To be human is to wonder, to seek meaning, to discover. Faculty of Arts’ graduate students create and disseminate knowledge in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Creative and Performing Arts through teaching, research, professional practice, artistic production, and performance in the context of freedom of inquiry and intellectual curiosity.

Arts combines the strengths of the humanities, social sciences, and creative and performing arts to serve as an interdisciplinary hub for research, learning, and innovation. Whether Arts scholars work with local communities, or explore issues such as climate change, world music, or international development, their research has a deep and broad impact on the local and international stage.

Arts has 25 academic departments, institutes, and schools spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Creative and Performing Arts as well as professional programs, more than 15 interdisciplinary programs, a gallery, a museum, theatres, concert venues, and a performing arts centre. Truly unique in its scope, the Faculty of Arts is a dynamic and thriving community of outstanding scholars – both faculty and students. 

Here, our students explore cutting-edge ideas in the creative arts, humanities, and social sciences, ideas that deepen their understanding of our humanity and its central role in an age of scientific and technological discovery. The disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches in our classrooms, our labs, and in our cultural venues inspire students to apply their knowledge both to and beyond their specialization. Using innovation and collaborative learning, our graduate students create rich pathways to knowledge and real connections to global thought leaders.

 
1118
Master's Students
704
Doctoral Students
567
Graduate Degrees Awarded

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Research Facilities

The UBC library has extensive collections, especially in Arts, and houses Canada’s greatest Asian language library. Arts graduate programs enjoy the use of state-of-the-art laboratories, the world renowned Museum of Anthropology and the Belkin Contemporary Art Gallery (admission is free for our graduate students). World-class performance spaces include theatres, concert venues and a performing arts centre. 

Since 2001, the Belkin Art Gallery has participated in the training of young curators at the graduate level in the Critical and Curatorial Studies program in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory. The Master of Arts program aims to address the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays and communicating about contemporary art.

The MOA Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) undertakes research on world arts and cultures, and supports research activities and collaborative partnerships through a number of spaces; including Research Rooms dedicated to collections-based research, an Ethnology Lab, a Conservation Lab, an Oral History and Language Lab supporting audio recording and digitization, a Library, an Archives, and a Community Lounge for the use of groups engaged in research activities. The CCR includes virtual services supporting collections-based research through the MOA CAT Collections Online site that provides access to the Museum’s collection of approximately 40,000 objects and nearly 80,000 object images, and the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) that brings together 430,000 object records and associated images from 19 institutions.

Research Highlights

The Faculty of Arts at UBC is internationally renowned for research in the social sciences, humanities, professional schools, and creative and performing arts.

As a research-intensive faculty, Arts is a leader in the creation and advancement of knowledge and understanding. Scholars in the Faculty of Arts form cross-disciplinary partnerships, engage in knowledge exchange, and apply their research locally and globally.

Arts faculty members have won Guggenheim Fellowships, Humboldt Fellowships, and major disciplinary awards. We have had 51 faculty members elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and several others win Killam Prizes, Killam Research Fellowships, Emmy Awards, and Order of Canada awards. In addition, Arts faculty members have won countless book prizes, national disciplinary awards, and international disciplinary awards. We consistently attract high levels of external research funding, and our success rate in the SSHRC Insight Grants and SSHRC Insight Development Grants programs is consistently higher than the national success rate.

Graduate Degree Programs

Research Supervisors in Faculty

Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Barker, John Department of Anthropology Local and global religion, history of Canadian anthropology, ethno-history, the anthropology of art and the impact of international environmental organizations upon indigenous peoples
Barnes, Trevor Department of Geography Vancouver
Baron, Andrew Department of Psychology cognitive development, infancy, childhood, adolescence, racism, race, stereotypes, cooperation, bias, innateness, science education, multiculturalism, gender, ethnicity, neuromarketing, attitudes, preferences, psychology
Bartha, Paul Department of Philosophy logic; probability; analogical reasoning, Philosophy of science, decision theory
Baum, Bruce Department of Political Science Political Culture, Society and Ideology, critical social theory, feminist theory, critical hermeneutics, issues of cross-cultural interpretation, American political thought and cultural politics, political theories of Mill and Marx, philosophy of political inquiry, liberal and democratic theory
Baylis, Patrick Vancouver School of Economics Climate Changes and Impacts, Economic Planning of Energy, environmental economics, climate change economics, energy economics
Beasley-Murray, Jon Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Latin American studies, social and political theory
Beatty, John Henry Department of Philosophy Socio-political dimensions of genetics and evolutionary biology
Beauchesne, Kim Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Colonial Latin American literature and culture, Postcolonial theory, Comparative literature, Notions of hybridity and multiculturalism, Translation Studies, Trans-Atlantic/Trans-Pacific Studies, Politics of utopia in Latin America, Legacy of colonialism in Latin American contemporary literature, Literature and human rights
Beaudry, Paul Vancouver School of Economics National and International macroeconomic issues, Business cycles, inflation, financial markets, the macro-economic effects of technological change and globalization, and the determinants of aggregate employment and wages
Bedke, Matthew Department of Philosophy Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Foundations of Ethics, Social Organization and Political Systems, Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice, metaethics, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, epistemology
Bergmann, Luke Department of Geography Geomatics, Globalization
Berryman, Sylvia Department of Philosophy Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Ancient Greek natural philosophy, Aristotle's ethics, ethics and global poverty
Biesanz, Jeremy Department of Psychology personality, Personality, interpersonal perception, accuracy, personality coherence, quantitative methods
Birch, Susan Department of Psychology Social perspective taking, social learning, social cognition, imitation, nonverbal behavior, confidence, communication, decision-making, impression formation, child development My primary area of expertise is the study of children and adults’ social perspective taking abilities (i.e., their abilities to reason about other peoples’ mental states–their intentions, knowledge, and beliefs) and how their abilities to take another person’s perspective impacts how they form impressions of others, learn from others, communicate with others, and informs a range of socials. Of particular interest is a) how children make inferences about what is credible information to learn (e.g., how they decide whether someone is a credible source of information based on how confident that person seems) and b) how a widespread bias in perspective taking referred to as ‘the curse of knowledge bias’ (a difficulty reasoning about a more naive perspective as the result of being biased by one’s current knowledge) can impair communication (both written and in person) and decision-making across a range of fields (politics, law, education, economics, medicine, etc.)., Development of language, learning, and social understanding in infants and children
Blackburn, Carole Department of Anthropology relationship between Indigenous peoples and settler states; how Indigenous nations assert their rights and sovereignty in struggles over land and political recognition, and the consequences for Indigenous people of engaging states in legal and political arenas.
Blake, Thomas Michael Department of Anthropology Archaeological research, origins and spread of maize agriculture in the Americas, exploration of Coast Salish identities as expressed in house structures and village settlement layouts extending from about 3000 years ago
Bloch, Alexia Department of Anthropology Migration and Transnationalism, Anthropology of Gender, Statelessness, Ethnographic Methods and Writing, Socialist Cultures and Projects of Modernity, Eurasia, Peoples of Siberia
Boccassini, Daniela Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Italian Verbal and visual arts, mediterranean cultural exchanges
Bombardini, Matilde Vancouver School of Economics Lobbying, political economy, international trade, International Trade and Political Economy, link between skill distribution and comparative advantage, the lobbying decision of firms and the behavior of lobbyists
Booker, Courtney Department of History Early medieval europe, histiography, rhetoric, narrative, hermeneutics, literary and textual critcism, latin philology, codicology, transmission of texts, and intertextuality, drama and performativity, politcal theology and l'augustinisme politique, medievalism
Bowers, Katherine Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Arts and Technologies, Arts and Literary Policies, Russian literature, Russian culture, literary culture, genre, narrative, imagined geography, digital media, Dostoevsky, gothic literature
Brain, Robert Department of History History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History
Bratiotis, Christiana School of Social Work
Briggs, Marlene Department of English war and conflict; cultural transmission and reception of the First World War (1914-1918) in modern and contemporary British literature

Pages

Graduate Student Profiles

Sheila Giffen

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
Community Mobilization and the Biopolitics of Race in AIDS Writing and Activism

Jules Koostachin

Doctor of Philosophy in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (PhD)
Indigenous Women in Documentary Film: Women Creating Echoes from the Centre: InNiNiNew IsKweWak KaKioChiTat KaPaSwePaNik AnTa TeTaWitCh

Evan Koike

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
Raising Smiling Fathers: The Construction of Masculinity in Japanese Nonprofit Organizations That Promote Engaged Parenting
Bronwyn Bragg

Bronwyn Bragg

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Citizenship and the city: How migrant status shapes neighbourhood life

Douglas Robb

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Canadian energy landscapes

Mikael Omstedt

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
The politics of debt crisis management in the U.S.

Ryan Schroeder

Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies (PhD)
Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East

Raquel Baldwinson

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
Global Health and the Rhetoric of Interdisciplinarity

Alumni on Success

Kristina Uban

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2013]
Job Title
Post Doctoral Researcher
Employer
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Joshua M Ferguson

Doctor of Philosophy in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (PhD) [2016]
Job Title
Producer, Director, Author, Activist
Employer
Turbid Lake Pictures & Self-Employed

Julie Belanger

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2006]
Job Title
Research Leader
Employer
RAND Europe

Sharon Fortney

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD) [2009]
Job Title
Associate Curator
Employer
Museum of Vancouver

Kirsten Dalrymple

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2010]
Job Title
Research Associate
Employer
University of Minnesota
photo of Melanie Badali, UBC alum

Melanie Badali

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2008]
Job Title
Registered Psychologist
Employer
Private Practice - North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic

Justin Park

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2005]
Job Title
Senior Teaching Fellow
Employer
University of Bristol

Rami Nader

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2005]
Job Title
Director/Psychologist
Employer
North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic

Recent Thesis Submissions