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
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
Doberstein, Carey Department of Political Science Political science and policy administration; Agencies and arms-length bodies in Canada; Public servant behavior in Canada; How citizens engage with government as part of local consultations and public engagement; Homelessness (politics, governance, policy); Local government or governance
Dollinger, Stefan Department of English Language and Literatures English language; 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, Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Atmospheric sciences; Oceanography; Other media and communication; Climate Science; climate change impacts; Climate policy; Coastal Ecosystems; Marine Environment; Climate modelling and prediction; Science communication; Net-zero emissions; Coral reefs
Douglas, Jennifer School of Information 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 Creative writing; Film, television and digital media; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Documentary FIlm; Film Production; Narrative Film; Screenwriting; Virtual Reality; Video and New Media
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
Duffy, Kay Department of Asian Studies Asian history; Literary or Artistic Works Analysis; Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts; Social Determinants of Arts and Letters; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Early Medieval China; Premodern Chinese Literature; Sinographic Sphere
Dunn, Elizabeth Department of Psychology Happiness, money and spending decisions, self-knowledge
Earle, Bo Department of English Language and Literatures British Romanticism, Critical Theory, Philosophy and Literature
Eaton, Brett Department of Geography Rivers and climate change, fish habitat, disturbances
Echard, Sian Department of English Language and Literatures English language; 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.); Anglo-Latin literature; Arthurian literature; History of the Book; John Gower; Manuscript studies; Medieval literature
Effros, Bonnie Department of History Humanities and the arts; History of archaeology; Antiquarianism and collecting in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Late antique and early medieval history and archaeology; Gender history and archaeology
Ellermann, Antje Department of Political Science Political science; Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges; Migratory Flows; Public Policies; Identity and Transnationality; Role of Governments and Institutions; Comparative Public Policy; Migration and Citizenship
Emberson, Lauren Department of Psychology Learning, Perception (audition, vision, crossmodal or multisensory), Language development, Face/object perception, Impacts of premature birth, Neural connecitivty, fNIRS, Neonatal and Infant development , Early adversity / Risk and resilience , Increasing diversity and representation in the neurosciences , Naturalistic neuroimaging recordings
Enns, James Department of Psychology Behavioural neuroscience of reward and motivation; attention; action kinematics; social perception; perceptual development
Evenden, Matthew Department of Geography All other social sciences, n.e.c.; Historical studies; Environmental History; Historical geography; Rivers; Water; War and environment; Hydro-electricity
Everhart, Avery Department of Geography Health geography; Population geography; Geographic information system (GIS and GPS) applications; Health and community services; Bioinformatics, n.e.c.; Social and cultural geography; Sex and gender-based analysis; Ethical, legal, and social issues in health, health systems and health research; Gender and health relationship; Health information systems (including surveillance); Geographic Information Science; Medical Geography; Demography & Population Studies; Critical Data Studies, Critical GIS & Digital Geographies; Transgender Studies; Intersectionality in Empirical Social Science; Health Services Research & Access to Healthcare; Community-Based Participatory Research; Feminist & Queer Theories; Measuring & Combatting STructural Racism
Fabris, Michael Department of Geography Gender, Race, Class, Power, Colonialism, Justice, Indigenous jurisdiction within Canadian cities, Piikani Nation’s attempts to challenge the construction of the Oldman River Dam
Farinha Luz, Vitor Vancouver School of Economics Microeconomic Theory,
Fernandez Utrera, Maria Soledad Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Peninsular contemporary literature and culture
Ferraz, Claudio Vancouver School of Economics governance and accountability in developing countries; how politics affect public service delivery; the effects of electoral rules on political selection; the role of the state in high crime and violence environments
Ferreira da Silva, Denise Institute for Gender, Race, Sex and Social Justice ethical questions of the global present and target the metaphysical and ontoepistemological dimensions of modern thought; Critical Racial and Ethnic Studies, Feminist Theory, Critical Legal Theory, Political Theory, Moral Philosophy, Postcolonial Studies, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Firkins, Jacqueline Department of Theatre & Film costume design


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. Blanc's dissertation focuses on writers who embarked on a journey of self-writing. She demonstrates the complexities of the subject who reclaims their identity through the exploration of a past marked by the absence of the parental figure. It reveals that all identities are a product of a multitude of stories: past, present, and future. Doctor of Philosophy in French (PhD)
2022 Dr. Rojas Marchini traces new legal frameworks, markets and knowledges focused on managing and financing biodiversity in Chile, with attention to how the state relates to Indigenous people. She shows the pitfalls involved in this turn and the need for institutional transformation, providing an informed analysis for policymakers in the Global South. Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
2022 Dr. Nadarajah studied soft law's prevalence in the Arctic, Outer Space, and Climate Change while theorising this now ubiquitous aspect of international relations. This helps us better understand today's international system, how it has changed, and develops our understanding of the relationship between International Relations and International Law. Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Tomkinson's research explores the theatrical relationship between sound and mental health differences. He examines a range of case studies in which audience members are immersed in auditory simulations of madness. His dissertation investigates the shortcomings of simulation as a representational practice. Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
2022 Dr. Dwyer found that cash transfers improved housing stability and financial security for the homeless, and he quantified the well-being benefits of cash transfers across the global socioeconomic spectrum. His findings demonstrate that cash assistance may be an effective way to help those who are homeless or living in poverty. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Qiu studied how suicidal individuals construe death, and how different aspects of death construal relate to suicidal ideation and attempts. This research enhances understanding of the progression from suicidal thoughts to acts. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Ma conducted cross-field research in labor, public, and education economics. He found that student grants provided to low-income family students lead to higher earnings after graduation. The findings assist us in understanding the long-term labor market impact of various forms of student financial aids. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)
2022 Utilizing literature from philosophy, cognitive science, and dance studies, Dr. Heckman argued that spectators' bodily responses to dance are crucial for understanding and appreciating dance. Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy (PhD)
2022 Dr. Johnson explored the experiences of adolescents who had completed treatment for cancer. Posttreatment is an invisible phase in the cancer trajectory yet holds significant implications for youth. This research highlights posttreatment as a dynamic period of time and compels clinical attention to it within adolescents' cancer survivorship care. Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)
2022 Dr. Wang researched the causes and legacies of a state-sponsored massacre of Muslims in southwestern China. She investigated how Islam and Maoism had shaped interactions between Muslim villagers and communist officials from 1949 to 2019. Her work provides insights into why religious conflicts frequently emerge under communist rule in modern China. Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)