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
Simchen, Ori Department of Philosophy Philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of law
Sin, Nancy Department of Psychology Psychology and cognitive sciences; social determinants of health; stress; Social Aspects of Aging; Health Promotion; Lifestyle Determinants and Health; Adult development and aging; cardiovascular disease; depression; Emotions; Health behaviours; Stress processes; Well-being
Sinnamon, Luanne Silvia School of Information Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; human information interaction; Information Systems; information retrieval; New Technology and Social Impacts
Siu, Henry Vancouver School of Economics business cycle, recession, unemployment, Business cycles and the consequences of macroeconomic forces on the labour market
Slingerland, Edward Department of Philosophy Asian Studies, Chinese philosophy, philosophy, religion, religion and conflict, secularism, spontaneity, ethics, science-humanities integration, interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary research, Chinese thought, religious studies (comparative religion, cognitive science and evolution of religion), cognitive linguistics (blending and conceptual metaphor theory), ethics (virtue ethics, moral psychology), evolutionary psychology, the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences, and the classical Chinese language
Smilges, Logan Department of English Language and Literatures
Smith, Tai Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory History of art and architecture; Art theory and analysis; Visual theory, visual culture and visual literacy; Arts and Technologies; Economical Contexts; Gender; media theory; Modern and Contemporary Art and Design; Politics of Media and Mediation; Textiles
Snowberg, Erik Vancouver School of Economics Political economy; Behavioural Economics; Experimental Design; Data-Intensive Methods in Economics
Snyder, Jason Department of Psychology plasticity, learning, memory, stress, mental health, emotional behaviour
Solimine, Philip Industry economics and industrial organization; Econometrics; Data-driven estimation, optimization, and control; Collaborative and social computing; Experimental economics
Soma, Kiran Department of Psychology Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Psychology and cognitive sciences; Zoology; Behavior; Biological Behavior; Endocrinology; Neuroendocrine Diseases; Neuronal Communication and Neurotransmission; Neuronal Systems; neuroscience; stress
Song, Kyungchul Vancouver School of Economics Estimation of structural models based on interactions among economic agents
Soskuthy, Marton Department of Linguistics language change; Computational modeling; Statistics; Phonetics; Cognitive systems
Speller, Camilla Department of Anthropology Anthropology; Archeological Data Analysis; Molecular Genetics; Ancient DNA Analysis (paleogenetics); Ancient proteins (paleoproteomics); Animal Domestication; Bioarchaeology; Environmental Archaeology; Marine Ecosystems
Squires, Munir Vancouver School of Economics Development Economics, Firms and Productivity
Sriram, Veena School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, School of Population and Public Health Social sciences; Global health policy; Politics of policy processes; South Asian Studies; Governance; Health workers; power
Stainton, Timothy School of Social Work Developmental Disability, Disability, Social Policy, History of Developmental Disability, Philosophy of Welfare
Starling, Dan Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory
Stecklov, Guy Department of Sociology Family and household demographic studies; Fertility; Migration; Mortality; Demography; Studies of Canadian society; Demographic behavior; Historical social change; Demographic Change in Sub-Saharan Africa; Migration and assimilation; Population and Development; Research and survey methodology
Stephens, Christopher Department of Philosophy Philosophy; philosophy of biology; philosophy of science; rationality; scientific philosophy; Why be rational?
Stickles, Elise Department of English Language and Literatures English language; Mental Representation; grammar; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax; Imagery; Symbolism; Gestural, Verbal Communications; Public Communication; Data mining
Stratton, James Department of English Language and Literatures Linguistics; historical linguistics; Language variation and change
Sultan, Nazmul Department of Political Science Political science; history of political thought; empire and anticolonial thought; popular sovereignty; modern conceptions of the global
Sunar, Kiran Department of Asian Studies literature, religion, and culture in Punjab
Sundberg, Juanita Department of Geography Militarization and Everyday Life in the US-Mexico Borderlands, environmental dimensions of US's border security policies in the Mexican border


Graduate Student Stories

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
2020 Close individuals tend to show synchronized ups and downs of stress hormones such as cortisol. Dr. Pauly examined interconnections in cortisol levels in older couples' daily lives. Her findings help us understand the everyday dynamics that contribute to health being linked in older couples. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2020 How does one archive the immaterial, the absent, the inaccessible after times of crisis? How does one make visible the disappeared? Dr. O'Brien investigated the work of Lebanese and Palestinian artists who, after the 1975-1990 Civil War in Lebanon, in which 17,000 people were deemed disappeared, make visible these populations and their histories. Doctor of Philosophy in Art History (PhD)
2020 Dr. Choi investigated speech perception in preverbal infants. Her behavioural and neuroimaging research demonstrated that infants integrate information from their articulatory movements during speech perception. These studies advance understandings of how infants may acquire speech, the complex perceptual and motoric skill essential for language. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wei studied how mortgage market fluctuations in the early 2000's affected long-term labor market outcomes in the US. Her work also investigated the impact of tax incentives on small business growth. These findings have policy implications for labor market recoveries after a financial crisis and the promotion of small businesses. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lee used novel techniques and various modelling approaches to evaluate impacts of nitrogen fertilization at a coastal forest and provide better estimates of photosynthesis and respiration. These results help us understand more about the role of temperate forests in climate change mitigation. Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
2020 Dr. O'Regan explored the notion of community in literature of the Hispanic Caribbean diasporas, focusing on authors who write communities that escape classification. No longer identifying by race, culture, class, gender, or sexuality, these collectivities privilege difference over identity for a creative relationality. Doctor of Philosophy in Hispanic Studies (PhD)
2020 Dr. Park found that parents' flexible thinking and problem solving skills are important in reducing the association between the experience of chronic stress and harsh parenting. Given that stress is such a common experience for parents, her study provides important implications for parenting interventions to support healthy child development. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wynes examined how individual actions can be optimized to reduce the greenhouse gases that warm our planet. His interdisciplinary research included analysis of political and lifestyle choices. This study demonstrates that societal elites and motivated members of the public may be missing opportunities to fight climate change more effectively. Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Mitra studied how the decline in labour union power led productivity to rise during recessions since the early 1980s in the US. His work also established a limited role for parents in determining income and consumption inequality among children. These findings have policy implications for temporary job-guarantee in recession and bequest tax. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ho studied the link between physical activity and cognitive function. His research showed that physical activity is associated with improved performance on tasks such as university exams. He also developed a novel way to measure physical activity outdoors. These results have implications for the promotion and measurement of physical activity. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)