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Congress 2016


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Message from the President

CSA-SCS President 2015-2016
Dr. Terry Wotherspoon


Message from the President (January, 2016)

The start of a new year brings with it many hopes and exciting events to look forward to as well as concerns and uncertainties carried over from previous years. The recent change in government at the federal level is accompanied by a renewed tone of openness to scientific pursuits, accompanied by promising actions such as the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census, that are welcome measures for social science inquiry and evidence-based decision-making. Encouraging signals are also emerging with formal recognition of issues important to indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees, and many other communities and social sectors with which sociologists are deeply engaged. However, for those concerned that committing sociology will no longer hold the excitement it conveyed when posed as a subversive act, we are reminded that there is no shortage of areas for critical questioning and solid sociological inquiry, analysis and insight are warranted.

The year ahead presents numerous opportunities for members of our sociological community to present our work and engage with one another as well as with members of other publics. For this year’s Congress, which will be in Calgary beginning in late May, abstracts can be submitted until February 1 to any of more than 100 sessions that have been proposed by a combination of Research Clusters and individuals or team collaborations. An overview of session themes demonstrates the tremendous diversity and scope associated with the sociological work that we conduct within or in relation to Canadian society. In addition to this extensive array of disciplinary sessions, this year’s conference also includes many opportunities to showcase interdisciplinary collaboration. In particular, in 2016 both the CSA meetings and Congress-sponsored initiatives will feature a series of proposed activities in relation to the twentieth anniversary of the release of the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples parallel to the recent release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

This year also marks the start of a trio of major international sociological conferences to be held in Canada, with the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society scheduled for Toronto in August, followed a year later by the American Sociological Association in Montreal and subsequently by the World Congress of the International Sociological Association, which will be hosted in Toronto in conjunction with our Association in July, 2018. These events serve as excellent venues through which Canadian sociologists can share and showcase the excellent work they are doing across the nation and in partnership with international collaborators, at the same time enabling us to strengthen connections between the Canadian Sociological Association and its members with other important disciplinary organizations.

Finally, watch for some upcoming announcements over the next several weeks. Under the guidance of Editor Rima Wilkes and Managing Editor Tracey Adams, working with members of the Editorial Board, the Canadian Review of Sociology is introducing an innovative section on Committing Sociology. With Rima’s term coming to an end later this year, there is now a call for a new editor, which will be followed soon by the annual call for nominations to Association Executive positions. Departments are also reminded to consider the selection of their top graduating students at each degree level – the names of recipients can be submitted to the association online until April 1.

I extend New Year’s greetings to all, and best wishes for a productive term.

Terry Wotherspoon

List of past association Presidents