Shauna Oddleifson

Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Support Staff

Office: CCS 323
Phone: 250.807.9864


Assistant to the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies – i.e. booking appointments.
Support for research and grant-related committees.
FCCS student and faculty research awards.
Faculty promotion and development of promotional material.
Working toward increasing the faculty profile and increasing student enrolment and retention.
FCCS websites, social media.


Lindsay Kirker (centre), wtih Kim Spencer-Nairm trustee from the Audain Art Museum (left) and FCCS Dean, Bryce Traister (right)

Lindsay Kirker, a second year Masters of Fine Arts student, was recently awarded the Audain Foundation Travel Award. The Audain Foundation supports the visual arts in British Columbia, offering awards to arts organizations, galleries and to individual artists.

The travel award was established this past year for BFA or MFA students at five major institutions in the province, University of British Columbia Okanagan, University of British Columbia Vancouver, Emily Carr University or Art and Design, Simon Franser University, and the University of Victoria.

The award is for $7500 to one student per university to allow them to travel to destinations of their choice to view artworks and projects that will foster their practice and research.

Lindsay was nominated by faculty members in the Visual Arts program at UBC Okanagan, noting that she is both an outstanding artist and scholar.

Lindsay intends to travel to Fort St. John, BC to meet with stakeholders connected with the Site C dam project in order to learn about the social, economic and ecological management of the project in order to develop a greater understanding of the complexity of our relationship with the land.

Find out more about Lindsay



Dr. Jodey Castricano (centre) with faculty members and graduate students at the University of Exeter

Between Sept. 23 and Oct. 4, Jodey Castricano, professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at UBC Okanagan, visited the University of Exeter under the auspices of the University’s Visiting International Fellowship Scheme.

The visit, hosted by Paul Young, Associate Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, focused on developing research and teaching priorities and synergies in the fields of Critical Animal Studies and Eco-Cultures. These two related fields draw together Castricano and Young’s expertise, and also engage a great deal of ongoing and emerging ecological and sustainability research and teaching activity in the respective colleges and institutions involved.

The visit to Exeter has allowed for further international collaboration and dissemination of research in the area of Environmental Humanities, especially where this field is inclusive of the interconnectedness of climate change, factory farming and human health, explains Dr. Castricano.

“The visit also enabled me to forge relationships with faculty who are working in these areas inclusive of literary studies and to discuss potential for research partnerships and publications, such as a jointly-authored monograph and/or collection of essays on the research areas we work in.” She says.

During her visit, professor Castricano was engaged in a number of activities related to her research, and was offered opportunities to connect with others in the field at the University of Exeter. She attended a workshop that addressed human and non-human animal health and welfare, as well as environmental sustainability; she participated in an Animal Studies reading group that brings together lecturers, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate research students from across the colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences; and she held a public lecture to welcome Exeter’s new and returning postgraduate research students, ‘Welcome to the Anthropocene: Now What?’.

Paul Young will be visiting the UBC Okanagan campus in the spring of 2020 during the ‘Critical Animal Studies in an Age of Mass Extinction,’ the inaugural conference of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies of which Castricano is a co-organizer, to be held at the UBC Okanagan campus.

About the Exeter UBC Partnership

The University of British Columbia, Okanagan, entered into a Statement of Cooperation with the Exeter College of Humanities in the spring of 2018, with the aim to strengthen the relationship between the universities, and nurture a collaborative approach to education, research and academic exchanges.

Faculty members and students from both institutions have had opportunities to travel back and forth over the last year and a half. UBCO team members from the AMP Lab and the Centre for Culture and Technology from FCCS visited the Exeter Digital Humanities Lab in the College of Humanities last winter, with members from Exeter coming to UBC Okanagan last spring.

Mercedes Fernandez-Duran is pictured here with her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

The UBC Okanagan community is saddened by the passing of Dr. Mercedes Fernandez-Duran on October 16, 2019, in Mississauga, Ontario. Mercedes was an assistant professor of languages and world literatures in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

Our condolences to Mercedes’ family, friends and colleagues.

In a message to the university community, her family noted:

We would like to express our deepest and most sincere gratitude to Mercedes’ colleagues and friends at the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia for their unwavering support and kindness during her battle with cancer.

She felt so proud to be a part of such a remarkable team, and she was profoundly grateful to be able to do what she loved the most at UBC for so many years of her life and up until the very end of her journey. Our sincerest gratitude.

— The Salsberg/Cogan Family 

Mercedes was born in Madrid on April 27, 1950. She had three younger siblings — Luis, Chuni and Regina. She lived in Madrid until her early 20s, when she moved to Geneve, Switzerland, for some time. Soon after, she began to travel the world as a foreign correspondent for a Madrid newspaper.

During her work as a journalist, she travelled through South East Asia reporting on the Vietnam War, lived in Santiago and reported on the 1973 Chilean coup d’état, and in Tokyo where she reported on the Tanaka–Lockheed bribery scandals of 1976.

That year, she was married to George Cogan in Madrid, after which they returned to Tokyo and had their first child Leon in 1977. In 1978 they moved to Vancouver and their second child, Elisa, was born in 1979.

A few years later she became president of the founding council of Collingwood School and she helped build Collingwood from the ground up. After Collingwood, she was appointed director of the Spanish Pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver.

She then returned to post-secondary studies and did not put her books down until she received her post-doctoral degree magna cum laude from Stanford University.

Mercedes spent the rest of her life doing what she loved: working as a university professor at the University of Berkeley, the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of the Pacific, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. She published a number of academic books during this period of her career.

She was an avid reader, writer and painter, and had a love of learning languages. Throughout her life, Mercedes learned to speak Spanish, Latin, English, French, Japanese and Portuguese.

She had a brilliant sense of humour, which carried her through the best and worst times alike. But perhaps, her most remarkable qualities were her kindness and generosity towards everyone she met.

Although she spent the last few years of her life battling lung cancer, she found the most joy with her grandchildren at her new home in Toronto.

A memorial service was held on October 22. The family has asked that donations in memory of Dr. Mercedes Fernandez-Duran be made to:

We are pleased to host an exhibition of new works by recent BFA alumna Mirjana Borovickic, 2019. Mirjana completed a residency at the Caetani House this summer for the month of July, and will be showing the work she created during that time.

The exhibition runs from September 24 to 28, culminating with a wine and cheese reception with the artist September 27, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Please RSVP to attend the Sept. 27 reception.

Mirjana Borovickic is a visual artist living in Kelowna, BC. She was born in Bosnia and immigrated to Canada in 1995, at the age of 12, after living through a civil war. Throughout her life Mirjana has always been fascinated with textiles; her love for textiles was further developed during her teenage years when she opted to take sewing in high school. She graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan in 2019. Currently she is working with textiles on a series titled Resilient Child in which she explores childhood memories and war trauma.

More information about Homecoming and other events can be found at:

What: Performing the Archive Reading Series
Who: Daphne Marlatt with special guest Šari Dale
When: Thursday, September 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Milkcrate Records, 527 Lawrence Ave.

English honours student, Megan Butchart, invited acclaimed Canadian poet and novelist, Daphne Marlatt to UBC Okanagan.

Marlatt is an internationally renowned, lesbian-feminist poet, essayist, and novelist based in Vancouver, B.C. She is a UBC alumna and was one of the second-wave of undergraduate writers and editors of the student poetry newsletter Tish.

We met up with Megan to find out more about her work in organizing this event, and what this visit will offer to our literary community.

Q. Why did you choose Daphne Marlatt to invite for this event?

Megan: Marlatt features prominently on the literary audio recordings within the SoundBox collection and after working with these recordings as a Research Assistant on the SSHRC-funded SpokenWeb Partnership in the AMP Lab, I wanted to curate an event that would mobilize the archive and involve those poets whose voices are captured on the recordings. As a Vancouver poet who has written about communities across British Columbia and as a UBC alumna, Marlatt has strong connections to the Okanagan which I think will resonate with UBCO students and the local community.

Q. Tell us what Marlatt will be doing while in Kelowna?

Megan: Marlatt will be visiting Kelowna to participate in multiple events over two days. On September 19th, a lunch/close-listening event will be held in the AMP Lab (FIP 251) for UBCO students and faculty from noon to 1 pm. Later that evening Marlatt will be giving a public poetry reading at Milkcrate Records as part of the new “Performing the Archive” reading series, co-organized with local arts organization the Inspired Word Café. That reading will feature Marlatt interacting with recently-digitized audio recordings of herself reading from leaf leaf/s in 1969. On September 20th Dr. Karis Shearer and I will conduct an oral-history interview of Marlatt which will subsequently be made available in a podcast. Excerpts from that interview will also form the basis for a student chapbook-making workshop in October.

Q. Please explain what you think this visit from such a prominent author will have for students, and to the writing community.

Megan: These events will be both an opportunity to introduce Marlatt’s work to a wider audience and allow those who are already familiar with her work to experience it in a performative context. This initiative invites the participation of a diverse and interdisciplinary audience including English, History, and Creative Writing students, queer students, UBC alumni, faculty members, and others within the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. By holding events both at UBCO and downtown Kelowna we hope to encourage dialogue between literary and creative communities both on campus and off.

Q. What kinds of support have you received to organize these events?

Megan: I received Tuum Est Funding to assist with the September 19th and 20th events. SpokenWeb at UBCO has provided support both through access to its archival collections and as a secondary funder. The Inspired Word Café is co-organizer of the “Performing the Archive” reading at Milkcrate Records. This event will feature an open-mic, community reader Šari Dale (UBCO Creative Writing), guest reader Daphne Marlatt, and a Q&A period. Both the IWC and Dr. Karis Shearer have provided invaluable mentorship and support in this curation.

Q. How did you find out about the Tuum Est Funding and decide to apply for this event?

Megan: I learned of the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund through UBCO Fine Arts alumnus Evan Berg, who had received Tuum Est funding to bring artist Timur Si-Qin to Kelowna for a lecture last March. I thought it would be wonderful to host a similar event for the literary community.

In anticipation of Marlatt’s visit, SpokenWeb at UBCO is hosting an “Epic Reading” event on September 12th at the AMP Lab (FIP 251) from 10am to 1pm.. The “Epic Reading” is a free, drop-by event, in which participants will take turns reading aloud from Marlatt’s poetry collections in order of publication. This casual, community-building event also affords an opportunity for students, faculty, and guests to read and familiarize themselves with Marlatt’s work before her public reading on September 19th.

The September 19th poetry reading will be a free event in downtown Kelowna. The event is supported by UBC’s Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund.

More about Daphne Marlatt

Marlatt is the author of numerous poetry collections including Steveston (1974), Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now (2013) and Reading Sveva (2016). Marlatt has received many awards for her literary contributions including the Order of Canada in 2006, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for The Given in 2009, and the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.


The multi-day event, September 9th to 11th, is in partnership with the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES) an academic think tank in Washington, D.C. The ICMES board of directors consists primarily of Middle East scholars and has a goal to educate people about various aspects of Middle East culture and politics.

The conference is open to the public and people can participate in sessions that include presentations, discussion and debate by distinguished Canadian, American, European and Middle East experts in numerous fields. All sessions take place at the Four Points Sheraton, 5505 Airport Way.

Conference Schedule

Monday, September 9

  • 9:30 -11:00 – Session I: History and Cultural Traditions 
    • Chair: Anderson Araujo (UBC)
    • Francisco Peña (UBC) – Medieval Jewish-Christian Cross-Pollination and Teaching Transculturality Today
    • Hussein Keshani (UBC) – The Islamic World’s History as a Transcultural Commons.
  • 11:00-1:15 – Lunch
  • 1:30-3:30 Session II: Faith and Community Narratives
    • Chair: Sean Lawrence (UBC)
    • IssamSaliba (ICMES) – The Islamic Legal Tradition between Renewal and Reform.
    • Norton Mezvinsky (ICMES) – Mordecai Kaplan and Reconstructionist Judaism.
    • Alaa Ebrahim (Journalist) -Islamic Law and Government in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, September 10

  • 9:30 -11:00 – Session III: Religious identity and Modern States / Communities 1/2
    • Chair: Dom Wallace (ICMES)
    • Yaakov Shapiro – Jewish Thinking and Ethics: Does Judaism Provide a Path from the “Should” to the “Is?
    • Gloria Moran (University of Santiago) – Secularity, Religious Identity and Plural Modernities.
  • 11:00-1:15 – Lunch
  • 1:30-3:30 Session IV. Religious identity and Modern States / Communities 2/2 – Case studies.
    • Chair: Fernando Jimenes (ICMES)
    • Jessica Stites Mor (University of British Columbia) Liberation Theology in South African Anti-Apartheid Struggle as Transnational Solidarity
    • David Goa (University of Alberta), The Barren Roots and Soil of Contemporary Political Orthodoxy of the Orthodox Christian Churches of the Former Soviet Union.

Wednesday, September 11

  • 9:30 -11:00 – Session V. Imagine no religion: theology of understanding
    • Chair: Maurice Williams (UBC)
    • R. Robert Daum (Simon Fraser) – Exegesis and the Calling of the World.
    • Emilio G. Ferrin (University of Seville) – The Anguish of Abraham: Religious burden and Universal Ethics.
  • 11:00-1:15 – Lunch
  • 1:30-3:30 Closing Session.
    • Don Wallace, the ICMES Chairman of the Board of Directors
    • Bryce Traister Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies – UBC Okanagan


The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.


The event is supported by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and the Department of Languages and World Literatures, as well as The Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic and UBC Okanagan.

Contact Francisco Peña at or Ange-Aimee Quesnel at for more information or the schedule details of this event.


Erin Scott, Truth or Consequences

Erin Scott’s MFA thesis performance, Truth or Consequences.

Erin Scott earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Writing and Performance from 2016 to 2018. Her thesis project was an interactive, storytelling game-show called Truth or Consequences.

“Working on my MFA was the most focused creating time I have had since becoming a mother in 2011! While earning my degree, I established myself as a scholar, a teacher, and an artist.”

Prior to working towards an MFA, Erin finished her undergrad degree at UBC Okanagan with a major in Creative Writing, and a minor in Indigenous Studies, which she completed in 2011.

Everyone knows that it is a fine balance to find time creating and producing as an artist, supporting yourself financially and raising a family.

“I was recently out of school and looking for work that was in my field, but still contract based, so I would have time to continue working on my show and preparing for a potential tour.”

Erin became Co-Executive Director of Fat Cat Children’s Festival in September 2018. The festival has been running for 29 years in Kelowna and is a beloved festival celebrating art and children. In addition to this position, Erin is the Executive Director of Inspired Word Café.

IWC is a community non-profit focused on providing high calibre performance poetry, workshops, and open mic events, and is vital to the literary community here in the Okanagan Valley as one of the only literary organizations. They support both professional and amateur writers in their expression of self through words, and represents marginalized members of the community, taking pride in being a haven for those who are often undervalued and under-served in the arts.

The experiences Erin had during both of her degrees helped her develop as a practicing artist and gave her a set of skills she could use as an organizer of events in the community.

She learned how to run events, from conception to realization. She learned how to engage with professional artists in her field and develop her network of colleagues and contacts. She learned how to lead a team and delegate work to be able to extend her capacity by working intimately within community. She also learned how to lean on her mentors during tough emotional and personal times in her life.

“I think we often talk about the career part of university, but if you are fortunate like I was, you will also develop deep connections with professors who will support you as a whole human, with all kinds of emotional and personal needs, as well as academic and professional ones.”

Using her close ties to UBCO, Erin has worked with the other members at IWC to create a partnership with the FCCS annual reading series. The Milkcraters of the Moon Reading Series, organized by Creative Writing faculty members and IWC provides an engaged audience to hear a number of visiting and local writers, and gives opportunities to emerging poets and writers at their open mic spots at each event.

“In many ways, this partnership has been a revitalization of FCCS’s Reading Series, as it has a new crowd, with a different set of interests and values shaping the selection of visiting authors. It feels fresher than it has in years.”

Erin continues to work on her art practice with performances in the community and collaborates with many local artists, performers and writers. This past winter, Erin presented a storytelling event with Creative Writing professor, Michael V. Smith, and showcased her performance, Truth or Consequences at the Living Things Festival in February of 2019.

Summer Intensive

Ann Richards with some of her work in the print studio at UBC Okanagan

Ann Richards submitted two works to the Lessedra Mini Print Annual Exhibition in Sofia, Bulgaria at the Lessedra Art Gallery.  Approximately 241 artists submitted a total of almost 700 miniature prints.  Ten other UBCO students submitted and had their works accepted to the exhibition as well.  From all of the accepted works, a four-person international Jury selected Ann’s lithographic print, Fractured Sphericity, for Third Prize.

As there were so many works from UBC Okanagan students accepted into the exhibition this year the exhibition organizer, Georgi Kolev,  requested that they be mounted in a ’special presentation’ – a mini exhibition within the larger exhibition.  This is the second time UBCO students have been honoured in this way.  They were also granted a ’special presentation’ back in 2011 and we have been asked to make another next year in 2020.

“Ann took a very experimental and process-oriented approach to making her prints this past year”, noted professor Briar Craig. “She often allowed natural forces and serendipity to come into play with the production of her work to create a dialogue between imagery that is both human and naturally controlled.”

Lithographic print by Ann Richards

Ann is “interested in expressing human and natural interactions to start a discussion about climate change that isn’t overwhelmed by statistics and rhetoric”.

Ann will also be represented in a UBCO Student Printmaking exhibition entitled  Early Impressions at the Vernon Public Art Gallery   (July 25th to October 23, 2019).  Lubos Culen and FCCS prof, Briar Craig, co-curated the work of 13 UBCO printmakers for the exhibition.  There will be student talks about their work in the exhibition sometime this fall.

Ann grew up on a farm outside of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan. She started her university journey at the University of Central Florida, where she played volleyball for the University for 3 years. While there the team won conference during her first year and she was team captain during her third year. Ann then transferred to UBCO to play for the Heat for two remaining 2 years of athletic eligibility, while on the road to earning her BFA degree. While playing for the Heat in her first season, the team earned a spot competing in Nationals in Quebec City, and last year she was named captain of the team. Her future plans are to graduate with my BFA, work towards a teaching certificate, and to sign a professional volleyball contract with a European team.

Lithographic prints by Ann Richards