Hannah Skelding (she/her)

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Photo of Hannah Skelding, CGMA recipient


Tell us about yourself.

I am currently pursuing a MSc in Risk and Community Resilience through the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. I am interested in natural resource management. My research is about the mining industry in Alberta and focuses on historic coal mining narratives.  

List the scholarly association(s) of which you are currently a member. 

  • SSHRC 

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending? 


What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation?  

Gender and the Resource Curse: Early Albertan Coal Society 

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

Life in Albertan coal communities from 1890-1920 was challenging for miners. But what about their families and the communities living in the periphery of these towns? The women living in these towns and the adjacent Indigenous communities were not meaningfully included in the historical record. Their stories are largely excluded from Alberta’s early coal society, mentioned briefly through tales of inadequate housing and schooling, and red-light districts. Exploring how women, particularly Indigenous women, were mentioned in the dominant historical narrative of coal in Alberta provides insight into important contemporary issues. This work is an urgent exploration of the foundation of resource extraction in Alberta. 

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions

Currently, the government of Alberta and industry have started to consider a more prominent future for coal mining in the province. As this transition is being considered it is imperative that we revisit the foundations of coal communities in Alberta.

Share your hopes for Congress 2022.

I am excited to attend my first Congress! My hope is that I will learn and grow as I hear more about the research my peers are doing. I am excited to share more about my work and I am looking forward to connecting with everyone.