Carleton University’s Noah Schwartz, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, is among the top 25 finalists of the national Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Storyteller competition.

Schwartz’s SSHRC-funded research, supervised by Mira Sucharov, seeks to better understand the impact of the National Rifle Association (NRA) on the gun control debate in America. It focuses specifically on the organization’s use of narratives about America’s past, and its mobilization of collective memory to build the second amendment community from which it draws political strength.

Noah Schwartz at the NRA Indy event

Noah Schwartz

The Storytellers challenge invites post-secondary students from across Canada to showcase their SSHRC-funded projects in presentations under three minutes or 300 words.

The 2020 finalists each received their cash prize of $3,000 and they will be invited to participate in the Storytellers Showcase at the 2021 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The final five winners chosen at that event will be featured at SSHRC’s Impact Awards ceremony in fall 2021.

Given the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19 and the nature of the Storytellers competition, where finalists must effectively communicate their research in front of an audience, SSHRC has decided to postpone this year’s Storytellers Showcase.

Though he may not get the chance to present at the showcase until 2021, Schwartz hopes his research will still have a big impact on an important debate.

“I hope my research will help to better understand the role that narrative, memory and community building play in the policy process,” said Schwartz. “By making the voices of ordinary gun owners heard in academia, I hope to increase understanding on all sides of the American gun debate, paving the way towards meaningful compromise on firearms policy.”

You can watch Schwartz’s video entry here.

Read Schwartz’s article on The Conversation here.

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Steven.Reid3@carleton.ca

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in
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