Kate Hennessy

Study program:
Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

Since August, 2010, Kate Hennessy is Assistant Professor specializing in Media at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Her research explores the transformative role of new media in the documentation and safeguarding of cultural heritage, and the potential of new technologies to mediate culture, history, objects, and subjects in new forms. Her video and multimedia works investigate documentary methodologies to address indigenous and settler histories of place and space. Ms. Hennessy received her Masters of Arts in the Anthropology of Media from the University of London, SOAS. As assistant editor of the journal Visual Anthropology Review, she designed its first multimedia volume. Her work has been published in journals such as American Indian Quarterly, American Anthropologist, Museum Anthropology Review, and Visual Anthropology Review. She was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholar from 2005-2009, a Canadian Polar Commission Scholar in 2006-2007, and a Commonwealth Scholar in 2001-2002.

Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

It has been a great honor to be a Trudeau Scholar. The relationships that I built with other scholars, with my mentor, and with fellows, were personally and academically transformative. My experience as a doctoral student would have been very different without the privilege of being a part of the Trudeau community. The scholarship funded my ethnographic fieldwork and communication of research in international settings, while the Foundation’s events introduced me to an incredible network of engaged and active contributors to our global society. The Foundation’s commitment to fostering interdisciplinary thinking in relation to the core themes of human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world, and people in their environment, created a context in which I was constantly challenged by scholars, fellows, and mentors to consider my approach to my doctoral research in new ways. My research in the anthropology of media with First Nations communities in northeastern British Columbia benefited significantly from thinking across disciplinary boundaries and mediums of cultural expression.  As a Trudeau Scholar I was also connected to the world of policy making, which broadened the scope of my understanding of the role of academic research in Canada and the world. Further, Trudeau Foundation events brought me to places in Canada that I might not have had the opportunity to get to know otherwise, enriching my knowledge of Canadian history, culture, and identity. My experience as a Trudeau Scholar was much more than the Foundation’s generous financial support; it created a range of possibilities for the forging of friendships, research partnerships, and commitments to social action that I know will be productive and inspiring far into the future.