2024 Public Humanities Awardees

The Public Humanities Hub – Okanagan is pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Research Engagement Fund.

The Research Engagement Fund supports high quality, faculty-led research dissemination activities designed to engage participation within and/or beyond the university. The principal objective is to extend the reach of existing research or to advance researchers’ capacity to build that reach.

Revitalizing Brandt’s Creek as a Landscape-Scale Eco-Artwork

PI: Greg Garrard (English and Cultural Studies, FCCS)

Brandt’s Creek flows from the Glenmore Highlands through Kelowna’s old industrial zone to the Rotary Marsh on Okanagan Lake. The section adjoining Downtown is sad and unloved, and the Rail Trail alongside it is underused. Funds for this project will pay a landscape architect and student research assistants to help prepare a radical proposal to the City of Kelowna Council for revitalizing the Creek between Gordon and Ellis Avenues. We want to build public support and enthusiasm for daylighting the Creek, breaking it out of its concrete channel, and inviting it into beautiful new shapes. We hope to engage Westbank First Nation, North End community members, and the formerly unhoused residents of the STEP Place of 759 Crowley Avenue in designing, transforming, and stewarding the Creek. If we’re successful, Brandt’s Creek will eventually be surrounded with pocket parks, micro-forests, a performance space, and other amenities, and embedded as a signature collaboration of UBC and the City at the heart of Downtown, the North End and the Tolko site redevelopment.

On the Possibilities of Creative Ethnographic Writing for Public Engagement: A Hub for “Storying Otherwise”

PIs: Sue Frohlick, Laura Meek (Community, Culture, and Global Studies, FASS)

This project brings creative ethnographic writing for public engagement to UBCO through the advancement of a Hub for Storying Otherwise. Modelled in a hybrid, mobile form, the Hub will materialize through pop up events on campus, in community spaces, and online events. Sue Frohlick’s work in critical sound studies and tourism and leisure and Laura Meek’s in colonialism in contemporary global health discourses intersects in the generative space of creative ethnographic writing as a mode of storying otherwise. The Hub will allow us to hone our creative writing through collaborations with guest writers and poets, both here at UBCO and beyond, and expand a public audience through our events.

East Asian Media Culture in the Age of Digital Platforms

PI: Kyong Yoon (English and Cultural Studies, FCCS)

This project aims to develop a research network on Asian digital platform studies through intensive and collaborative public scholarly activities, which include a 3-day conference, a roundtable discussion for the public, and the publication of research findings. This intensive knowledge mobilization event will contribute to moving beyond the Western-centric understanding of digital media. In addition to the three-day conference in Kelowna and Vancouver, a follow-up event – a roundtable discussion on East Asian digital media – will be held in downtown Kelowna on Oct 7, 2024, for public engagement and knowledge dissemination. The project will contribute to developing an academic network for trans-Pacific digital platform studies, through which transnational cultural flows via global platforms (e.g., Netflix) are critically and comparatively examined. It will also enhance the public’s critical media literacy to explore existing power relations in platform-driven cultural production and consumption.