Undergraduate Research Explorer
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Kaliyah Macaraig

Kaliyah Maria Macaraig 

Kaliyah Macaraig is a fourth-year student specializing in Art History with a minor in Classical Civilization in the Faculty of Arts & Science. Her research experiences with U of T have taken her from Ontario to Greece, and spanned topics from Indigenous history, to Islamic Art, to archaeological work.

As part of coursework (FAH473: Studies in Canadian Architecture and Landscapes), Kaliyah conducted archival and secondary historical research to uncover the overlooked histories of a heritage site owned by Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT), particularly Indigenous histories. She presented her findings to the OHT team and heritage workers to advocate for the greater recognition of underrepresented communities and used this information to update their statement of significance. 

Kaliyah also participated in the Work Study program with U of T’s Islamic Art and Material Culture Collaborative. Through Work Study, Kaliyah completed a series of object-based research essays focusing on contemporary Islamic art in Canada under themes relating to community, visibility and identity. She also assisted with logistics for a visiting lecturer event on campus and at the Royal Ontario Museum. 

Finally, Kaliyah spent a summer in the Research Excursion Program conducting archaeological research in Palaikastro, Greece where she learned theory and techniques for responsible and efficient retrieval, study and preservation of materials. Here, she learned hands-on field research skills as well as logistical intricacies like legal codes and funding. However, the personal connections and life lessons she learned from other REP students, researchers, and the local residents of the communities where she worked were the most enriching parts of this experience. 

Throughout all her research experiences, Kaliyah learned how to write for different audiences and ensure that information is conveyed effectively and coherently. She also learned the important skill for her field of how to critically analyze texts:

“I was able to branch beyond reading a text just as an isolated work. Rather, I began to ask what a text tells us about larger socio-economic, cultural, political, and sometimes even disciplinary patterns. Asking about how a text fits into a larger world and system, even with implications on communities and spaces in our world, has been a key skill that has driven the trajectory of my work in the classroom and beyond.”

Kaliyah learned that research, whether it takes place in a lab or through archival work, may seem isolated from lived experience, but it actually often has implications for living communities. She was also inspired by scholars’ commitment to including these communities’ voices– “research is a force of change… the new research we create today can challenge status-quos, provide new perspectives, celebrate the overlooked, celebrate innovation, advocate for new policies, and so many other avenues of shaping the world.” 

All of her research experiences have grown her interests in community-oriented work. Although her research journey at U of T has come to an end, she is thankful for the opportunities she was offered and is incredibly proud of her achievements.

Research Type(s): Community-Engaged Research, Research-Directed Courses, International Research Experiences