Faculties to showcase interest in interdisciplinary research

The academic space is a diverse place, composed of various forms of evidence. Increasingly, the conversation around what constitutes evidence, and what type of evidence ought to be applied to bring change, has become a critical topic of discussion.

These factors have induced many graduate students’ curiosity and desire to unpack critical social topics. This has been done through engagement in an open dialogue regarding how contemporary social topics are viewed and addressed, within the specific academic disciplines and faculties, and how these topics can be investigated in an interdisciplinary manner.

Furthermore, students have become interested in exploring foundational philosophical and methodological positioning used within the respected disciplines to address these topics.

Graduate students and faculty members from the faculties of Music, Information and Media Studies (FIMS) and Law will come together for the second annual student-led interdisciplinary symposium, FIMULAW 2018, April 13 in the FIMS/Nursing Building. FIMULAW 2018 provides graduate students and faculty members an opportunity to present new ideas, and engage in an open dialogue with individuals from the other participating faculties.

During this year’s research day, presentations will be offered in the form of panels, lightning talks, performances and posters. Panel presentations will address the topics of mental health and deconstructing privilege. Three-minute lightning talks and poster presentations will highlight multiple areas of research, and performance presentations will offer insight into the research practices of music performance students. Throughout the day, FIMULAW attendees will be provided with space and time to engage in a question and answer period intended to stimulate lively discussions and dialogues.

As a fourth-year PhD candidate in FIMS, I have had the opportunity to partake in the student working group, which has taken on the responsibility of organizing FIMULAW for the past two years. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the organizing committee, particularly because I met students and faculty members from the Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Law. I have also enjoyed learning about the various approaches to researching a particular topic, and have been intrigued by many participants’ interdisciplinary research – which illustrated the connections between the three varying disciplinary traditions.

For this year’s FIMULAW research day, I am particularly excited about the topics selected for the panel presentations, and hope to learn about the topics from the participants’ research vantage point. I am excited to see how students unpack these topics and link them to other critical social topics relevant to the Canadian context such as equity/ inequity, indigenous affairs, immigration, artificial intelligence, copyright and much more.

Lastly, I am grateful to John Capone, Vice-President (Research), Juan Luis Suárez and Mark Daley, Associate Vice-Presidents (Research) for their continued support of FIMULAW. This student-led research day would not have been possible without their support. I am also thankful to Cathy Benedict, Director of Research, Faculty of Music; Jacquie Burkell, Assistant Dean of Research, FIMS; Valerie Oosterveld, Associate Dean, Faculty of Law; and Karen Kueneman, Research Officer for all three faculties, for their guidance and support in the planning process. Finally, I am thankful to my colleagues and fellow students on the organizing committee who have, and are still, working tirelessly to make this symposium a unique experience for other students and faculty members.

Shamiram Zendo is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.