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.

 
1123
Master's Students
700
Doctoral Students
534
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
Gillham, David School of Music violin
Giltrow, Janet Department of English Ideologies of language, theories of genre, stylistics
Girard, Jonathan School of Music conducting, orchestra, opera, new music, conducting pedagogy, orchestral repertoire, symphonic music, orchestral music, orchestration, Berlioz, Stravinsky
Glassheim, Eagle Department of History History of East/Central Europe, modern Germany, environmental history, the Habsburgs
Glassman, James Francis Department of Geography Development Geography, Third World Urbanization, Economic Geography, Political Economy, Political Geography, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim
Godfrey, Sima Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies French culture; fashion and French culture; North American reception of French culture; French; teaching French in Canada and U.S.; French literature; European Studies., Fashionability in modern French culture, french culture history, 19th century French poetry, Baudelaire
Gordillo, Gaston Department of Anthropology Space and violence, affect, ruins and ruination, critical theory and continental philosophy, object-oriented ontologies, resistance to agribusiness, Latin America, Argentina, the Gran Chaco
Gorsuch, Anne Department of History History; Soviet Union; Russia; tourism; cold war; cultural exchange; the Sixties; youth, Soviet Union, tourism, cultural exchange and global encounter, global sixties, cuba, youth
Gottlieb, Joshua Vancouver School of Economics health economics, government spending, urban economics, real estate, housing
Graf, Peter Department of Psychology Memory, Prospective memory, Morality of Memory, Memory and Aging, Cognitive changes across the lifespan, Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive, Alzheimer's
Green, David Vancouver School of Economics Antibiotic Resistance,  Infectious Disease, Epidemiology, Determinants of the wage and employment structure bridging between macro labour and micro labour identification issues
Gregory, Derek John Department of Geography Political Geography War in the miiddle east, bombing
Griffin, Michael Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies Greek philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Neoplatonism, Ancient logic
Gu, Xiong Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory Fine Art. Transcultural identity and hybridity. Through the critical angle of visual art, my work encompasses other elements such as sociology, geography, economics, politics, literature; and finally, the dynamics of globalisation, local culture and individual identity shifts. These shifts do not merely constitute a simple amalgamation of two original subjects, but instead, seek to create an entirely new space., Installation, painting, drawing, photography, contemporary art theory
Guppy, Neil Department of Sociology sociology, social inequality, sociology of education, gender relations
Guy-Bray, Stephen Department of English Renaissance poetry
Hacker, Katherine Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory relationships between visual culture, social practice, and cultural politics and are informed by postcolonial theory and cultural studies
Halevy, Yoram Vancouver School of Economics Individual and strategic decision making, choice under uncertainty and over time, behavioral choice patterns using theoretical and experimental tools
Hall, Kathleen Department of Linguistics Laboratory Phonology
Hall, David Geoffrey Department of Psychology Lexical and conceptual development, semantic development, language acquisition
Hallensleben, Markus Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies Austrian and German literature, transcultural images of the body in literature, sciences and art performances
Hamel, Keith School of Music Composition, Computer Music Studio
Hamlin, Kiley Department of Psychology Infant moral cognition, infant social cognition
Hamm, Corey School of Music Piano and Chamber music
Handy, Todd Department of Psychology aging and cognition, aging and exercise, cognitive neuroscience, attention, migraine, fMRI, Cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, attention and its impairment in clinical populations, mind wandering, and real-world human behaviour

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Graduate Student Profiles

Kelsey Johnson

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Social and economic geographies of blood plasma donation in the United States

Alexander Held

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
Essays on Civic Participation and the Quality of Democracy

Wendy Bone

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Distance) (MFA)

Heather Burge

Master of Arts in Linguistics (MA)
Prospective Aspect in Tlingit

Siba Ghrear

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
Social Perspective taking

Anthea Pun

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Foundations of Social Power Reasoning

Emma Feltes

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
The Constitution Express and the Making of Indigenous Rights in Canada

Natalie Miller

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
Social cognitions of children with disruptive behaviors

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 & Writer, Artist
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