About Us

CICAS positions itself as a strategic hub for interdisciplinary, collaborative research and innovation in the Northern Ontario region.

Spearheaded by Dr. Pavlina Radia (CICAS Director, Nipissing University) and Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff (Interim Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science, Nipissing University), the centre fosters interdisciplinary collaborations at Nipissing University and beyond through research clusters that are organized around particular themes and research interests.

The centre draws on Nipissing’s strategic location as a connecting point between both metropolitan and rural areas of Southern and Northern Ontario. In addition to its historical and geographic resonance, Nipissing also takes pride in its digital infrastructure supported by Contact North.

With the increasing impact of digital media on research and education, digital humanities are becoming not only an essential lynchpin in the process of revitalizing the arts and sciences in the twenty-first century, but also a strategic player in levelling power asymmetries and literacy deficits that continue to trouble disadvantaged communities in the North.

In light of this shift and its impact on the future of research and education, the centre’s primary research initiatives connect the increasing emphasis on the digital economy with relevant critical and technical literacies that address the digital divide through sustained scholarship and research collaboration. In addition to the focus on digital literacies and culture, the centre also encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative research in social and historical studies, environmental health, and applied studies.

The centre’s main research areas include the following clusters and sub-clusters:

  • Digital Culture and Community
    • Cyborg identities, contemporary society, and literature
    • Ethnologies, history, memory, and digital culture
    • Digital media and state violence
    • Digital media and human rights violations
    • Power, violence, and the Internet
    • Space, community, and digital humanities
    • The future of humanities education in the digital age
    • Education and technology
  • Social and Historical Studies
    • Culture and/of the North
    • Creativity and the culture of the North
    • History, nursing, and gender
    • Gender, poverty, and history
  • Environmental Health
    • Environment and the North
    • Water governance and First Nations water rights
    • Leadership in health care
    • Family health in the North
    • Applications of information technologies to e-health

Last but not least, the primary role of research clusters is to promote the importance of a collaborative, interdisciplinary dialogue across departmental and disciplinary boundaries, but also to invigorate the link between the humanities and sciences. Upcoming initiatives include CICAS Talk Series and an International Symposium to be held in 2015.

For more information, contact Dr. Pavlina Radia, Director of CICAS, at pavlinar@nipissingu.ca.

Dr. Pavlina Radia


Dr. Pavlina Radia is an Associate Professor in English Literary Studies at Nipissing University. She is also the Director and co-founder of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Sciences at Nipissing University. She specializes in modernist and contemporary American literature, as well as gender and media studies. Her research interests highlight the importance of trans-disciplinary crossings as a means of critical, but also ethical and socio-cultural inquiry. She has published chapters in books and articles in international journals. She was a guest editor of Double Dialogues Issue 15 on hunger in the arts. With Dr. Ann McCulloch, she also co-edited a book titled Food and Appetites: The Hunger Artist and the Arts, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2012). She is currently finishing a book on American modernism. Her book on contemporary American literature and consumerism is to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff


Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff has recently been appointed dean at NSCAD U. A Victorianist with a secondary interest in Digital Humanities, Dr. Graff's research explores the ways in which marginality is marked. From “Darwin’s Sirens” through marginal glossing of hypertext, her research intersects the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, and reflects the added value of establishing networks of research (and of teaching) across and between disciplines. Dr. Graff has been a champion for Digital Humanities which, as a discipline and as a prospective research and teaching focus, presents a model for the kinds of collaboration work well at mid-size Canadian universities; it reflects and adds to strengths across departments, while providing opportunities for developing new knowledge, satisfying workplace demands, and addressing social realities.