Arts research featured in The Conversation

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The Conversation is an independent, open access source of news and views from the academic and research community in Canada and around the world. This page offers a compilation of articles published in The Conversation by Waterloo Arts scholars.

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Why DEI in Canada struggles to uplift Black people

Canada was never designed to be a space for unequivocal diversity, equity or inclusion. Rather, DEI initiatives are based on policies that maintain an unequal status quo.

Why the term ‘DEI’ is being weaponized as a racist dog whistle

April 23, 2024

The term DEI has increasingly been co-opted to attack and undermine the positions, qualifications and abilities of racialized people.

How ‘white’ fragility perpetuates anti-Black racism in Arab societies

April 10, 2024

Insights from the book White Fragility also shed light into racism in Arab society.

Nine years after #OscarsSoWhite, a look at what’s changed

It’s been nine years since #OscarsSoWhite called out a lack of diversity at the Oscars. Has anything changed? Prof. Naila Keleta-Mae and actress Mariah Inger unpack the progress.

Canada should provide Indigenous languages with constitutional protection

March 6, 2024

The video game industry is booming. Why are there so many layoffs?

February 11, 2024

Kenzie Gordon, University of Alberta; Jennifer R. Whitson, University of Waterloo; Johanna Weststar, Western University, and Sean Gouglas, University of Alberta

Recent waves of layoffs shine a light on the systemic issues in the game industry and the post-graduation promises universities are making to students.


‘American Fiction’ is a scathing satire that challenges pop-culture stereotypes of Blackness

December 14, 2023

Vershawn Young was a guest on The Conversation's podcast Don't Call Me Resilient to discuss the lead character of the new movie American Fiction and why Black stereotypes remain so persistent in pop culture.

Improved employment policies can encourage fathers to be more involved at home

December 10, 2023
Kim de Laat, University of Waterloo; Alyssa K Gerhardt, Dalhousie University, and Andrea Doucet, Brock University

If more Canadian fathers are to harness the benefits of parental leave and remote work, we need to design employment and care policies in ways that recognize every family’s unique needs.

Endometriosis: It’s time to change the pattern of pain, stigma and barriers to diagnosis and treatment

Endometriosis often means years of severe pain, lost productivity and dismissed symptoms before getting a diagnosis — followed by ineffective treatment. New funding aims to change this pattern.

Equitable sentencing can mitigate anti-Black racism in Canada’s justice system

Impact of Race and Culture Assessments can reduce the overrepresentation of Black people in the justice system.

The media must stop enabling Trump’s attention-seeking use of fascist rhetoric

November 20, 2023
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo

Instead of giving Trump’s fascist rhetoric a wider audience, news organizations must simply point out he’s attempting to dehumanize his fellow citizens, create a path to violence and destroy democracy.

Gaza’s ‘graveyard’ for children: Why Palestinians must be included in the international refugee protection regime

November 1, 2023
Maissaa Almustafa, University of Waterloo

Amid their enduring statelessness and the ongoing risk of ethnic cleansing, Palestinian refugees must be protected under the provisions of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

In defence of Bill C-282: Canada’s supply management supports farmers while safeguarding consumers

October 25, 2023
Bruce Muirhead, University of Waterloo and Jodey Nurse, McGill University

If Canada wishes to preserve domestic farms and enhance food security, officials must have limits on what they can concede to American and other foreign interests.

Talking about science and technology has positive impacts on research and society

October 18,2023
Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, University of Waterloo; Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo, and Mary Wells, University of Waterloo

Conversations about scientific research and technological innovations allow the public to build trust with experts, and understand the impacts on everyday lives.

Donald Trump’s victim rhetoric will boost his popularity following latest indictment

August 2, 2023
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo

Donald Trump’s legal woes will nourish and strengthen his rhetorical style, and his followers will continue to be persuaded by how he makes them feel, not by reason, facts or critical thought.

Beyond the hype: How AI could change the game for social science research

July 3, 2023
Igor Grossmann, University of Waterloo

Large language models are becoming increasingly capable of imitating human-like responses, creating opportunities to test social science theories on a larger scale and with much greater speed.

The stabbing attack at the University of Waterloo underscores the dangers of polarizing rhetoric about gender

June 30, 2023
Shana MacDonald, University of Waterloo and Alysia Kolentsis, University of Waterloo

The stabbings at the University of Waterloo remind us that violence for daring to stand in a classroom and speak is still ever-present.

Trans and gender-diverse people in Saskatchewan need better access to primary care

June 14, 2023
Alana Cattapan, University of Waterloo and Gwen Rose, University of Saskatchewan

Improving the health of people who are trans and gender diverse means improving access to family doctors who are supportive, competent and confident in providing access to gender-affirming care.

Canadian police are becoming more militarized, and that is damaging public trust

June 4, 2023
Tandeep Sidhu, University of Waterloo

Canada’s police services are becoming increasingly militarized. This undermines the fundamental aims of policing and fosters public distrust of police.

Toddlers can engage in complex games as they get to know each other over time

May 8, 2023
Zhangjing Luo, University of Toronto; Hildy Ross, University of Waterloo; Michal Perlman, University of Toronto; Nina Howe, Concordia University

A unique dataset from 32 children on 36 different play dates provided the opportunity to study how young children develop peer relationships, and how consistent they are with different children.

Jameson Shapiro shooting trial: Why police trials perform a vital public service

May 4, 2023
Patrick G. Watson, Wilfrid Laurier University; Carmen Nave, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Tandeep Sidhu, University of Waterloo

A criminal trial is a venue where not only individual police officers accused of crimes are put under public scrutiny, but so too are the training and tactics that officer received.

The grieving mother of a murdered teen pleads for a stronger social safety net

April 12, 2023
Rashmee Singh, University of Waterloo

Andrea Magalhaes hasn’t demanded vengeance since her son was murdered — she’s called for expanding the social safety net to address the root causes of crime. Public officials should listen to her.

The AI arms race highlights the urgent need for responsible innovation

March 19, 2023
Marcel O'Gorman, University of Waterloo

Over the past decade, a number of companies, think tanks and institutions have developed responsible innovation initiatives to forecast and mitigate the negative consequences of tech development. But how successful have they been?

The limits of expert judgment: Lessons from social science forecasting during the pandemic

March 19, 2023
Igor Grossmann, University of Waterloo, Cendri Hutcherson, University of Toronto, Michael Varnum, Arizona State University

To find out how well social scientists can predict societal change, researchers ran the largest forecasting initiative in the field’s history. Here’s what they found.

As eligibility for MAID expands, the ethical implications of broad access to medically assisted death need a long, hard look

January 31, 2023
Andrew Stumpf, University of Waterloo

Since 2016, Canada’s practice of offering MAID has followed a trajectory of ever-expanding eligibility. The ultimate expansion would make MAID available to anyone who wanted it, for any reason.

The humanities should teach about how to make a better world, not just criticize the existing one

January 10 2023
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo

To address declining humanities enrolments, these programs should ensure they offer more than critical theory for identifying and analyzing problems.


Canadian engineers call for change to their private ‘iron ring’ ceremony steeped in colonialism

Engineers say the current ‘iron ring’ ritual is steeped in colonial worldviews and excludes the public from understanding engineers’ ethical obligations.

Being the ‘only one’ at work and the decades long fight against anti-Black racism

Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter has placed its user-generated archives in danger

November 22, 2022
Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo

Over the past 16 years, Twitter has amassed an incredible amount of user-generated data which contains a detailed and extensive record of cultural moments. Musk’s takeover threatens these archives.

What are ‘furries?’ Debunking myths about kids identifying as animals, and litter boxes in schools

Back to school: Time to revisit strategies for child and family mental health

August 30, 2022
Nicole Racine, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa; Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo, and Stephanie G. Craig, University of Guelph

There are important strategies families can use to help promote mental health as kids head back to school and daily routines change.

How displaced Syrians effectively navigated ‘border frictions’ in Lebanon and Turkey

August 15, 2022
Suzan Ilcan, University of Waterloo and Secil Dagtas, University of Waterloo

Many displaced Syrians responded to harsh border controls by passing through permeable borders, using alternative routes and relying upon the use of smugglers and social networks.

Why the Jan. 6 hearings should be making corporations nervous

August 3, 2022
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo

It’s easy to consider the erosion of democratic norms in the U.S. as purely political, but it poses serious risks to the country’s economic order. Is democracy in the gallows?

Pope’s long-awaited apology for Indian Residential Schools in Canada is a ‘first step’

Whether this apology has truly advanced the goal of healing may become evident only in years and decades to come.

Social assistance cuts are contributing to high rates of HIV, syphilis in Saskatchewan

June 14, 2022
Alana Cattapan, University of Waterloo and Holly Ann McKenzie, University of Saskatchewan

Youth-oriented comics with LGBTQ+ positive characters are busting binaries

May 16, 2022
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

Strong queer representation in young adult comics can have a significant positive impact on the well-being of queer-identified or questioning youth.

Why Doug Ford will once again win the Ontario election

Pope Francis’s apology for residential schools doesn’t acknowledge institutional responsibility

April 1, 2022
Jeremy M. Bergen, University of Waterloo

As a theologian who studies church apologies for historical wrongs, I understand why the Pope was moved to speak this week, but I hope this was not his definitive apology.

Corporate taxes can be good for shareholders: Why some actually want their companies to pay tax

March 6, 2022
Andrew Bauer, University of Waterloo

Incentives, like shareholder credits for corporate taxes paid, mean that shareholders want their corporations to pay taxes.

7 ways to spot polarizing language — how to choose responsibly what to amplify online or in-person

If we learn how to disengage from communication circuits that lay the groundwork for fear and aggression, we have a better chance of managing conflict constructively.

Protecting infrastructure from the ‘freedom convoy’ could forever silence legitimate dissent

February 15, 2022
Philip Boyle, University of Waterloo

Racialized and marginalized populations whose protest movements are already subject to ongoing forms of monitoring, infiltration and pre-emptive police action are at risk from the convoy crisis.

Canada should be preparing for the end of American democracy

February 13, 2022
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo

With the apparent slide towards authoritarianism in the U.S., Canada must be ready and able to defend and champion our democracy.

People should be allowed to visit, say goodbye to those who are dying during COVID-19

February 1, 2022
Susan Cadell, University of Waterloo; Ashley Doyle, University of Waterloo; Kathy Kortes-Miller, Lakehead University, and Sunita Lad, University of Waterloo

Our health-care system needs to respond in a more just, inclusive, caring and timely way to allow in-person final goodbyes from those who matter most to those at the end of life.

How modern witches are enchanting TikTok

January 19, 2022
Chris Miller, University of Waterloo

Whether someone is scrolling mindlessly or actively conducting research, WitchTok connects witches to their practices and community.


‘Cowboy Bebop’: Groundbreaking anime series earns a Netflix remake for iconic artistic fusion

‘Cowboy Bebop’ drew international viewers with its genre-bending fusion of American mafia movies, Italian westerns, Japanese cyberpunk, Hong-Kong style martial arts and its eclectic soundtrack.

It’s not stress that’s killing us, it’s hate: Maybe mindfulness can help

Mindfulness might not be an easy answer to the divisiveness that surrounds us, but an accurate understanding that includes the practice of acceptance may help encourage sincerity and understanding.

More than a million prisoners have been released during COVID-19, but it’s not enough

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world released many prisoners, but this has now slowed or stopped. Here’s why those releases should continue.

German election sees centre-left eke out a slim victory over Angela Merkel’s party

Following the German election, all of the country’s major party leaders agreed that Germany needs to move forward. But if the electorate had had its way, it would have re-elected Angela Merkel.

How parents can be ‘emotion coaches’ as kids navigate back-to-school during COVID-19

A successful transition in September is a whole-family affair.

As COVID-19 restrictions lift, grief literacy can help us support those around us

Ohe negative impact of the pandemic on grief has raised concerns. Our study shows that 15 per cent of people dealing with grief are at risk of what’s known as complicated grief.

The problem with online learning? It doesn’t teach people to think

We ought to worry that the pandemic has made it even easier to reduce teaching to disseminating knowledge.

Uncovering anti-Blackness in the Arab world

Black Arabs face racism and discrimination throughout the Arab world. Exposing this anti-Blackness is challenging but critical work.

Junos 50th anniversary: How we remember these award-winning hit singles

Known variously in Juno history as ‘Best Single,’ or ‘Best-Selling Single,’ and now ‘Single of the Year’ this award always garners attention. Reflections on select singles since 1979.

DNA analysis reveals the identity of a member of the doomed Franklin Arctic expedition

129 officers and crew died during the 1845 Franklin Northwest Passage expedition. DNA analysis from their remains of members can reveal the identity of the men who perished during the journey.

‘Do the right thing’: Framing COVID-19 stay-at-home orders as moral choice stigmatizes workers

COVID-19 messaging frames staying home as a personal responsibility, but for many it’s a luxury they can’t afford. Like the language used for drug addiction, it stigmatizes low-income people.

Google’s union of activists highlights the need for ethical engineering

The new Alphabet Workers Union is making clear that changes must be put in place, both in education and on the job, to allow engineers to start taking responsibility for the social impact of their work.

Coping with loss: We need a national strategy to address grief beyond the coronavirus pandemic

February 16, 2021
Susan Cadell, University of Waterloo (Renison University College)

The Canadian government needs to develop a national grief strategy to address the needs of its citizens during and after the pandemic.

Zoom work relationships are a lot harder to build – unless you can pick up on colleagues’ nonverbal cues

January 19, 2021
Nancy R. Buchan, University of South Carolina; Wendi L. Adair, University of Waterloo, and Xiao-Ping Chen, University of Washington

Two strategies can make videoconferencing as effective as meeting face to face, or even better.

The U.S. Capitol violence could happen in Canada — here are 3 ways to prevent it

January 11, 2021
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo and William Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

As the raid on the U.S. Capitol has shown, some kinds of rhetoric can set fire to the world — and it exists in Canada, too. Here's how to tamp it down and focus on positive forms of rhetoric.

Words of Wisdom: 4 tips from experts on how to endure until the COVID-19 pandemic is over

January 7, 2021
Igor Grossmann, University of Waterloo

Despite the promising development of several COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic will not be over soon. How then should we deal with  pandemic endurance that will likely last for many more months?


Reading Harry Potter in a new light during the coronavirus pandemic

December 15, 2020
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

Rereading Harry Potter during the COVID-19 pandemic means finding new ways of identifying with the characters, especially in the seventh book, where Harry finds himself struggling with isolation.

COVID-19 cyclists: Expanding bike lane network can lead to more inclusive cities

November 22, 2020
Brian Doucet, University of Waterloo and Robin Mazumder, University of Waterloo

Why Donald Trump’s words work, and what to do about it

October 5, 2020
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo

Because dramatic tension fuels attention, Trump's words work to generate tension, anxiety and conflict. We need to react with civility, care and calm to undo the cycle of attention and persuasion.

Large class sizes during the coronavirus pandemic are a triple whammy

September 30, 2020
Chris Bauch, University of Waterloo; Brendon Phillips, University of Waterloo; Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo, and Madhur Anand, University of Guelph

Schools reopening during the current coronavirus pandemic need to calculate class sizes to prevent the spread of disease and minimize disruptions.

Why Chadwick Boseman is more of a hero than Hollywood’s Black Panther

September 21, 2020
Vershawn Ashanti Young, University of Waterloo

Unlike the Hollywood hero he portrayed, Boseman created space for a kaleidoscope of Black masculinities and challenged the narrative that urban Black men are in need of saving.

White prof’s admission she posed as Black raises hard questions about race and identity

September 20, 2020
Vershawn Ashanti Young, University of Waterloo

History professor Jessica Krug had built her life as a Black woman, but she was a white Jewish woman from Kansas. Her revelation raises questions about why some white people assume Black identities.

Should you be civil to a racist? Yes, but you should still call them out

September 1, 2020
Robert Danisch, University of Waterloo and William Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Politicians and law enforcement engage in uncivil behaviour that undermines democratic society. Civility is a pre-requisite for empathy, and is essential for difficult conversations.

2020 is a year for the history books, but not without digital archives

September 1, 2020
Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo

Policymakers should mandate Canada's national library to archive the entire Canadian web domain so future researchers can make sense of 2020 and ongoing responses to the pandemic.

The Republican National Convention: Even more dangerous than 4 years ago

August 28, 2020
Jennifer Saul, University of Waterloo

To fill a convention with blatant racism, as the Republicans did in 2016, is bad enough. But, after four years of racist policies, a convention filled with subtle racism is perhaps more dangerous.

Rather than defunding the police, politicians are increasing funding for body-worn cameras

August 20, 2020
Krystle Shore, University of Waterloo and Kathryn Henne, Australian National University

Amidst calls to defund the police, political leaders are increasing police budgets, arguing — incorrectly — that increasing police surveillance capacities will help provide accountability.

How to build a better Canada after COVID-19: Launch a fossil-free future

June 30, 2020
Kyla Tienhaara, Queen's University, Ontario; Amy Janzwood, University of Toronto, and Angela Carter, University of Waterloo

The oil and gas industry was in trouble before the pandemic hit, but now it faces potential collapse. A majority of Canadians want the federal government to invest in a 'green recovery.

Banning the N-word on campus ain’t the answer — it censors Black professors like me

June 28, 2020
Vershawn Ashanti Young, University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo sent out a statement that banned the use of the N-word on its campus, including classes. They did not consult Black faculty before doing so.

How politics have played a big role in the release of prisoners

June 15, 2020
Katherine Bruce-Lockhart, University of Waterloo

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to think critically about the place of prisons in society and how and why prisoners have been released in the past. COVID-19 could spark systemic change.

Fort McMurray’s flood disaster was foreseeable and ;preventable

May 21, 2020
Eva A. (Evalyna) Bogdan, University of Waterloo; Daniel Henstra, University of Waterloo, and Jason Thistlethwaite, University of Waterloo

Blaming flooding on an act of God wrongly absolves government and developers of their liability for poor decisions that unfairly burden taxpayers.

NHS ‘heroes’ should not have to risk their lives to treat coronavirus patients

April 20, 2020
Jennifer Mathers, Aberystwyth University and Veronica Kitchen, University of Waterloo

How politicians can benefit from a narrative of heroism.

Coronavirus & Easter: Lapsed Christians unlikely to return to church even in uncertain times

April 7, 2020
Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, University of Waterloo and Joel Thiessen, Ambrose University

Will a pandemic cause more people to return to Christianity or will the closure of churches become permanent?

Put your trust in taxes during the coronavirus pandemic& recovery

April 8, 2020
Andrew Bauer, University of Waterloo

The Canadian federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan includes tax-related measures. It's helpful to examine tax supports for individuals by considering the past, present and future.

Why the words we use matter when describing anti-trans activists

March 5, 2020
Jennifer Saul, University of Waterloo

TERF is not a slur. Instead, we should use words that accurately describe how some feminists are actually anti-trans activists.

After a newborn was found in a recycling bin, a safe haven baby hatch may save lives

March 4, 2020
Alana Cattapan, University of Waterloo

Since an infant was found in a recycling bin last fall in Saskatoon, advocates have renewed their campaign for baby hatches, places mothers can leave newborns safely and anonymously.

Let’s laud Harry and Meghan for their act of self-care — and leave them alone

January 22, 2020
Shana MacDonald, University of Waterloo

If we're ever to move past outmoded values of gender, race and class, we need to wish Prince Harry and Meghan Markle well — and challenge those who would prefer everything remains the same.


How a Canadian superhero brought queer representation to Marvel Comics

December 17, 2019
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

Marvel Comics is frequently referred to as “the house of ideas,” yet the idea of a queer superhero did not fully arrive at Marvel until the 1990s.

Don’t despair if your teen wants to major in history instead of science

November 21, 2019
Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo

Put down the science brochures. If your high schooler really wants to be a history major, smile, knowing that they’re taking the first step to a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Voici la question qui peut transformer - pour le mieux - votre relation avec une personne peu sûre d'elle

November 14, 2019
Joanne Wood, University of Waterloo and Kassandra Cortes, Wilfrid Laurier University

La recherche montre qu'interroger un partenaire peu sûr de lui au sujet de sa journée peut accroître la satisfaction de sa relation.

Textbooks could be free if universities rewarded professors for writing them

November 5, 2019
James M. Skidmore, University of Waterloo

Universities and colleges could eliminate textbook fees if they supported the creation of open educational resources.

Is your lover insecure? A simple question could transform your romantic relationship

October 31, 2019
Joanne Wood, University of Waterloo and Kassandra Cortes, Wilfrid Laurier University

Research shows that asking an insecure partner about their day can increase their relationship satisfaction.

Communicating science online increases interest, engagement and access to funds

September 22, 2019
Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, University of Waterloo

Science communication online is important to the intellectual work of scientists.

Toddler language learning: Richer and more complicated than you might think

September 8, 2019
Katherine White, University of Waterloo

Adults aren't the only language teachers: six-year-olds still produce sounds differently than adults, but toddlers are extremely good at understanding the speech of children six years and older.

Historians’ archival research looks quite different in the digital age

August 19, 2019
Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo

As our societies lose paper trails and increasingly rely on digital information, historians, and their grasps of context, will become more important than ever.

Can ‘progress studies’ contribute to knowledge? History suggests caution

August 11, 2019
Shannon Dea, University of Waterloo and Ted McCormick, Concordia University

A recent article in The Atlantic called for a "new science of progress" - this is dangerous and ignores the academic study of the history of human development.

The uproar over taking ‘man’ out of ‘manhole’

July 23, 2019
Shannon Dea, University of Waterloo

A progressive city's new ordinance on gender-neutral language provokes a worldwide media storm.

Is your child addicted to screens? Here’s what you can do about it

July 17, 2019
Jackson A. Smith, University of Waterloo and Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo

It is possible for teenagers to be addicted to screen-time activities such as video gaming. It is also possible for parents to do something about it.

The art and science of analyzing Big Data

March 13, 2019
Anindya Sen, University of Waterloo

Canada's data deficit represents an absence of information; however, just as crucial is the deficit in the skills required to analyze collected data.

How an X-Men writer inspired binge-worthy, character-driven TV from Buffy to Game of Thrones

February 20, 2019
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

Our current golden age of TV storytelling is influenced by comic books, in particular, one writer: Chris Claremont pushed boundaries and gave audiences strong female leads and deeply involved dramas.

Super Bowl ads played it safe, but we can still challenge toxic masculinity

February 4, 2019
Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo

After the #me-too inspired Gillette ad, a male therapist says this year's Super Bowl ads were disappointingly mild. But let's not let that stop us from challenging each other.

Screen time predicts delays in child development, says new research

January 28, 2019
Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo; Nicole Racine, University of Calgary, and Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary

A new study in JAMA Pediatrics suggests higher levels of screen time at two and three years of age predict poorer child outcomes at three and five years, respectively.

How governments use Big Data to violate human rights

January 13, 2019
Andrew Thompson, University of Waterloo

If left unchecked, invasions of privacy enabled by technology could put every human right at risk, and on a scale that would be truly terrifying.

The more women in government, the healthier a population

January 9, 2019
Edwin Ng, University of Waterloo and Carles Muntaner, University of Toronto

New research shows that female politicians spend more on health and education, improving the well-being of a population.

Acting out: theatre class where students rehearse for change

January 2, 2019
Amir Al-Azraki, University of Waterloo

Not just for would-be actors: Theatre of the Oppressed is a unique genre of drama education through which students learn how to analyze social problems and change typical outcomes.

Technoference: A habit parents should ditch during ;2019

January 1, 2019
Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary; Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo, and Rachel Eirich, University of Calgary

It's not too late for a New Year's resolution. If you're a parent - resolving to stop 'technofering' could be one of the most important things you do this year.


The challenge of parenting in a migrant caravan

December 4, 2018
Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo

The psychological health of migrant children will be deeply impacted by their flight from gang violence, and the experience of crowded unhygienic conditions and tear gas at the U.S. border.

A new debates commission is the electoral reform Canadians need

November 20, 2018
Tamara A. Small, University of Guelph and Anna Lennox Esselment, University of Waterloo

The creation of a new debate commission in Canada should ensure televised showdowns between party leaders amid federal election campaigns are transparent and a boon to democracy.

What’s next for Germany after Angela Merkel

November 1, 2018
James M. Skidmore, University of Waterloo

Germany's long-time Angela Merkel era is coming to an end. But is it the end of one person’s dominance of the political scene, or does it forebode more fundamental changes to German society?

Trauma 101 in the aftermath of the Ford-Kavanaugh saga

October 11, 2018
Dillon Thomas Browne, University of Waterloo

If the Ford-Kavanaugh saga had any positive impact, it at least clearly highlighted several lessons from traumatology and the complex consequences of traumatic events across society.

Titans on TV: The life-changing magic of ‘F@#k Batman!’

September 12, 2018
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

In the trailer for the new DC TV series, Robin answers 'F@#k Batman!' when the bad guys ask about the Caped Crusader. This is a hopeful move to necessary character changes in superhero storytelling.

Canada’s complicated relationship with international human rights law

September 4, 2018
Andrew Thompson, University of Waterloo

If the liberal international order is to survive, countries like Canada will need to defend international human rights law.

‘BlacKkKlansman’ – a deadly serious comedy

August 16, 2018
Vershawn Ashanti Young, University of Waterloo

BlacKkKlansman is more than a good story: it expertly weaves together comedy with serious drama to bring the story of past racism to illuminate our present day issues.

Harry Potter and the surprisingly poignant literary theme

February 22, 2018
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

We may think of Harry Potter as escapist delight, but J.K. Rowling’s books also contain an extended theme that has more in common with King Lear than most English professors might care to admit.


Star Wars is colonial fantasy: How our future imaginings are limited by our past

December 13, 2017
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

Science fiction is a genre meant to imagine the future, but in the case of Star Wars, it also looks to the past—revisiting old imperialist battles.

A team divided: Who is the hero of Justice League?

November 23, 2017
J. Andrew Deman, University of Waterloo

The reviews are coming in pretty harsh for Justice League. If Superman is awesome and Batman is awesome and Wonder Woman is awesome, shouldn’t the three of them together be thrice as awesome?

German elections could bring a new wave of extremism

September 20, 2017
James M. Skidmore, University of Waterloo

German elections are typically tame. Jockeying for power takes place later, in negotiations for a coalition government. Could the xenophobic Alternative for Germany form the opposition?

How Nazis twisted the swastika into a symbol of hate

August 31, 2017
James M. Skidmore, University of Waterloo

The swastika, an ancient and innocent symbol in many cultures for hundreds of years, now represents racial hatred. Should the swastika be banned in North America as it is in Germany?

2014 to 2016

Time to get regulation back into Australian dairy?

May 26, 2016
Bruce Muirhead, University of Waterloo

Government intervention in the crisis facing Australian dairy has opened the gates for suggestions of other types of regulation.

How slots trick gamblers into losing more than they know

November 4, 2014
Kevin Harrigan, University of Waterloo and Dan Brown, University of Waterloo

A 2011 Massachusetts law allows for the expansion of gambling, including slot machines. That law is now on the November 2014 election ballot for potential repeal. This is a real opportunity for voters…

The road to failure is paved with good intentions – here’s how to turn them into action

August 27, 2014
Derek Koehler, University of Waterloo

Take a moment to think of a task you wish to accomplish in the next three months. It should be something specific like clearing out your backyard, or completing an online course, so that you could judge…