Anne Murphy is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies and Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research in the Institute of Asian Research. She is also Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Dr. Murphy’s research interests focus on early modern and modern cultural representation in Punjab and within the Punjabi Diaspora, as well as more broadly in South Asia, with particular attention to the historical formation of religious communities.

Why did you become an Associate Dean in G+PS?

I became an Associate Dean in G+PS because I am excited about all the possibilities enabled by the "Reimagining the PhD" initiative, which is creating more opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary graduate education that engages with the public, and for a broader understanding of the purposes and forms of the PhD. I believe that these transformations will enable the production of new knowledge -- and new kinds of knowledge -- by both students and faculty, and allow more effective application of and engagement with that knowledge in the world. I also was interested in experiencing the university from a broader perspective than is available within a single department or program.

What have you learned from the experience? 

I have learned that UBC is an exciting place to be. There are many colleagues, in different Faculties, who value the different kinds of knowledge that can contribute to our understanding of the world, from all disciplines. I look forward to continuing to be a part of these kinds of broad, impactful conversations.

What makes UBC an exciting place for graduate study and for postdoctoral fellows?

The opportunities. There is so much happening at UBC, on so many diverse levels and in such different domains -- all one has to do is step outside and get involved.

What should students know about G+PS?

I think G+PS is a little-known resource for students: there is a lot more to it than filling out forms and crossing off lists of requirements. G+PS offers exciting professional development and networking opportunities, for instance, and the Public Scholars Initiative is a truly innovative program that supports publicly engaged scholarship - I wish there had been something like it when I was in graduate school.

What should UBC faculty members know about G+PS?

The resources available at G+PS for students are quite extraordinary, and the cross-university conversations enabled in the Faculty are exciting. Get involved.

What is one crucial next step in advancing graduate education at UBC?

In general, and for myself as an individual, it is crucial that we continue to promote opportunities for collaborative supervision, collaborative PhD/research projects, and interdisciplinary work. For the sake of students and mentors alike, and scholarship as a whole, we need to continue to foster a team-based approach to graduate education, and collaborative research models that can allow complex questions that we face to be addressed from diverse disciplinary perspectives. These approaches are at work at UBC in really positive ways right now, and its crucial that we broaden their reach, across all the Faculties.