The humanities subjects, including history, philosophy and literary studies, have traditionally had a critical and reflective role in society, asking questions of meaning and value rather than engaging in problem-solving. Without giving up on those traditions, the public humanities seek constructive, collaborative engagement with contemporary challenges such as climate change and social media polarization.
Thus public history engages non-specialists with, and in, historical research. The environmental humanities propose that scientific and technological solutions to ecological problems need to be complemented by understanding of the role of cultural identity in, for example, climate scepticism. Digital humanities scholars critique the way that cyberspace, seemingly a neutral digital medium, is shaped by social identities such as gender, ethnicity and sexuality.
The Public Humanities Hub (PHH) initiative coordinates and amplifies the work of humanists on the Okanagan campus so that colleagues across the disciplines and citizens in the Southern Interior can see what they bring to the table.
- The hub identifies best practices in humanities capacity-building internationally
- It builds new research connections across Humanities departments, UBC faculties and the two campuses
- It supports research culture including graduate students and senior undergraduates
- It publicizes and mobilizes humanities research in the public sphere and facilitates exchanges amongst humanists at both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses.
The PHH is made possible through funding for a three-year pilot from the offices of the Provost and VP Academic and the VP Research and Innovation.
Goals & Initiatives
The Public Humanities Hub Okanagan (PHH-O) fosters collaboration and research excellence amongst humanists at UBC, and supports public-facing research in the humanities. The PHH-O will establish governance with an academic director, reporting to the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in FCCS, and a steering committee.
The PHH-O will support a continuing GRA position to research young universities that are successful in the humanities in international rankings and organize exchanges.
The PHH-O will host a major public humanities conference in July 2020.
The PHH-O will implement and adjudicate a research group competition to support one group pursuing thematic research interests annually.
Joint Fellowship Program
A prospective PHH-O fellow can invite a scholar from another university to collaborate on a year-long humanities project with clear potential for impact.
Annual Speaker Exchange
Humanists from each campus will visit the other for a sustained period of talks and research meetings each year.
Research Cluster Strategy
The PHH-O will identify best practices in humanities capacity-building internationally; build new research connections across departments, and publicize and mobilize humanities research.
About our campus
UBC’s Okanagan campus is an intimate learning community embracing bold new ways of thinking. We attract exceptional students and faculty who aim to change the world.