New Canada Research Chair in Culture and Public Memory
WINNIPEG, MB – The Government of Canada has announced a major investment in research excellence at The University of Winnipeg, with Dr. Angela Failler’s appointment as a new Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Culture and Public Memory — an award valued at $500,000 over five years. Failler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.
Failler’s CRC research will focus on how practices of culture and public memory are used to grapple with the difficult knowledge of historical traumas and their after-effects. She is specifically interested in the potential for these practices to advance reconciliation, redress, and decolonized forms of relating.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has identified culture and public memory as having critical roles to play in reconciliation. As CRC in Culture and Public Memory, Failler heeds the TRC’s call to foster positive social change by acknowledging the continuing legacies of colonial, gendered and racialized violence in society.
“Dr. Failler’s research is vital as both Canada and our own University respond to the TRC Calls to Action,” shared Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “This work will deepen our understanding of historical trauma’s effect, enhancing our teaching and classroom experience for our Indigenous Course Requirement.”
Failler’s research pays particular attention to memorials, museums, commemorative artworks, community-based practices of remembrance, and government sponsored memory projects. She uses collaborative approaches: combining the expertise of scholars, educators, artists, and curators to develop cultural studies in public.
“UWinnipeg’s downtown location provides excellent access to vibrant arts, culture, and heritage sites,” explains Failler. “It is an ideal context in which to be doing this work.”
Failler joined UWinnipeg in 2006 as an Assistant Professor in the departments of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She has been consistently recognized for merit in teaching, research, and administrative service.
UWinnipeg currently has five Canada Research Chairs:
- Dr. Angela Failler – Culture and Public Memory
- Dr. Jeff Martin – Fundamental Symmetries in Subatomic Physics
- Dr. Christopher Wiebe – Quantum Materials Discovery
- Dr. Charles Wong – Ecotoxicology
- Dr. Evelyn Peters – Inner-City Issues, Community Learning, and Engagement
Failler joined UWinnipeg in 2006 as an Assistant Professor in the departments of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Since then she has been consistently recognized for merit in teaching, research and administrative service.
Failler is Principal Investigator of an ongoing research program on public memory of the 1985 Air India bombings, an underrepresented event that continues to inform social and political life in Canada including anti-terrorism legislation and perceptions of national belonging, threat and security. Her research and publications have opened scholarly discourse on this topic and earned her recognition on national and international stages.
In 2011 Failler helped establish UWinnipeg’s Cultural Studies Research Group (CSRG). Soon thereafter she was awarded a Chancellor’s Research Chair (2012-15), the University’s highest form of recognition for research potential and excellence. In this capacity she launched the CSRG’s first collaborative project involving case studies of various facets of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Concurrently she served a three-year term as Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and won the Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence (2012).
In 2015 Failler secured a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for Thinking through the Museum: Difficult Knowledge in Public (2015-2018), which she directs with co-investigators at Concordia and Carleton universities. Thinking Through the Museum brings together researchers, museum professionals, curators, artists, and communities seeking new terms of engagement for learning from histories of violence and conflict.
Failler has also recently joined UWinnipeg’s Dr. Heather Milne (English) to co-lead Museum Queeries, which prioritizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer and Two-Spirit contributions and interventions into museums and museum studies. This project takes up the idea of “queerying” not only to address representations of gender and sexuality in museums and other public sites of display, but to challenge normative formations including sexism, white privilege, racism and settler colonialism, as they operate alongside and with transphobia and homophobia.
The Canada Research Chairs program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. The program invests $300-million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.
The University of Winnipeg gratefully acknowledges the funding received from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund in aid of research infrastructure. Every year, the federal government invests in research excellence in the areas of health sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities through its three granting agencies. The Research Support Fund reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. Please visit the Research Support Fund.
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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