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2020-21 Research in Review | Research Chairs in LA&PS

2020-21 Research in Review | Research Chairs in LA&PS

The LA&PS Research Office is committed to research excellence, community-engaged scholarship, and supporting knowledge mobilization and research impact.

In this "Research in Review" series, we’re celebrating significant research achievements for 2020-21, including major awards, external grants and funding for a new generation of emerging researchers.

LA&PS is home to leading researchers across fields within the social sciences, humanities, professional studies and more. This past year, several LA&PS faculty were appointed as Canada Research Chairs (CRC) and were recognized internally as York Research Chairs (YRC) for their outstanding achievements. Learn more about each of these faculty members below.

Canada Research Chairs

The CRC Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Out of 8 current LA&PS Canada Research Chairs, three new CRCs, Alan Corbiere, Jennifer Pybus and Christina Sharpe, have been appointed, and one existing CRC, Christopher Kyriakides, has been renewed this year.

Alan Corbiere

Alan Corbiere is an Assistant Professor in the History Department and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America. He proposes to "re-right" and "re-write" Indigenous history by privileging oral traditions, Anishinaabemowin and material culture (museum collections).

"With this CRC I will develop and implement a history course in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language)," explained Corbiere. "I will do this by researching, interrogating, and privileging underutilized sources of Anishinaabe history, specifically elder interviews, historic documents written in Ojibwe, and museum collections, thus aiding in Anishinaabe language/ knowledge revitalization."

Christopher Kyriakides

Christopher Kyriakides, Department of Sociology, holds the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship, Social Justice and Ethno-Racialization.

Drawing from Ethnic and Racial Studies and Refugee Studies to identify racialized refuge as a discrete field of enquiry, Kyriakides’ work on racialized reception contexts globally, stresses, as he explained, that "a robust understanding of 'refuge' requires knowledge of, but cannot be limited to, the historical conditions of racisms (there are multiple and changing forms) in local receiving contexts and that the forms of resistance and negotiation that persons labelled 'refugees' adopt are specific but not limited to the lives and conditions of oppression that catalyzed their 'forced' exile. Creative resistance within and against 'refugeeness' is a key part of everyday life."

Christopher Kyriakides headshot

Jennifer Pybus

Jennifer Pybus has been awarded a Tier 2 CRC in Data, Democracy and AI. Her globally recognized, interdisciplinary research intersects digital and algorithmic cultures and explores the capture and processing of personal data. Her work focuses on the political economy of social media platforms, display ad economies, and the rise of third parties embedded in the mobile ecosystem which are facilitating algorithmic profiling, monetization, polarization and bias.

Her research contributes to an emerging field, mapping out datafication, a process that is rendering our social, cultural and political lives into productive data for machine learning and algorithmic decision-making. Pybus has cultivated strong European links with public organizations and will use her chair to engage Canadians with innovative tools, resources and pedagogy for increasing critical data literacy and democratic debate about artificial intelligence.

Jennifer Pybus headshot

Christina Sharpe

As Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities, Professor Christina Sharpe will create a fulsome and vibrant research hub, rich with innovative research creation practices and projects.

The program will convene the Black Still Life Research Group as a new model of study bringing together established and emerging Black Studies scholars, graduate students, and visual and performing artists whose work investigates the myriad ways Black life is made and lived. Through collaborative, theoretical and community-based research methods, the program will explore interdisciplinary ways of knowing and acting to generate scholarly and creative outcomes in Black Studies knowledges.

The CRC program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. It invests approximately $295 million per year to attract and retain a diverse cadre of world-class researchers, to reinforce academic research and training excellence in Canadian postsecondary institutions. Learn more about the program on the CRC website.

York Research Chairs

The York Research Chairs (YRC) program is envisioned as York University's internal counterpart for the national Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program and recognizes outstanding researchers at York. Our current LA&PS YRCs include scholars from social work, Sociology, Philosophy, DLLL, and SPPA focusing on issues ranging from Human Rights and inclusion, equitable collaboration, animal and child social cognition, settler colonialism and language policies, and social and legal politics of repair, redress and reparations.

Lorne Foster

Lorne Foster is a professor at the School of Public Policy and Administration, Director of the Institute for Social Research, and York Research Chair in Black Canadian Studies and Human Rights.

He emphasized the role this award will play in consolidating his work on public policy formation and inclusive organizational change: "The Black Canadian Studies and Human Rights program is at the forefront of research on the lived experiences of Black people, mapping the structural vulnerabilities and 'quality of life' gaps in society's major institutions, with a view toward a more effective approach to targeted needs assessments and tailored policy solutions."

Learn more about the Blackness in Canada projects by checking this infographic, interim report or visit the project website.

Carmela Murdocca headshot

Carmela Murdocca

Carmela Murdocca is a professor at the Sociology, a Fulbright Scholar and York Research Chair in Reparative and Racial Justice. Her work is concerned with the social and legal politics of repair, redress and reparations.

"The York Research Chair in Reparative and Racial Justice promotes critical reflection and exploration about global and local histories of racial injustice and contemporary socio-legal remediation," explained Murdocca. "The goal of the YRC is to bring together graduate students, faculty and community advocacy groups interested in interdisciplinary analysis and practice of the role of reparative justice in attending to difficult histories of racial injustice."

YRCs are available at two levels analogous to CRC chairs. Tier 1 YRCs are open to established research leaders at the rank of full professor, while Tier 2 YRCs are aimed at emerging research leaders within 15 years of their first academic appointment. Both have five-year terms that are renewable in the context of open competition based on peer review and the continuing availability of resources. Learn more about the YRC program.

For details on other research achievements from 2020-21, head to our accolades page.