U of S researchers awarded $1.2 million to explore issues from literacy and city planning to magic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 16, 2013 SASKATOON - Nine University of Saskatchewan researchers have been awarded more than $1.2 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - for projects ranging from medieval magic and its echoes in the modern world to literacy for students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and improving urban planning with Aboriginal Peoples in mind.

"I congratulate these outstanding researchers on their success," said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research. "Their dedication and insight will create new knowledge to better understand how our society came to be and how we can build stronger communities in the future."
The funds were granted through SSHRC's Insight Grants and Insight Development Grants programs.
"This investment in social sciences and humanities research is a cornerstone to building Canada's capacity for innovation," said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC. "Through the Insight Grants and Insight Development Grants, we are supporting the highest levels of research excellence. This research will generate knowledge about the past and present that will lead to innovative solutions for today's most pressing social, cultural, technological, environmental and economic issues, and improve the lives of Canadians."
Some of the successful U of S recipients include:
Frank Klaassen (Dept. of History) will receive $53,000 to further his work into the evolution of magic from medieval to modern times, and how it morphed from traditional incantations and esoteric recipes to beliefs that even now have echoes in modern paganism and psychoanalysis.
Ryan Walker (Dept. of Geography and Planning) will receive $344,000 to explore the role of city planning among Canadian Prairie cities in marginalizing Aboriginal people, and how such planning can be improved to help strengthen bonds between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents, ultimately building stronger, healthier communities.
Linda Wason-Ellam (Dept. of Curriculum Studies) will receive $154,000 to test an integrated storytelling and communications tool used to score the reading and writing skills of students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and develop strategies to help these struggling students succeed. By some estimates, FASD students account for about two to five per cent of younger school-aged children.
Li Zong (Dept. of Sociology) will receive $185,000 for the project "Ethnic Attachment and Economic Integration: Case of Chinese Enclave Economy in Vancouver"
David Natcher (Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics) will receive $74,000 for his project, "Northern Plainsmen Revisited: Adaptive Strategies of Agrarian Society in the 21st Century."
Ella Ophir (Humanities and Fine Arts) will receive $47,000 for her project, "A Woman Alone: The Unmarried Working Woman in the Early Twentieth Century."
Maureen Reed (School of Environment and Sustainability) will receive $73,000 for her project, "Linking Gender, Climate Change, Adaptive Capacity and forest-Based Communities in Canada."
Lisa Smith (Dept. of History) will receive $217,000 for "Reconstructing the Lives of Doctor Sloane and His Patients in Eighteenth-Century England."
Graham Strickert (School of Environment and Sustainability) will receive $75,000 for his project, "The Human Dimensions of Water Security: Cultural Biases, Social Relations and Behavioral Strategies."

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations
University of Saskatchewan
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