The Public Humanities Hub Okanagan works to identify best practices in humanities capacity-building and support research culture at both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses of UBC.

The Public Humanities Hub (PHH-O) at UBC Okanagan extends the UBC research cluster strategy to foster research excellence and develop Humanities collaborations with public-facing research and programming.

PUblic HUMANITIES hub Co-directors

We are excited to announce that Dr. Karis Shearer and Dr. Astrida Neimanis are the new Interim Co-Directors of the Public Humanities Hub Okanagan! 

Karis Shearer is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies (FCCS), who also directs the AMP Lab. Astrida Neimanis is an Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies (FCCS) and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (FASS), who also directs the FEELed Lab. 

Public humanities scholarship is more important than ever. While scholars at UBC Okanagan continue to innovate and offer new kinds of public humanities work, it is vital to assess what we have accomplished and consider the best way to support this work into the future. To this end, the priority for this interim year will be to build a revised strategic plan for the future. With support from PHH Senior Program Assistant Isabel Gomez and Library Liaison Donna Langille, this plan will be animated by a consultative and creative process that itself espouses the spirit of public humanities. 

With the initial funding for the PHH initiative complete, the interim co-directors will rely on a reduced amount of bridge funding to undertake the objectives mentioned above. These new budgetary constraints will have the most impact on the ability to offer the awards that were previously available through the PHH-O. Under these new budgetary constraints, the small grants and awards program will not be offered in 2022-2023. Humanities scholars are encouraged to explore other internal granting opportunities, including Community-University Engagement Support Fund (CUES) and other funding opportunities published at the Office of Research Services Okanagan. 

We have an exciting year ahead of us and hope you will join us for our events programming! 

Congratulations and welcome to Karis and Astrida! 

Steering Committee

Sakiru Adebayo | Assistant Professor, English and Cultural Studies

Sajni Lacey| Learning and Curriculum Support Librarian

Astrida Neimanis | Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies; Community, Culture and Global Studies

Ondine Park | Assistant Professor, Sociology

Brianna Wells | PHH-O Strategic Advisor, Research Development Officer (Social Sciences & Humanities), ORS

Vision and Mission

It is the mission of the PHH-O to work beyond disciplinary and campus boundaries to address problems and find solutions through public conversations.

The Public Humanities Hub-Okanagan (PHH-O) supports research that embraces an interdisciplinary approach to the humanities. The humanities include history, gender studies, sociology, philosophy, religion, performing arts, visual arts, literature, cultural studies, anthropology. The PHH also includes scholars located in other disciplines not traditionally included in the humanities, who use comparable methodologies and concern themselves with questions of value and meaning.

Public humanities are understood at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) as a field of engagement between members of many publics both on and off campus interested in fostering dialogue in both virtual and physical spaces in order to collectively reflect and engage in conversation about contemporary issues facing society today. Added to this, it is the mission of the PHH-O to work beyond disciplinary and campus boundaries to address problems and find solutions through public conversations. The PHH-O acknowledges that there are many publics in the Okanagan, on unceded Syilx territory.

The PHH-O was founded in 2019 as a cross campus initiative between UBC, Vancouver (UBCV) and UBCO to foster critically engaged and expansive spaces for the humanities in the Okanagan that address real-time challenges facing society, from climate change to social justice, to dialogue about civil society, history, and culture. Through research and knowledge sharing, the PHH-O brings faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students together with community partners representing a range of stakeholders to raise the profile of the humanities both on our campus and in our community. Engagement is fostered in the PHH-O through various forms of learning and sharing that ranges from collaborative conversations and lectures at community centres, galleries, restaurants, and parks, to exhibitions, conferences, performances, and other programs and interventions that tackle topics such as history, applied philosophy, popular culture, media, the arts, and other matters of public interest. Some of the innovative outputs from the PHH-O members include podcasts, open access publications, dynamic presentations, and the co-creation of new projects that inspire action and capacity building.

The PHH-O believes that the public humanities have a critical role to play in shaping our future, and as such aims to increase recognition of public humanities within the university, and increase access to relevant training opportunities. To do this, the PHH-O envisions new futures in the Okanagan through collaborative research and sharing by:

  • Promoting inclusive efforts between various publics throughout the Okanagan to inspire dialogue and respectful exchanges;
  • Creating funding mechanisms and training opportunities to support innovation, collaboration, and dialogue that mobilizes social change;
  • Inspiring new projects that bring together diverse perspectives, methods, and expertise to tackle lived-realities that raise awareness of real-time issues; and
  • Promoting an understanding and recognition of the value of public humanities within academia and in our broader communities.


For more information contact public.humanities.ok@ubc.ca

Keep up to date on events and announcements by joining our mailing list, email: public.humanities.ok@ubc.ca



Public Humanities Hub Vancouver

UBC-V’s Public Humanities Hub is a three-year pilot project established in 2019 to foster and support collaborative research and to highlight and develop public-facing research in the Humanities in Arts, Law, and Education, at UBC-V.

Public Humanities Hub Vancouver