Liam Devitt thought their educational path was mapped out until a professor noticed their skill at research. Liam switched to a major in history and has since presented research projects at Lethbridge's Galt Museum & Archives, as well as at conferences in Toronto and London, U.K.
Meet Liam | Program: Bachelor of Arts (BA) | Major: History
How did you get involved in research?
"Through Dr. Kristine Alexander, professor and Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies. I was in her Britain in the First World War course. One day after class, she came up to me while I was in line at the Tim Hortons in UHall. She said I did really well on an assignment and that we needed to talk, so I grabbed my coffee and she told me that I seemed good at research and had a great analytical eye. It was really validating because I was at this juncture in my university life where I was unsure what I wanted to do; it was really great to have someone whose work I respect tell me that I am good at research."
What do you like about research?
"Research in history is incredibly fun to me. Going through documents that you feel no one has touched in 100 years is really cool; you kind of feel like a detective, putting together pieces of a puzzle. Historical research is so important because we can take these small, sometimes disparate pieces of information and bring them together. That has really big implications for how we see our world, how we see our everyday lives and our place in society."
Research in the humanities is incredibly important because we tend to think of ourselves as individuals and not necessarily as part of a greater collective. It reminds us of our relationship to people, that we live in a community with, that we have lived in communion with in the past, and it shows us different ways of existing.
Tell us about one of your research projects.
"I did a lot of assistant curatorial and research work on an exhibition at the Galt Museum & Archives called, Inqueeries, which was about 2SLGBTQ+ histories of southwestern Alberta. This was a collaborative exhibition involving researchers from uLethbridge, me and another University student, but what made this exhibition really special was that it involved a group of local queer youth, called Queer Impact Club — a civic engagement group for queer youth, where they can go and find and build community. The involvement of the Queer Impact Club established a connection between the past and the present and it came through in a really beautiful and amazing way. It was the first exhibit of its kind to talk about queer history in Lethbridge."
Learn more about Liam's uLethbrige experience: