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
Hunt, Sarah Department of Geography Indigenous and legal geographies; women, girls, and Two-Spirit people
Hur, Nam-Lin Department of Asian Studies Japanese, cultural foundations, religion, international relations
Hwang, Il Myoung Vancouver School of Economics empirical industrial organization and market design; evaluating different school choice mechanisms
Ichikawa, Jonathan Department of Philosophy epistemology; philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophical methodology (including experimental philosophy), cognitive science, and metaphysics, especially but not
Ishiguro, Laura Department of History British Columbia, Canada, and the British Empire, settler colonialism, migration, family, gender, histories of the everyday
Iurascu, Ilinca Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies 19th c. German and comparative literature, media theory, material culture studies, film studies, critical theory
Jacobs, Alan Michael Department of Political Science political economy, public policy, public opinion, economic inequality, research methodology
James, Gareth Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory histories of iconoclasm in which the social divisions and inequities that mark and delimit artistic practice are registered most emphatically
Janara, Laura Department of Political Science Language and symbolism especially in gendered and familial thinking, politcal theory
Jenkins, Carrie Department of Philosophy epistemology and metaphysics
Jeong, Gyung-Ho Department of Political Science US politics, Congress, Legislative Politics, Foreign Policy, Trade Policy, Immigration Policy, Public Choice
Jing, Zhichun Department of Anthropology Archaeology of Early China Archaeology Geoarchaeology Ancient Civilizations, Archaeology of early China, geoarchaeology, human impact on ancient environments, archaic states and early complex societies, systematic regional survey and analysis, quantitative analysis, environmental archaeology, provenance of archaic jades
Job, Brian Department of Political Science international relations of Asia Pacific countries, especially political/security matters; Canadian political/security interests and policies vis-a-vis Asia, International security, liu institute
Johnson, Phyllis Department of Sociology Allocation of financial and human resources by families coping with stressful circumstances, including immigration and resettlement, family separation, unemployment, and conflicts between work and family responsibilities
Johnston, Richard G Department of Political Science Party Systems, Immigration, Multiculturalism, Canada, United States, Postwar Germany, and Political communication
Johnston, Kirsty Department of Theatre & Film Dramatic literature and theatre history with particular interest in disability arts and intersections between health, disability and performance
Johnston, Charlotte Department of Psychology Family and parenting issues issues that arise in families with members who have been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & others
Justice, Daniel Department of English Aboriginal, First Nations, Metis, Indigenous, Aboriginal literature, Aboriginal cultures, Aboriginal history, Aboriginal Studies, First Nations Studies, badgers, animal studies, cultural studies, GLBT issues, Queer Studies, sexuality, First Nations Studies Program, Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture
Kam, Christopher Department of Political Science Nature and evolution of parliamentary democracy, historical development of institutions
Kamat, Vinay Ramnath Department of Anthropology Medical Anthropology, Global Health, Ethnography, India, Outsourcing of Clinical Trials, Tanzania, Malaria, East Africa, Marine Conservation, Dispossession, Extractive Industry, Political Ecology
Kandlikar, Milind School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Climate Change, Air Pollution, Extended Producer Responsibility, Human Development, Agricultural Biotechnology, Information Technology in Developing Countries, Technology innovation, human development and global environment
Karwowska, Bozena Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies Sexuality, Body and Gender in Nazi Concentration Camps
Kasahara, Hiroyuki Vancouver School of Economics Econometrics and international trade
Keddie, George Anthony Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies
Kemple, Thomas Department of Sociology Social and cultural theory, history of social sciences, literary and interpretive methods, aesthetic sociology, visual representation of concepts and arguments

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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