Brandon University will host conference to boost research collaboration

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Brandon University (BU) will host a special one-day conference this month to kick off a summer of faculty research. This year’s fifth annual Research Enhancement Conference explores collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

“Many exciting discoveries result from the interplay between disciplines, which provides new perspectives to reveal much that might otherwise have gone unlooked or unrealized,” said Dr. Steve Robinson, BU’s Vice-President Academic and Provost. “Brandon University is the perfect size for these collaborations — large enough to boast specialist scholars with deep knowledge in their subject matter, yet small enough that they can easily cross paths, get to know each other, and combine their strengths into new and fruitful collaborations.”

This year’s conference will feature a dynamic duo of collaboration as keynote speakers. The married team of Dr. Linda Hutcheon and Dr. Michael Hutcheon each have lengthy and distinguished records, while also researching and publishing together.
They have brought their very different professional expertise together with a shared love of opera — itself, arguably, a multi-disciplinary art form. The result has been collaborative interdisciplinary work on medicine, culture, literature, and music drama.

“Linda Hutcheon is probably the foremost literary and cultural scholar in Canada right now — you should see her CV! Her husband, Michael Hutcheon, is a professor of medicine,” said Dr. Deanna Smid, an Assistant Professor in English and Creative Writing and current Chair of REBU, the  committee which annually organizes the Reseach Enhancement conference at BU. “Brandon University has attracted major Canadian researchers who promise to share their engaging and interesting perspectives. On their own, their research records are staggering, and together they collaborate and write books on opera, death and aging.”

After the daylong conference, at which BU researchers, faculty and deans will participate in seminar sessions designed to spark collaboration between different disciplines, the Hutcheons will give a public lecture at The Music Studio downtown.

“This is part lecture, part concert, so it is a demonstration of the very type of cross-discipline collaboration we are here to celebrate,” Smid said. “Along with learning from and about each other, we hope that many people will join us for this special evening performance with students from the School of Music. This will be a fantastic opportunity to apply some new ways of thinking to an evening of entertainment.”

The entire conference is open to interested members of the public. Pre-registration is required, but there’s no cost, and lunch and snacks are provided. To pre-register, email Penny Tryphonopoulos at

All are also welcome to attend the evening lecture and performance, from 7:30–10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11. It will take place at the Music Studio, 940 Rosser Ave. and will begin with snacks, beverages, and mingling until about 8 p.m., then carry on to the music, the lecture, more music, and then more mingling.

There is no registration or RSVP required for the evening performance, however space is limited.

The Research Enhancement Conference has been made possible through generous support from the BU Dean of Arts, the BU Dean of Music, and the VPA’s office.


The Research Enhancement Conference will take place Tuesday, April 11, 2017:

  • 8:30–9 a.m. Registration and Coffee. Clark Hall 212
  • 9–10:15 a.m. Keynote address: Drs. Linda and Michael Hutcheon
  • 10:15–10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30–11:30 a.m. Session 1: Collaboration from a distance: Three perspectives on Review, Research, and Relationships
    This session will focus on the nature of collaboration in research. That collaboration may be in form of reviewing books, in the form of working with other researchers internationally, or in the form of breaking down the binary between researchers and participants.
    Presenters: Colette Simonot, Christina Behme, Patricia Douglas
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Session 2: Supporting Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity: A View from the Dean’s Office
    This session will explore how Deans can facilitate collaboration and interdisciplinary research in their faculties—and/or in their own research.
    Presenters: Heather Duncan, Dean Care, Greg Gatien
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:30–2:30 p.m. Session 3: Interdisciplinary Research in Practice
    This session will turn its attention to the nature, challenges, and rewards of interdisciplinary research. What does it mean to “work between disciplines”? What does inter- or multi-disciplinary research look like in practice?
    Presenters: Joel Krentz, Penny Tryphonopoulos and Pamela Rutherford
  • 2:30–2:45 p.m. Closing remarks; conference evaluations
  • 7:30-10 p.m. Lecture/Concert featuring the Hutcheons and singers from the School of Music. Location: The Music Studio, 940 Rosser Ave. We’ll start with snacks, beverages, and mingling from 7:30-8 p.m., then carry on to the music, the lecture, more music, and then more mingling.


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