About

The FASS Undergraduate Summer Research Internship invited students to submit a research proposal for a project to work on during the summer of 2019 in collaboration with a permanent FASS faculty member.

By Saleha Anwer, Philosophy

Humour as a Means to Express the Truth in the 21st Century: Navigating Twitter and Satire Through Hegel, Zizek and Kierkegaard

Background

Whether North Americans are watching Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, or any other influential late-night satirist, it is clear that many in North America get their “news” from comedians. A Pew research study in 2007 found that Jon Stewart of the Daily Show (TDS) was voted to be the fourth most trusted journalist in America. According to data from the Pew Research Center’s 2008 Media Consumption Study, 14 percent of 18–24 year-olds watch TDS on a regular basis. While many have written about whether satire explains policy coherently, I approach this question philosophically: how does humour function as a means to approach the truth in the context of “fake news” and “satire”?

Supervisor: Dr. Stuart Murray

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By Samphe Ballamingie, Sociology

The Evolving Role of Public Libraries: Fostering Equity and Building Community

Background

The role of public libraries is rapidly changing; they are no longer just a repository of books and audio-visual materials for lending (McCarthy, 2018). As Ottawa begins consultations over a new central library campus, now is an opportune time to research innovative practices from international libraries. In May 2019, I visited libraries in several northern European cities (Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Oslo and Bergen, Norway; and Copenhagen, Denmark) and interviewed libraries in each location to survey best practices. In July 2019, I studied the Ottawa Public Library, to understand programming more locally. I aimed to better understand the innovative ways libraries build community, while remaining attentive to considerations of social inclusion and equity. Upon coding my data in Nvivo, three themes emerged, all of which helped to elucidate the evolving role of public libraries: the changing nature of librarianship; the diversification of service delivery to ensure ongoing relevance and community engagement; and the importance of public spaces in fostering greater equity and inclusion.

Supervisor: Dr. Paul Williams

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by Andrew Dawson, Psychology

The Effect of External and Internal Moral Identity on Ethical Decision-Making

Background

Prior research has established that in the absence of an absolute standard, people depend on reference points when making evaluations. Studies on the anchoring effect have shown even arbitrary numbers can bias estimates (Furnham & Boo, 2011; Tversky & Kahneman, 1974), while it is an accepted aspect of behavioural economics that the value of gains and losses is determined by one’s current assets (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; Schmidt 2003). The current study examined whether this phenomenon extends to judgments of morality. 

Supervisor: Dr. Johanna Peetz

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by Thea Froehlich, Psychology

Does the Degree to Which an Experience Fulfills our Psychological Needs Affect How we Perceive the Passage of Time?: Linking Self-Determination Theory to the Experience of ‘Time Flying By’ When we are Engaged in a Satisfying Task.

Background:

The current research sought to investigate how psychological need satisfaction and goal self-concordance are related to the subjective experience of time. This research also aimed to fill a gap in the time-estimation literature, by investigating the relationship between these constructs in the context of an active task (i.e. whitewater kayaking). Two studies were conducted to investigate this phenomenon.

Supervisor: Dr. Johanna Peetz

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by Laura Lyons, Geography & Environmental Studies

Urban Forest or Community Woods? How Residents See Trees in Ottawa’s Champlain Park Neighbourhood

Background

In his research on the urban forest in Ottawa’s Champlain Park, Alex Copp (2016) argued that the management of forests is best approached from a neighbourhood perspective. However, his research lacked a survey of neighbourhood residents. The purpose of this research was to fill this gap and explore how residents of Champlain Park relate to their neighbourhood trees. A random sample of homes was conducted, and interviews collected data from 10 homes with an average 19 years living in the area. 

Supervisor: Dr. John Milton

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By Hayden McGowan, Music

‘Recontextualisation in the Ars Subtilior : A guide to the meaningful classification of referential material in a given repertory’

Background

A handful of late fourteenth-century composers known to contemporary scholars as the ars subtilior generated a corpus of secular music rife with compositional experimentation and notational innovation. In light of these characteristics, this music has generally been remembered and studied for its daring complexity. In recent years, some extant scholarship concerned with the presence of intertextuality in the ars subtilior (such as allusion and citation) has demonstrated that the corpus exhibits unusually complex intertextual constructs.

Supervisor: Dr. John Higney

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by Marielle Rochefort, History

De Gaulle dans la presse: An Analysis of Press Reactions to Charles de Gaulle’s 1967 State Visit to Canada

Background

My project analyzed the press coverage of French President General Charles de Gaulle’s 1967 state visit to Canada, paying close attention to the president’s controversial statement of “vive le Québec libre!” This project focused on press reporting and editorializing of two leading Canadian newspapers (the Toronto Daily Star and The Globe and Mail), and two from Quebec (Le Devoir and La Presse), published between July 24 and August 7, 1967.

Supervisor: Dr. Norman Hillmer

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by Lauren Rollit, Journalism & Humanities

Eyes of the Needle: Victorian Sewing Machine Ads and Female Consumption

Background

In the late Victorian period, as growing numbers of families entered economic spheres where women were not required to consistently work, consumption—rather than production—increasingly became essential to the household obligations of middle-class women. By the twentieth century, as scholar Cynthia Wright argues, “shopping had come to form a major part of most women’s lives.” This trend, which has been well-documented by scholars of Canadian history, resulted in middle-class women playing new roles in the Canadian economy and in the marketplace. However, little research has been conducted on the way contemporary advertisements and trade literature perceive and catered to this wave of female consumers.

Supervisor: Dr. Micheline White

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by Tristan Shaeen, Psychology

Is Keeping Your Secret Keeping you up? Proposing a Link between Personal Values, Preoccupation, and Wellbeing in Romantic Relationships

Background

Despite the widespread acknowledgement that keeping secrets is associated with a variety of negative personal and interpersonal health outcomes, a consensus has not yet been reached as to how this common behaviour might precipitate the breadth of physiological, psychological, and social dysfunction to which it has been linked. This is partly because secret-keeping by its very nature presents a serious challenge for scientific study. It is at once a concealed and complex phenomenon, with both inter- and intra-personal facets, consisting of myriad behavioural, cognitive, and emotional processes.

Supervisor: Dr. Chris David

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By Silas Xuereb, Economics & Psychology

Predictors of Support for Strong Leaders in Different Political Systems

Background

Recently, elected leaders such as Viktor Orban in Hungary and Recep Erdogan in Turkey have instituted measures to eliminate checks on their power, and attempted to censor and arrest political opponents (Chong & Gradstein, 2018). At the same time, authoritarian regimes such as China and the oil-rich countries have managed to develop and modernize while maintaining popular support (Dukalskis & Gerschewski, 2017).

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Wohl

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