The Faculty of Arts at UBC brings together the best of quantitative research, humanistic inquiry, and artistic expression to advance a better world. Graduate students in the Faculty of Arts create and disseminate knowledge in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Creative and Performing Arts through teaching, research, professional practice, artistic production, and performance.

Arts has more than 25 academic departments, institutes, and schools 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 that deepen our understanding of humanity in an age of scientific and technological discovery. Whether Arts scholars work with local communities, or tackle issues such as climate change, world music, or international development, their research has a deep impact on the local and international stage.

The disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches in our classrooms, labs, and 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.


Research Facilities

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 trained 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 addresses 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 for collections-based research, an Ethnology Lab, a Conservation Lab, an Oral History and Language Lab supporting audio recording and digitization, a library, an archive, and a Community Lounge for 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 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 81 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. 

External funding also signifies the research success of our faculty. In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Faculty of Arts received $34.6 million through over 900 research projects. Of seven UBC SSHRC Partnership Grants awarded to-date, six are located in Arts, with a combined investment of $15 million over the term of the grants.

Since the 2011 introduction of the SSHRC Insight Grants and SSHRC Insight Development Grants programs, our faculty’s success rate has remained highly stable, and is consistently higher than the national success rate.

Graduate Degree Programs

Research Supervisors in Faculty

or browse the list of faculty members in various academic units. You may click each unit to view faculty members appointed in that unit. View the full faculty member directory for more search and filter options.
Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Kam, Christopher Department of Political Science Nature and evolution of parliamentary democracy, historical development of institutions
Kamat, Vinay Ramnath Department of Anthropology Anthropology; Global Health and Emerging Diseases; Dispossession; East Africa; ethnography; Extractive Industry; Global Health; India; Malaria; marine conservation; Medical Anthropology; Outsourcing of Clinical Trials; political ecology; Tanzania
Kandlikar, Milind School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Climate change impacts and adaptation; Product life cycle; Environmental policy; Research, science and technology policy; Environmental impacts; Air Quality and Climate Change; Technological Risk; Technology and Development
Karimi, Aryan Department of Sociology Sociology; migration and refugee flows; role of ethnic and racial boundaries in assimilation practices; lived experiences of racialized refugee and diasporic communities
Karwowska, Bozena Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies Sexuality, Body and Gender in Nazi Concentration Camps
Kasahara, Hiroyuki Vancouver School of Economics Econometrics and international trade
Kemple, Thomas Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies Social and cultural theory, history of social sciences, literary and interpretive methods, aesthetic sociology, visual representation of concepts and arguments
Kennedy, Emily Department of Sociology Sociology; Environment and Society; Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection; Gender; social class; Sustainable consumption
Kerns, Connor Department of Psychology assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD); childhood anxiety and stress-related disorders; trauma-related disorders; Autism; Anxiety; Comorbidity
Khanna, Tarun School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Economics; Renewable energy systems (except smart systems engineering); Environmental policy; energy economics; Evidence synthesis; policy evaluation; electricity markets; energy in development; decarbonization of the energy sector
Kia, Hannah School of Social Work LGBTQ2S+ health; LGBTQ2S+ aging; social work and other professional practice with sexual and gender minorities; effective social work practice with trans and gender diverse people; poverty, sexual and mental health issues among diverse LGBTQ2S+ populations
Kim, Christine Department of English Language and Literatures English language; Asian North American literature and theory; Canadian Literature; Cultural Studies; Diaspora Studies
Kim, Eric Department of Psychology Health psychology; Psychosocial, sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health; Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); psychological well-being; Purpose in life / Meaning in life; resilience; Optimism / Hope; Health Psychology; Social Epidemiology; Aging
King, Ross Department of Asian Studies Historical linguistics, diachronics, and dialectology; Korean philology; history of Korean literary culture; Korean historical linguistics; Korean dialectology; history of the Sinographic Cosmopolis
Kingstone, Alan Department of Psychology Cognitive sciences
Klein, Peter School of Journalism, Writing, and Media Media Types (Radio, Television, Written Press, etc.); Video and New Media; Global Health and Emerging Diseases; Large International Projects; Media and Democratization; Global Journalism; Innovation in Journalism; Documentary Production; Investigative Reporting
Klein, Naomi Department of Geography crisis and political transformation, large-scale shocks as catalysts and accelerators for broad-based social change
Klonsky, Elisha Department of Psychology Clinical psychology; Suicide (theory, motivations, transition from suicidal thoughts to attempts); emotion; personality.
Kojevnikov, Alexei Department of History Modern history of science, especially physics, science, society,and culture, Russia and Soviet History, Nuclear History and the Cold War
Koncan, Frances School of Creative Writing
Koppes, Michele Department of Geography climate change, glaciers, natural hazards, landscape change, polar regions, ice-ocean interactions
Kramer, Jennifer Department of Anthropology Visual culture and art of the First Nations
Kunz, Nadja School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering Mining engineering; Public administration; Public policy; Public security policy; Decision Analysis; Environmental engineering; Hydrology; Risk management; Systems engineering; water resources management
Kuus, Merje Department of Geography transnational regulatory practices in contemporary Europe, but the empirical focus undergirds a broader interest in knowledge and power, structure and agency, in bureaucratic and policy-making settings; political identity, subject-formation, and center-periphery relations, especially in contemporary Europe
Kwakkel, Erik School of Information Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; Codicology; History of Libraries; History of the Book; Medieval Manuscripts; Paleography; History of Reading


Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Arts.


Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2022 Dr. Khatami examined the role that exiles play in shaping politics and history. Comparing cases from North America to the Middle East, his study demonstrates how the excluded use artistic means to reconstitute the societies they live in. This research offers a new perspective on democratic thinking and the role of art in political life. Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Haddock's research advances our understanding of the nature of the relationships between children's theory of mind and social-emotional functioning by providing a comprehensive account of these relationships, and highlighting that complex mental state understanding is of particular importance to children's social-emotional wellbeing. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Ortiz examines the role of the magazines in the early twentieth-century intellectual and cultural fields of the Andes. He analyzes how magazines become a dispositif that operates in-between the aesthetic and political ideologies discussed and disputed in the interplay of avant-garde movements, political revolutions, and social transformations. Doctor of Philosophy in Hispanic Studies (PhD)
2022 Dr. Topp explored the intersections between virtual reality technology and music composition and performance. His research resulted in the development of Virtual Reality - Open Sound Control, an open platform for networking virtual reality interactions with modern music creation tools. Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition (DMA)
2022 Dr. Alonzo studied the interactions between geographic mobility and marriage markets. He showed that marriage increases the concentration of workers in high-productivity areas by affecting their migration patterns. His research highlights the role of families in shaping the geography of economic activity. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Robb investigated the impacts of decarbonization on Canada's physical and cultural landscapes. His research developed new place-based methods to visualize, design, and evaluate potential pathways toward Canada's post-carbon future. Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
2022 Dr. Johnson's research examined the political economy of the American blood plasma industry. Following the history of this economy from plantation prisons in the US south to the opening of new plasma centers in the contemporary suburbs, her work reveals how relations of race and inequality shape this increasingly significant economy. Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
2022 Dr. Bhardwaj studied how a cosmopolitan community of progressive South Asian Canadian labour cultural activists contested cultural hegemony in British Columbia in the 1980s. He records and reinterprets a unique phase of intercommunity cultural solidarity that succeeded in producing a forceful critique against gender inequality. Doctor of Philosophy in Asian Studies (PhD)
2022 Dr. Johnson developed a new bilingual speech data set and demonstrated a high degree of similarity in voice and sound categories for Cantonese and English. Her research offers insight into the nature of bilingual speech and furthers our understanding of how language interacts with the mind. Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Roes studied the brain networks measurable through fMRI. Using a new analysis method, Spatiotemporal fMRI-CPCA, she showed that resting state networks did not adequately account for task-based activity. She argues that task-based networks provide unique information about brain-cognition relations not available from resting state data alone. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)