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The Conversation: Remembering minorities amid Eastern Europe’s centenary celebrations

[Lithuania Celebration]
People gather in the streets in Vilnius, Lithuania to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the country’s statehood.

Over the past year, states across central and eastern Europe have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation or re-creation of their countries.

Some will continue to do so through 2019 and 2020 as they mark 100 years since maps were redrawn and nation-state status was granted to groups that were formerly part of vast, diverse empires.

Amid the festivities and fanfare, let’s not forget to include minority views and voices in the dialogue. A centenary is an important moment for these states, no doubt. It is also important for citizens — including minority citizens, many of whom remember the events of 1918 to 1920 from a different perspective. What they tend to remember of those years are grievances, losses of status, forced migration and changed homelands.

Different memories

During my field work in the region, speaking with minority and majority groups, I learned that minority members tend have different interpretations and contrasting memories of the events of 1918-20, many of them painful. So they were not likely to participate in the centenary celebrations. More often, they were celebrating occasions of national and cultural significance to their particular group.

There are about 400 minority communities in Europe today, comprising more than 100 million people. “Minority” refers to groups that are distinct in ethnicity, culture and language from the group that is numerically dominant in the state. They are also in a politically non-dominant position within the state.

Some of these groups became minorities through displacement and forced migration amid the upheaval of war. Some became minorities through the arbitrary redrawing of lines on maps, meaning they suddenly found themselves living in another country as “accidental diasporas”. In other words, minorities can arise when people move across borders, or when borders are redrawn around people.

 

The First World War brought about the collapse of large multi-ethnic empires and the formation of several nation-states in their wake.

Recognition of these new states was based upon the famous, or perhaps infamous, idea of self-determination, promoted at the Paris Peace Conference and in post-war treaties. Recognition was also based on the principle of nationality, which advocated and justified the notion of states created of and for particular nations. The logic was: one ethno-cultural group per country, one nation per state. In reality, none of these states was entirely homogenous.

Stately celebrations

For Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, the events of 1918-20 signify the recognition of statehood. The years 2018-2020, therefore, mark the centenary of this stately occasion. The governments of these countries have put a lot of time and resources into the celebrations.

There are countless special events and programming such as “100 Years” walking tours, speeches, concerts, flag and firework displays, museum exhibitions, patriotic parades, youth marches, military tributes and bonfires.

The national colours of each state are visible in public squares and streets, and at night they light up historic buildings and landmarks. National anthems are played, and national poetry and literature recited, as each nation-statehood is observed.

The Pope visited the three Baltic states in September 2018 in a gesture seen to acknowledge their struggle for independence. There have even been Twitter hashtags, 100 Year playlists on Spotify and restaurants serving centennial meal specials. It’s the spectacle of a national holiday but amped up several times.

[Map of Europe 1920]
Map of Europe, post First World War. (The European Institute, copyright 2009)

What about the minorities?

The fanfare is exciting for the dominant groups in these states. But what about the groups that are not dominant — the minorities? Where do they fit in all of this? Are they celebrating?

In Romania, members of the Hungarian minority view the 100th anniversary of Romania’s “Great Unification” as more of a division – as a historical tragedy rather than triumph. The 1.2 million Hungarians in Romania today are there mainly because lines on the map were redrawn.

In 1920, Hungary was carved up by the Treaty of Trianon, and some Hungarians suddenly found themselves living in the new state of Romania. The Hungarian minority now constitutes 6.5 per cent of the population of Romania, concentrated in the northwest in the region of Transylvania.

This community tends to celebrate Hungary’s annual National Day over Romanian national days, and to partake in Hungarian Cultural Days.

An anniversary that may resonate for Romania’s Hungarians in 2020 is the proposed and very political Trianon Memorial Year. Trianon resulted in Hungary losing two-thirds of its territory and population. Today, many Hungarians still view the Trianon “dismemberment” as a violation of Hungary’s sovereignty and national integrity.

It remains one of the most traumatic events in Hungarians' collective memories, and a recurring issue in Hungary’s domestic politics and regional relations.

[Signs of congratulations in Vilnius]
In a creative display outside a school in Vilnius, several countries express their congratulations and greetings to Lithuania on its 100th anniversary of statehood. Atkurtai Lietuvai means Restored Lithuania.

In Lithuania, members of the Polish minority associate the years 1918-20 more with the re-emergence of the Polish state than the restoration of the Lithuanian state. Poland experienced three territorial partitions, in 1772, 1793 and 1795, and effectively disappeared from the map until 1918.

Similar to Hungarians and Romanians, Poles and Lithuanians have had a long and contested relationship over borders, history and identity. The Polish minority constitutes 6.6 per cent of the population in Lithuania, concentrated in the southeast in the Vilnius region.

This community strongly celebrates the annual Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad Day with a ceremonial march through the streets of Vilnius . Though the parade is a sea of red-and-white Polish flags, the red, yellow and green of the Lithuanian flag can be seen as well. There are celebrations on May 3, the day when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth proclaimed a Constitution in 1791, and also Polish Culture Days in Vilnius.

The Russian-speaking minorities in the Baltic states haven’t had much of a presence at the centenary celebrations. These groups have different memories of the years following the First World War. Russia withdrew from the war in 1917 and then civil war broke out between the Bolsheviks and the White Guard.

Amid these grand celebrations in places like Bucharest, Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and Warsaw, let’s look for whether and how minorities are celebrating. Their voices and perspectives are an important part of the story. Just as the armistice is commemorated differently in western Europe and eastern Europe, the years 1918-1920 mean different things to different national groups across the continent.

______________________________________________________The Conversation

Alexandra Liebich is a PhD candidate and teaching fellow in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.  

 

Professor Emeritus Tom Courchene finalist for book prize

Professor Emeritus Thomas Courchene’s (Economics, School of Policy Studies), recent book, Indigenous Nationals, Canadian Citizens: From First Contact to Canada 150 and Beyond, is a finalist for the 2018/19 Donner Prize.

The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations (IIGR) at Queen’s published the book as part of the McGill-Queen’s University Press Policy Studies Series. Dr. Courchene gave the IIGR’s 2018 Kenneth MacGregor lecture on the book.

The Donner Prize recognizes the best public policy book by a Canadian. The prize “encourages and celebrates excellence in public policy writing by Canadians and recognizes the role good public policy plays in the well-being of Canadians and this country’s success.”

The book and its outline are available on the MQUP website.

Dr. Courchene is also the inaugural winner of the Donner Prize, awarded for the first time in 1998, for his book From Heartland to North American Region State: The Social, Fiscal and Federal Evolution of Ontario, with Colin Telmer.

The winner will be announced May 1. More information is available at the Donner Prize website.

Rising waters

New research suggests that glaciers are disappearing and sea levels are rising.

Excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the Canadian Arctic hosts the largest area of glaciers and ice caps in the world, covering an area of 145,000 square kilometres. (Photo: Laura Thomson)

As part of an international research collaboration, Queen’s University scientist and lead Canadian researcher Laura Thomson examined the contribution of Canadian glaciers and ice caps to global sea level rise. The research shows that, with the exception of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets, the Canadian Arctic has become the largest contributor to global sea level rise in recent years (2006-2016).

Taking into account statistical uncertainties, the findings suggest the mass loss of glaciers may be larger than previously reported.

Dr. Thomson, who leads the new Snow and Ice Research Laboratory in the Department of Geography and Planning, says the Canadian Arctic is currently responsible for 30 per cent of meltwater added to the oceans each year, which amounts to approximately a 1.1 millimetre sea level rise every five years.

Climate variables measured at weather stations are used to determine the key processes responsible for glacier response. (Photo: Laura Thomson)

“This study incorporates more than 50 years of observations by Canadian glaciologists, including federal scientists and university researchers who contribute their findings to the World Glacier Monitoring Service,” Dr. Thomson explains. “Since Canada hosts the largest area of glaciers outside of Greenland and Antarctica, a study like this requires collaboration and contributions from many researchers. In addition to collecting field-based observations, my contribution includes collecting and assimilating measurements from Canadian ice masses for the World Glacier Monitoring Service.”

University of Zurich Professor Michael Zemp, and colleagues including Dr. Thomson, used observational data collected from over 19,000 glaciers using two different methods to determine mass changes between 1961 and 2016. From this the research shows that glaciers contributed around 27 millimetres to global mean sea-level rise over this period.

“By combining field methods with satellite-based observations of glacier thinning, this study updates and improves upon previous estimates of glacier and ice cap contributions to sea level rise,” says Dr. Thomson. “This integrated approach also accounts for and corrects a previously existing bias associated with traditional field-based methods, allowing us to more accurately determine regional glacier losses from point measurements.”

The authors of the paper then calculated the mass-change rates for glaciers from 2006 to 2016 and found that during this decade alone they contributed nearly one millimetre each year to sea-level rise.

“Based on our findings, we suggest that glaciers could almost disappear in some mountain ranges by 2100 (including the Caucasus, Central Europe, Western Canada and the USA, and New Zealand),” Dr. Thomson says. “However, regions with many glaciers like the Canadian Arctic will continue to contribute to sea-level rise beyond this century.”

The new research was recently published in Nature.

The Conversation: Perverse passions that will not die

[Bela Lugosi as Dracula]
Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula in Tod Browning’s 1931 horror film is influenced by John Polidori’s tale of terror, ‘The Vampyre,’ first published — suggestively — on April Fools’ Day 1819. Universal Pictures

Vampires have stalked humans for thousands of years, but it was just 200 years ago that a young English doctor named John Polidori introduced the modern version of the ancient demon.

Although far less well-known than Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Polidori’s The Vampyre was first published — suggestively — on April Fools’ Day 1819. This brief tale of terror set the pattern for all future representations of the vampire, including Stoker’s, and it launched a vampire craze that after two centuries still retains its ability to grab us by the throat.

It is hard to imagine, but The Vampyre as well as Frankenstein, two of Western literature’s most enduring myths, were the results of the same ghost story writing contest.

Vampires today inhabit a wide realm of the popular imagination in everything from novels, films and television shows to cartoons, video games, comic books and advertisements. They are also a powerful metaphor for conceiving and representing all manner of cultural practices and social problems, from the spread of sexually transmitted disease, through the mental and bodily pains of drug addiction, to the many ways in which technology and social media penetrate our daily lives.

The writing contest

Handsome, arrogant, and hot-tempered, Polidori was educated at a Catholic boarding school and then at the University of Edinburgh, where in 1815 he received his medical degree at the age of just 19. Less than a year later, the course of his life changed dramatically when Lord Byron, the most famous literary man of the day, hired him as his travelling companion and personal physician.

Quick to see the commercial potential of the arrangement, Byron’s publisher, John Murray, commissioned Polidori to keep a diary of his time with the notorious poet, whose passionate interest in young men and scandalous love affair with his half-sister Augusta had hastened his departure from England.

Polidori immediately saw the predatory side of Byron’s personality.

“As soon as he reached his room,” Polidori wrote from Belgium in April 1816, “Lord Byron fell like a thunderbolt upon the chambermaid.”

Shortly thereafter, Byron and Polidori took up residence at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva. Polidori saw himself as a rival to Byron and relations between them soon deteriorated.

“What is there excepting writing poetry that I cannot do better than you?” Polidori demanded.

“First,” Byron snapped in reply, “I can hit with a pistol the keyhole of that door – Secondly, I can swim across that river to yonder point – and thirdly, I can give you a damned good thrashing.”

The aristocrat and his doctor were soon joined by a like-minded trio of literary and sexual renegades: the radical poet and free-love advocate Percy Bysshe Shelley, his 18-year-old lover Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and Mary’s stepsister Claire Clairmont, also 18 and Byron’s most recent amour. It was an extraordinary meeting of minds and bodies.

Bad weather kept the group indoors, and in mid-June Byron challenged each of them to write a ghost story. Claire defaulted. Shelley may have produced a brief verse fragment as his contribution to the competition. Byron started but did not complete the short tale of terror now known as Augustus Darvell.

The winners are…

Godwin (the future Mary Shelley) and Polidori each produced a finished and immensely influential work. She created Frankenstein. He composed The Vampyre.

These spectacular results make the competition the most famous in all of English literary history. It is a striking thought that the same writing contest gave us both Frankenstein and The Vampyre, the two most enduring myths of the modern world.

Before Polidori, vampires were very different creatures. Shaggy, fetid and bestial, they preyed on family members, neighbours or livestock in nocturnal raids that in many accounts approached both the risible and the revolting. Polidori changed all that.

His vampire was highly resourceful and haunted, not the village or the district, but the drawing rooms of polite society and the pleasure dens of international travellers. What is more, instead of the peasant-turned-ghoul of ancient folklore, Polidori elevated the vampire to the ranks of the aristocracy, where as a hypnotically handsome predator he seduced beautiful young women and sucked their life away.

Polidori’s tale centres on fatal vows, paralysis, isolation, betrayal and the return of the dead. He clearly models his vampire, Lord Ruthven, on Lord Byron, for the two have in common good looks, callousness, high rank, mobility, wealth and keen sexual appetites. Aubrey is Ruthven’s friend and travelling partner, and his relationship with Ruthven is usually read as Polidori’s own complex fascination with Byron — a fascination that both attracts and appalls him.

In the tale, Ruthven sucks strength from Aubrey as their relationship declines, but he takes a much more deadly interest in Aubrey’s unnamed sister and Aubrey’s close friend, Ianthe, both of whom he dispatches with his insatiable fangs:

“Upon her neck and breast was blood, and upon her throat were the marks of teeth having opened the vein: – to this the men pointed, crying, simultaneously struck with horror, ‘a Vampyre, a Vampyre!’”

Nosferatu
A scene from the 1922 silent horror classic, ‘Nosferatu,’ influenced by Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula.’

A 200-year-long fascination

There have been many more sophisticated and explicit renderings of vampiric lore in the two centuries since Polidori’s tale first appeared. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu popularized the female vampire in his tale of terror Carmilla (1872), Stoker took the lordly fiend to new heights in Dracula (1897) and over the course of the last 100 years novelists, poets, playwrights, artists, movie makers and screenwriters have returned obsessively to vampires.

Polidori’s tale touched off this fascination. Two centuries ago he corrected the drastic deficiencies of the folklore and reimagined the vampire as a suave, mysterious, sexually dynamic elite who defies time and place, who consumes ravenously and without guilt, and who represents perverse passions that will not die.

But the spread of vampirism does not end there. Vampires terrify us now because, in the hands of the countless writers and artists who have drawn their creative lifeblood from Polidori’s reincarnation, they serve as potent and protean representations of whatever we most fear about foreignness, sexuality, selfhood, disease, the afterlife, history and much else. They represent our undying urge for gratification. They embody the monstrous return of what we bury both in ourselves and in our collective past.The Conversation

___________________________________________________

Robert Morrison is a professor of English Language and Literature at Queen's University. 

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.  

Queen’s University alumna named Gairdner laureate

Connie Eaves (Artsci'64, MA'66) earns the prestigious Canada Gairdner Wightman Award for her work in cancer research.

Queen’s University alumna Connie Eaves (Artsci'64, MA'66) has been honoured with the prestigious Canada Gairdner Wightman Award for her pioneering work and leadership in the study of hematopoietic, mammary and cancer stem cells and her dedicated advocacy for early-career investigators and women in science.

[Connie Eaves]
Connie Eaves (Artsci'64, MA'66) is the 2019 recipient of the Canada Gairdner Awards. (Supplied Photo) 

The Canada Gairdner Awards are widely considered to be one of the world’s top medical awards. They celebrate breakthroughs in medical research and are awarded annually to scientists around the globe.

“On the 60th anniversary of the Canada Gairdner Awards, the Gairdner Foundation continues to uphold the tradition of honouring the best and brightest researchers from around the world,” says Lorne Tyrrell, Chair, Board of Directors, Gairdner Foundation. “Whether it is the field of global mental health, stem cell biology or fundamental cell biology and DNA replication, the work of each of this year’s laureates is both critical and extraordinary.”

Dr. Eaves received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry and a master’s degree in biology from Queen’s in 1964 and 1966.

She then pursued doctoral training at the Paterson Laboratories of the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute and obtained a PhD from the University of Manchester in England in 1969.

Dr. Eaves’ research has focused on leukemia and breast cancer and the normal tissues in which these diseases originate. Her scientific findings have been paradigm-shifting, driving the field of stem cell research forward.

Throughout her career, she has demonstrated national and international leadership. Dr. Eaves co-founded the Terry Fox Laboratory in the British Columbia Cancer Agency, was a leader in the Canadian Stem Cell Network and held multiple senior roles in the National Cancer Institute of Canada, where she spearheaded the establishment of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance to create the first national source of breast cancer research funding in Canada.

Dr. Eaves is also a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in science, a commitment that led to her recognition as a Status of Women Canada Pioneer.

For more information visit the website.

Seminar fosters discussions and lasting connections

 

[RSC Semninar Speakers]
Three Queen's faculty members – Heather Stuart, John McGarry, and Joan Schwartz – will be presenting aspects of their research at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada on Saturday, April 13. (University Communications) 

Members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities will have the opportunity to hear four of Canada’s leading researchers speak about their experiences and discoveries as the university hosts the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada on Saturday, April 13.

For academics in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, being elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) – either as a Fellow or a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists – is one of the highest honours they can achieve.

At the seminar, four RSC members – three from Queen’s and one from University of Ottawa – will provide insights into their work and experiences.

The schedule of presentation includes:
- 10 am: Heather Stuart, Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair, Queen’s — The Nature and Nurture of Mental Illness Related Stigma
- 11 am: John McGarry, Sir Edward Peacock Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Political Studies, Queen’s — ‘The Diplomat’s graveyard’:  Why Resolving the Cyprus Problem is not Easy
- 2 pm: Jamie Benidickson, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa — Sewage Then and Now: Public Health Challenges and Climate Change Opportunities
- 3 pm: Joan Schwartz, Department of Art History and Art Conservation, Queen’s — Rethinking Discursive Origins: Alexander von Humboldt, Photography, and the Pursuit of Geographical Knowledge

The annual event is organized under the guidance of co-chairs John Burge (Dan School of Drama and Music), a Fellow of the RSC, and Amir Fam (Civil Engineering), a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

“Each year this seminar brings together researchers who are leaders in their fields and this year’s group is no exception,” says Dr. Burge. “The sharing of intellectual ideas can be a great stimulus for one’s own creativity and this seminar is a great opportunity to broaden one’s horizons and knowledge base.”

Another goal of the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar is to bring together leading researchers and community members to foster fascinating discussions and lasting connections.

“At the heart of the seminar is the common quest for knowledge and the sharing of perspectives,” says Dr. Fam. “By bringing together speakers from across disciplines the seminar helps foster new contacts and new paths of thought for not only the audience but the presenters as well.”

All events take place at the Queen’s University Club (168 Stuart St.) and talks are open and free to the public. Following the first two presentations a luncheon is being hosted by Principal Daniel Woolf. Registration is required for the luncheon, which costs $30. Registration for the luncheon by Friday, April 5 would be appreciated. RSVP by phone, 613-533-6000 x78797 or email: FEAS.ResearchAdmin@queensu.ca.

For more information about the presentations, visit the Royal Society of Canada website.

Department of Film and Media marks 50 years

  • Students in the Department of Film and Media work on a film set at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
    Students in the Department of Film and Media work on a film set at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • Students in the Department of Film and Media have access to state-of-the-art film-editing technology.
    Students in the Department of Film and Media have access to state-of-the-art film-editing technology.
  • The 90-seat Gordon Vogt Film Screening Room is one of the many modern learning spaces at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
    The 90-seat Gordon Vogt Film Screening Room is one of the many modern learning spaces at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • Students from the Department of Film and Media work with the state-of-the-art equipment available through the DigiLab.
    Students from the Department of Film and Media work with the state-of-the-art equipment available through the DigiLab.

The Department of Film and Media is marking its 50th anniversary and is hosting a celebration April 5-7 that will bring together faculty from the past and present, alumni, and current students at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

50th Anniversary Events
Friday, April 5
6-9 pm: Wine and Cheese Mixer at the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts, 390 King St. W.
Saturday, April 6
Noon-1 pm: Film and Media Department Tours, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
1-4 pm: Special Guest Speakers and Presentations, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
6:30-9:30 pm: 50th Anniversary Gala Cocktail Reception and Dinner, Memorial Hall at City Hall
Sunday, April 7
10 am-Noon: Brunch Reception, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Starting off as the Department of Film Studies in 1969, there has been monumental change as the department has had to keep up with the ever-evolving field, points out Blaine Allan, a professor who has taught in the department since 1980 and is an alumnus himself (Artsci’76).

Early on, Dr. Allan points out, the department primarily focused on cinema before branching out to other media forms such as television and advertising. In recent years, the pace of change has increased exponentially – the internet and social media, podcasts and Netflix – and the department has had to keep pace.

“Change happens extremely quickly so we’re dealing with the contemporary media world, but we’re also dealing with a continually changing view of the media world up until that point,” he says.

As an example access to a motion picture camera once kept filmmaking a relatively exclusive endeavour, but now practically everyone now has the ability to ‘make movies’ with their cellphone.

While technology may change, over the department’s five decades the focus has always been on the student learning experience, providing a solid foundation as they move forward with their studies and future careers.

“Peter Harcourt, the founder of the department, was an academic and a critic, but once he got here he also started producing documentary films through the department,” Dr. Allan says. “As the department established itself he acquired and made sure there was filmmaking equipment – cameras, editing facilities – and felt very strongly that students should not only watch films but have an acquaintance with how movies are made, even at an elementary level.”

The result is graduates such as Peter Raymont (Artsci'72) and Brigitte Berman (Artsci'71, Ed'72) who have gone on to award-winning filmmaking careers.

Sharing and comparing these experiences will be a key element of the anniversary celebrations. A number of events will bring together alumni and faculty from the past with current students and faculty members.

“I think one of the best things that we can do is put alumni in situations where they can have contact with our current students. They can learn something from their predecessors, and the alumni can learn a lot from their counterparts,” Dr. Allan says, pointing to a presentation of senior projects as an example. “I think that should be really interesting and I hope eye-opening all around.”

Another highlight is a ‘Greatest Hits’ program put together by retired faculty members Professor Emeritus Clarke Mackey and Derek Redmond that will feature memorable student projects from over the years.

Full details and registration are available online.

Research storytelling events captivate audiences

[IGnite Research poster]

Featuring topics from medical miracles to environmental policy, the IGnite lecture series has showcased the diversity of research happening at Queen’s to a captivated audience of campus and community members. On Thursday, March 28 the public will hear about the future of gender policy in the Canadian school systems and innovative methods to solve environmental problems.

IGnite is a collaboration between the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and the University Relations portfolio. Each event features two researchers from different fields discussing their projects and research experiences, while also including interactive demonstrations and poster presentations from students and additional researchers. The series offers a public platform where researchers can share what first ignited their curiosity and motivates them to pursue their research.

Lee Airton (Education) is a SSHRC-funded researcher and will present “The future of gender: Policy and practice playing catch-up to an ever-changing phenomenon.” They recently published a popular press book on welcoming gender diversity in everyday life, Gender: Your guide. Dr. Airton has also received a 2017 Youth Role Model of the Year Award from the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity and founded They is My Pronoun (TIMP) and the No Big Deal Campaign

Dr. Airton explains that research should be shared with those it impacts. 

“I study something that is relevant to every single member of the public, but is thought of as something that only transgender people care about: how other people read and respond to our gender expression, every day,” Dr. Airton says. “Events like the IGnite lecture allow me to bring the implications of my research directly to people who might not have thought about how they participate in gender, and encourage them to act on what we know about making gender into a safer and more comfortable experience for everyone.”

Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry Philip Jessop (Chemistry) will discuss his research on carbonated water as it applies to solving environmental problems. An expert in switchable surfactants, Dr. Jessop received the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award in 2008 and is the technical director of GreenCentre Canada.

Dr. Jessop further elaborates that for him IGnite is an opportunity to return the public’s investment in his research.

“Society allows me to do research and it is only fair that in return I let society know what I’m doing,” he says. “I find that many people like to hear about new ways to reduce environmental harm.”

The event, the final in a three-part series for the 2018-2019 academic year, will take place Thursday 6:30-9 pm at the Biosciences Complex at 116 Barrie Street. Registration is free on Eventbrite and light refreshments will be served.

For more information on the series, visit the McDonald Institute’s website.  

Awards Gala to honour trailblazers and community builders

[QUAA Awards Gala recipients]

A former governor of the Bank of Canada, a legal advocate for same-sex couples, and the country’s first Inuk heart surgeon are among the honorees at the upcoming Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) Awards Gala.

“These recipients are trailblazers and community builders,” says Jeremy Mosher (Artsci’08), volunteer president of the QUAA. “Through volunteerism or their jobs, they have made a significant impact on Queen’s, their cities, and the country.”

Chancellor Emeritus David Dodge (Arts’65, LLD’02) is receiving the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honour bestowed by the QUAA. Dr. Dodge had a high-profile career in federal public service, serving as both the deputy minister of health and deputy minister of finance, before being named the governor of the Bank of Canada in 2001. He served as Queen’s chancellor from 2008 to 2014.

Past recipients of the Alumni Achievement Award include NASA astronaut Drew Feustel (PhD’95); former Royal Bank of Canada chief executive officer Gord Nixon (Com’79, LLD’03); and former Princeton University president Shirley Tilghman (Arts'68, DSc'02).

Donna May Kimmaliardjuk (Artsci’11) will receive the One to Watch Award. The former president of the Queen’s Native Students Association is Canada’s first Inuk heart surgeon. She received an Indspire Award and serves as a role model to her community and Indigenous youth.

Kirsti Mathers McHenry (Law’03) is receiving the Alumni Humanitarian Award. She and her wife, Jennifer, are the driving force behind Ontario’s All Families Are Equal Act, which passed in the provincial legislature in 2016. It improved the rights of same-sex parents in a number of ways, including no longer forcing couples who use assisted reproduction to have to adopt their own children.

A total of 11 awards will be handed out. Other recipients include: 

The Queen’s University Alumni Association Awards Gala will take place on April 6 at Ban Righ Hall. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit the Queen’s Alumni website.

Bank of Canada honours Queen’s excellence

​Ryan Riordan receives research grant while three masters students earn scholarships in economics and finance.

Ryan Riordan, an associate professor at Smith School of Business, is this year’s recipient of the Bank of Canada Governor’s Award.

[Ryan Riordan]
The 2019 recipient of the Bank of Canada Governor’s Award is Ryan Riordan, an associate professor at Smith School of Business. 

The Governor’s Award is a research grant for academics who study areas that the Bank of Canada deems important. The grant is worth up to $30,000 a year over two years.

Dr. Riordan, who is also Distinguished Professor of Finance at Smith, says he is delighted to receive the award. While central banks tend to focus on the economy as a whole, his studies delve into the behaviour of individual traders, investors, lenders, borrowers and firms.

“So this award is a confirmation that our research is important to the overall economy,” he says.

Dr. Riordan intends to use the grant to further his research in two areas: the use and misuse of technologies in banking and financial markets; and climate change.

On climate change, Dr. Riordan has teamed up with colleagues from the University of Augsburg in Germany to study how financial markets have responded to the transition to a green economy. They’ve developed a methodology to measure the carbon risk of companies and countries. 

Among their findings to date: the valuation of banks and other financial firms are strongly related to the carbon risk of the firms they finance. And European countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal, as well as Japan, have lower carbon risk than most countries. Canada, South Africa and Brazil have the highest carbon risk.

The Governor’s Award is part of the Bank of Canada’s Fellowship Program. Lawrence Schembri, deputy governor at the bank, says the program aims to “foster collaboration between our researchers and outstanding academics who are advancing knowledge in fields that support the Bank of Canada’s core functions.”

Dr. Riordan joined Smith in 2014. His research into technology’s impact on financial markets has included how high-frequency traders improve stock market efficiency and studying how automated bidders affect the behaviour of human bidders on electronic financial markets and online auctions such as eBay 

In November, Dr. Riordan received Smith’s Research Excellence Award. The annual prize recognizes outstanding research by faculty at the school.

In other news, the Bank of Canada marked International Women’s Day by announcing the recipients of the Master’s Scholarship Award for Women in Economics and Finance. Of the four winners, three are from Queen’s University.

Earning scholarship awards are, from left: Vivian Chu, Sanjana Bhatnagar, Stephanie Renaud. 

Sanjana Bhatnagar is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Economics. Prior to this, she completed a BA Honours in Economics from the University of Calgary and worked at the Bank of Canada as a research assistant. Her areas of research include applied econometrics, macroeconomics and macrofinancial studies.

Vivian Chu is completing a Master of Arts in Economics. She completed a BSc in Financial Modelling at Western University and was a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Awards recipient for two consecutive years. Her research interests include monetary economics and macroeconomics.

Stephanie Renaud is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Economics. She completed her BA in Economics at the University of Ottawa and, as part of the co-op program, she worked at the Department of Finance and received the CO-OP Student of the Year Award for the faculty of social sciences in 2016. Her research interests include macroeconomics, fiscal policy, and monetary policy.

The award includes a $10,000 scholarship and is combined with the opportunity for permanent employment at the Bank of Canada upon successful completion of a master’s degree by a recipient.

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