Drache funded for ambitious interdisciplinary SSHRC initiative

Prof. Daniel Drache, director of York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, and co-author and co-investigator Prof. Seth Feldman, Department of Film & Video, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Graduate Studies, have been awarded a $115,000 SSHRC (Social Sciences & Humanities Council of Canada) grant for a major Research Development Initiative: “Global Cultural Flows, Information Technology and the Re-Imagining of National Communities”. Another key collaborator is Prof. Fred Fletcher, director of the Communication & Culture Graduate Program.

Through the initiative Drache and Feldman aim to determine what impact current global cultural changes will have on Canada’s national, regional and social citizenship practices in the 21st century. “Impacted by global exchanges that have commodified cultural identity, Canada is increasingly described as what sociologist Manuel Castells [University of California, Berkeley] refers to as a ‘network society’ of multiple allegiances and identities,” Drache says.

The key issues Drache and Feldman are investigating are the way global culture flows through immigration and how new civil practices are redefining Canada as a social and economic entity.

One of the outcomes of the initiative will be an infrastructure for ongoing research through a multidisciplinary consortium of Canadian, American, Mexican and European scholars. Their network will be based at the Robarts Centre and at the York/Ryerson Graduate Program in Communication and Culture.

At the end of March, Feldman, Drache and their team of researchers will launch the project at York by hosting a workshop entitled, “Identity, Diversity and Global Culture Flow: Getting a Handle on Issues that Bug Us”.