30 May 2012 - 12:15pm

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, John Aird Centre Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5

Janine Brodie holds the Canada Research Chair in Political Economy and Social Governance at the University of Alberta. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at Carleton University in 1981, a year after accepting her first teaching position at Queen's University. In 1982, Dr. Brodie went to York University where within a decade she was appointed full professor, Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Social Research, inaugural director of the York Centre for Feminist Research, and John Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies. Dr. Brodie also held the University of Western Ontario's Visiting Chair in Public Policy in 1995. From 1997 to 2004, she chaired the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. In 2002, Dr. Brodie was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of "the breadth of her scholarship and the strength of her academic leadership." Currently, she serves as director of the Royal Society's Academy II Division 1. In 2011, the University of Alberta appointed her to the rank of Distinguished University Professor.

Dr. Brodie's research critically engages many of the core challenges in Canadian politics and public policy: citizenship, gender equality, political representation, social policy, globalization, and contemporary transformations in governance. Her influential and innovative work in these areas is substantial and extensive. To date, she has written or co-written eight books and edited or co-edited three others. Dr. Brodie publishes in a wide range of national and international scholarly journals, and she has written some seventy-five book chapters, most recently investigating the multiple and complex effects of neoliberal governing practices on citizenship, social equity and national governance. She co-edits Critical Concepts, an introductory political science text now in its fourth edition that has been widely adopted by political science departments across Canada. Dr. Brodie's current research focuses on contemporary social policies, provincial anti-poverty strategies, and challenges to democratic citizenship. She was named Trudeau Fellow in 2010.

Social Literacy and Social Justice

This lecture explores the relationship between social literacy, social justice, and the social sciences, historically and in the contemporary era of financial insecurity and public austerity. Ongoing financial crises have undermined the legitimacy of the market-friendly governing assumptions, which have informed policy-making for more than a generation. Citizens and their governments have entered unchartered waters but pervasive uncertainty has not dampened popular demands for equity, voice and social justice, in fact these have intensified. The social sciences have been too timid in entering public debates in these uncertain times. They have been remarkably successful, however, in demonstrating the social and political costs of income disparities, financial insecurity and social inequality, three critical markers of this moment. The social sciences have a great deal to say about just societies amidst the growing uncertainties of in the early 21st century. It is time for social science to rediscover its original mission of imagining better societies and, with robust critique and social research, opening windows on different choices about what is equitable, politically possible, and socially responsible.

About Congress 2012

Janine Brodie

She endeavours to identify the tools that will effectively reduce poverty and social inequalities at both local and national levels.

2010 Fellows