Student storytellers enjoy success
By Anne Craig, Communications Officer
Showcasing innovative research from Queen’s University has earned three students an opportunity to showcase their storytelling talents for a national audience.
Political Studies students Justin Mathews and Nikolas Lopez as well as Cultural Studies PhD candidate Jessica Jacobson-Konefall ranked among the top 25 participants in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s “Research for a Better Life: The Storytellers” student challenge.
Mr. Mathews (Artsci’14) and Mr. Lopez (Artsci’14) were the first undergraduate students ever to have placed in the top 25. They chose to showcase the research of Queen’s professor Heather Bastedo, Royce Koop (University of Manitoba) and Kelly Blidook (Memorial University). The SSHRC-funded research studies the lives of members of Parliament and how they work with and represent their constituents. The unique video features a wide range of Queen’s students talking about the research in small, scripted clips.
“We saw an opportunity to focus on that research team because there has been little research done in the area of Canadian municipal politicians,” says Mr. Mathews. “We wrote a speech about the research and created a video with students speaking about the research and why the research matters.”
The duo’s story was selected because it fit the criteria of explaining where the research is taking Canada, what the research story is, and how it impacts Canadians.
Ms. Jacobson-Konefall’s video showcases her research at Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery in Winnipeg. Her work, funded by a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, studies Indigenous new media art and the ways in which these artworks shape and defy perceptions of Canadian cities.
“In this video, I wanted to explain how art historical research can contribute to urgent discourses of Indigenous social justice, and advance strategies of productive Indigenous-settler collaboration,” she says.
The three students have qualified for the next competition at SSHRC’s 2014 Congress in May at Brock University, with the top teams there advancing to the national competition.
Visit the SSHRC website for information on “The Storytellers” student challenge.