Students, faculty attend the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference in Niagara Falls
Mount Allison students Gabrielle de Ste-Croix Killoran (Canadian studies) and Jonathan Laing Ferguson (international relations) recently travelled to Niagara Falls, Ontario to present their research at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (CSECS), an international conference attended by 150 delegates and 15 invited speakers.
Co-organized by Dr. Christina Ionescu (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Mount Allison University) and Dr. Christina Smylitopoulos (School of Fine Art and Music; University of Guelph), the conference was a collaboration between two Canadian post-secondary institutions located in different provinces, a type of partnership unprecedented in the history of the Society.
The conference theme was Wonder in the Eighteenth Century / L’Émerveillement au dix-huitième siècle – a theme well-suited to the spectacular location of the event.
de Ste-Croix Killoran and Ferguson presented in a panel devoted to undergraduate research, which was chaired by Desiree Scholtz (University of Guelph) and also included Sara Penn from Simon Fraser University.
Both students engaged with the conference theme of wonder to deliver thought-provoking and visually rich presentations that delved into cartography, Indigenous studies, and scholarship on the Enlightenment.
Showcasing archival research undertaken as part of her Undergraduate Summer Research Award, conducted under the supervision of Dr. Lauren Beck (Mount Allison Modern Language professor and Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter), de Ste-Croix Killoran discussed the Jesuit visualisation of the Wendat (Huron).
Ferguson highlighted wonder as depicted on maps of Acadia from a unique and precious collection of travel narratives housed at Mount Allison University and curated by Mount Allison’s Public Services Librarian, Elizabeth Millar – the Edgar and Dorothy Davidson Collection of Canadiana.
The panel concluded with a lively discussion that gave presenters an opportunity to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of the topics and obtain valuable feedback from established scholars in 18th-century studies.
de Ste-Croix Killoran says, “Presenting my research at this year’s CSECS conference has given me knowledge that I will utilize as I work towards furthering my academic education. I received valuable guidance and advice from those who have contributed important work to the world of academia.”
Ferguson adds, “It was an honour to be able to present at an academic conference such as this – an opportunity not normally accessible to undergraduate students. To gain this experience and receive valuable feedback as a debut researcher, as well as interact with academics engaged in the field, has provided me with insight and opportunities for future research I hadn’t expected.”
The students’ travel to the conference was covered by matching funding committed to the SSHRC-sponsored project by Dr. Beck (Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter) and the office of Mount Allison’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research.
Caption: Jonathan Laing Ferguson and Gabrielle de Ste-Croix Killoran at the banquet closing the CSECS 2018 conference, with Niagara Falls illuminated in the official colours of Mount Allison University.