2020 Jackman Scholars-in-Residence

Applications accepted 20 January to 24 February 2020 at 11:59 p.m.




Jackman Scholars-in-Residence (SiR) is an intensive 4-week residency in humanities and humanistic social-science research for upper-year undergraduates. SiR provides students with an opportunity to acquire advanced research skills and experience while collaborating with an interdisciplinary and intellectually vibrant community of peers, professors, and research professionals. Students selected for SiR will live in residence May 4 – 29, 2020, and work in small teams on research projects led by professors. Students share meals and group activities including multidisciplinary workshops on research methodologies, standards, protocol, and professional communication; excursions to archives, museums, and cultural events; and talks featuring professionals such as lawyers, policy-makers, and documentary filmmakers that highlight research-intensive career trajectories. Eligible students must apply by 24 February 2020 and be selected to work on one of the projects.

Scholars-in-Residence is a research community supported by the Jackman Humanities Institute, the Vice-President Research and Innovation, the Faculty of Arts and Science, UTM, UTSC, the St. George Colleges, and Bader Philanthropies Inc. through Victoria University.



SiR offers a range of benefits to participants, including:

•    4 weeks free accommodation at UT-Mississauga, UT-Scarborough, or a UT-St George College residence
•    A free dining plan
•    A $1000 Jackman Scholar Award
•    The opportunity to contribute to original faculty research projects, develop skills, and build supportive relationships with peers and professors



Scholars-in-Residence will be offered on all three UofT campuses. Five projects will be offered at both UT-Scarborough and UT-Mississauga, and the remainder will be located at UT-St George. Your residence will be assigned according to the campus location of your project (e.g. if you are accepted to a UT-Scarborough-based project, you will stay in residence on that campus). Please be aware of location when you make your project selection. You are encouraged to apply for projects on any of the three campus locations, regardless of your current affiliation.




Undergraduate students in any program in the Faculty of Arts & Science, the Faculty of Music, or the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at St. George, or at UTM or UTSC with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 who are currently in second year or higher are eligible to apply. Students must create an account in the JHI website to apply: click on Register to set up your account. Selection criteria include academic achievement, commitment to and qualifications for the research project, and suitability for team-based research as shown by the application material and references.

Students who have previously participated in Scholars-in-Residence are not eligible to re-apply.



Please read this section carefully before you begin your application.

Applications consist of:

  • Indication of two preferred projects, in order of preference.
  • Names and email addresses of 2 academic referees whom we may contact. Please inform referees that they will not be required to write letters of recommendation, and that they will only be contacted if you are short-listed.
  • Demographic information (this will not affect the selection process and is completely confidential).

Upload a SINGLE APPLICATION DOCUMENT IN PDF FORMAT that contains the following:

  1. one-page letter of interest outlining how SiR furthers your educational or career aspirations. Speak directly about your preferred project, and feel free to mention any relevant skills and qualifications.
  2. transcripts (screenshots from ACORN are acceptable, but you must show all academic activity beginning from your first year of university, so that we will be able to determine your current year of study)
  3. Short, up-to-date resume that outlines your academic and professional skills and includes names and email addresses for your two referees.


  • Please compile all application documents in the order listed above as a SINGLE PDF FILE.
  • Applications must be submitted online (click Apply Now! at the bottom of this page) starting 20 January 2020.
  • Be aware that your application will need to be submitted in a single session, and cannot be edited once you have submitted it.
  • Please check your application document carefully to ensure that all components are included BEFORE YOU UPLOAD IT.
  • Applications are due by 24 February 2020.



For information about the program and your eligibility, contact Program Manager, Dr. Ira Wells
For website assistance    Contact JHI Associate Director, Dr. Kim Yates



Please review these descriptions carefully, with attention to the location and supervisor of each project.

Note your first and second choices, using the code and number that appear at the top of each description. You will use this information in your application.


UT – St George


Visualising the Politicization of Science: Diagrams for Policy Debates
Supervisor: Prof. Hakob Barseghyan
Undergraduate researchers with specific interests in philosophy of science, political science, history, visual studies, digital humanities, and information science are invited to join a team of scholars working on the systematic visualization of heavily politicized debates concerning science. Scholars will chart the main arguments of climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, GMO critics, abortion-breast cancer theorists, champions of intelligent design, and other advocacy groups who manipulate scientific findings and reject scientific consensus for political and ideological gain. Scholars will have an opportunity to present their findings in co-authored papers. Training in best visualisation practices will be provided by field experts.


Political Function of Emotions in Social Media Narratives of Racial and National Belonging
Supervisor: Prof. Megan Boler
Which emotions move, circulate, and amplify particular narratives of racial and national belonging in social media? How do emotions and narratives differ across the political spectrum (left, center, right)? Polarized politics are increasingly linked to social media expressions of emotion and identity, especially surrounding race, immigration, and gender. To better understand these "affective politics of information warfare," this interdisciplinary, mixed-methods research project explores how and which emotional expressions inflame political polarization. Scholars will participate in our weekly Research Team meetings, and develop skills of critical discourse analysis and tagging/identifying "sentiments" in social media from Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook related to the 2019 Canadian federal election.


Children’s Engagement with their Local Science Centre
Supervisor: Prof. Carol-Ann Burke
A critical motivator for children to maintain long-term interest in science is their participation in out-of-school science education. This project examines children’s dispositions towards science and relates these to their experiences at/with their local science centre. Student RAs will be trained in theories and methods of qualitative data collection; they will work alongside other team members to conduct interviews with children aged 8 to 14 in after-school club settings and at the Ontario Science Centre. Prior expertise in science is not required.


The Works of John Galt: Archives to Critical Edition
Supervisor: Prof. Angela Esterhammer
Scholars will take part in preparing a multi-volume critical edition of fiction and journalism by the Scottish writer John Galt (1779-1839), who was also a key figure in Canadian history during the 1820s. Working with original print editions and handwritten manuscripts of Galt’s fiction in UofT Libraries, the Archives of Ontario, the University of Guelph Library, and/or online, Scholars will assist with transcription, proofreading, and research on 19th-century British periodicals, Canadian history, North American settlement, and other contexts. There are opportunities to be involved in several stages of the scholarly-editing and publication process, including training in typesetting using Adobe InDesign.


Education Reformism: The Causes and Consequences of National Education Reform Worldwide
Supervisor: Prof. Rie Kijima
Education reform is largely taken-for-granted as a routine feature of school systems. Globally, we have witnessed the cyclical patterns of education reforms. The failure of a reform simply generates more reform, leading to widespread doubts about the efficacy of these reforms. The goals of this research are: 1) to understand the substantive foci of education reforms worldwide; 2) to analyze the socio-economic conditions under which education reforms are likely to emerge; and 3) to examine the intended and unintended consequences of reforms. Scholars will participate in the categorization of education reforms, and will assist with the development of case studies.


Charting Virgil’s Renaissance Reception
Supervisor: Prof. Shaun Ross
Virgil’s Aeneid, though written in antiquity, was the single most influential poem in Medieval and Renaissance literary history. Poets such as Dante, Ariosto, Ercilla, Camões, Spenser, and Milton all used Virgil’s poem as a model, both to imitate and to challenge, as they wrote their own vernacular epics. Scholars will contribute to the study of this reception history by creating a digital edition of the Aeneid that charts how Dante and subsequent Renaissance-era poets responded to and reinterpreted Virgil’s Latin poem. Knowledge of Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian would be highly beneficial (i.e. any one of these languages, not all).  


The Train as Embodied Time-Space: Toward Alternative Narrative Theories
Supervisor: Prof. Atsuko Sakaki
The train as time-space complicates chronology and cartography, and becomes a loaded trope for reconfiguring narrative theories. The current study reveals in selected novels and films the central passenger’s variable narrative agency in an environment shared with other bodies and things. Scholars collaborate in this interdisciplinary project by searching and sharing relevant information, such as railway routes, timetables, and fares; images of carriages; technical conditions of cinematic scenes; scholarly sources in phenomenology, neuroscience, and other relevant fields that would help to conceptualize sensations experienced by characters; and collation of original (French, German, Japanese) texts with their English translations.


The Imminence of War: Canadian Intelligence in the Nuclear Era
A Canada Declassified Project
Supervisor: Prof. Timothy Andrews Sayle
Participants will be among the first scholars to work with a recently declassified collection of formerly Top Secret documents related to Canadian intelligence appreciations from the early Cold War.  Students will take responsibility for a series of records, comb through declassified files, and select and extract documents they find most useful for explaining their topic. They will arrange these diplomatic cables, intelligence assessments, and other records for eventual online publication on our University of Toronto Libraries-hosted website “Canada Declassified” (http://declassified.library.utoronto.ca ). Students will have unique access to a previously secret part of Canadian history, learn about declassification, and gain digital humanities experience. No specialized experience or course of study is required to apply.


Form and Meaning, Classicism and Slavery
Supervisor: Prof. Peter Sealy
Are the meanings associated with architectural forms immutable? Or are they open to successive re-interpretations? We will study this question by delving into the relationship between classical architecture and slave-owning societies. Scholars will each explore a relevant example drawn from a particular time and place: imperial Rome (Pliny’s Villa), Renaissance Italy (the Palladian villa), the American South (Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello), and the emancipationist republics of Haiti (the Palais National) and Liberia (the settler houses of Arthington). A strong knowledge of architectural history is expected; specific knowledge of related fields such as Black and African studies, classical literature, American history, and art history is welcome.


Every Click You Make: Seeking Digital Privacy and Algorithmic Literacy
Supervisor: Prof. Leslie Regan Shade
How our online data is used is increasingly obscured by algorithmic logics. Without a multilevel literacy of algorithms, a nuanced understanding of digital privacy is difficult. In this project, Scholars will contribute to the scholarly and policy conversation in Canada surrounding big tech and digital privacy through developing a creative digital privacy and algorithmic literacy toolkit. Interrelated trajectories include:  1) Algorithms in the Imaginary and the Everyday; 2) Digital Privacy and Algorithms; 3) The Ethics and Regulation of Algorithms.  The research is situated within The eQuality Project, a SSHRC partnership that explores young people’s experiences of online privacy and equality.


Color and Overtones: A Web-Based Visual Archive of Africans and their Descendants in Latin America
Supervisor: Prof. Tamara Walker
This project will focus on creating a web-based visual archive that will be the first to bring together and examine the myriad and evolving modes of representing blackness across centuries of Latin American history. More than just an image database, it will also feature bibliographic information, relevant timelines, a glossary of terms, image annotations, and links to external sites. Students working on this project will take on diverse roles, including: 1) collecting and categorizing material at campus libraries and local museums, 2) researching and writing image-specific annotations and short essays on themes and threads within the collection, and 3) building a timeline, glossary, and set of links to relevant external sites.


UT - Mississauga


Truth be told: Cross-linguistic explorations of true and its nearest neighbours
Supervisor: Prof. Barend Beekhuizen
We live in a post-truth world, in which fake news is often as true as reality TV. But what do words like true, real and right mean? In this project, we study the language of truth and reality by looking into how such terms are translated into different languages. Does French vrai mean the same thing as English true or are there subtle differences? This project would benefit particularly from Scholars 1) with multilingual backgrounds; 2) who like to do qualitative work with discourse data on a micro level; and 3) with a quantitative or computational background (preferred but not necessary).


The Making of an Icon: Examining the Global Circulation of Saint Oscar Romero
Supervisor: Prof. Kevin Coleman
As Archbishop Oscar Romero delivered his homily in the airy chapel of a hospital in San Salvador in March 1980, a sniper fired a single .22 caliber round into his chest. Romero died within minutes. Despite opposition from conservative Catholics, the Church officially elevated Romero to sainthood in 2018. This project traces the making of Romero into an icon. Student will (1) locate and analyze primary source documents related to the circulation, reception, and uses of Romero, a biographical film about the future Saint; and (2) translate the most important passages into English. This project would benefit from students with reading proficiency in French, Dutch, Spanish, Korean, or German, and / or background in Catholic studies.


Community-Engaged Learning with the Indigenous Action Group
Supervisors: Prof. Sherry Fukuzawa and Prof. Nicole Laliberté
This is the first year of a three-year project examining the effects of community-engaged learning in post-secondary education. Scholars will be part of a multi-disciplinary team examining student experiences from ANT241: Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island – a course facilitated by Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and other Indigenous Scholars. Scholars will develop research skills including transcribing interview recordings, analyzing student assignments and interview transcripts, and training in the qualitative statistical program NVivo. Scholars will be supported to attend local Indigenous events (e.g. Native American Indigenous Studies Association conference May 9-12). Future research opportunities are available in this ongoing project, which seeks to break down cultural barriers in education.


Italian Food in Toronto, Past to Present: Menu Archiving and Digitization
Supervisor: Prof. Teresa Lobalsamo
This employs an experiential, digital humanities approach to Diaspora and Food studies and aims to chart the evolution of Italian food in Toronto, contributing to the preservation of Italian-Canadian culinary traditions. Scholars will visit food sites, sample recipes, interview restaurant owners and/or chefs, then map and digitize collected artifacts (menus, recipes, advertisements). Scholars will attend training workshops at the UTM Library where they learn to utilize digital platforms (Omeka and Google Maps) to create catalogue descriptions and bibliographic entries. Knowledge of Diaspora and Food studies, of beginner Italian, and/or familiarity with digital platforms are useful but not essential.


"This is Real Beauty": Defining Aesthetic Citizenship
Supervisor: Prof. David Pettinicchio
The beauty industry is changing. At its centre stands a new cast of models, each as diverse as the next in their appearance and appeal. This project is about the process by which these changes come about and what it means for those who have, until recently, been neglected. To address our research questions, we ask research assistants to help collect and analyze a set of mainstream images posted online by three beauty retailers. Research assistants are also asked to collect and analyze publicly available online consumer comments in reply to these images. Prior experience in textual content analysis in sociology (or adjacent field) is beneficial; interest in analyzing media content is essential.


UT - Scarborough


Making Medical Inadmissibility in Canadian Immigration Law Visible: Drawing, Filming and Telling Ethnographic Stories
Supervisor: Prof. Laura Bisaillon
This project examines the issue of medical inadmissibility in Canadian immigration, and compares Canada’s current and historical immigration acceptance records with those of other jurisdictions. Specifically, this project documents the pervasive barriers to immigration faced by people with illness, disability, and developmental difference as a result of state-based decision making. Scholars will use their existing abilities in design, illustration, and film to create graphic representations of textual and archival data. Scholars will work collaboratively on an original graphic novel and documentary film project. This project receives funding from the Canadian Bar Association’s Law for the Future fund.


Community-Engaged Learning in French: Creating Student Preparation Modules
Supervisor: Prof. Corinne Beauquis
Scholars will create student preparation modules (videos, booklets, website content, etc.) to support a new UTSC French community-engaged learning course offered in collaboration with Francophone community partners in the GTA. Tasks will include researching other institutions’ levels of student training for their own community-engaged learning courses; preparing a questionnaire to assess our partners’ needs and expectations; interacting with our partners; producing guidelines and materials for the modules; and creating the modules. Some training will be provided in French professional communication. Applicants should have strong oral and written communication skills in French (ongoing B2 level of the CEFR) as communication will take place in French. Students with the following interests are encouraged to apply: community-engaged learning and research, work-integrated learning, co-op, and/or digital skills (to create engaging online presentations and possibly a website).


The Beyond Bullying Project
Supervisor: Prof. Jessica Fields
The Beyond Bullying Project (beyondbullyingproject.com) invites students, teachers, and staff to share stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) sexuality and gender in school. In spring 2020, BBP will launch a study site in Toronto—its first in Canada. The team will install a storytelling booth inside a Scarborough public high school and invite the school community to share their stories about LGBTQ sexuality and gender. Scholars will conduct participant observation and record ethnographic fieldnotes describing school engagements with the BBP; design and implement online knowledge mobilization efforts; and participate in the analysis of BBP stories.


Investigating the Oberammergan Passion Play
Supervisor: Prof. Elliot Leffler
Each decade, the townspeople in tiny Oberammergau, Germany perform a passion play, chronicling Jesus’s life and death.  They’ve been doing this since 1634, and they do it on a tremendous scale – with thousands of actors, over 100 musicians, and a budget that rivals Broadway musicals. The production used to be exclusively Catholic, entirely white, mostly male, and virulently anti-Semitic – but now a new director wants change. This research project synthesizes 50-60 interviews to ascertain how the new artistic choices influence people’s evolving understandings of religion, history, and local identity. Scholars will transcribe, code, and summarize the interviews. Scholars should be adept typists; knowledge of German language, of theatre, and of the gospel narratives are assets but not essential.  


The Poetics and Potentials of Hip-Hop Archives
Supervisor: Prof. Mark Campbell
This project involves the qualitative study of hip hop archives based in Seattle, Houston and New Orleans as well as analysis of content from the Northside Hip-Hop archive in Toronto. Scholars’ roles include metadata analysis and management, archival analysis and annotations, interview analysis and transcription, video editing, GIS map production and publication editing/indexing. While no specialized skills are required, knowledge of French is an asset.