic and scientific wonders in France to shortening the food supply chain from farm to plate.

"This funding is crucial to my research," said history professor Matthew Hayday, who received $33,000 to explore the history of how bilingualism was promoted and received by English-speaking Canadians from the 1960s to the 1990s. Through this project, Hayday hopes to explain how and why a majority of English-speaking Canadians came to accept bilingualism as part of Canada's national identity during this period.

"Having this financial support will allow me to hire graduate students as research assistants to comb through sources such as newspapers, magazines and parliamentary debates from the period and examine how arguments in favour of and in opposition to bilingualism were couched," he said.

"It will also allow me to travel to archives across the country where various organizations and governments have their papers stored and to interview key individuals who were active in both pro-and anti-bilingualism organizations."

Family relations and applied nutrition professor Heather Keller received $148,000 for her study on what mealtime means for older adults with dementia. She has been working on the project with researchers from the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University since 2005.

"This funding will allow us to have one of the longest and most indepth research projects with data collected from both people with dementia and partners in care," said Keller. "With this support, we are able to move forward with our theory development and test our ideas in other environments, including long-term-care homes."

Other faculty who received SSHRC funding are:

Prof. Sofie Lachapelle, Department of History, $37,000 to study "Science on Stage: Recreational Physics, White Magic and Scientific Wonder in 19th-Century France."

Prof. Thanasis Stengos, Department of Economics, $59,000 to explore "Univariate and Bivariate Maximum Entropy Density Estimation: Some Theory and Applications."

Prof. Tara Abraham, Department of History, $28,000 for her research on "Transcending disciplines: Cybernetics and the Sciences of Brain and Mind in 20th-Century America."

Prof. John Smithers, Department of Geography, $115,800 to study "Closing the Farm to Plate Gap: Needs and Prospects of the Short Food Supply Chain."

Prof. Peter Eardley, Department of Philosophy, $32,585 to examine "The Origins of Ethical Secularization: Aquinas to Luther."

Prof. Christine Bold, School of English and Theatre Studies, $56,522 to research "U.S. Popular Print Culture 1860-1920 - Creole and Other Wild Wests 1885-1924."

Prof. Alice Hovorka, Department of Geography, $123,950 for her work on "Gender and Urban Food Security in Botswana."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982/

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