B. Lynne Milgram named second OCAD
Distinguished Researcher Award recipient
(Toronto—October 22, 2009) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) today announced that Faculty of Liberal Studies Professor B. Lynne Milgram, Ph.D. is the recipient of the second annual OCAD Distinguished Researcher Award. Her achievement will be celebrated at a talk Milgram will deliver about her research on Wednesday, November 4, at 5:30 p.m., hosted by OCAD’s Research & Graduate Studies office.
The Distinguished Researcher Award is conferred on the basis of a strong portfolio of evidence — not only of research, scholarship and creative activity, but also of the impact that activity has had on the broad spectrum of art and design research and practice internationally. The award also recognizes contributions toward undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly training. Only permanent, tenured or tenure-track faculty are eligible for nomination, and nominations are reviewed by the Academic Council Committee on Research before recommendations are made to the vice-President, Research & Graduate Studies.
“I am pleased with Dr. Milgram’s selection as the recipient of the 2009 OCAD Award for Distinguished Research and Creativity,” said Michael Owen, Vice-President of Research & Graduate Studies at OCAD. “A nationally funded researcher, Dr. Milgram’s research is an illustration of the way in which OCAD faculty members seek to understand the transnational dynamics that impact our daily lives — from migration to international cultural and economic connections between diaspora communities and their home communities.”
Lynne Milgram’s research is rooted in anthropology, but lends itself to interdisciplinary collaborations of all kinds. Milgram’s interests and expertise examine the cultural politics of social change with regard to women's ‘informal’ sector work and microfinance development initiatives in crafts, fair trade, the secondhand clothing industry and street vending.
Analyzing the commoditization of crafts, consumption practices and small-scale entrepreneurial activities in the northern Philippines, Milgram’s doctoral research (1997) traced the channels through which women exercise agency in their changing roles in craft production and trade with the advent of global market forces. Milgram’s subsequent research analyzed the socio-economic and political impacts of different microfinance development projects mounted throughout the Philippines. Within this context, Milgram explored the relationship between the institutional claim to empowerment and the capacity of program regulations and structures to generate ‘real’ social and economic opportunities for women.
Milgram’s current project examines Philippine women’s engagement in the global trade and consumption of secondhand clothing between the Philippines and Hong Kong. Related to this inquiry, Milgram is also investigating women’s work as street vendors – an arena of labour that is growing amid increasing urbanization and declines in formal-sector jobs. Although the Philippine government considers both of these forums of work to be “illegal,” women defend their right to dignified livelihoods that use their personal labour and ingenuity given the state’s lack of social and economic responsibility. Milgram thus argues that women, as producers and entrepreneurs, operationalize multiple work options to simultaneously negotiate their positions as sites of globally competitive economic activity and local struggles over state restructuring.
Milgram makes her findings applicable for policy formation by relevant government and non-government organizations seeking to sustain livelihood opportunities for women via a range of appropriate programs. Lynne Milgram’s research projects have been financially supported by the Canada/ASEAN (Association for Southeast Asian Nations) Academic Support Program, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and by OCAD.
OCAD’s Distinguished Researcher Award recipient:
B. Lynne Milgram, Ph.D.
“From Margin to Mainstream:
Refashioning Women’s ‘Informal’ Sector Work in the Philippines”
Wednesday, November 4, 5:30 p.m.
Ontario College of Art & Design
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street
www.ocad.ca | 416-977-6000
All are welcome to attend, and admission is free.
Additional Biographical Information:
Lynne Milgram's research has been published in a number of edited volumes and journals. She has also co-edited (with P. Van Esterik) The Transformative Power of Cloth in Southeast Asia (Canadian Asian Studies Association, 1994); (with K. M. Grimes) Artisans and Cooperatives: Developing Alternative Trade for the Global Economy (University of Arizona Press, 2000); (with R. Hamilton) Material Choices: Refashioning Bast and Leaf Fibers in Asia and the Pacific (Fowler Museum, 2007) and most recently (with K. E. Browne) Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches (AltaMira Press, 2009). The volume, Material Choices, won the 2007 R. L. SHEP Award for Textile Book of the Year awarded by The Textile Society of America.
About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
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For more information and images please contact:
Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)