On Friday, April 13, 2018, graduate students and faculty members from Information and Media Studies (FIMS), Music, and Law came together for the second-annual FIMULAW Graduate Interdisciplinary Research Day.
“Interdisciplinary research is the future of knowledge production and creation,” says Kelly Bylica, Western Music graduate student and one of FIMULAW’s organizers. “We are not going to solve any issues thinking about research in a siloed way.”
The event provided graduate students and faculty members an opportunity to present new ideas and engage in a transparent and open dialogue with researchers from other faculties.
Research topics ranged from LGBTQ+ children’s picture books in Ontario public libraries to collaboration between music educators and music therapists, and data security and society’s diminishing ideology of privacy.
FIMULAW 2018 also featured two panel presentations, lightning talks, musical performances and poster presentations from graduate students in each of the three faculties.
“We were keen on presenting research in different ways,” says Shamiram Zendo, Western FIMS graduate student and FIMULAW co-organizer.
For example, due to their limited time and rapid pace, lightning talks – three-minute presentations with limited slides – were intended to pique curiosity and promote discussions between researchers long after the talks had ended.
Zendo added the conference was well attended and the format very well received.
FIMULAW 2018 had panel presentations on deconstructing privilege, and mental health.
“We had asked for topic recommendations from graduate students and faculty members from all three faculties,” says Lisa Macklem, Western Law graduate student and FIMULAW co-organizer. “Both panel topics were very relevant across all three faculties.”
The panel on mental health – moderated by law professor Jacob Shelly – featured discussions about the impact of social media on mental health, assessing the mental health of Canada’s incarcerated population, and the healing power of music in dealing with traumatic situations.
“The event is a great opportunity for graduate students to learn more about their own field of research from a completely different perspective,” Macklem says.