The interdisciplinary project, “Toppling Monuments: Colonial Trauma, Justice, Heritage, and Restorative Healing”, was recently awarded funding as part of the Wicked Ideas Competition, a Vice-Principal Research initiative to fund and support research collaboration and excellence. The funded "Wicked Ideas" respond to local, national and global challenges by supporting the formation of interdisciplinary research teams that offer the expertise and perspectives needed to tackle these challenges. 

The project, led by Christine Sypnowich (Philosophy, Law), involves scholars in Philosophy, Political Studies, and Law – units at Queen’s that have an outstanding history of collaborative research – teaming up with leading researchers in health sciences and medicine. Collaborating scholars include:

About the project (from the Queen’s Gazette): Debate rages as Kingston struggles with the legacy of its most famous former resident, Sir John A. Macdonald, and his actions against Indigenous peoples whose lands and children were taken. Like communities worldwide, the city is at a historic juncture confronting cultural narratives of racism and dispossession. An interdisciplinary team led by Christine Sypnowich (Philosophy) will examine Kingston as a case study to address the social exclusion and historical trauma inherent in current understandings of heritage. Uniting conceptual investigation, health care practice, and cultural resurgence, the team of Indigenous and settler scholars will consider how community-based art practices can contribute to an inclusive heritage and enable restorative healing for Indigenous and racialized people.

"Toppling Monuments" was previously awarded funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund’s (NFRF) 2020 Exploration competition, a program that encourages scholars to take risks, and that fosters discoveries and innovations that could have significant impacts on our world.