If I was writing blog posts by season, then this would be late for the fall edition, and just in time for the end of winter edition. Grant application season has come and gone and I hope that we will hear of some student successes on the SSHRC and OGS grants soon.

The Institute has worked collaboratively with a number of faculty and other departments to co-host some very dynamic speakers and the ICSLAC Talks series is established as an exciting, innovative series of collaborative discussions and lectures. We hosted a public lecture and film screening, The Cost of Sugar by the lovely  and talented Surinamese novelist Cynthia McLeod which was quickly followed by a lecture and workshop by Dr. Jolene Richard, Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and an Associate Professor in the History of Art Department at Cornell University.  Dr. Rickard is also a well-respected member of the Tuscarora Nation and in Art History circles internationally.

We have collaborated with the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA) in these talks as well as for the annual Cultural Transfers workshop series, which pair a faculty member and a PhD student around a specific subject in their research interests. Our next Cultural Transfers workshop is scheduled for Friday, April 7. CTCA is also bringing in Canada’s own Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke for a Poetry Reading and Performance at the Great Canadian Theatre Company and with the English Department for a lecture on campus on March 9, 2017. Professor Homi Bhabha, Director of the Mahindra Humanities Centre will be providing the keynote lecture at The School of Journalism and Communication’s 2nd International Ismaili Studies Conference, March 9. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear one of the most important figures in contemporary post-colonial studies.

With so much excitement in lectures and workshops, it is wonderful to be able to say that our students are flourishing as well. Among the successful proposal defences in the past few months, the second year class is well on their way in preparation for the Comprehensive II examinations and the first year class is finalizing the dates for their Comprehensive I examinations. We are expecting a number of successful dissertation defences in the next few months and the Dissertation Writing Group is meeting regularly most Mondays and Fridays in our seminar room.

I am very pleased to announce that Cecile Wilson, 4th year PhD Candidate, will be participating in the Three Minute Thesis Competition on Wednesday, March 15. If you are able to attend, I know that Cecile will appreciate your support. It is always important to have your own people in attendance! If you have considered participating before, think of this as a stepping-stone to completion of your proposal milestone!  I have heard her speech and it really speaks to why her research is important in today’s world climate.

I will leave you with another one of those fun ICSLAC moments that seem to happen on a regular basis! I had a visit from a member of the Music Department today. As part of his research for his thesis, Ears Wide Shut: Headphones and Moral Design, Dr. Thomas Everrett had borrowed these Jecklin Float Headphones from the 1960s! Enjoy a glimpse into the history of  headphones – can you imagine taking these on the bus in Ottawa?

Have a wonderful March, we will finish off the term with one more coffee hour on Friday, March 31. I hope you can join us! In the interim, Milestone Reports are due in April. If you have not met with your Supervisor recently and know that you have missed a milestone, now would be the time to set up a meeting. I will be in touch soon to schedule Audit Review Meetings. Thank you all for the work that you do – you make our Institute a wonderful place to work and study for everyone!

I will be away from the office from March 9-15 inclusive. Ming Tiampo, Sarah Casteel and Paul Théberge will be sharing duties during my time away. You will be in good hands.

-Dawn –