If you google Alzheimer’s and dementia, you will find articles on “the ticking time bomb” of dementia and the socio-economic costs of Alzheimer’s. You’ll encounter videos of scientists speaking authoritatively on our inevitable cognitive decline and perhaps, most alarmingly, you’ll read messages explaining that we reach our intellectual peak at 25 years of age and it’s all just a sad descent from there.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
The research project “Ageing, communication, technologies: experiencing a digital world in later life” (ACT) is seeking applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University, under the supervision of ACT Director Dr. Kim Sawchuk.
ACT is a multi-methodological and interdisciplinary project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and brings together researchers, local community partners and international institutional partners to investigate the transformation of the experiences of ageing with the proliferation of new forms of mediated communications in networked societies.
ACT is offering a postdoctoral fellowship in the area of “Ageing, Communication, Technologies” and invites applications from candidates whose research examines intersects with ACT’s mandate, and with one of its three research axes.
Agency in Ageing: Collaborative Creativity and the Digital Arts in Later Life encompasses a program of research that involves individuals and communities in the development of participatory action research projects that have both scholarly and creative outcomes. This approaches takes seriously people’s everyday interactions with technologies, and uses these experiences to explore what it means to be a critical citizen in the information age in a process of collaborative knowledge creation.
Critical Mediations: Everyday Life and Cultures of Ageing examines the everyday life practices and the variegated mediated experiences of adults in later life. Looking at how older adults engage with music, photography, film, television, or gaming, to name but a few of the key areas that are increasingly subject to transformations in their modes of production and circulation, this research employs methods and concepts drawn from cultural studies and the humanities.
Telecommunication Technologies: Ageing in Networked Societies investigates ageing in the context of networked societies. Research in this area primarily is conducted through methodologies associated with the social sciences, bridging internet and telecommunications research with ageing studies, including – but not limited to – cellphones that allow for talking, texting, and video calling, laptops for Skyping with grandchildren, and tablets for reading books, playing (intergenerational) digital games, or accessing the internet.
The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ageing, Communication and Technologies entails a yearly salary of $45,000 CAD and can begin as early as August 2018. Only applications for one-year projects will be considered, but there may be an opportunity for re-application for a second year. The ACT Postdoctoral Fellowship will be housed at Concordia University in Montreal, but can be undertaken in collaboration with a partner institution of ACT (see our full list of partners).
A central goal of ACT is to train a new generation of Canadian scholars in the study of ageing from the perspective of the social sciences, the arts and/or the humanities. As such, in addition to conducting and completing their own research project, the chosen candidate will be expected to participate actively in the intellectual development of ACT, to work on a regular basis from the ACT offices located in downtown Montreal, and to perform some of the following tasks that are intended to complement their postdoctoral training: assist in the organization and implementation of academic and community events, (including conferences and workshops), conduct public and university lectures, contribute to the development of collaborative projects within ACT, assist in the preparation of grant applications.
The successful candidates will have a PhD in hand before beginning the position. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
HOW TO APPLY
Application Deadline: June 1, 2018 (for an August to October 2018 entry)
In a single email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org, please provide the following three components as individual attachments.
1) A letter of intent (maximum 3 pages) that articulates the research project to be
undertaken, how the research fits within the mandate of ACT, the candidate’s suitability
and expertise, the applicant’s timeline and collaborative interests within the ACT
2) A CV.
3) A list of three references with complete contact information, who could be called upon to write letters of recommendation.
Two Concordia research teams have successfully pressured the City of Montreal into rethinking how it will get feedback from seniors to foster an “age-friendly” community.
On March 14, 2018, Shannon Hebblethwaite appeared on CTV Montreal at noon to discuss her ACT-funded research project Grannies on the Net. Hebblethwaite discusses the roles that ICTs play in the lives of grandmothers, including how they factor in family relationships. For Hebblethwaite’s respondents, digital technologies can represent both “a blessing and a curse”. Watch the full interview below.
Join us for our first “Lunch & Learn” on Friday, March 16. ACT RA, Nora T. Lamontagne will present her research about the “crafters” of le Cercle de Fermières.
Ingrained in tradition and rurality, crafters of le Cercle de Fermières have been gathering together for over a hundred years to do needlework and textile art. What if technologies were at the very heart of their practice? My Master’s research looks into how Fermières, as older women crafting, use technologies in their activities, be them analog, digital or mechanical. During this presentation, I focus on how looms influence life at the Cercle in many engaging and surprising ways. Following Bruno Latour and ANT, I look into elements of the weaving assemblage generative of different types of memories.
More information here:
At this time of the year when the Motion Picture Academy Awards, usually known as the Oscars, help Hollywood define and celebrate the year’s best movies, acting performances and technical artistry, the glitz and glamour of the red carpet places stars at the centre of attention.
ACT co-applicant Josephine Dolan has just released a new book titled Contemporary Cinema and ‘Old Age’: Gender and the Silvering of Stardom. This book examines cinema at the intersection of gender, ageing, celebrity and genre studies. It takes its cue from the dual meanings of ‘silvering’ – economics and ageing – and explores shifting formulations of ‘old age’ and gender in contemporary cinema. Broad in its scope, the book establishes the importance of silver audiences to the survival of cinema exhibition while also forging connections between the pleasures of ‘old age’ films, consumer culture, the ‘economy of celebrity’ and the gendered silvering of stardom. Read more here.
GUSEGG brings students together for two weeks to collaborate across a range of disciplines – from economics and media studies to ageing studies and religion – while developing and sharpening a variety of academic practices and skills, including public speaking, critical academic writing, reading, interviewing, and producing media. Applications for the summer school and for ACT funding are now open!