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
Dempsey, Jessica Department of Geography wrestle with the theoretical and historical-geographical complexities of environmental politics as it shapes and is shaped by the entanglement of state, economy, science, and culture
Devereux, Michael Vancouver School of Economics Economics, Macro and Monetary Economics Economic Policy, Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Deficits, Exchange Rates, Capital Flows, Financial Crises, International, monetary
Dick, Alexander Department of English Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Artistic and Literary Theories, Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, British Romanticism, Scottish Enlightenment, Literature and Economics, Literature and the Environment, Literature and Science, Scottish Literature
Dierkes, Julian School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Role of Governments and Institutions, Political Contexts, Social Contexts, Education Systems, Teaching and Learning Systems, Social Organization and Political Systems, public policy, digital diplomacy, policy communication, contemporary Japan, contemporary Mongolia, Japanese education, supplementary education, mining policy, democratization
Dixon, Joy Department of History History of gender, sexuality, and the body, history of religion, history of the social and human sciences, history of empire
Dodson, David School of Music Chromatic harmony, voice leading, musical forms, music theory
Dollinger, Stefan Department of English Language Contact and Linguistic Changes, Linguistic Variation and Society, Lexicography and Dictionaries, Language Interactions, Language Rights and Policies, Bilingualism and Multilingualism
Donner, Simon Department of Geography Climate Changes and Impacts, Prediction and Climatic Modeling, Marine Environment, Climate change science, Climate policy, Science communication, Coastal Ecosystems
Douglas, Jennifer UBC iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies) Personal archives; Writers’ archives; Archival arrangement and description; History and evolution of archival theory; Online communities and archives; Archival representation
Drelichman, Mauricio Vancouver School of Economics Economic history, Spain, Argentina
Drljaca, Igor Department of Theatre & Film
Ducharme, Michel Department of History Social Organization and Political Systems, Political Ideologies, Canadian History before Confederation, Quebec History, Liberalism and Nationalism in Canada and Quebec, Canada and the Atlantic World
Dunn, Elizabeth Department of Psychology Happiness, money and spending decisions, self-knowledge
Duranti, Luciana UBC iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies) Personal archives, Writers' archives, Archival arrangement and description, History and evolution of archival theory, Online communities and archives, Archival representation
Earle, Bo Department of English British Romanticism, Critical Theory, Philosophy and Literature
Eaton, Brett Department of Geography Rivers and climate change, fish habitat, disturbances
Echard, Sian Department of English Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts, Modes and Strategies of Dissemination, Poetry, Media Types (Radio, Television, Written Press, etc.), History of the book, Medieval literature, Arthurian literature, Anglo-Latin literature, Manuscript studies
Eich, Eric Department of Psychology Mood congruence and mood dependence in learning and remembering, memory impairments associated with bipolar affective illness, the cognitive correlates of dissociative identity disorder, and subjective, behavioral, and neural differences between field (first-person perspective) and observer (third-person perspective) memories
Ellermann, Antje Department of Political Science Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, Migratory Flows, Public Policies, Identity and Transnationality, Role of Governments and Institutions, Migration and Citizenship, Comparative Public Policy
Elliott, Sinikka Department of Sociology Family, Inequality, Gender, Sexuality, Qualitative Research Methods, Intersectionality, Social Policy
Enns, James Department of Psychology Cognition, Sensation and Perception, attention, action kinematics, social perception
Evans, Heidi Department of History Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, history of media and communications , international relations, international organizations, Germany, Europe
Evans, Paul School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Liu Institute for Global Issues Asia, international affairs, political issues, security issues
Evenden, Matthew Dominic Department of Geography Environmental history and water history, with a regional specialization in Canada, particularly Alberta and British Columbia
Farinha Luz, Vitor Vancouver School of Economics Microeconomic Theory,

Pages

Graduate Student Profiles

Juliane Collard

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
The global and the intimate in assisted reproduction

Eshantha Peiris

Doctor of Philosophy in Music, Emphasis Ethnomusicology (PhD)
Up-country Drumming in 20th-century Sri Lanka: a Social History of an Evolving Musical Vocabulary

Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
Learning the Ancestral Language of My Children: Charting a Course to Fluency in Xaayda Kil

Katrina Dunn

Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
Real Estate and Theatricality in Vancouver’s Downtown Core

Douglas Robb

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Canadian energy landscapes

Szu Shen

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
The Routes of Uranium and Its Impact on Indigenous Communities in Canada and across the Pacific

Madison Elliott

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
Understanding Limits and Behavior in Feature Based Visual Attention

Jessica Hallenbeck

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Gone Fishing: Indigenous Women’s Labor and the Urbanization of Vancouver

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