Saturday, November 10 9:00am – 3:00pm
Chu International Student Centre, Student Services Building
“You have a lot of the smartest young people trying to build something, and I
think this carries over to academia, where people are saying, ‘I want to do that. I want to create.’”
—Craig Calhoun, President of the Social Science Research Council, Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University (2008)
Entering its second year, The Public Humanities at Western is pleased to launch a new Public Scholarship Education Series, which is designed to bring together the research programs and community engagements of faculty and graduate students. Our inaugural one-day workshop, “Mobilizing Knowledge and Imagining Campus-Community Collaboration,” will begin the process of incubating new campus-community initiatives in the broad area of the arts and humanities, and will ask participants to make connections between their current research and the communities they feel connected to outside of their immediate departments. The workshop’s primary objective is to give researchers across the disciplines the opportunity to think about the process of translating knowledge generated from their research projects to related areas of inquiry within and beyond academia, with a particular emphasis on critical research that engages with issues of public concern and the public good.
The concept of knowledge mobilization (KM), as it has been outlined and adopted in the strategic planning of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), brings new opportunities and challenges. Young scholars in the arts and humanities are rarely trained to effectively translate their research to fit policymaking processes or broader forms of engagement, and there is widespread concern over the growing trend of asking scholars to justify their research in terms of “public utility,” whether social, cultural, political, or economic. Above all, there is concern that the discourse of “research excellence” (i.e. knowledge translation, knowledge exchange, knowledge-to-action, etc.) is pushing the university towards market-driven outcomes. This workshop will keep a keen eye trained on these concerns, but will also explore opportunities that are opened up by a more civically engaged culture of research.
As part of the day’s proceedings, we will host a faculty panel on “Knowledge Mobilization and Research Communities,” featuring Juan Andrés Bello (Film Studies; Documentary Filmmaker), Jason Gilliland (Geography; Director of the Urban Development Program), Donna Pennee (English), and Alan MacEachern (History; Director of NiCHE). To provide a point of orientation, the panel will investigate the definition of knowledge mobilization offered by SSHRC: “‘Knowledge mobilization’,” as defined by the strategic report Framing Our Direction 2010-2012, “refers to a range of processes that help move research results into society, as well as bring new ideas into the world of research. From knowledge-brokering and outreach, to more effective dissemination through new technologies, to the co-creation of knowledge, these processes help ensure that public investments in social sciences and humanities research have the greatest possible impact—intellectually, socially, and economically” (12). Different research programs and clusters will match this conception of KM more comfortably than others. The panel and workshop will explore how researchers could productively incorporate KM practices and processes to share diverse knowledge outcomes with interdisciplinary research clusters within and beyond the university, as well as develop new, innovative campus-community projects in the greater London area. While many successful projects and exchanges are already taking place at Western, this initiative would enhance existing programming and identify new areas of possible collaboration.
How can knowledge derived from advanced research in the Arts and Humanities and beyond contribute to the greater public good? What campus-community relationships has the university forged with arts and culture institutions in London? Should public engagement take a more prominent role in strategic planning? What would more engagement look like? How does a graduate researcher effectively manage their time between civically engaged scholarship and their current program of study? The Public Humanities at Western invites faculty and graduate students to explore how their expertise and community work might be employed to develop collaborative, long-term projects between the university and the community. In a workshop setting, participants will have the unique opportunity of meeting other faculty and students to discuss the place of community engagement in their research, and to identify areas of convergence that might lead to successful collaborative work. “Mobilizing Knowledge and Imagining Campus-Community Collaboration” is open to all faculty and graduate students across the disciplines, within and outside of the Arts and Humanities, who have an interest in forging transformative campus-community partnerships.
To register for this workshop, please send an email with your name, faculty/department, and a brief description of your past, present, and prospective community involvement to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Workshop in Public Scholarship (November)” by November 05, 2012.
Nancy Cantor, Chancellor President of Syracuse University:
David Scobey, Executive Dean of the New School for Public Engagement:
For Further Readings:
Imagining America, Foreseeable Futures Series:
Juan Andrés Bello Professor of Film Studies, Western University Documentary Filmmaker
Amanda Grzyb Professor, Faculty of Information & , Media Studies, Western University
Donna Pennee Professor of English, Western University
He moved to Penn State Univeristy where he took up the Waterbury Chair Professorship at Penn State University from 1992 to May 2004. He also served as the Director of the Waterbury Forum in Education and Cultural Studies. He moved to McMaster University in May 2004, where he currently holds the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies.