Faculty are invited to join Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Undergraduate Programs, Professor Katherine R. Larson, and Scholars-in-Residence (SiR) Project Manager, Ira Wells for an information session on SiR 2023 program for prospective faculty supervisors on 9 November 2022, 11am-12pm - via Zoom. In this information session for U of T Scarborough faculty, we will discuss:
- Successful strategies for incorporating RA teams in your project design
- Past Scholars-in-Residence projects, which can serve as models and inspiration
- Tips for crafting proposals
- How to maximize outputs of interdisciplinary RA teams
The Scholars-in-Residence program provides faculty in the humanities and interpretive social sciences with 5 outstanding, paid research assistants (RAs) to work on research for the 4 weeks of the program (1-26 May 2023), as well as $2,000 in funds from the Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) to support the activities of their research team.
All research- and teaching-stream faculty in any unit affiliated with the JHI are invited to attend. The information session is currently open for registration online.
Applications from prospective faculty supervisors for the 2023 Jackman Scholars-in-Residence program are due on 23 November 2022.
This intensive, 4-week paid research opportunity, also provides upper-year undergraduates in the humanities and social sciences the opportunity to acquire advanced research skills and experience while collaborating in small teams on projects led by professors, with an interdisciplinary community of peers.
There will be 20 in-person projects running across all three campuses, as well as 5 additional online-only projects with international scope.
Benefits to students include:
- Workshops on research methadologies, standards, and professional communication
- Cultural events, and talks featuring lawyers, policymakers, and documentary filmmakers
- Free accommodation and dining plan for in-person projects
- $1,000 Jackman Scholar Award
- The opportunity to contribute to original faculty research projects, develop skills, and build supportive relationships with peers and supervisors
2021 Virtual Scholars-in-Residence Projects (listed below) are affiliated with UT-Scarborough, UT-St.George and UT-Mississauga.
Scholars-in-Residence (SiR) Past Projects at U of T Scarborough
UT Scarborough SiR 2022
Improving Reading Curricula by Developing an Explicit Theory of Reading Instruction – Supervisor: Prof. Blair Armstrong
Project Description: There is broad consensus that an early step for pre-literate children is learning that particular patterns of visual symbols (letters) map onto particular sounds; this is referred to as phonics instruction. However, phonics programs disagree on exactly which rules to teach. Student RAs will work as a team to examine what is taught in several popular phonics programs. Different students will take the lead on different parts of a phonics program, but we will work collectively and meet regularly to discuss challenges and standardize our examination methods. Background in linguistics, psycholinguistics, education, and or computational linguistics would be an asset; we will try to tailor the work based on each student’s strengths and interests.
Early Modern Canadian Newspapers Online (1752-1810) – Supervisor: Prof. Sébastien Drouin
Project Description: This project is dedicated to Canada’s first newspapers. Printed in the second half of the eighteenth century in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Québec and Ontario, these newspapers are extremely hard to find. The goal of this project is to provide a database giving access, for the first time, to electronic editions of these newspapers. Each newspaper will be given a bio-bibliographical introduction providing extensive information on the context of publication, the printers, and our first journalists. Since these documents are searchable, we will also investigate the content of these newspapers especially in the context of decolonization. Students with interests in Early Modern history, Canadian history, book history, as well as students in computer sciences are encouraged to apply. This is a bilingual project: students with a near-native level in French are especially welcome.
New Canadians, New Tories? Understanding Conservative Party Voting Among Immigrants in Toronto – Supervisor: Prof. Emine Fidan Elcioglu
Project Description: Why do visible-minority immigrants vote for right-wing parties, even when these parties adopt platforms that appear racist and anti-immigrant? Student RAs will recruit subjects and conduct interviews with foreign-born Canadians who have voted or seriously considered voting for the Conservative party and other right-wing parties in Canadian elections. RAs will also be tasked with compiling social media posts (e.g., TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) that have been produced by right-wing parties and associations for new Canadians. Experience in conducting interviews and/or critically analyzing social media posts is an asset, but not a prerequisite. Training will be provided in qualitative research work. Students who are new Canadians, who come from immigrant households, and/or who are embedded in immigrant communities in the GTA are especially encouraged to apply. Likewise, familiarity with Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Somali, Amharic, Hausa, or Jamaican Patois is an asset, but not required.
Participation and Belonging: The Future of Leisure Time Music-Making and Sports in Canada – Supervisor: Prof. Roger Mantie
Project Description: This project seeks student RAs interested in the well-being aspects of leisure-time music and sports participation. We will be working on four interrelated projects: (1) a web ethnography to identify key stakeholders; (2) direct contact with leading organizations involved with education and promotion of music-making and sports; (3) a scoping review of development opportunities, motivational factors, and attitudes related to leisure-time music and sports participation; and (4) development of an Airtable database of key resources. Members of the team may also collaborate with a similar student research team at the University of Sheffield to generate cross-national comparisons on leisure-time organizations and opportunities.
Tricks Confidence Schemes and the Basis of Social Trust – Supervisor: Prof. Neil ten Kortenaar
Project Description: This project will study the tricks played by tricksters, characters in stories who can read minds and manipulate others for their own ends, across cultures and across time, but with a particular focus on collections of precolonial African oral tales, postcolonial African literature, and North American literature. Examining how tricksters win trust will reveal the nature of the trust that is the basis for collective life in different societies. Examining how trust is abused in trickster stories will reveal the attitudes of storytellers, novelists, dramatists, and their audiences toward the basis of social trust. Student RAs will collect trickster tales, films, and contemporary novels and examine them to ask: How does the trick work? What does the trickster assume about other people? What aspect of ordinary interactions does the trick take advantage of? When is the trickster admired and when is he feared and denounced?
UT St George SiR 2022
- Contesting Closure: Life Stories of Work and Community in Oshawa’s Motor City, 1980-2019 – Supervisor: Prof. Dimitry Anastakis
Project Description: In partnership with Ingenium-Canada’s Museum of Science and Innovation, this project provides students with training to develop their historical research skills, oral history and interviewing skills, and digital history skills towards the creation of an interactive and engaging digital history exhibit. Following an intensive Instructional Boot Camp, students will interview former General Motors employees, conduct and collate primary research, visit the Canadian Automotive Museum and the GM plant in Oshawa, and help plan the design of the online exhibit that tells the story of four decades of work at GM’s Oshawa plant and its meaning for the community, its workers, and the broader Canadian economy.
Ancient Assyrians Online – Supervisor: Prof. Heather Baker
Project Description: Ancient Assyrians Online develops a web platform to present biographical information about ancient Assyrians (c. 911–612 BC), based on The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (Helsinki, 1998–2011). The primary task of student RAs is to research and write up-to-date, engaging biographies of important Assyrians such as kings Ashurbanipal and Sennacherib and queen Sammu-ramat (the legendary Semiramis). Scholars will work with primary cuneiform sources in English translation, including digital text corpora, as well as secondary literature. Specialist expertise is not needed as full training will be given, though a background in history is desirable.
Lexicon of Science in Asia (LSA): A Multilingual Historical Database – Supervisor: Prof. Elise Burton
Multisensory Taste – Supervisors: Profs. Robert Davidson and Daniel Bender
Project Description: How does taste, as socio/cultural and physiological practice, order what we put into our mouths as food, drink, medicine, poison, taboo, etc.? How does taste operate in relationship to other senses, especially smell? Students will help prepare an edited book and conference “from the ground floor” through research in archival, museum, and digital resources. Student RAs will connect group/individual research to a multidisciplinary bibliography. RAs should have an interest in multidisciplinary modes of inquiry, including sensory studies, material culture, gender studies, semiotics, history and philosophy of science, and food studies. Prior experience in culinary/beverage practice is welcome. This project will offer training in multisensory interpretation, including in kitchen settings.
What Rationalities Shaped the Development of Floodwater Infrastructures in Manitoba 1955-2018? – Supervisor: Prof. Heather Dorries
Project Description: Due to geo-physical features and climatic conditions, southern Manitoba is prone to flooding. Over the past 70 years, an expansive physical infrastructure has been constructed to deal with flooding. For example, the Winnipeg Floodway was constructed to protect the City of Winnipeg against flooding, and at the time was the second largest excavation project in the world. However, while this infrastructure protects some communities, it results in increased flooding for others, including several First Nations communities. Student RAs will analyze news stories from the Winnipeg Free Press covering flooding and infrastructure development using research software (NVIVO). Students will receive training on the software and in principles of discourse analysis. Students in Geography, History, or Indigenous Studies are particularly encouraged to apply.
A Critical Edition of John Galt’s Transatlantic Fiction – Supervisor: Prof. Angela Esterhammer
Project Description: John Galt (1779-1839) was a bestselling Scottish-born Romantic-era novelist and a key figure in early-nineteenth-century Canadian settlement. Student RAs will be involved in an international project to publish The Works of John Galt, a first-time multi-volume edition of his fiction. We will focus on Galt’s North American tales, which engage topics such as Indigenous-settler relations, emigration, and exploration. By assisting with annotations, fact-checking, and proofreading and working with Galt’s manuscripts and first editions, students will gain experience in scholarly editing and the publication process. Background in nineteenth-century literature and history is useful; the most important qualifications are accuracy, dedication, and enthusiasm.
Reformism: The Causes and Consequences of National Education Reform Worldwide – Supervisor: Prof. Rie Kijima
Project Description: Education reform is largely taken-for-granted as a routine feature of school systems. Globally, we have witnessed the cyclical patterns of education reforms. The failure of a reform simply generates more reform, leading to widespread doubts about the efficacy of these reforms. The goal of this research is two-fold: 1) to understand the substantive foci of education reforms; and 2) to measure the impact of reforms. Student RAs will identify and code reforms from documents produced by international organizations. They will join a research team that consists of faculty and graduate students from the University of Toronto and Stanford University.
Becoming Margaret Atwood – Supervisor: Prof. Ira Wells
Project Description: This project provides a rare opportunity for hands-on research in Atwood’s archives at the Thomas Fisher Library. Sixty-three years ago, Atwood began studying literature as a UofT undergraduate. Today, she is arguably the world’s most influential living writer, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, The Testaments, and many more. This project focuses on Atwood’s emergence as a professional writer. Together, we will explore how her first 5 novels and volumes of poetry evolved through drafts and editorial feedback, also analyzing her journalism, speeches, publicity documents, letters, and original research files. Student RAs will acquire archival skills and methodologies, a practical understanding of the publishing industry, and gain unprecedented access into the creative process of one of our greatest writers.
Haudenosaunee Storytelling, Waugh, and Orality Project – Supervisor: Prof. Kevin White
Project Description: Student researchers will work with Dr. White on three storytelling/orality community-based projects. The collections include the Gahsrq:nih: Waugh project, the Richard Hill collection of stories, and the Hewitt-Curtain collection. Student RAs will engage in indexing, categorization of the collections of stories, analysis for points of similarity and identifying alien/foreign conceptual frameworks that do not mirror Haudenosaunee values and epistemological frameworks. Some transcription work and annotated summarization of the stories may also be asked of the student RAs.
Immortal Mammoths: Tracking and Mapping Frozen Mammoths in the History of Science – Supervisor: Prof. Rebecca Woods
Project Description: This project explores frozen mammoths in the histories of colonialism, science, and the environment. For centuries, soft-tissue remains from extinct mammoths were extremely rare. Now they emerge from Arctic permafrost each summer, signaling the dramatic warming of the circumpolar north in an era of rapid climate change. Student RAs will help track and document the histories of these frozen mammoths, contributing to emerging understandings of how these specimens have shaped scientific understandings of the planet’s past, present, and future. They will gain hands-on experience in digital historical research and analysis and data and project management, and will contribute to visual and narrative digital artifacts on the project website.
Instruments of Empire: The Forgotten History of Modern Mapping in the Middle East and the World – Supervisor: Prof. Adrien Zakar
Project Description: This project will gather a team of RAs and student programmers to investigate a forgotten history of when modern mapping became part of everyday life, from paper maps and pocket atlases to aerial photography, satellite imagery, drones, and GPS. Student RAs will develop cutting-edge methods in digital research and spatial analysis, recenter non-hegemonic voices in the archive, and contribute to the creation of a platform for humanities research and world heritage particularly in the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe. A previous team laid the foundations of a searchable engine (https://bit.ly/cisternwebsite) and experimented with a 3D research room (https://bit.ly/cisternvideo). Relevant skills and interests include: navigating large digital archives and databases; Turkish, French, or Arabic language skills; familiarity with Python, Git or 3D Software (Unity). Feel free to mention previous coursework in related fields.
UT MIssissauga SiR 2022
- University Responses to Campus Protest in the U.S. and Canada, 2012-2018 – Supervisor: Prof. Ellen Berrey
Project Description: Universities are fertile ground for protest, from the 2012 student strikes against tuition increases in Quebec to the 2017 white supremacist march through the University of Virginia. This sociological study asks: how do university administrations manage campus protest? The broader goal is to understand how campus-based movements in the U.S. and Canada mobilized, spread, succeeded, and failed in the 2010s. Student RAs will use a customized online platform to conduct sociological coding of universities’ actions and discourse on protest, as reported in student newspaper articles. This project will appeal to students interested in developing their skills in conducting rigorous qualitative analysis and building a quantitative dataset. Required: strong performance in at least one social sciences course on research methods (sociology, political science, anthropology, or a related field such as history).
Knowledge Production and the Sociology of Anticipation in Disaster and Emergency Management – Supervisor: Prof. Steve Hoffman
Project Description: Students are invited to participate in an interview and ethnographic study of disaster management professionals. Students will assist with data coding and analysis using NVivo 12 software, focusing on how disaster professionals are anticipating the many impacts of the human-induced climate crisis and related environmental risks. Familiarity with qualitative analysis software is valuable but training will be provided. Background in sociology, science and technology studies, and/or disaster studies is highly valuable.
Investigating Children’s Health Histories in the Northampton Archive (1744-1847) – Supervisor: Prof. Madeleine Mant
Project Description: This project is the first to investigate the Northampton General Hospital Archives to explore the health experiences of children in Northampton, UK from 1744 to 1847, contributing unique longitudinal insights into the history of poverty, childhood, and social welfare. Student RAs will gain experience with archival research, including transcription, proofreading, and database management, as well as data analysis and interpretation. This project invites students with interests in medical history and/or anthropology of health to work with primary sources to explore children’s health (focus upon trauma, infectious disease) through time. Previous experience with paleography is an asset but is not required.
Mapping Petrochemical Infrastructures of Settler Colonialism in Tkaronto (Toronto) – Supervisor: Prof. Zoë Wool
Project Description: In Toronto, urbanization hides the chemical infrastructures of settler colonialism on which the city is literally built. Together with co-facilitator Sophia Jaworski, using our dataset of 900 historical petrochemical storage and manufacturing sites in the old city centre, this project of the TWIG Research Kitchen will create a website with interactive map, data sharing tools, and critical contextual resources allowing visitors to grapple with the toxic legacies of colonialism in Tkoronto (Toronto). A great fit for students committed to feminist, anti-colonial, and environmental or data justice practices, and/or sociocultural anthropology or science and technology studies approaches to toxicity. Preferred skills: excel/data management, organization, and collaboration. Prior experience with archival research, GIS, StoryMaps welcome but not required.
The Price of Empire: Trade Diversion and Dominion Status – Supervisor: Prof. Nicholas Zammit
Project Description: This project will help quantify the price that British colonial relationships have imposed via trade policies. The results will have significant implications on the current debate around colonial history and trade diversion. Student RAs will develop a large detailed Canadian trade database covering the period from 1870 to 1919 that will be accessible to researchers. Participants should have an interest in Economic History and basic experience in quantitative analysis. RAs will be using excel macros to collect data and at least one of Stata, R or Python to conduct analysis. They will also be introduced to the Amazon Web Services research modules developed specifically for this project as a collaborative endeavor between UTM and AWS. https://financialpost.com/news/economy/kevin-carmichael-dont-fear-the-robots-people
Virtual SiR 2022
- Italian Linguistic Landscape: From Toronto to the Global World – Supervisor: Prof. Simone Casini
Project Description: The project aims to study the linguistic contact between Italian and immigrant languages in some of the largest Italian cities (i.e., Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Palermo). Students will use Google Maps to select the urban areas with a high immigrant population and will then use Google Street View to analyse the words in foreign languages written on publicly visible street signs and shop windows. The data collected will be entered into a large database and analysed from a linguistic and semiotic perspective. Participating students should have a high level of linguistic competence in Italian and should be capable of conducting linguistic and sociolinguistic research. Students should also be able to use technology such as Google Maps and Excel for research purposes.
Digital Dostoevsky: Reading Russian Novels with Computers – Supervisor: Prof. Kate Holland
Project Description: Digital Dostoevsky uses methodologies such as TEI encoding, machine reading, and natural language processing to help to answer questions about the deep structure of Dostoevsky’s novels, questions about speech, character, space, temporality, affect, and fictionality, among other areas. Student RAs will learn methods of text encoding, including TEI and XML, and use these methods to encode Dostoevsky novels in Russian in collaboration with a team of professors and graduate students. No prior knowledge of coding needed (training in digital methods will be provided), but advanced Russian is required (three years of university- level study, heritage, or native speaker fluency).
Measuring Word Knowledge Development in Second-Language Learners of French and Chinese – Supervisor: Prof. Pablo Robles-Garcia
Project Description: This study aims at exploring the order of acquisition of four word-knowledge components (form-meaning link, morphology, collocations, and multiple meanings) in L2 French and Chinese. Student RAs will develop the activities that will be used in these two tests. For the French section, proficiency in French (advanced level/first language) is necessary. For the Chinese section, proficiency in Chinese (first language) is necessary, and additional proficiency in Spanish is highly desirable (Spanish knowledge will not be needed for French speakers, only for Chinese speakers). All RAs will be trained in developing word-knowledge activities for L2 students.
Covid-19 Vaccine Equity in Diverse Urban Settings: A Comparative Analysis in Ontario, UK, and France – Supervisor: Profs. Kathi Wilson and Tracey Galloway
Project Description: This project compares community experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic including access to vaccines, local government approaches to vaccine rollouts, and the role of community organizations in supporting access to vaccines among immigrant, Black, and racially visible populations in Canada, the UK, and France. Data collection is on-going and includes in-depth interviews with: i) community members; ii) municipal governments, public health boards, and Covid-19 advisory boards; iii) leaders from community organizations and community groups; and iv) health service providers. Student RAs will be involved in library research, data collection, analysis, and dissemination, and will receive training in social research methods.
Measuring Social Skills and Group Dynamics with Virtual Games – Supervisor: Prof. Román Andrés Zárate
Project Description: Play Together is a virtual platform we have developed to measure teamwork and leadership abilities and study group dynamics among individuals of different characteristics using virtual tasks and games. We are currently working on implementing field experiments with interested partners in Latin America. Student RAs will help us with a literature review on topics related to the project. They will also contribute the data analysis to implement the experiments and generate the code to study the performance indicators on the platform. Finally, they will help us to identify websites to run online experiments with the tools we have developed.
UT Scarborough 2021 V-SiR
UTSC-01 - New Voices, New Vistas: Contemporary Arab Women Writers Database
Supervisor: Prof. Maria Assif
Project Description: Student RAs will contribute to the upcoming digital database on contemporary Arab women writers from around the world. No expertise in the field is needed, and enthusiastic individuals from all disciplines are welcome! Student RAs will be trained to research and evaluate writings by Arab women social media influencers and activists; create Wikipedia entries on Arab women writers; and generate annotated bibliographies about seminal critical works in the field. In week four, all collaborators will co-author a reflective blog on this project to be published in one of the SaP (Students as Partners) sites.
UTSC-02 - Diplomacy, Pedagogy and French Fashion in mid-18th century Europe
Supervisor: Prof. Sébastien Drouin
Project Description: In mid-18th century Europe, French was spoken by most of the elite. This phenomenon is particularly interesting in Germany where French language and culture have transformed many aspects of the day-to-day life at several courts like Potsdam, Bayreuth, and Karlsruhe. In this project, we will study the “Grand Tour” made by Gotha’s crown-prince Friedrich Ludwig (1735-1756) with diplomat and pedagogue Ulrich von Thun (1707-1788). Students will work on the transcription and on the annotation of the letters written in French by Ulrich von Thun to the duchess of Gotha. High proficiency in French is mandatory (speaking, reading, writing). Students interested in the French language, literature, art history, history of music, history of pedagogy and digital humanities are especially encouraged to apply. Basic knowledge of German will be considered an asset.
UTSC-03 - The Beyond Bullying Project
Supervisor: Prof. Jessica Fields
Project Description: The Beyond Bullying Project (BBP) (https://beyondbullyingproject.com) is an interdisciplinary and ethnographic study that collects and analyzes stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) sexuality and gender from high school students, teachers, and students. In Spring 2021, BBP will launch an interactive website in order to virtually collect stories at three Toronto-area high schools. Working with faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student researchers, student RAs will gain experience in digital ethnographic research methods, including conducting virtual interviews and participant observation; recording ethnographic fieldnotes; designing and implementing online knowledge mobilization tools; and analyzing BBP stories and other qualitative data.
UTSC-04 - Pandemic Policing of the Homeless: Making Scarborough Visible
Supervisor: Prof. Joe Hermer
Project Description: This project enables students to contribute to evidence based public policy in an area that is the subject of much public discussion and contestation: the policing of vulnerable and poor people in distress. Student RAs will become active members of a Canada wide research project (http://policinghomelessness.ca) that explores how people experiencing homelessness are being policed during the pandemic. RAs will participate in ongoing research inquiries, including the analysis of a large interview data set. Participants will pay special attention to the diversity of Scarborough communities and the nature of suburban homelessness. Training will be provided in key aspects of qualitative research work. Fluency in a second language is an asset, but not required. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
UTSC-05 - Engaging with Archives: Mobilizing Québec’s Musical Past for Today
Supervisor: Prof. Laura Risk
Project Description: This project seeks student RAs with strong French-language skills and an interest in music and community-engaged research. We will work on two interrelated projects about traditional music in Québec: 1) mobilization of a large collection of field recordings from the 1960s and 70s in anticipation of their future use in community music and heritage activities; and 2) an historical study of the place of traditional music in the construction of national identity in Québec in the early/mid twentieth century. Student RAs will have opportunities to collaborate with community partners such as museums and non-profit arts organizations, and to work with researchers from several Québec universities.
UTSC-06 - Diplomatic Translation in Early Modern Istanbul: Digital Remediation, Analysis, and Visualization
Supervisor: Prof. Natalie Rothman
Project Description: Participants in this project will help develop a companion website to a forthcoming book about Venetian dragomans (diplomatic interpreters) in Istanbul in the period 1550-1750. Together, we will 1) Curate archival documents and other primary documents analyzed in the book for interactive online representation and querying; 2) Annotate dragomans’ translations; 3) Formalize a taxonomy of dragomans’ translation practices; and 4) Develop relevant data visualizations. Reading knowledge of Italian would be a great asset, but is not required. Likewise, prior knowledge of digital methodologies is optional, as participants will receive extensive training in relevant digital research skills.
UT St George V-SiR 2021
UTSG-01 - The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP)
Supervisor: Prof. Claire Battershill
Project Description: The publishing industry plays an important role in shaping cultural discourse. Publishers can be gatekeepers as well as agents of change, capable of challenging or reaffirming dominant narratives and inequalities and supporting activist and revolutionary currents of thought. The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP) http://www.modernistarchives.com/ is an open-access critical digital archive that transforms public access to twentieth-century publishers’ records and special collections. For this SiR project, selected student RAs will be working to integrate the University of Toronto’s relevant library and archive collections more fully into the resource and to select and prioritize new publishers whose bodies of works should be included.
UTSG-02 - Tracing Legacies: Afro-Asian Transnationalism during Third World Decolonization and the Cold War
Supervisor: Prof. Chandni Desai
Project Description: Tracing Legacies investigates the cultural and political networks of Afro-Arab transnational solidarity, through an examination of anti-colonial cultural production and relationships forged between artists and political figures across the Global South during the Decolonization and Cold War period. Student RAs will perform archival research on Afro-Asian writings and other cultural works. Scholars will code and analyze historical documents, photographs, conference proceedings, and witness oral history interviews conducted with cultural figures. The project appeals to students interested in Middle Eastern Studies, Black and Indigenous Studies, History, Social Movements and Cultural Studies. Proficiency in Arabic will be considered, but not necessary.
UTSG-03 - Blasphemy and Sacrilege in Enlightenment Literature
Supervisor: Prof. Simon Dickie
Project Description: In his time, the London bookseller William Hone (1780-1842) was notorious for his collection of blasphemous books and prints. Working with library databases and a newly discovered auction catalogue (1827), we will reconstruct Hone’s library and discover much about the force and variety of early modern blasphemy. We will read mock-sermons, burlesques of the Book of Common Prayer, comic novels about clerical impostors, letters from Satan to English bishops, and much more. Student RAs should have an established interest in historical or literary research and some exposure to the Christian tradition and/or history of religion. Prior coursework in English or History is an asset, but not a necessity. Full training in databases and book history sources will be provided.
UTSG-04 - Taking it Lying Down
Supervisor: Prof. Sarah Dowling
Project Description: This project compares four novels narrated from a lying-down position: Gail Scott’s Canadian classic Heroine, Argentinian writer Luisa Valenzuela’s Realidad nacional desde la cama, American novelist Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, and Nishnaabeg writer and theorist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies. Student researchers will analyze how the novels use their supine protagonists to pose questions about political engagement and narrative structure, and will work in teams to compile a critical bibliography for each. Background in literary studies is essential; coursework in gender and sexuality studies and proficiency in Spanish or Anishinaabemowin are welcome.
UTSG-05 - A Stern Test of Artistry: Editing Charles Whibley
Project Description: This project provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the first critical edition of the essays of Charles Whibley (1859-1930). Whibley was a towering figure of early twentieth-century British literary culture, a “polemical dragon” responsible for “the best sustained piece of literary journalism” of his age, according to T.S. Eliot. Student RAs will help select and edit Whibley’s essays, conduct research on historical and cultural contexts, and produce explanatory annotations. They will acquire an applied understanding of the principles of scholarly editing, including training in the platforms and technical skills necessary to contribute to scholarly editions. Students interested in British literary history and culture and the practice of editing are especially encouraged to apply.
UTSG-06 - “Extensive Play” and the Other Beginning of an Indigenous Himalayan Literature
Supervisor: Prof. Christoph Emmrich
Project Description: In 1914 a lone Buddhist priest broke with the tradition of preserving one of his forefathers’ most revered scriptures, the Lalitavistara or “The [Buddha’s] Extensive Play,” in Sanskrit and transcreated it in Newar, in an act that was both the recovery of his ancient indigenous heritage as well as the beginning of modern Newar literature. Our project will prepare the grounds for the first commented edition and translation of Niṣṭhānanda’s text by creating a concordance of the Newar translation and its Sanskrit namesake. Student RAs will receive training in the visual and phonetic representation of Newar in Devanagari and Roman scripts and in the digital methodologies necessary for identifying and tagging parallel passages, so that they may collaboratively produce the first ever bilingual synopsis of this foundational text. Some previous knowledge of the script and languages involved is desirable but not required.
UTSG-07 - The Works of John Galt: Archives to Critical Edition
Supervisor: Prof. Angela Esterhammer
Project Description: The Works of John Galt is a multi-volume critical edition of fiction and journalism by the Scottish writer John Galt (1779-1839), a popular novelist who was also a key figure in early-nineteenth-century Canadian settlement. Student RAs will gain experience with several stages of the scholarly-editing and publication process. Working with original print editions and manuscripts of Galt’s works, they will assist with transcription, proofreading, and typesetting of camera-ready copy. Scholars will do original research on the historical and cultural contexts and the publication history of Galt’s geographically diverse short stories in order to help prepare annotations and appendices.
UTSG-08 - Teachers’ Efficacy for Online/Distance Teaching during the Covid-19 Crisis
Supervisor: Prof. Julia Forgie
Project Description: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many K-12 teachers worldwide are now teaching in an online/distance context. This project seeks to assess teachers’ feelings of efficacy in classroom management, instructional strategies, student engagement, and technology use now that they are teaching in an online/distance format. This study will also examine how teachers’ efficacy beliefs when teaching via an online/distance mode compare to their efficacy beliefs when teaching in a traditional, in-person mode. This mixed-methods project invites students with specific interests in teaching efficacy and school pedagogy to engage in data collection, data analysis, literature review and contributing to the writing of manuscripts.
UTSG-09 - The Black Androids: Recovering Lost Histories
Supervisor: Prof. Edward Jones-Imhotep
Project Description: This project explores the complex histories of the “black androids” — a series of racialized mechanical humans, created between the mid-18th century and the late 20th-century, that form part of the intersecting histories of slavery, automation, rebellion, science fiction, and artificial intelligence. Students RAs will work to identify and digitally document these automata as contributions to both modern history of technology and to Black history and culture. Scholars will develop: a sophisticated suite of research skills; experience in project management; and a set of co-authored digital artifacts that will form international resources for future research.
UTSG-11 - When Our Speech Carries Two Worlds: Ethnic Orientation in Heritage Language Research
Project Description: In the context of Toronto’s heritage languages (HLs), we ask, “What constrains properties that speakers transfer more easily from one language to another?” and “What role does ethnic orientation play?” We focus on Heritage Portuguese, Italian and Tagalog: applicants must speak one of these languages as we count on their expertise. Student RAs will learn about Toronto’s history of immigration, review and discuss HL studies, theories of bilingual speech acquisition, language variation and language contact. Scholars will gain hands-on research training and experience in recruiting participants, conducting speech experiments and sociolinguistic interviews, and exploring data analysis and interpretation.
UTSG-12 - Charting Virgil’s Renaissance Reception
Supervisor: Prof. Shaun Ross
Project Description: Virgil’s Aeneid, though written in antiquity, was the single most influential poem in Medieval and Renaissance literary history. Poets such as Dante, Ariosto, Ercilla, Camões, Spenser, and Milton all used Virgil’s poem as a model, to imitate and to challenge, as they wrote their own vernacular epics. Participants will study this reception history by contributing to the creation of a digital edition of the Aeneid that charts how Dante and subsequent Renaissance-era poets responded to and reinterpreted Virgil’s Latin poem. Knowledge of any of the following languages will be highly beneficial: Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian.
UTSG-13 - The Birth of the Modern Detective Story, 1890-1920
Project Description: This project uses digital methods to study detective stories published in magazines between 1890 and 1920. We will code stories according to features such as: the gender of the author, detective, and culprit; the detective’s role as an amateur, private investigator, or police officer; the types of clues and the timing of their presentation; and the types of crimes or quasi-crimes (e.g., murder and theft, as against immoral but not criminal acts). Students will identify these features in a specially designed software interface. No previous coding experiencing is required; training in the relevant coding techniques will be provided.
UTSG-14 - Six Nations of Grand River Community History Project
Project Description: Students RAs will conduct transcriptions for a community-based research project with Deyohaha:ge Indigenous Knowledge Centre: a repository of Haudenosaunee Knowledge recorded in textual documents as well as a research centre focused on perpetuating and celebrating Haudenosaunee Knowledge. This collaborative research project is organized by a number of Haudenosaunee scholars and explores the historic impacts of Cayuga Chief Levi General (Deskaheh title). General was the first Indigenous leader who attempted to address the League of Nations; he sought international review of Canada’s actions against the sovereignty of the Grand River Haudenosaunee. Your work will be acknowledged in reports and publications.
UTSG-15 - The Logic, Function, and Contexts of Ancient Greek Titles
Supervisor: Prof. Kenneth Yu
Project Description: How did ancient Greek writers—poets, philosophers, and scientists—name their works? This project investigates ancient Greek practices of entitling texts to uncover how book titles were created, transmitted, and conceptualized in antiquity, the relations between ancient titles and the texts they designate, and the dynamics of ancient Greek reading practices. Participants will gather, organize, and interpret vast data sets related to Greek literary history, and help create the first online database for extant ancient Greek titles. Our project will be conducted online, though there may be opportunities to examine Greek manuscripts at Robarts if circumstances permit. Knowledge of beginning Greek will be an asset.
UT Mississauga V-SiR 2021
- UTM-01 - Preserving Toronto’s Foodways
Supervisor: Prof. Teresa Lobalsamo
Project Description: This project emphasizes an experiential, digital humanities approach to Diaspora and Food Studies and, in particular, to the study of Italian culture and gastronomy. The project will be a digital map-catalogue of artifacts that answer the following questions about the GTA’s changing food landscape: 1) What and where are the oldest Italian food-related businesses in the GTA? 2) What does the GTA’s Italian food landscape look like today? Student RAs will interview business owners and/or chefs, record descriptions and bibliographic entries, collect relevant artifacts (menus, recipes, advertisements) from past and existing establishments. To archive (digitize) those collected materials, RAs will learn to utilize appropriate digital platforms (Omeka and Google Maps). Knowledge of Diaspora and Food Studies, of beginner Italian, and/or familiarity with digital platforms are useful, but they are not required.
UTM-02 - Press, Celebrity and Gender in Québec (1930-1970)
Supervisor: Prof. Adrien Rannaud
Project Description: This SSHRC-funded research describes the history of celebrity in Québec between 1930 and 1970, examining celebrity culture as a complex relationship between texts and images, periodicals, producers and audiences. We will focus on the relationship between celebrity culture and women’s cultural practices by collecting and analyzing data on large corpuses (chronicles, newspapers, magazines). Student RAs will receive all necessary training in data collection and qualitative analysis in literary and cultural history. Proficiency in French (intermediate or advanced level) is necessary. Students with interest in French Studies, Literature and Drama, Cinema, Media, Historical or Cultural Studies are especially encouraged to apply.
UTM-03 - 3K-LVT: The Validation of the First Listening Vocabulary Test in Spanish
Supervisor: Prof. Pablo Robles-Garcia
Project Description: This study aims at validating a listening vocabulary test in Spanish. Student RAs will (1) create a schedule for students to sign up for the test, (2) contact students with detailed information about the test procedures, (3) administer and proctor the test through Zoom, and (4) conduct a series of one-on-one interviews with some examinees. Knowledge of Spanish for these RAs is highly desirable. Another RA (no knowledge of Spanish needed) will design R scripts and carry out quantitative statistical analyses based on the Rasch model (Item Response Theory). All RAs will receive training in data collection.
UTM-04 - Building monuments, bonding communities: urbanization and social transformation in ancient China
Supervisor: Prof. Liye Xie
Project Description: This project examines the late Neolithic and early Shang urban sites to understand how urban construction facilitated social transformation at the dawn of China’s dynastic history. Student RAs will receive training as they participate in (1) literature research on theories, methods, and data; (2) GIS aggregation and analysis of published settlement data; (3) estimating construction costs, public places’ capacities, and numbers of urban inhabitants; and (4) preparing materials for presentation and publication. RAs from relevant disciplines such as archaeology, GIS, sociology, political science, architecture, and city studies are invited to apply. Reading knowledge of Mandarin is not required, but will be very helpful for certain data-related tasks.
- Community-Engaged Learning in French: Creating Student Preparation Modules
- Supervisor: Prof. Corinne Beauquis
- Making Medical Inadmissibility in Canadian Immigration Law Visible: Drawing, Filming and Telling Ethnographic Stories
- Supervisor: Prof. Laura Bisaillon
- The Poetics and Potentials of Hip-Hop Archives
- Supervisor: Prof. Mark Campbell
- Investigating the Oberammergau Passion Play
- Supervisor: Prof. Elliot Leffler
- The Resemblage Project: A Digital Intergenerational Storytelling Initiative
- Supervisor: Prof. Andrea Charise, UTSC English and Health & Society
- Social and Intellectual Networks in Early 18th-Century Europe
- Supervisor: Sébastien Drouin, UTSC French & Linguistics
- Sound Symbolism of Gender in Personal Names
- Supervisor: Prof. Yoonjung Kang, UTSC French & Linguistics
- The Art and Science of Museum Objects
- Supervisor: Prof. Alen Hadzovic, UTSC Physical & Environmental Sciences
- Seeing Potential: Asking/Investigating/Exhibiting the Malcove Collection
- Supervisor: Prof. Erin Webster, UTSC Arts, Culture & Media