Topic: ideas from the trenches

The resistance of Black Canada: State surveillance and suppression

Canada's history of suppressing Black activism is coming to light like never before, thanks to researchers like PhD student Wendell Adjetey. Wendell's historical research uncovers evidence of clandestine government surveillance in the 20th century, while also bringing to life overlooked parts of this history.

Have insomnia? Blame the Romantic poets

Scientists still don't fully understand why and how insomnia strikes. But how we talk about the condition may be found in the works of those who first wrestled with the disorder frankly and openly: the poets of England's Romantic era.

The edge of musical thinking: Capturing the spirit of tango and vibrato

There’s a purity to music. It takes us into its own world, far removed from frustrations and challenges of daily life. But hidden within those innocent-sounding musical flourishes, there often lies a history of passionate disagreement.

Decolonization: The Next 150 on Indigenous Lands

Canada’s celebration of its 150th birthday has provoked a lot of mixed feelings. When Canada was created, the government was committed to eradicating the First Nations people who occupied the land for thousands of years—a fact we now acknowledge but have barely begun to reckon with.

Undoing Linguicide: The legal right to the survival of Indigenous languages

Lorena Fontaine is battling to revive aboriginal languages -- languages that have been quashed and brought to the brink of extinction by Canada's residential school system. She is completing her PhD at the University of Manitoba, and argues that Canadian Indigenous communities have a legal right to the survival of language. For her, it's a race against time that must not be lost.

The dangerous game: Gamergate and the "alt-right"

Emma Vossen’s love of gaming started when she was a kid growing up in small-town Ontario. Now as a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo Games Institute, she looks to gamer culture as a microcosm of how sexism is seeded and replicated within broader society, and she draws connections between gamer culture and the rise of the political extreme right.

The Post-Modern Chimpanzee's Guide to Parenting

Evolutionary anthropologist and University of Toronto PhD student Iulia Badescu spent a year camped out in a Ugandan jungle to observe chimp parenting. She noticed behaviours that didn't quite fit the way chimp parenting has traditionally been documented.
Ideas

The Open Mind: Are 'unconscious' patients more conscious than we think?

New scientific tools are opening windows into what goes on inside another person's mind. People who'd once have been judged 'vegetative' or 'lacking awareness', might now be able to show they're 'still there', and ultimately communicate with the outside world through a brain scan. Philosophy PhD student Andrew Peterson is embedded with scientists at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University and considers the ethical and moral questions emerging from this cutting edge research.

Return of the Michif Boy: Confronting Métis trauma

PhD student Jesse Thistle was once a high school drop-out who spent more than a decade in and out of homeless shelters, consumed by drug and alcohol addiction. By reconnecting with his birth mother and spending time with his Métis elders he came to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma. His award-winning historical research shines a light on the struggles and the resilience of Métis 'road-side allowance' communities in northern Saskatchewan.

Yes and No: The problem of bad referendums

From Brexit to Turkey, the use of referendums is on the rise around the world. They're seen as a way of getting politicians and experts out of the way to let 'the people' decide on major policy decisions, and making democracy work more directly. Leah Trueblood is a PhD student at Oxford University. She warns that ill-conceived referendums are actually dangerous for democracies.

Ideas from the Trenches - Refuge

The sense of a moral duty to give refuge to a stranger in need resonates across human cultures and deep into our history. However, as PhD students Kiran Banerjee and Craig Damian Smith argue, the values of the nation state can clash with our profound moral beliefs, creating big problems when we try to apply and honour international human rights. To get beyond this clash, they propose a radical re-thinking of the institutions that shape how nations respond to the voices of refugees.

Ideas from the Trenches - Too Dumb for Democracy

Producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic meet University of British Columbia student David Moscrop. He argues that modern democracy just isn't built right for our brains. and so it dooms us into dumb thinking. He's got an idea for fixing that.

Ideas from the Trenches - Crazy in Love

Falling in love. Over the moon. Love-struck. These tropes are embedded in both high and popular culture. PhD student Elissa Gurman finds that the crazy-woman-in-love narrative captured in 19th century novels ended in two ways: thankless marriage or death. She also argues that the depictions found in these novels continue to have widespread repercussions today.

Ideas from the Trenches - Just Trying to Help

There are 50,000 PhD candidates in Canada, toiling away in relative obscurity, immersing themselves in fascinating research that rarely sees the light of day. In this episode, producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic meet recent Western University PhD graduate Marylynn Steckley. She spent six years in Haiti, learning about the effects of slavery, colonialism and racism, and finding inspiration in an emerging peasant movement.
Ideas

Ideas from the Trenches - Why We Obey

As part of our continuing series turning a young scholar's work into radio, Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic profile Serbulent Turan, an emerging political scientist at the University of British Columbia. He is asking why people willingly put up with oppression and -- on the flip side -- what's needed to spark a revolution.
Ideas

Ideas from the Trenches - Force of Habit

There are 50,000 PhD candidates in Canada, toiling away on things their friends and families often don't understand. Part of our continuing series turning a young scholar's work into radio, Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic meet Kristin Rodier -- a newly minted philosophy PhD at the University of Alberta. She studies how we think about habit. Habits are normally understood as either virtue or vice, but as a philosopher she looks at what happens when those habits are disrupted with an eye to social change.

Ideas from the Trenches - The Education Gap

There are about 50,000 PhD candidates in Canada, toiling away for years in relative obscurity. This is the second of an occasional series which attempts to turn their research into an hour of radio. In this episode, producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic follow the work of PhD student Kimberley Tavares. Initially driven to understand why a disproportionate number...

Ideas from the Trenches - The Living Dead

There are about 50,000 PhD candidates in Canada. Most of them toil away for years in relative obscurity. This is the debut of an occasional series which tries to turn their research into an hour of radio. In this episode, producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic follow the work of PhD student Myriam Nafte, who studies the circulation and...

Ideas from the Trenches: The Theatre of News

There are about 50,000 PhD candidates in Canada, toiling away for years in relative obscurity. This is the third episode in our series that attempts to turn their research into an hour of radio. In this episode, producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic follow the work of McGill University post-doctoral student Stephen Wittek. He studies how theatrical plays in Elizabethan...