The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences hosts Canada’s largest gathering of academics, and one of the largest in the world. It’s a place to hold critical conversations of our time, hear from a diverse set of voices, share findings, refine ideas, and build partnerships to help shape the Canada of tomorrow. Put simply, Congress is the convergence of scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella at a Canadian university. Every year, for over 90 years, we’ve collaborated with a partner university, participating scholarly associations, and partners to bring you inspiring presentations, panels, workshops, and cultural events.
Congress 2023 will take place at York’s Keele and Glendon Campuses in Toronto. Up to 10,000 scholars, graduate students, and practitioners in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) will come together and share their research face-to-face in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will support equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID), and, building on the first virtual Congress in 2021, feature virtual components to accommodate participants joining remotely.
The third decade of the twenty-first century has brought us into unprecedented times. An unrelenting global pandemic, protests for racial justice, and escalating climate disasters have heightened our awareness of the urgent need for collective action to help us create a more equitable and sustainable world. The lessons from Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, have been joined by new lessons, new reckonings about what is needed to live in non-hierarchical relationships that can truly honour our human differences, while protecting the land, water and air we all need to live together.
In the theme, “Reckonings and Re-Imaginings,” we invite the Congress community to pause and reflect on the lessons we have learned, but also to begin the work of imagining and enacting the terms under which we might create a radically different world. What might it mean for us to commit to knowing and caring for each other across our differences, understanding that the world we want to live in tomorrow is dependent on the action we take together today? Can we re-imagine a new set of social relationships grounded in decoloniality, anti-racism, justice, and preservation of the earth? This invitation for both reflection and action requires a genuine investment in the project of learning and growing, a willingness to participate in active and meaningful co-engagement, and a commitment to exercising patience and care in doing the hard work of changing belief systems and the world.
In Congress 2023, we respond to this call for reflection and action by centering the experiences, knowledges and cultures of Indigenous and Black communities as valuable and critical modes of thought fundamental to the realization of racial and climate justice. In a deepened commitment to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs), we understand the problems of food insecurity, gender disparities, racial inequities, forced migration and others as linked to an accelerating climate disaster, and Black and Indigenous futurities. What might we produce when we reckon with and re-imagine climate mitigation strategies and the UN SDGs through the lens of racial justice and Indigenous resurgence? In centering these conjoined global challenges and possibilities, we are seeking to shift the culture of Congress, to create meaningful space for diverse viewpoints and a profound reckoning with white supremacist forms of knowledge production, while making visible decolonial, anti-racism, queer, and critical disability perspectives. Hosted by one of Canada’s most diverse universities, Congress 2023 welcomes scholars and student researchers, artists, activists, and public intellectuals—including those who have not previously seen themselves or their work reflected in Congress—to engage in deep interdisciplinary scholarly and artistic engagement, and to join this crucial conversation about how we can re-imagine and change the world for the better.
York University is widely recognized as home to one of the largest and most diverse offerings of sociology among Canadian universities, and one of the most innovative with respect to curriculum. York’s two undergraduate Sociology programs are offered in two different locations, by two different faculties. The Department of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, located on the Keele campus in the north of Toronto, draws its orientation from the critical sociology perspective built from its inception in the 1960s. The Department’s identity is found in its openness to diverse approaches to understanding and analyzing the social world. It is known for its emphasis on critical social theory, its commitment to public sociology, and for faculty members that engage in a wide array of research areas. The Department of Sociology / le Département de Sociologie, Glendon College / Collège universitaire Glendon is located on the Glendon campus in midtown Toronto. The department offers an undergraduate Sociology program with small classes within a uniquely bilingual (English-French) environment. Its curriculum incorporates the theoretical perspectives and disciplinary concerns of the English-language, French-language and Indigenous sociological communities. The Graduate Program in Sociology, housed on the Keele campus has a well-established reputation for critical scholarship, interdisciplinarity, and sociological theory. We also have a long tradition of combining scholarship with a commitment to social and economic justice. We welcome a wide diversity of students and offer them the flexibility to study a range of topics, reflecting both the size and intellectual breadth of the faculty.
Congress events will include participants and audience members from various ancestral homelands across Canada and, indeed, around the world. This interactive map will allow you to understand the land on which you are situated. The map was produced by Native Land Digital, an Indigenous-led not-for-profit organization. This map is not to be used as an academic or legal resource, and should be used with an understanding that areas may be incorrect to local nations and individual interpretation.
We extend our respect to all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples for their valuable contributions, past and present.
Read the Federation’s land acknowledgement.