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Arts in the World

While we take great pride in city and community-building efforts, the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson has a reach that touches the world. Globally, our faculty members are engaging in scholarly initiatives in areas such as social justice and economic liberalization in India; climate change in the Arctic; Canadian World War I resilience captured in Art; environmental governance in sub-Saharan Africa; globalization and food security; and special education services for students in the Bahamas.

Social justice, Anti-Corruption, Poverty Reduction and Economic Liberalization in India

Mitu Sengupta, Politics and Public Administration

Dr. Sengupta is the Director of Research & Development for the Centre for Development and Human Rights, a New Delhi-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social and global justice through human rights and the editor of the organization’s Rights & Development Bulletin. Sengupta is also a board member of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), an international network that aims to leverage the resources of academia towards eradicating global poverty. Her latest research focuses on social justice, anti-corruption movements, poverty and economic liberalization in India. In 2014, she received a CIHR Planning and Dissemination grant for the project: Innovation and Access – The Health Impact Fund to host a workshop that proposes a new way to pay for pharmaceutical innovations to enhance access to medicines. 


Climate Change and the Artic

David Atkinson, Geography

Climate change is having dramatic impacts on our polar regions. Dr. Atkinson leads the Polar Regions Spatial and Environmental Analysis Laboratory (POLAR SEAL), which estimates, maps and detects changes within the low, mid, and high arctic ecosystems. POLAR SEAL uses remote sensing, statistical analysis and modeling to examine changes to snow cover, soil moisture, vegetation cover, biomass and carbon dioxide exchange at different scales. These changes can have broad impacts on the landscape, and on the people who depend on it. His latest research looks at using high resolution remote sensing data to model biophysical variables in the Arctic.

David Atkinson

Maximizing Every Student’s Potential

Jean Golden, Sociology

Scarce government funding, financial hardship and social stigma meant no programs for children with special needs on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. Through extensive networking, Dr. Jean Golden helped to support Every Child Counts School which teaches more than 100 students with learning, development and physical disabilities regardless of their financial status. Dr. Golden connected students from Ryerson’s Social Work and Early Childhood Education programs with Bahamian teachers, parents, and community leaders to deliver educational support and community programs. This year, the team, which will include 20 students who will further develop the Early Childhood Education School, build a vocational training center, create disability awareness educational programs, and support an assisted living centre.


Bringing Canadian Culture to the World

Irene Gammel, English

This past year, Dr. Irene Gammel, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Modern Literature and Culture Centre, delved deeply into the remarkable story of Canada’s first female war artist. At the end of the First World War, Mary Riter Hamilton lived in the trenches at Vimy, Ypres and the Somme to immortalize the Great War through paint and canvas. Thanks to Dr. Gammel and her team, Hamilton is no longer a forgotten heroine; her inspiring story of strength and resilience, and her collection of more than 300 trench paintings have a renewed place on the world stage. Dr. Gammel delivered keynote presentations on Hamilton at the L. M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island and at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.


A Geographical Perspective on China’s Retail Economy

Shuguang Wang, Geography

Dr. Shuguang Wang (Department of Geography) published China’s New Retail Economy: A Geographical Perspective (Routledge, 2014). The book provides a comprehensive assessment of the changes in consumer market behaviour in China, presents an interpretation of the changes in the country’s regulatory system and corresponding policy initiatives, and delivers a systematic analysis of the transformation of the retail sector in the world’s most populous nation. He documents the entry and expansion of foreign retailers, the development of indigenous retail chains as China’s strategy to modernize its retail industry, and the changing retailer.

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Exploring the Role of Chiefs in Governance

Joey Power, History

With the support of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Dr. Joey Power is exploring the role of chiefs in governance from the village to the state level from before colonial rule up to present. She examines original documents found in Rhodes House Library and the National Archives in Britain as well as the Malawi National archives. Dr. Power continues to collect oral traditions, oral histories, family genealogies, proverbs, songs, “folk tales,” and even performative dances which illuminate popular and official understandings of chieftaincy, rights, responsibilities, and the workings of power. This June, she organized panels at the annual Malawi Social Sciences conference for a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to present papers on related topics. Dr. Power is also an articles editor for the Canadian Journal of African Studies.

Joey Power