Jennifer Evans head shotThe Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSRHC) announced the results of the October 2019 Insight Grants funding competition. Included among Carleton’s winners was an award of $371,359 for “Hate 3.0: Memory, Populism, and Misinformation in the Canadian Social Mediascape.” This project, led by Principle Investigator and History Professor Jennifer Evans is a 5 year grant with SSHRC and also the Department of Heritage’s Joint Initiative for Digital Citizen Research. Co-researchers on the project include History professors Shawn Graham and Laura Madokoro along with colleagues professors Sandra Robinson and Merlyna Lim in Carleton’s Communications Department. Students from all levels of study will be hired to aid in the creation of learning modules for teachers, social workers, and police that will allow users to recognize misinformation and build resilience. More details on the project can be found below.

About the Project:

This SSHRC supported project, Hate 3.0: Memory, Populism, and Misinformation in the Canadian Social Mediascape, explores how populist narratives enter and circulate in public discourse on social platforms. Over the course of this project, one of our key objectives is to understand how harmful speech about immigration, multiculturalism, gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights are circulated by far-right groups to become normalized as legitimate discourse within the Canadian mediascape. Across the next five years, our research will examine how the deliberate distortion of the historical record is used to build an alternative collective memory as a core feature of populist strategies to undermine minority rights and cultures in liberal democracy. The research will identify the tactics, strategies, and repertoires among such groups and individuals through a multiplatform critical analysis of social media.

We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers in history, communication and media studies, and digital humanities at Carleton University involved in this project. Together, we have experience with large-scale digital projects and expertise in the national and transnational literature on hate speech, denial, social media, race and immigration, populism, and data studies, and we are well-positioned in the nation’s capital to bring this research to wider publics in government, education, and civil society.

Please see the backgrounder by our collaborator Laura Madokoro on hate speech and Canadian multiculturalism on our Commentary page, and more context about the project here.

About SSHRC Insight Grants:

SSHRC has awarded $91 million in funding to more than 1,253 researchers from 60 different Canadian institutions, following the 2019-20 Insight Grants competition.

The projects undertaken by the funded researchers will address topics such as:

  • social media and mental well-being;
  • how climate risks affect banks’ financial losses, liquidity and decisions related to loans; and
  • transitional housing and permanent housing for homeless people.

SSHRC is dedicated to supporting an inclusive and diverse research environment. Of the funded researchers, 644 (51%) self-identified as women, 34 (3%) as Indigenous peoples, 168 (13%) as members of visible minorities and 40 (3%) as persons with disabilities.