Day: March 2, 2015

Call for abstracts: GSCS Interdisciplinary Student Conference, Mar 31, 2015

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Call for abstracts: The UBC Graduate Student Council of Sociology (GSCS) seeks paper proposals for its eighth annual interdisciplinary graduate conference taking place May 9, 2015 at the University of British Columbia (Learning Exchange Center).

Abduction: Embracing the “alien” aspects of social research

In methods courses, social science students are taught the research process is straightforward: there  is a “formula” for coming up with a research question, for gathering data, and for turning data into theory. In practice, students learn that research is anything but formulaic–questions change, interview protocols and surveys evolve, and once-foundational points of reference in the literature lose sway in the process. To bring these familiar yet taboo topics into the foreground, some sociologists have begun to advocate for an “abductive” approach to sociological research, where the actual process of theorizing is made explicit. Unlike grounded theorists, who claim that theories can emerge cleanly from the data, or more traditional sociologists who claim to “deduce” objective truths, abductive sociologists take a more practical view of research as an iterative back-and-forth between questions and answers, theory and data, researchers and participants.

We invite conference participants to present the behind-the-scenes aspects of their research projects. How do you move beyond empirical observations to constructing a theory? How do you reconcile existing theoretical conversations with this new data? What does the practice of social science research really involve? Instead of focusing on research results, the idea for this conference is to focus on the research process. Panels will consist of 5-8 minute self-reflexive presentations on topics such as:

Turning ideas and observations into a research topic
Finding the “right” literature
Gathering data – dealing with unexpected results
Moving beyond empirical observations to construct a theory
Introducing research insights into the academic conversation

If reading this list brings to mind a vivid moment of your research experience, go on this! We are looking for panelists to recount personal experiences of a hurdle in the research process, along with insights or strategies they’ve developed as a result. Abstracts can be a summary of this experience.

Presentation-based panels mean no papers are required. Presentations will be used as a lifting off point for group discussions of similar research issues and solutions.

Keynote speaker: David Wachsmuth, Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellow and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia

Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words to: with the subject heading “GSCS 2015 Conference Abstract.” The deadline for abstracts is: March 31st, 2015.

Abstract submissions from all social science/humanities disciplines are welcome!

Decolonizing Bolivia’s History of Indigenous Resistance

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Decolonizing Bolivia’s History of Indigenous Resistance

  • Elisa Vega Sillo, Director of Bolivia

    Elisa Vega Sillo, Director of Bolivia’s Depatriarchalization Unit in the Vice Ministry of Decolonization | Photo: Youtube

Published 17 February 2015
Elisa Vega Sillo interviewed by Ben Dangl.

Shortly after the October 12th elections last year which granted President Evo Morales a third term in office with over 60 percent of the vote, I visited the government’s Vice Ministry of Decolonization. The Vice Ministry is first of its kind and a center for the administration’s efforts to recover Bolivia from what is seen by much of the country’s indigenous majority as 500 years of colonialism, imperialism and capitalism since the arrival of the Spanish.

The walls of the Vice Ministry’s offices were decorated with portraits of indigenous rebels Túpac Katari and Bartolina Sisa who fought against the colonial Spanish in 1781. I sat down to talk with Elisa Vega Sillo, the current Director of the Depatriarchalization Unit in the Vice Ministry of Decolonization, a former leader in the Bartolina Sisa indigenous campesina women’s movement, and a member of the Kallawaya indigenous nation. In the interview. Elisa spoke about the unique work of the Vice Ministry of Decolonization, the role of historical memory in the country’s radical politics, and the importance of decolonizing Bolivia’s history of indigenous resistance.

Ben Dangl: Could you please describe the type of work you do here in the Vice Ministry of decolonization?

Elisa Vega: We develop public policies against racism, against discrimination toward people with different abilities, the elderly, indigenous people. We also work on issues related to machismo and patriarchy. These are things we discuss and work on with young people, to help them question and raise awareness about these issues, because no one is questioning them… Another part of our work involves the issue of decolonization and the recuperation of our [indigenous] knowledge and skills.

…Read More

Pre-hispanic Recipe Book from Mexico

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For those interested in Indigenous foods and cooking practices of the Americas, here is a .PDF version of a bilingual cookbook compiled of pre-hispanic recipes from all over Mexico. This blog features many other interesting resources.

Job – Tenure Track Position to Support Aboriginal Initiatives at Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Apr 15, 2015

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SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY– The Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia seeks outstanding candidates for a tenure-track position (Rank: assistant or associate professor) to support our initiatives to incorporate an understanding of aboriginal issues and perspectives into our programs. The School has taken an important first step by establishing the Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership, now in its second year. In addition to bringing expertise to support best delivery of this program, the individual will be expected to support students as well as faculty members who wish to incorporate aboriginal issues and ways of thinking into their courses across the School’s curriculum. While the primary responsibility will be providing this expertise, the successful candidate will also have a strong research and publication record in one or more of our existing areas of business including, but not limited to, organizational behaviour, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, or strategy. Additionally, the candidate must have demonstrated teaching competence in one of those areas at the undergraduate, graduate, and/or executive education levels. A Ph.D. is required. Candidates of Aboriginal heritage are preferred.

The Beedie School of Business is accredited by both AACSB and EQUIS, and is signatory to Principles for Responsible Management Education. We have programs at the Undergraduate, Masters, Ph.D., and Executive levels, including Canada’s first Executive MBA program.

The school is the recent recipient of a record-setting $22 million gift from alumnus Ryan Beedie and his father Keith. The donation will bolster the faculty’s already strong position as a global leader in research.

With three award-winning British Columbia campuses located in Burnaby, Surrey and downtown Vancouver, Simon Fraser University offers a strong research environment in a dynamic Pacific Rim setting that is ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the world’s most livable cities. For further details about the Beedie School of Business, visit our website at

In accordance with the requirements of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Simon Fraser University is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from all qualified women and men, including visible minorities, aboriginal people, and persons with disabilities. All positions are subject to budgetary approval.

Under the authority of the University Act, personal information required by the University for academic appointment competitions will be collected. For further details see:

For further details regarding these tenure-track positions see the following web site:

Send cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching and research statements, and recent teaching evaluations (in separate electronic files, pdf preferred) to (please use only this email address) and three signed letters of reference to:


Chair of the Appointments Committee

Beedie School of Business

Simon Fraser University

8888 University Drive

Burnaby, British Columbia Canada V5A 1S6

Search closes April 15, 2015 or when position is filled.

CFP – Human Being Human: Cultural, Social & Political Thought Graduate Conference, Due: Mar 13, 2015

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The Graduate Students of the Cultural, Social & Political Thought program at the University of Victoria are pleased to share with you the details of our upcoming conference:
UVic-CSPT-Grad-Conference-2015-CFP-poster (web)
University of Victoria (BC, Canada)
Keynote Address: Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University)
If you are interested in participating, our deadline for submissions is March 13, 2015.
For more information please see the attached documents or visit

Sharing Our Wisdom: A Holistic Aboriginal Health Initiative Conference; 9-4:30 pm, May 20, 2015

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Attention Elders, Youth, Community Members, Helpers who work in Aboriginal health (e.g., Counsellors, Social Workers, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, MDs, Psycholgists, Psychiatrists, Front Line Workers, Outreach workers) and anyone else interested in learning about Aboriginal Healthcare strategies and practices….


This research project originated out of discussions and research with the urban Aboriginal community which taught us that community based research, Indigenous Knowledge, and knowledge translation are important and have much to offer academia. An underlying theme of this project was to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of traditional Aboriginal healing knowledge when addressing health inequities experienced by Aboriginal peoples. With the guidance of the Aboriginal Health Working Group (Aboriginal Elders and community members who specialize in Aboriginal health) we developed 7 holistic health circles (workshops) to: engage Aboriginal participants in learning about Aboriginal health practices; facilitate a healthier life context; work towards the prevention of risk factors for health issues and validate and create a better understanding of the utility of traditional healing practices. The research question was twofold: 1) Do Aboriginal traditional health practices provide a more meaningful way of addressing health strategies for Aboriginal peoples? 2) How does the participation in health circles, based on Aboriginal traditional knowledge, impact the health of Aboriginal peoples? We recruited Aboriginal community members to participate in the research. We gathered information through focus groups and interviews with participants’ about their health knowledge and practices before and after health circle attendance; documented their experiences of the health circles, and illuminated how they perceive it has affected their overall health and view of traditional health practices.

We want to SHARE OUR WISDOM and the findings from the project through an interactive Aboriginal Health conference day. Please join us for the day to engage in dialogue concerning Aboriginal health.


PANEL- Aboriginal Elders and Community Members will share their experiences with this project

Lunch, door prizes, entertainment and great dialogue will be provided!

If you would like to attend this FREE conference

Please register and pass along to others!!

We would like to thank the VANCOUVER FOUNDATION for their generous funding for this research project!

Have questions about Sharing Our Wisdom: A Holistic Aboriginal Health Initiative Conference? Contact Indigenous Peoples Research Partnerships and the Aboriginal Health Working Group