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
Sundstrom, Lisa Department of Political Science nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), global activism, human rights, Democratization, authoritarianism, civil society, Russian/ post-Communist politics, Western aid, and NGOs in global politics
Svendsen, Linda School of Creative Writing Fiction, television
Szabo, Krisztina School of Music
Szkup, Michal Vancouver School of Economics international macroeconomics, financial economics and information economics with a particular focus on the role of coordination failures and financial frictions.
Taylor, Robert School of Music Music, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Music Education, Conducting, Instrumental conducting, brass instruments
Taylor, Timothy School of Creative Writing fiction and nonfiction
Te Punga Somerville, Alice Department of English Language and Literatures, Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies Indigenous Literary And Cultural Studies
Tenenboim, Ori School of Journalism, Writing, and Media
Tenzer, Michael School of Music Music Cultures of the World,  Rhythm,  Music and Human Evolution,  Music and Cultural Critique,  Jazz,  Indonesian Music,  Contemporary Art Music, Performance, composition, promoting interest in the world's finest musics
Tessier, Anne-Michelle Department of Linguistics Linguistic structures (including grammar, phonology, lexicon and semantics); Constraint-based grammars; L2 production and perception in childhood; Language Acquisition; Lexical avoidance; Phonology; Prosodic processing with cochlear implants; Shitgibbons; U-shaped development
Testa, Carlo Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Italian literature, history of cinema, theory/film studies
Thauberger, Althea Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory Art history and theory; Curatorial and related studies; Visual arts and media arts; Biopolitics and institutional critique/reform; Media philosophy; Photographic history/theory; Settler decolonization, and site-based art and activism
Thobani, Sunera Department of Asian Studies Critical race, postcolonial and feminist theory
Thompson, Evan Department of Philosophy Philosophy; Asian Philosophies; Cognitive Science; Phenomenology; Philosophical Foundations; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; Theories and Philosophies
Thrush, Coll Department of History Indigenous history; settler colonialism; Pacific history; Northwest Coast
Tiberghien, Yves Department of Political Science Political science; global politics
Tindall, David Department of Sociology environmental movement, social movements, environmental protest, social protest, social networks, social aspects of climate change, Aboriginal protest about natural resources and environmental issues, social surveys, polling, environmental politics, environmental attitudes, environmental values, opinion about the environment, protest about pipelines, protest about oil sands, protest about tar sands, wilderness, wilderness preservation, use of social media in social protest, use of social media in social movements, social media and social networks, social aspects of forestry, climate change policy, news media, social psychology of environmental issues, Envionmental sociology, social research methods, aboriginal forestry, social science
Todd, Rebecca Department of Psychology Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Psychology and cognitive sciences; cognition; Emotional learning (associative learning of reward and punishment); Human Cognition and Emotion; Human Neurocognitive processes underlying all of the above; Learning and Memory; Motivation, Emotions and Rewards; Motivationally and affectively biased attention and memory
Tomc, Sandra Department of English Language and Literatures Nineteenth-century US literature, twentieth- century US entertainment and film, gothic literature and film, screenwriting, affect and psychoanalytic theory, fear and horror, film and image theory
Tracy, Jessica Department of Psychology emotion, self-conscious emotions (pride, Emotion, nonverbal expression, self-conscious emotions (eg, pride, shame), the self, self-esteem, narcissism, trends in psychological science
Turin, Mark Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, Department of Anthropology Anthropology; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Lexicography and Dictionaries; Language Contact and Linguistic Changes; Language Rights and Policies; Language Interactions; Political Culture, Society and Ideology; Bella Bella; Bhutan; First Nations; Heiltsuk; Indigeneity; Nepal; Sikkim; Tibet
Turner, Hannah School of Information Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; cataloguing and classification; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Impacts of New Information Technologies; information practice; museum anthropology; Science and technology studies
Tworek, Heidi Department of History Historical studies; Europe; Germany; history of media and communications; international organizations; international relations; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies
Usher, Camille Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory Contemporary art; Indigenous visual culture; curatorial practices; Museum studies; feminism and performance; public art and graffiti
Valadares, Desiree Department of Geography Architecture; Social and economic geography; territoriality, occupation and empire in Canada and the non-contiguous US


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 Dr. Zhang studied how individuals high in perfectionism form relationships in group psychotherapy. Her research elaborates on the mechanisms of how perfectionism may negatively impact the process of psychotherapy and informs intervention strategies. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hofman examined the relationship between privacy and transparency, finding that recordkeeping mediates that relationship. She developed a framework for records professionals making decisions weighing privacy, transparency, and secrecy based on archival principles. Her research can improve digital technology to better protect privacy. Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (PhD)
2020 Dr. Mabi investigated the role of information and identity for African Immigrants seeking equitable employment in Vancouver. She demonstrated that the multifaceted identities of immigrants had a significant impact on access to settlement support and employment outcomes, highlighting the value of an intersectional approach to immigrant settlement. Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (PhD)
2020 Dr. Standing presented a new historical interpretation of the early modern English Chancery's role in relocating moral obligation from a spiritual to a temporal jurisdiction. Arguing that this shift is registered in the period's drama, she has contributed to an important ongoing conversation about personal interiority, state values, and conscience. Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
2020 Dr. Graham examined the pedagogical benefits of learning and performing a musical genre known as complexism - a style that has received much criticism over the years. He presented interviews with well-known performers, analysis of his own experience, and highlighted the benefits the musician will see as a result of an experience with this genre. Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Instrument (DMA)
2020 Dr. Hofer found that a romantic partner may improve health even when not physically present. Olfactory cues from a romantic partner improved people's ability to cope with stress and the likelihood of a good night's sleep. Her work suggests simple strategies that promote health and can be readily applied to a range of people and situations. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Khadka explored the exclusions based on race, gender, class, and linguistic and cultural competence that shape the experience of labour market negotiations among Bhutanese refugees in Canada. His research recommends inclusive labour policies to promote successful refugee resettlement. Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)
2020 Dr. Boltokova examined processes of language change among the Sakha, an Indigenous People in northeastern Russia. She shows that disagreements between older and younger Sakha about how their language should be spoken is a key driver of linguistic change. Her study strengthens our understanding of Indigenous language revitalization. Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Osa Gomez del Campo focused on how Spanish speakers use discourse markers to coordinate conversations. She proposes a dynamic model of interaction that shows how speakers use these words to coordinate, and sometimes impose, knowledge and intentions. Her work is relevant for models of interaction, and the comparison and teaching of languages. Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Blundon showed that hearing may be one of the last senses to remain active before death. Some hospice patients may still be able to hear sounds, especially music, when they become unresponsive just before they pass away. These results broaden our understanding of what happens to us as we die and how best to care for our dying loved ones. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)