FCCS Self Study

In the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, our students and professors work to understand our cultural pasts, to pose critical questions of those pasts and our present, and to foster creativity. Our work combines traditional scholarship and creation in the humanities and arts with contemporary technologies and experience-based learning. We are outward facing, asking ourselves and each other how better to bring what we learn and create to our communities, both locally and globally.

The information on this page is the FCCS Self-Study,  an overview of who we are, our successes, challenges and future goals. This information can also be viewed in a PDF document on the link below.

DOWNLOAD THE FCCS SELF STUDY

 

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) at UBC’s Okanagan campus focuses creative, critical and interdisciplinary perspectives on art, culture, and society. As an administrative unit, the FCCS houses a range of academic humanities disciplines and artistic practices in three departments, including language training, literary studies, cultural studies, intercultural communications and rhetoric, media and computational arts, digital humanities, art history, creative writing, visual, and performing arts. Our practices are wide-ranging, and often changing, broadly described as critical and creative humanities practices, but often reaching beyond even those boundaries into areas like sustainability, immersive technology and modelling, community located research, and, more recently, creative design thinking. As scholars and creative workers, we locate our work at the interface of academic research, scholarship of teaching and learning, and creative practice research and engagement. 

As stated in the Strategic Plan (2019): the FCCS works to become the premier academic and creative arts community in western Canada for faculty and students around the world seeking to work and learn in an interdisciplinary setting. 

How does one achieve such an ambition? There is no single answer. 

People

One way is to hire great people. This means appointing world class researcherscreators, and teachers into the university’s tenure-stream. By the end of the 21-22 academic year we hope to have appointed 18 new tenure-stream colleagues into FCCS.

Research, Create, Teach

Another way is to collaborate both within and across existing disciplinary areas of research and creative practice. Both the Faculty and its departments must support these activities financially and operationally. In the last four years, we have done this through developing new and collaborative funding support schemes to support research across the Faculty and campus. We have also worked to remove or lessen obstructionist barriers to original, faculty-driven research creation and curriculum development wherever possible.

Space

Ambition needs a place to flourish as well, which is why the Faculty engaged with a local architect in 2019-20 to produce an Exterior Enhancement Concept Study for the CCS building. If realized, this vision would create new interactive learning and spaces supporting the Centre for Sustainability, Creativity, and Design, existing fine arts programming, and animating the exterior experience of the building and campus with an interactive multi-panel urban screen and sound installation. We have also expanded our research and creation footprint as well, bringing online new graduate studios at the recently opened “Innovation Precinct One” (IP1) building, developing plans for new creative studio spaces and labs to support research funded by the Canadian Federation for Innovation, and being an active participant in the Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Innovation (ICI) development and the “UBCO Downtown” building, where we will open the  first brick and mortar Art Gallery in the history of the campus. 

The founding vision of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies was to co-locate the fine arts and the “cultural” humanities disciplines in a single administrative unit on UBC’s newly established second campus. At the time (2005), the campus was organizing its “super-faculty”, the Irving K Barber School of Arts and Sciences, and the thinking was to create a separate unit that would nurture the fine arts alongside the powerhouse humanities discipline at the time (English literature), whose high seat-counts would provide a stable financial setting for small course studio programming in the arts. The 2008 financial crash, whose negative impact on humanities and arts enrolments across North American has been dramatic and incontrovertible, was only a few years away. 

Since its founding in 2006, the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies has had 5 deans: 

  • 2006-2011: Robert Belton (founding dean) 
  • 2011-2012: Kenneth Phillips (Interim) 
  • 2012-2015: Wisdom Tettey (external hire, departed mid-appointment) 
  • 2015-2017: Robert Eggleston (Interim) 
  • 2017-  Bryce Traister (external hire, currently in 5th year)  

This “leadership turnstile” has contributed to some of the challenges around morale and collegial ownership of the faculty’s destiny. The “post-departmental” organization of the FCCS into two multidisciplinary departments (Creative Studies, Critical Studies) also led to conflict over scarce resources within these large, multi-program departments. * For nearly two years (2015-17), a campus-wide debate took place about the future of the Faculty, including a proposal to merge it into the (now former) Barber School of Arts and Sciences. Although rejected, the plan to merge or close the Faculty remained an active fear, if not painful memory, that greeted the newly appointed dean’s arrival in the late summer of 2017.

Soaring to New Heights The FCCS Strategic Plan (2012-2017) (Dean Tettey) articulated a 5-year strategy for the period 2012-2017. FCCS achieved a great deal during this period, in spite of the challenges the faculty experienced. These included a suddenly steep decline in enrolments in its core areas of programming, as well as a change to the campus’s budget model that led to the imposition of a $2m cut to base budget for FY 2019. 

With the faculty, the current Dean helped reorganize the internal structure of the faculty (2018-19), and developed and adopted The Strategic Plan of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies: 2019-2024. This self-study presents a dossier of the faculty’s achievements and continuing challenges for the period 2017 to the present. 

* In 2017, the Department of Creative Studies was home to the following programs: Visual Arts (BFA, direct entry); Creative Writing (BA, general entry), Interdisciplinary Theatre and Performance (BFA, direct and general entry); MFA (Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Performance). The Department of Critical Studies was home to: Art History and Visual Culture (BA); English literature (BA); Cultural Studies (BA); French Language and Literature (BA); Spanish Language and Literature (BA); and suites of courses in German and Japanese. 

As detailed below, the last five years have seen a significant expansion of the fulltime professoriate in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. In 2017, we held 63 FTE faculty in the tenure stream and term Lectureships; in 2021, we sit at 74.5, including 5 joint-appointments (3 with the Gender and Women’s Studies program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, a 4th with History and Sociology, and the 5th with the Faculty of Management). With a successful 21-22 hiring cycle, the Faculty will have hired 19 new faculty members into the tenure stream, across all departments, since 2016-17, including 3 full professors, and a first CRC-Tier 2 appointment at the rank of Associate Professor.

The Faculty’s commitment to Indigenous engagement and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives across all areas (including hiring) has made the Faculty a campus leader with respect to both TRC and anti-racist strategies. In 2015, the Faculty created the Indigenous Engagement Strategy Committee—the first of its kind on the campus—to promote FCCS Indigenous programming and student support initiatives. In 2018, the faculty appointed Okanagan Nation Alliance elders Christine Marchand and Eric Mitchell as adjunct professors, and supported their work to develop and deliver Indigenous cultural safety training programs to the faculty, staff, and students of FCCS. (We also championed their nomination for honorary doctorates as well, which were conferred in 2020.) With the appointment of Tania Willard (Secwepemc nation, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts) to the Department of Creative Studies, we have maintained programming and support for the Indigenous Art Intensive (begun in 2015).  In 2020, we appointed Kerrie Charnley (Salish and Katzie First Nation) to the educational leadership stream in English to build Indigenous pedagogy and anti-colonial practice into our curriculum in English, CORH, and other programs as well. In the same year, Languages and World Literature hired Monica Good, who specializes in intercultural communication and indigenous legal and language rights in Mexico and the southwestern US.  These are only a few such important additions to the FCCS community’s anti-racist and Indigenous engagement community.

The Faculty’s recent hiring practices have promoted the Faculty’s and the campus’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Of the 13 appointments to the tenure stream made beginning in 2018, 10 are women, and 9 come from equity-deserving and BIPoC communities. It should be noted that the Provost and Vice-President Academic, as part of her commitment to enabling anti-racist strategies and practices at UBC, provided a financial incentive for departments to recruit BIPoC faculty into the tenure stream, and that all FCCS departments have taken or are planning to take advantage of this program. All departments have committed to and in some cases taken important steps to decolonizing teaching and learning, from curriculum development to academic searches. For more detailed discussion of these activities, please refer to the curriculum and departmental reports later in this study.

In terms of research and teaching, the Faculty’s commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research remains strong, as evidenced through new program development (BMS redevelopment, CORH, and WRLD, respectively); the successful rollout of the new IGS theme in Digital Arts and Humanities; the appointment of our first CRC-Tier 2 (in Environmental Humanities and Feminist Research); and successful and planned searches in environmental justice, and Asian and global art history and visual culture. We have also seen significant grants success, including a SSHRC Institutional Partnership award (Karis Shearer, 2018), multiple SSHRC Insight and IDG awards, an NSRCC CREATE Award (Aleks Dulic, 2021), an NSRCC Discovery award (Thorogood, 2021), 4 CFI-JELF awards in the arts (Smith, Willard, Murphy, Thorogood), and numerous BC Arts and Canada Council awards to creative researchers. We have also had success winning internal grants, including the prestigious Eminence Award (Magnat), a Principal’s Research Chair (Shearer), and major multi-year ALT Funding (Spies, Ravindran, Langevin, Peña, and Araujo) to support learning initiatives. For more detailed discussion, please refer to the report on research achievements later in this document.

The Faculty’s public engagement has emerged as signal strength for the campus’s vital role in the local community. Highlights include the launch of the UBCO Art Gallery; the re-launch of the Woodhaven Eco-culture Centre; multiple public engagements with local arts groups (Kelowna Art Gallery, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Opera Kelowna, the Caetani Centre for Culture); and two highly successful public art/mural classes we now run in the summer.

A glance at the SWOT analysis we developed for the 2019 Strategic Plan will indicate a number of operative challenges, some of which are not unique to FCCS, for example: the overloading of “administrivia” and concomitant bandwidth problems for faculty brought on by perennially under-resourced staffing levels as the campus’s rapid expansion continued year over year.  

Budget 

More specifically to FCCS, the biggest challenge —and, indeed, threat— is the revenue allocation model that is employed on this campus. As is widely acknowledged in the literature on university budgets, primarily enrolment-driven models are not able to properly resource a predominately small-course-delivery Faculty. Since 2017—the year the $2 million budget cut was “forecast”—every 5-year financial projection ends in a significant financial deficit. However, the Faculty has received some additional central resources, and has been able to participate in the broader Faculty renewal project and the Outlook 2040 plan.  However, the persistent presence of the year-five disaster on the balance sheets causes tremendous anxiety and demoralization amongst the FCCS community which is a serious impediment to its growth and development.

The CCS Building and the Campus Space Deficit 

Another major challenge is the deplorable state of the CCS building, whose persistently reported infrastructure problems have until recently gone ignored. It is true that a major buildout at “Innovation Precinct 1”—a former light industrial/office building—has given us 10 new studios for MFA students; however, we traded an equivalent amount of space elsewhere in the exchange. So while the MFA program and its students benefit from the improved space, strategic growth remains stalled. We are part of a second off-campus buildout–” Innovation Annex 1”—which will see bespoke research and creative studio space going into unused high-head warehouse space off campus. But we are also urgently in need of a computer-room buildout to support the BMS program, whose registrants pay a tuition premium for access to enhanced educational opportunities. As of today, the Faculty is not aware of a plan to remedy any of this.

In 2020-21, we developed a major building infill and retrofit plan to modernize the building for the 21st century, pick up additional teaching and engagement/research space inside, and promote externally facing engagement through a digital display on the outside of the building. Because the CCS building literally sits at the corner of the campus’s de-facto entrance, this is a glorious opportunity to transform the space from its current condition into one which engages students, faculty, and nearly all visitors to the campus with a multi-media urban screen experience and an attractive, invitational building entrance. However, given the Faculty’s paucity of resources, it is dependent on the central administration to realize this opportunity and prioritize the building in campus capital planning. Without a coherent fund development strategy for capital projects, it is difficult to see a path to the building’s long overdue re-development. The Faculty, and the Dean stand ready to participate fully in bringing this project to fruition; the failure to do this would be a tragedy with a lasting impact on the Faculty and the campus.

Workday 

More recently, the deployment of Workday—the university’s new enterprise software, launched just under a year ago—has presented an entirely unanticipated workload increase for staff, some faculty, and the dean. The simplest way to describe the problem is that Workday was designed for the Vancouver campus, which has a much more distributed administrative workflow model, in which Faculty located administrators tasked with HR and Finance responsibilities have primary ownership of Workday business processes. That is to say, UBCV already has more people in key Human Resources and Finance positions within the Faculties to take advantage of Workday’s optimization of workflow. In the Okanagan, however, much of the Human Resources/Finance administrative workflow remains centralized, even as the new software has “outsourced” nearly all of its workflow to end-user Human Resources/Finance positions located in the Faculties.  Workday, that is to say, has exponentially increased Faculty-located administrative workload for already under-resourced staffing levels in the academic Faculties.

Faculty at a Glance

By the Numbers

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies has a Dean’s Office, and three departments: Creative Studies, English and Cultural Studies and Languages and World Literatures.

Department of Creative Studies 23 FTE faculty, 3 staff
Department of English and Cultural Studies 27 FTE faculty, 1 staff
Department of Languages and World Literatures 21.5 FTE faculty, 1 staff
Dean’s Office 1 dean, 2 associate deans, 7 staff , 7 staff
Total FTE: 74.5 faculty, 12 staff
      • Full Professors: 7
      • Tenure Stream Appointees: 63  
      • Tenured: 52 
      • Lecturers: 15 
      • Art Gallery Curators: 2 

Snapshots: 2017 to 2021 

Undergraduate Program Headcount 2017  2021  % Change 
BA  163  183  +12 
BFA  107  128  +19.6 
BMS21  21  57  +171 
TOTALS  291  368  +26.5 
Graduate Program Headcount 2017  2021  % Change 
MA-Engl  7  14  +100% 
MA-IGS  6  15  +150% 
PhD-IGS  13  22  +69% 
MFA  22  26  +18% 
TOTALS  48  77  +60% 
Total FTE UG+GR  2017  2021  % Change 
TOTALS  339  445  +31% 
Seat Registrations  2017  2021  % Increase 
ARTH  541  731  +35 
CRWR  415  848  +104
CULT  460  903 +96 
CORH  0  161  +100 
ENGL  4181  4193  ~ 
FREN  837  1026  +22.5
MDST  26  119  +357
SPAN  801  872  +9 
THTR  144  258  +79 
VISA  911  1152  +26.5 
WRLD  67  599  +794 
TOTALS 8383  10541  +25.7 

View the full FCCS Course Enrolments by Year  2017-2021.

Research Awards

We have four Canadian Foundation for Innovation funded research centres in the Faculty along with two research Labs. Many of our faculty members hold active Social Science and Humanities Research Council grants and benefit from Arts Council funding at civic, provincial and federal levels.

Internal 2017 2021 % increase
$48,677 $557955 +1046%

 

External 2017 2021 % increase
$576,860 $869124 +51%

Faculty Achievements (last five years)

Between 2013-2017, FCCS hired a total of five tenure stream faculty, including an opportunity hire at the rank of Professor (Mathur), who has since departed. Assuming success with our 4 approved searches this year, we will have hired 19 tenure-stream faculty in five years, including the Faculty’s first CRC, cross-appointed with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In the same period, we have realized four retirements, 1 resignation/retirement, and have signoffs on 3 additional phased retirements in the next two years (June 30, 2022; June 30, 2023; and December 31, 2023).

2017

Bryce Traister (Full, R) English and Cultural Studies American Literature New 
Alison Conway (Full, R) ECS+CCGS English Literature New

2018

Emily Murphy (Asst, R) ECS Digital Humanities Rep

2019

Miles Thorogood (Asst, R) Creative Studies Sound media New
Chanda Carey (Asst, R) Creative Studies Art History Rep
Tania Willard (Asst, R) Creative Studies Visual Art New

2020

Aisha Ravindran (Assoc, EL) ECS (English) Comms/Rhet

New 

Anita Chaudhuri (Asst, EL) ECS (English) Comms/Rhet

New 

Kevin Chong (Asst, R) Creative Studies Creative Writing

New 

Megan Smith (Assoc, R) Creative Studies Media/BMS

New 

Kerrie Charnley (Asst, EL) ECS (English) Indg Pedagogy

New 

Monica Good (Asst, EL) LWL Spanish, Indg Rep

2021

Astrida Neimanis (Assoc, R) ECS+CCGS (Cult. Studies) CRC II New 
Sakiru Adebayo (Asst, R) ECS (English) Anglophone African New 
Shawn Serfas (Assoc, R) Creative Studies 2D/Painting Rep

2022

Nikhita Obeegadoo (Asst, R) LWL Francophone African New
TBD (Asst, R) ECS Cultural Studies New
TBD (Asst, R) Creative Studies Art History Rep
TBD (Asst, R) Creative Studies Media/BMS Rep
TBD (Asst, EL) ECS Comms/Rhet New

We have taken advantage of the teaching power of the Lecturer appointment category, and been able to offer better salary, and improved conditions of employment for Lecturer appointments in all three departments. All 14 new Lecturer positions were built from pre-existing per-course Sessional instructors contracts and, in many cases, we appointed long-serving Sessional instructors who had provided outstanding teaching.

Department 2017 2021 Names
CS 0 5 (Rutkauskis, Pickering, Doody, Hager, Ross)
ECS 0 6 (McDonald, Shaw, Payson, AlexopolousCockerline, Vickery)
LWL 2 5 (Senn, Gauthier, Garcia, Tolman, Tonnel)

In 2017, the FCCS had a total of 4 (full) Professors, including the newly appointed Dean and a newly hired recruitment in English jointly appointed with the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. There was, and to some extent still is, a surprisingly fearful climate around entering the UBC tenure and promotion process across the Okanagan. UBC also relies heavily on the (full) professor rank in its review processes—only full professors participate on promotion-to-full cases, for example—and the faculty’s lack of colleagues at the terminal rank has given the faculty something of perpetual-juvenile status on the campus. 

 FCCS faculty were encouraged to put themselves forward for promotion to (full) professor and, in several cases, to Associate Professor.* All cases that went through the full review process at UBC have been successful. We now have 9 full professors in the faculty. 

2017

Tenure cases: 0
Promotions: 1 (Lovesey, ECS)

2018

Tenure cases: 2 (Shearer, ECS; Araujo, ECS)
Promotions: 1 (Garcia-Perez**, LWL)

2019

Tenure cases: 3  (Lee, ECS; Campbell, CS; Roy-Bois, CS; Rader, CS)
Promotions: 2 (Garrard, ECS; Reeves**, ECS)

2020

Tenure cases: 2 (Ravindran, ECS; Smith, CS; Desmarais, LWL)
Promotions: 1 (Fleming, CS)

2021

Tenure cases: 1 (Neimanis, ECS)
Promotions: 2 (Castricano, ECS; Yoon, ECS)
Pending: 3 (2 promotions, 1 tenure case)

*Until the 2016 Faculty Collective Agreement came into force, UBC’s promotion and tenure process provided for “split” decisions in which one could achieve tenure and yet remain at the rank of Assistant Professor; FCCS had three such situations, two of which have now seen the promotion to Associate professor go through, as indicated.

**indicates a promotion to Associate rank for already tenured colleague 

Faculty Contacts, Research Areas and CV’s

Dean’s Office

 

English and Cultural Studies

Languages and World Literatures Studies

 

FCCS Faculty Council and Committees

At UBCO, one frequently hears that we are “building the plane as we fly it.” There has also been, as indicated above, a frequently changing roster of designers, architects, and engineers at work at different times in the project. One consequence of this has been a shifting, even elastic, and not infrequently mythological governance eco-system within the faculty and across the campus. The previously appointed term dean, Dr. Wisdom Tettey (currently Principal of the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus) is to be credited (and thanked!) for putting in place a permanent Terms of Reference and Committee Structure in the FCCS, which we have deepened and since extended into two of three departments that have now adopted their own governance documents.

Financials

This budget is a five year plan that was approved by the Board of Governors in April of 2019.

FCCS Financial Report

Research Grants and Awards

Our faculty are nationally recognized, and highly regarded, leaders in creative and critical scholarship encompassing diverse historical and contemporary experiences and perspectives. We have specialized expertise in Digital Arts and Humanities, World Literature, Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Ecocriticism, Global Art History, Visual Arts, Performance, Indigenous Arts, Media Studies and Creative Writing.

We have four Canadian Foundation for Innovation funded research centres in the Faculty along with two research Labs. Many of our faculty members hold active Social Science and Humanities Research Council grants and benefit from Arts Council funding at civic, provincial and federal levels.

Since 2017, the Faculty has appointed its first Canada Research Chair, Dr. Astrida Neimanis, and its first Principal’s Research Chair, D.r Karis Shearer. Its artists and researchers have won recognition for their work, including Dr. Allison Hargreaves, Gabrielle Roy Prize (2017); Dr. Lisa Grekul, Kobzar Literary Prize (2018); Nancy Holmes, UBC Okanagan Researcher of the Year (2018); Neil Cadger, Dorothy Somerset Award (2021). In 2019, Dr. Hargreaves was awarded the first Killam Faculty Research Prize in the history of FCCS. Since then, we have set our sights ever higher, with as-yet-unsuccessful applications for the Distinguished University Scholar, and the full range of Killam awards including the PDF, Faculty Research Fellowship, and Accelerator Fellowship.

In recent years, the Faculty has been conspicuously successful in attracting internal and external funding. In 2010-15, our annual mean research income was $309,800, according to VPRI, but in 2015-20, the mean of external Tri-Council and and Canada Foundation for Innovation/BC Knowledge Development Fund was $576,433 per year – an 86% increase. For comparison, this is more than double the figure for UBC Vancouver’s English department, a longer-established unit with a similar headcount. The disciplinary diversification of our Faculty has enabled us to access NSERC grants in this period for the first time. The majority comes from Creative Studies: though the faculty reorganization (including Art History moving out of Critical Studies into Creative) makes comparison difficult, the Department of Creative Studies accounts for roughly 42% of the research-stream faculty complement, but 73% of the research income.

More comprehensive and up-to-date figures reveal that the true picture is even better than the figures from the Office of the Vice-Principal Research suggest, as FCCS scholars and artists have received large competitive internal awards, as well as BC and Canada Council for the Arts awards that are not tracked by VPRI. FCCS researchers also participate in interdisciplinary research projects that are managed in other Faculties, such as the New Frontiers in Research Fund ‘Living with Wildfire’ project, which includes Dr. Greg Garrard. Using these figures, our total research income has more than trebled from $392,820 in 2016/17 to $1,258,746 in 2021/22.

UBC Okanagan’s internal funding for Clusters of Research Excellence has primarily been awarded to STEM researchers. Nonetheless, FCCS researcher Dr. Virginie Magnat was cluster lead for ‘Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-Being’ in 2018, and Dr. Greg Garrard was a collaborator on ‘Enhancing Ecosystem Sustainability: A Syilx/Settler Science Collaboration’ that started the same year. Dr. Emily Murphy and Dr. Karis Shearer were awarded Excellence funds to enhance undergraduate research opportunities in the digital humanities in 2019.

The Aspire-2040 Learning Transformations fund (ALT) is the equivalent of Clusters funding in the pedagogical research and development space. ALT teams led by FCCS faculty have won grants in 2017 (Dr. Thorogood), 2018 (Myron Campbell), 2019 (Dr. Hargreaves), one Category One grant (Dr. Dulic) and two Category Two grants (Dr. Spies, Dr Ravindran) in 2020, and a further grant in 2021 (Dr. Charnley). These achievements reflect, not only the pace of curriculum change, but also the commitment of the Faculty to research-informed program development.

Since 2018, FCCS has been at the forefront of developing a close institutional relationship with the University of Exeter in the UK. The Faculty has committed to support the development of rich research and teaching relationships with Exeter, which is ranked 10th in the UK for English by The Guardian league table. Dr Karis Shearer, for example, co-developed digital humanities training modules for students at UBCO and Exeter, and several other projects are restarting post-pandemic. We have received $97,800 in multi-year funding from the central administration, together with matching funding from Exeter, to renew and deepen this collaboration over the next four years.

Reviewing the CVs of FCCS faculty members shows that:

  • All the research-stream members of Creative Studies had publications, performances or exhibitions in the period 2017-2021. The vibrancy of the department is enhanced by regular interaction with a large group of students, many of them studio-based, and by the strength of UBC’s relationships with Kelowna’s cultural sector, including the Kelowna Art Gallery, Rotary Centre for the Arts, Opera Kelowna, and Ballet Kelowna.   
  • In terms of publications, the research culture in the new departments (ECS and LWL) is improving, but it is nowhere near where it should be, with too many members reporting as little as one article/essay or other output in a four year period and about the same number of faculty across both departments reporting no outputs of any kind over the same span. These are research stream tenured faculty. Having this high proportion of faculty reporting low levels of productivity poses challenges for faculty efforts to develop and invest in a humanities research culture within FCCS, across the broader humanities and critical cultures on the campus, and beyond.
  • Dr. Kyong Yoon, recently promoted to full professor, has an extraordinary research output, with three monographs and 20 article-length publications in this period. Discounting this impressive outlier, humanities scholars in FCCS collectively publish 15-20 article-length publications, one or two monographs, and an edited collection every year. Given that many research-stream faculty publish little or no research, and that humanities scholarship is often needfully slow-paced, this is a creditable overall record. Recent and anticipated recruitment of research-active scholars should bring about improvement in the near future. 
  • Significant monograph publications include: Dal Yong Jin, Kyong Yoon, and Wonjung Min, Transnational Hallyu: The Globalization of Korean Digital and Popular Culture (Rowman and Littlefield 2021); Jodey CastricanoGothic Metaphysics: From Alchemy to the Anthropocene (U of Wales P 2021); Kyong Yoon, Digital Mediascapes of Transnational Korean Youth Culture (Routledge 2020); George Grinnell, The Social Life of Biometrics (Rutgers UP 2020); Virginie MagnatThe Performative Power of Vocality (Routledge 2020); Greg Garrard, Axel Goodbody, George B. Handley & Stephanie PosthumusClimate Change Scepticism: A Transnational Ecocritical Analysis (Bloomsbury Academic 2019); Anderson Araujo, A Companion to Ezra Pound’s ‘Guide to Kulchur’ (Clemson UP 2018); and Oliver LoveseyPostcolonial George Eliot (Palgrave 2017).
  • Faculty publications in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), authored both by EL and research-stream faculty, are an increasingly important element of our faculty’s research profile, with five article-length publications in 2019 and 2020. The Canadian edition of Writing Today, a composition textbook co-edited by Dr. Jordan Stouck and Dr. Cathi Shaw, is particularly noteworthy.
  • Significant exhibitions and performances have taken place in the Okanagan, Vancouver, and further afield, often as traveling shows. They include: Briar Craig’s Okanagan Print Triennial; Dr. Aleksandra Dulic, ‘Water Ways’ and ‘Celestial Bodies’; Dr. Suzanne Gott, ‘African-Print Fashion Now!’ exhibition and book; Nancy Holmes, ‘Border Free Bees’; Samuel Roy-Bois, ‘It’s Not Me, It’s My Central Nervous System’; Shawn Serfas, ‘This Kind of Wilderness’; Megan Smith, ‘All the Stars We Cannot See’; Miles Thorogood, ‘Aeon’; Tania Willard, ‘Soundings’. Neil Cadger’s ‘Living Things Festival’, Michael V Smith’s ‘Pony Cabaret’ and Tania Willard’s Bush Gallery ‘rezidence’ explore innovative ways to engage the community in the work of diverse artists. Several FCCS artists and scholars were involved in ‘The Collective Body’, a pandemic-compliant exhibition that reflected on life during the pandemic. It was first presented at the Rotary Centre for the Arts and online in winter 2021.
  • Creative publications include Nancy Holmes, Arborophobia (U of Alberta P 2022); Matt Rader, Visual Inspection (Nightwood 2019); Anne Fleming, The Goat (House of Anansi Press 2017); and Michael V Smith, Bad Ideas (Nighwood 2017). FCCS faculty, in the Creative Writing group especially, are increasingly multimedia artists. Some, like Dr Dulic and Dr Smith, have always worked in multiple media. Michael V Smith is a writer of fiction who also produces short films, including for the National Film Board of Canada.
  • Thanks to ongoing recruitment of digital media faculty, we are increasingly seeing colleagues with publications and projects well outside the traditional fine arts and humanities. In digital media arts, Dr. Smith is undertaking vital work with the RCMP, using immersive technologies to improve training in use-of-force scenarios, and Dr. Thorogood has developed a Modular Large Scale Projection Mapping Toolkit in collaboration with the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Dr Karis Shearer, Principal’s Research Chair in Digital Arts and Humanities, is co-applicant on a major SSHRC Partnership, SoundBox, which is collecting analog audio recordings from Canadian literary history, digitizing the archive, and undertaking analysis and re-mediation work on the collection. Dr. Emily Murphy’s series of ‘remixes’ of dance archives, which combine embodied and digital methods, is restarting post-pandemic. Collaborating with linguists at Bangor University in Wales, Dr. Diana Carter has developed and presented a digital tool that tags Welsh, Spanish and English in multilingual corpora. Some scholars combine traditional and digital methods and outputs: Dr. George Grinnell created ‘Romanticism and the War on Terror’ as part of his SSHRC-funded research on Romantic-era biometrics. Dr. Francisco Peña is the PI in an international SSHRC-funded project using digital methodologies to better understand la General Estoria de Alfonso X, a medieval Iberian ‘history of the world’, and to make this remarkable work publicly accessible.  

FCCS Grants Totals

2017-18 2021-22 % Change
Internal  $48,677.00  $557,955.00
External  $576,860.00  $869,124.00
Tri-Council  $317,198.00  $286,735.00
CFI  $23,291.00  $249,165.00
Arts Councils  $200,000.00  $156,200.00
Ext Other  $36,370.00  $143,916.00
Teaching-ALT  $-  $324,333.00
Provost-Exc  $-  $250,000.00
Other  $48,677.00  $16,730.00
TOTAL  $625,536.00  $1,427,079.00 128%

Research Funding by Faculty Member

Curriculum Offered and in Development 

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

The faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is the unique host to two direct entry undergraduate programs, the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Bachelor of Media Studies (BMS), as well as programs in the Bachelor of Arts (BA)  jointly hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  The faculty is also directly involved in a newly established direct entry interdisciplinary Bachelor in Sustainability (BSust), hosting a concentration in environmental humanities. 

The UBCO Academic Calendar is the official site-host for all approved curriculum offered by the FCCS. 

The Bachelor of Fine Arts balances studio work and academic study, immersing students in hands-on critical and contemporary art education. Students acquire the foundational skills, techniques, and theories needed to work in two and three dimensions, in a variety of media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, digital arts, printmaking, photography, animation, studio theory, video and performance arts. 

The Bachelor of Media Studies (BMS) is a four-year, direct-entry program that prepares students for careers in digital media creation. BMS students experiment with digital media technologies in a team-based environment, with a focus on innovation in digital-media design. The degree in Media Studies combines digital media arts, visual art, media studies, social science, and humanities to help its students become creative, articulate, and socially engaged citizens. 

Majors/Minors

Students can complete a BA degree with a major and/or minor in the following areas in FCCS:

More study Options

We also offer multiple/suite course and programming leading to minors in the following areas:

We have recently developed “a la carte” courses in these subject areas: 

The Bachelor of Sustainability (BSust) is interdisciplinary to the core because no one academic discipline can address issues like climate change and biodiversity loss in their entirety. At the same time, it asks students to learn within select concentrations that develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable them to take action and solve problems at local to global scales.

The Environmental Humanities is a new configuration of humanities disciplines (principally literary studies, history, philosophy, Indigenous studies, human geography, and cultural anthropology) that understands environmental issues as inseparable from the specific cultural contexts in which they appear. 

Environmental Humanities Theme

Undergraduate Curriculum Renewal and Development   

Over the past four years, the faculty has been engaged in significant curriculum renewal and development at the undergraduate level, aligned with the Provost’s curriculum renewal and quality enhancement initiatives and UBC’s Strategic Plan. This has included a revision of the Bachelor of Media Studies and Bachelor of Arts degrees, as well as new undergraduate programming in World Literatures and Intercultural CommunicationCommunications and Rhetoric, and the environmental humanities theme within the new UBC Okanagan Bachelor of Sustainability. These new programs contribute to the enrolment increases noted toward the front of this document. Rather than passively accept declining enrolments in the humanities, FCCS programs have redesigned many areas to meet the interests and needs of students today.  

The Bachelor of Media Studies, originally a joint degree with the then I.K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Sciences, was redesigned in 2019-2020 in response to student feedback requesting clearer links between programming skills and art and design applications. Consequently, we redesigned the degree in collaboration with the UBC Okanagan Provost’s office to deliver a set of media studies courses and learning outcomes that both allowed students to learn and apply media skills within the same course/ context and to develop a stronger cohort experience. The new version of the degree was approved by the Degree Quality Assurance Board of the B.C. Ministry of Education in 2020 and subsequent student retention and enrolment, measured by headcount, has increased significantly (see Admissions and Statistics). 

The Bachelor of Arts, a joint degree with the I.K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, underwent a thorough external review in 2016. This review led to a redesign based on, “the needs of our students, the demands from employers, UBC’s Strategic Plan, and the evolution of post-secondary education over the last decade” (Revised Bachelor of Arts Proposal, 2018). The new BA is skills based and flexible, allowing students to fulfill a set of foundational, distribution, and program requirements through a range of options suited to their interests and aspirations. Launched in Fall 2021, the new BA includes progressive requirements around sustainability, Indigeneity and social justice, as well as communications and critical thinking.  The development and implementation of the degree was undertaken by faculty members from both Creative and Critical Studies and the new Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  

In addition to degree level curriculum renewal, the Faculty has received ALT Funding for two major program development projects in World Literatures and Intercultural Communication and Communications and Rhetoric. The World Literatures and Intercultural Communication major and minor is designed to develop skills in intercultural understanding through literature. It aligns with the newly updated Languages major, which encourages students to develop proficiency in a third language and cultural context while specializing in French and Spanish. The World Literatures and Intercultural Communication major and minor has completed UBC curriculum processes and is currently waiting Ministry approval. The Certificate in Communications and Rhetoric was launched in Fall 2021 and offers students across campus the opportunity to develop communication skills in personal, professional, and digital contexts. One of the first academic credit certificates offered at UBC’s Okanagan campus, the programming in communications and rhetoric allows students to organize elective credits in a way that will enhance their employability. Development of a minor in Communications and Rhetoric is currently underway, offering students the opportunity to pursue these skills in more depth. Both these new programs, along with individual course and content redesigns (also ALT funded in two cases), have integrated Indigenous perspectives and pedagogies in a Faculty wide commitment to Reconciliation.  

A third area of new programming, developed in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Faculty of Science, is the environmental humanities concentration within the new Bachelor of Sustainability. The new BSust degree focuses on learning outcomes related to sustainability knowledge, awareness and integration, acting for positive change, and holistic systems thinking, with the intent to challenge students to find solutions to the current climate crisis. One of four concentrations in the new cross-faculty, interdisciplinary degree, environmental humanities has prompted strategic hiring in the department of English and Cultural Studies to support this innovative cross-campus specialization.  FCCS, through its Departments of English and Cultural Studies and Creative Studies, is contributing required courses (ENGL156, SUST104, SUST204) in support of the BSust degree.  

These programming initiatives have been informed by course learning outcomes and quality assurance processes, both at the Faculty level and through Senate curriculum processes. The revised BA and BMS degrees, along with the Certificate in Communications and Rhetoric, were developed through aligning course, program, and degree level learning outcomes. Indeed, a faculty member from FCCS is currently working with the Provost office’s team on a new curriculum mapping tool that will facilitate these processes campus-wide. Within FCCS, the Undergraduate Programs Planning and Coordination Committee looks carefully at learning outcomes when reviewing courses, and articulation decisions for transfer courses are increasingly focusing on learning outcomes rather than readings or assessment types. This aligns with processes increasingly used across the province, as noted at the recent BC Deans of Arts and Science Programs Fall 2021 meeting. Within FCCS, there is emphasis on ensuring our undergraduate curriculum process is at once thorough and efficient; external curriculum processes, however, can cause delays.  

Graduate Programs and Curriculum Development

FCCS off­ers Master of Arts in English, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Arts and PhD in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies.

The FCCS fully hosts or is a contributor to the following graduate degrees and programs: 

The MFA program includes state-of-the-art production with 21st-century digital, printmaking, sculpture and photography studio facilities. While in residence, each student has a studio space to work in an artistic environment to explore, share and develop their own artistic community in relationship to a dynamic cohort of fellow MFA students. 

Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) 

UBC Okanagan’s Master of Arts (MA) degree in English is a terminal degree that provides training in the theory, methods, and practice of literary studies in English. The Department of English and Cultural Studies reviewed the program and relaunched the MA in 2019 with a focus on the  theme of place and its importance to culture and literature in both present and historical perspective. 

Master’s of Arts (MA) English 

The UBC Okanagan campus offers interdisciplinary graduate degrees within a program (IGS) based on Themes. An IGS Theme is a defined area of interdisciplinary study supported by a group of faculty engaged in a common space of interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary, and/or multidisciplinary research. Each Theme offers a specific group of graduate courses to advance the education and expertise of students in its interdisciplinary area, and its faculty members are available to assist and/or supervise students in their Theme-based program of master’s or doctoral studies. 

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies 

FCCS supports the Digital Arts and Humanities (DAHU) theme of the IGS program, and many of its researchers supervise students enrolled in other themes, including SustainabilityCommunity Engagement, Social Change and Equity, and Power, Conflict and Ideas. Please click here for a list of FCCS faculty affiliations with these themes. 

FCCS researchers are currently participating in the IGS as follows:

Program  Supervisor  Students Supervised in Theme 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Emily Murphy  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Michael Smith  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Megan Smith  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Jodey Castricano  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Aleksandra Dulic  2 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Bryce Traister  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Diana Carter  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Hussein Keshani  4 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Karis Shearer  4 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Suzanne Gott  1 
Digital Arts & Humanities  Michael Treschow  
Power, Conflict & Ideas  Jodey Castricano  3 
Sustainability  Aleksandra Dulic  1 
Sustainability  Greg Garrard  4 

FCCS faculty are teaching 60% of the scheduled IGS courses for all cohorts in 2021-22.

FCCS has partnered with the Faculty of Applied Science (Okanagan School of Engineering) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Science to develop a Master’s of Design professional degree program in Design, Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship. The MDes enables students to explore critical design thinking, creative practice, and engineering principles, within a culture of innovation, social, and sustainable entrepreneurship. The design culture we are building at UBCO will train students to develop human centred creative design practices to solve real world problems across a wide range of professional career settings. The MDes engages by challenging students to design a better world. We have nearly finished the curriculum review submission to the province (it has passed our Senate review), and are hoping to launch this off-cycle degree in May 2023.

Although much earlier in its design, this could be another program in which we re-direct and leverage existing expertise to develop niche programming. “Performance Devices for the Here and Now” is envisioned as a 25-month low residency MA in Contemporary Performance aimed at high school drama teachers and community artists and activists. It is designed to bring together these working professionals with leading edge contemporary performance practitioners to leverage existing resources and explore what can be done to produce innovative, relevant and regenerative creative experiences in our schools and communities.

UBC Okanagan’s successful cross-campus NSERC CREATE application for training in Immersive Technologies will require a new MSc route to be added to the existing DAHU Theme. This route will enable students outside APSO and FoS to access the extraordinary training opportunity afforded by the grant.

Completing the suite of digital media graduate programs, this proposed specialization would bridge the gap between DAHU and MFA Visa/IS.

Student Support

Undergraduate Student and Teaching Support 

Student-facing concession, recruitment, and communications have been a focus within FCCS over the past four years, and have been a particular challenge since March 2020. In an effort to provide students with compassionate and clear communications during the pandemic, we strengthened outreach practices such as deadline reminders and support service emails. We also set up a student communications hub in Canvas with all FCCS student-related information. On the faculty side, we developed a set of discipline-related teaching resources to help faculty respond to the challenges of moving online and then returning to an uncertain campus environment.

FCCS Faculty are dedicated to undergraduate teaching as evidenced by the following campus-wide teaching awards received over the past 6 years:  

  • Golden Apple (student initiated award, 2019-2021): 8  
  • Teaching Honour Roll (2015-2018): 9 
  • Provost’s Teaching Excellence and Innovation: 1 

To encourage teaching excellence within the faculty, the FCCS Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award is given out each year; the nominations for this award can only be initiated by students.  

In addition to campus funding opportunities, FCCS provides a number of donor and faculty supported award opportunities for undergraduate students. Please see the FCCS website for the full list of 37 such opportunities. In September 2021, to support students returning after the pandemic, FCCS faculty also participated in a crowd-funding initiative, raising $7200 for 3 one-time undergraduate student awards.  

Graduate Student Support 

UBC Okanagan is moving towards a sustainable funding model for graduate student support.

Until 2018, FCCS had fairly low, stable graduate student numbers, and a high, stable financial allocation from the College of Graduate Studies (CoGS). The Faculty budget included $50000 per year, which was used to supplement the CoGS allocation and fund students who were rendered ineligible by CoGS rules. While relatively few faculty members had grants from which to supplement students’ incomes, institutional sources were adequate to ensure basic funding packages to all students. However, the faculty did not commit to specific funding levels in offer letters, even in the year of entry, so students with better options often choose to go elsewhere.

The old IGS program was closed to new admits following a 2017 review and the MA in English had poor recruitment, which accounts for the lack of expenditure in FY19. Unfortunately, this historic nadir was used as the faculty ‘base level’ of graduate students in a revised funding allocation devised by a pro tem Dean of CoGS in late December 2018, only weeks before the first round of admissions to the revised IGS program. No designated funding was provided by CoGS to support this new program. At the same time, Dean Traister approved a proposal from Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies Garrard to guarantee funding for the first year in students’ offer letters. An initial IGS funding pot secured from the IGS-supporting Deans was inadequate to fund the first year’s intake, hence the doubling of the FCCS contribution compared to the previous allocation.

Following the chaos of the 2019 admissions season, a second pro tem Dean of CoGS provided a basic allocation to FCCS (MA/MFA) and IGS well in advance of admissions. The FCCS contribution declined that year despite increasing admissions across all programs, alongside growing expectations that graduate students should receive a uniform minimum income.

Although the province does not fund graduate education at UBC Okanagan – by contrast with UBC Vancouver, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria – the system has substantially boosted the CoGS funding envelope, and also established a minimum funding level of $20k for PhD students. Welcome though this is, the Faculty will need to continue to contribute to graduate student support in the medium-long term. Indeed, the figures for direct support reported here leave out the massive amounts of money paid to graduate students as GTAs via departments. Limited funds and need for GTAs could be a constraint on further graduate student intake in future. The IGS program has tried to prioritize M-level admissions to reduce this pressure, but far more applicants are interested in doctoral study.

Graduate student funding at UBC is inherently complex. Fellowships come from CoGS and the Faculties. Graduate Teaching Assistants are managed by department heads and Graduate Research Assistant positions are set up by grant-holders, with no necessary reference to the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. As a cross-faculty initiative, IGS adds an extra level of complexity. With an improved, predictable institutional allocation for graduate studies, though, these challenges will be minimized and the advantages of flourishing programs – for student training, research culture, and intellectual advancement – maximized.

TOTAL FY22 FY21 FY20 FY19 FY18
$36,000 $50,267 $17,500 $50,000
$40,000 $84,112
$277,879 $36,000 $90,267 $101,612 $50,000

Admissions and Statistics

The Faculty has seen both program enrolments and seat registrations rising in all subject areas between 2017-2021. 

Degree Program  Specialization  2017  2018  2019  2020  2021 
BA-O  ARTH  6  6  10  11  12 
  CRWR  29  43  40  42  48 
  CULT  27  20  15  16  22 
  ENGL  76  76  72  71  61 
  FREN  11  13  18  26  28 
  FRSP  12  15  17  11  9 
  LNGS          2 
  SPAN  2  2  1  1  1 
BA Totals    163  175  173  178  183 
BFA-O  No Major  2  12  18  33  27 
  INTP  12  6  3  3   
  VISA  93  97  100  92  101 
BFA Totals    107  115  121  128  128 
BMS-O  No Major  21  33  23  32  57 
Total    291  323  317  338  368 
Degree Program  Specialization  2017  2018  2019  2020  2021 
MA-O  ENGL  7  11  13  13 
  IGSD      4  8 
  IGSP        1 
  IGSS      1   
  IGSV*  6  2  2  2 
MFA-O  CRWR  6  8  10  13 
  IGSV         
  INDS  11  7  4  3 
  VISA  5  7  10  11 
PHD-O  IGSD      5  7 
  IGSI  1  1  1  1 
  IGSP      1  2 
  IGSS      2  3 
  IGSV  12  10  8  6 
Total – GR    48  46  61  70 

*IGSV includes students who started their programs before the Theme-based relaunch in 2019. Most of the remaining students will defend in 2021/22. 

Major Space Changes 2017-2021

Below are points about our space uses, challenges and changes over the last five year.

  • 2018: Renovation to Head’s office into 2 offices; CCS 153/153A 
  • 2019: Renovation to create office from photocopier area; CCS 152  
  • 2019: Renovation to Film Room CCS 230  
  • 2021: Green Room (CCS 227) upgrades to accommodate BMS programming; removed sink, painted walls & floor and will have new computer for VR, tethered photo/video and new surround sound system  
  • 2021: Computer Lab (CCS 141) received updated computers  
  • 2021: BMS “Media Maker Space” (CCS 122) repurposed with new mobile tables, work bench, tools, new projector and will have a new computer to accommodate BMS computational arts programming and sound system. It also houses two computers, two flat-bed scanners, and a film scanner for students in photo, and screen printing  
  • 2021: Spark Lab (CCS 151) contains 3 large scale printers, smaller printer, 48” vinyl cutter, 3 computers, also requiring storage of paper, film, inks and vinyl rolls.  Storage of office supplies, heat presses, chairs, easels are overflowing into the hallways and in studio spaces 
  • 2018: Language Arts Lab (CCS 222) equipment/furnishing upgrade 
  • 2018: FCCS offices (CCS 323) and Boardroom (CCS 322) reconfiguration to add more desks  
  • 2019: Conversion of CSS 144 for CFI Research DIHU Lab  
  • 2020: FCCS offices (CCS 323) reconfiguration for ECS and LWL Heads and Assistants’ desks 
  • Closure of FCCS use of University House resulted in need to move 9 Grad Students to IP1 (Innovation Precinct) 

2017 

  • 19 faculty members are using/sharing offices of others who are on leave, up to 3 per desk 
  • 5 Sessional instructors sharing 2 designated Sessional instructors offices (5 desks) in FCCS 
  • 2 Sessional instructors are sharing 1 temporary office space in the Fipke building 

2021 

  • 24 faculty members are using/sharing offices of others who are on leave or teaching remotely, up to 3 per desk 
  • 5 Sessional instructors sharing 2 designated Sessional instructors offices (5 desks) in FCCS 
  • 14 Sessional instructors are sharing 5 temporary offices (11 desks) in the Fipke building 

Additional Current & Future Impacts

  • 14 Sessional instructors do not have an office due to teaching remotely 
  • 1 tenured faculty member hired in 2020 does not have an office due to teaching remotely 
  • 2 Staff members hired in 2021 sharing office space with another (4 people in 2 offices) 
  • 4 faculty members hired for 2022 do not have an office yet planned  
  • 3 more faculty hires are planned for 2022 with no office yet planned  
  • 11 tenured/tenure track faculty on wait list for an office with a window (the last tenured Professor waited 8 years) 
  • Growth of FCCS and enrollments has necessitated hiring more Sessional Lectures; increase of 87% from 2017 vs. 2021   

2017-18

Sessionals Sections Lecturers
Creative 8 14 2
Critical 15 65 3
Eng & Cult  n/a  n/a  n/a
Lang & Lit  n/a  n/a  n/a
TOTALS 23 79 5

2018-19

Sessionals Sections Lecturers
Creative 8 14 3
Critical 13 51 9
Eng & Cult  n/a  n/a  n/a
Lang & Lit  n/a  n/a  n/a
TOTALS 21 65 12

2019-20

Sessionals Sections Lecturers
Creative 12 29 2
Critical  n/a  n/a  n/a
Eng & Cult 12 30 6
Lang & Lit 5 18 4
TOTALS 29 77 12

2020-21

Sessionals Sections Lecturers
Creative 12 27 5
Critical  n/a  n/a  n/a
Eng & Cult 16 68 5
Lang & Lit 4 13 7
TOTALS 32 108 17

2021-22

Sessionals Sections Lecturers
Creative 25 37 2
Critical  n/a  n/a  n/a
Eng & Cult 15 65 7
Lang & Lit 3 12 6
TOTALS 43 114 15

 

RESULTS over 5 years, FCCS increased:
Sessionals Sessional Sections Lecturers
87% 44% 200%
  • Downtown Maker Space and Art Gallery (4000 sq ft)  
  • IA1 Media Studios (3500 sq ft)  
  • Repurposing of CCS 2nd floor space from School of Nursing in 2025  

Communications, Marketing & Recruitment

We work to enhance the reputation of FCCS and its individual programs by developing and maintaining a full range of communications tactics and assets to create a visual identity for the Faculty’s internal and external communications. Our target audience consists of prospective students and their parents, current students, alumni, partners, and supporters, as well as our campus community including faculty and staff members. 

We work collaboratively with University-wide communications and marketing professionals in academic and administrative units. Our Communications and Marketing Specialist is part of a number of campus wide committees to ensure that we are part of any campus-wide processes and initiatives. 

In 2018, we established the current role of Communications and Marketing Specialist as a fulltime position, which increased the faculty’s investment in work that had previously been done by staff appointed in other roles, or handled centrally by University Relations. 

 

Over the last five years we have worked to ensure that the liberal arts are recognized as an important part of what happens on this campus and that there is a holistic approach to communicating the work of all faculties on this campus.

O in UBC  

The Okanagan Stories are a collection of videos and stories that focuses on all aspects that make the UBCO campus what it is. The singular message these stories work to convey is: “UBC’s Okanagan campus welcomes and celebrates people who are driven by purpose and who thrive in an innovative and supportive community that empowers them to make an impact.”

  • Being Human: An academic grounding in the Humanities involves an impassioned learning about human culture that extends deep into literature, art, music, history and philosophy
  • Media Matters: The Digital Age was created by and for inventors and designers, tinkerers and do-it-yourselfers. UBC Okanagan taps into new media’s legacy, blending artistic, technical and critical-thinking skills for the next generation of creators
  • Hive of Activity: Transforming under-utilized urban sites into scientifically viable pollinator pastures is a shining example of how UBC Okanagan champions community-based eco art
  • A Graduate’s Path: Graduate students at UBC’s Okanagan campus benefit from a unique experience: they have access to global teaching, learning and research opportunities at one of the world’s top 20 public universities while also being part of a tight-knit, entrepreneurial community primed for growth
  • The Reality of Sci-fi: How science fiction is providing real-world lessons and teaching opportunities for students and professors at UBC Okanagan
  • Space to Innovate: A 21st century campus needs state-of-the-art facilities and a cutting-edge approach to solving real-world problems. The Innovation Precinct is a revolutionary new development designed to inspire creativity, test new ideas and cultivate research partnerships
  • Art Influences: How UBC Okanagan fine arts alumni are shaping the community with their unique artistic perspectives
  • Expressions of Reconciliation: UBCO is incorporating cultural safety training into the university

In the Field

This collection of stories focusses on faculty and students who take research and learning outside the classroom through fieldwork experiences. Often fieldwork is often thought about as STEM related, however our faculty’s work shows that fieldwork and experiential learning is just as important in the humanities and fine arts.

Our faculty, students and alumni help us tell the story of the importance of studying in the humanities and fine arts.  We have a collection of faculty profiles, Q & A’s and videos on the FCCS web site and on the main UBCO News web page.  Over the years we have worked with many of our students and alumni to produce short profile stories about them, their time here at UBCO and what they are doing after completing their program.

All of these stories are shared out via our social media channels and many become part of recruitment content and digital marketing campaigns. 

We collaborate with Recruitment Marketing and Prospective Student Engagement to ensure they are aware of our undergraduate program marketing needs and are able to effectively communicate our information to prospective students.

Undergraduate Digital Marketing Campaigns

We work with the Recruitment Marketing and Prospective Student Engagement office at the Vancouver campus to identify priority programs and degrees that they then add to their digital marketing schedule. 

Prospective students have to go to you.ubc.ca to apply, we ensure that our program information available through this site is reflective of what we are offering.

We work with them to produce content for the UBC Admissions Blog featuring programs and students who talk about what they are doing in the program.

Undergraduate Recruitment events

Each year the Student Recruitment office holds 2 events in the fall and 2 in the spring, both in Calgary and Toronto. Our Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Communications and Marketing Specialist attend these events and interact with prospective students to give more detailed information on our programs and degrees. We have seen a benefit to being part of these events to make these connections rather than leaving it all up to the recruitment team, who promote the campus in general at these events rather than individual programs. 

Undergraduate Virtual information sessions

Due to the pandemic, all recruitment has moved online from the central office, and we now offer these program and degree specific events in a virtual format. There are challenges with this format as the connection with people becomes different than in person, but we do see an increase in the audience we can reach. 

Our program coordinators will share information about the portfolio requirements for the application for the BFA and BMS, course options and pathways throughout the BA, BFA and BMS degrees and give examples of student work to give a better idea what happens in the programs.

 

There is no central recruitment office for graduate program recruitment in the same way we have for undergraduate recruitment. We work collaboratively with the College of Graduate Studies and the communications teams from other faculties

Graduate Digital Marketing Campaigns

We work with the University Relations office at the Okanagan campus to create digital campaigns for our graduate programs. We are able to track the analytics from our web site to get a picture of our audience.  We have been successful with increased traffic to our web sites. We understand that students are often looking at graduate programs a few years out before applying, so these numbers are not a direct correlation to applications.

Graduate Virtual information sessions

Starting in the fall of 2020, we now offer a graduate program information session in a virtual format where our graduate program coordinators give advice on the application process, funding opportunities and research pathways. Similar to the sessions for our undergraduate programs, we are able to reach a wider audience. 

The use of social media helps to drive the FCCS business and communication goals allowing us to reach a wide audience and engage with our audience in a less formal way.  

Our Facebook pages tend to have an older audience that does not always include our undergraduate students, but we note good engagement with our academic peers, alumni, colleagues at UBCO and UBCV and the community in general. Our Instagram profiles are more interactive with a student audience, and have engagement with our alumni, faculty, campus partners and community contactsOn Twitter we interact with academic peers, alumni, colleagues at UBCO and UBCVcampus partners and community contacts.   

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

UBC Okanagan Art Gallery

As a university gallery, managed and located within the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the UBC Okanagan Art Gallery is committed to a research mandate realized through: research-creation,  exhibitions, performance, publications, permanent collection and acquisitions, curatorial studies and community-engaged programs, in the field of creative and critical studies.

UBC Okanagan Gallery’s goal is to exhibit, research, preserve and promote creative practices with a focus on equity, diversity, decolonial and intersectional practices. We seek to foster professional arts education and research which can be shared with both national and international audiences, and educational and artistic networks. We seek to engage the public on both local and global social issues through creative and research-based practices. 

UBC Okanagan Art Gallery

The UBC Okanagan Art Gallery was formed as an umbrella institution to manage the FINA Gallery, Public Art Collection and the new downtown gallery space (opening in 2025). The FINA Gallery was founded in 2001 as the Okanagan University College’s art gallery, transferring to UBC in 2005. The Gallery did not have a permanent collection until 2019, when the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies took over the management and administration of the Public Art Collection. 

The Public Art Collection contains over 750 works of art including: paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, carvings, installation art, digital art and outdoor art. The Public Art Collection was founded by Okanagan College in 1963, since then we have collected, conserved, and exhibited artworks. UBC Okanagan Gallery, located in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, manages the Public Art Collection. The collection’s online database serves as a research tool for students, researchers, and the public at large.

Public Art Collection

  • New digital database for the Public Art Collection. The Public Art Collection was migrated from a website to a functioning database and archive on cloud based softwarePastPerfect and Public Access. Making works from the Public Art Collection more accessible to the public and researchers 
  • UBC Okanagan Gallery website. The gallery’s programming, exhibition and publications and events are more accessible, thanks to a website showcasing the gallery’s activities and events.  
  • UBCO Okanagan Gallery Artist in Residence 2021, with the support of the BC Arts Council we hosted artist Whess Harman on campus, supported the creation of new artworks, hosted a three month exhibition at FINA Gallery and published an artist bookwhich was launched at the Vancouver Art Bookfair in October 2021.  
  • Artist commissions and talks, we’ve had the good fortune to receive funding to commission new artworks from local artists. The Okanagan School of Education, the School of Engineering and the UBC Daycare have all funded new commissions by local artists that will become part of the Public Art Collection.  We have also hosted public artist talks on Zoom, with artists Whess Harman and Sheldon Louis. 
  • Vernon Art Gallery, Public Art Collection exhibition, January 14 – March 9, 2022. We are also collaborating with the Vernon Art Gallery to produce an exhibition catalogue.  
  • The Alternator Gallery, Manuel Axel Strain exhibition, May 6 – June 25, 2022. We hope to host another BC Arts Council funded artist residency in 2022, and support the creation of new artworks and solo exhibitions at two galleries at the same time: FINA Gallery on campus and The Alternator Gallery in downtown Kelowna. We will also produce an artist book and performance piece in collaboration with the artist and the Indigenous Art Intensive.   
  • Artist Talks, we will continue to invite local and international artists to give talks to foster more collaboration with both the local and international arts community. 
  • UBC Excellence Fund:$270,000
  • BC Arts Council Project Grant: $31,200
  • Artwork commission donations: $55,000
  • Artwork donations: $34,500

 Total: $390,700

Development and Alumni Engagement

FCCS has had a reasonably successful fundraising track record, as outlined below. It is the holder of one of the largest single gifts to the campus, The Reichwald Endowment for Germanic Studies.

The Faculty has a large prospectus in the new capital fundraising plan currently under development. The proposal leverages the building renovation/infill project presented earlier with a high level concept for a Centre for Art and Sustainability whose activities will be housed in the new spaces the renovation will create. It’s a $10m dollar project, all in. We are not short on ambition around here.

UBC is currently in the quiet phase of a university-wide alumni engagement and fundraising campaign. Partnerships with alumni and donors will enable UBC and the Okanagan campus to lead in possibilities—to discover the unknown, to create the unimaginable, and to shape a more inclusive society.

Development is currently building a pipeline of prospective donors to support FCCS initiatives through the campaign. Priorities for the Faculty include the FCCS building renovation and expansion, the UBC Okanagan Art Gallery, student awards, experiential learning opportunities, Indigenous programming, and community engagement initiatives.

Total: $453,379 

Designated to student awards: $252,133

Donated by corporations: $33,733

Donated by foundations: $164,805

Donated by individuals: $235,032

  • From UBC faculty and staff (both campuses): $40,839
  • From UBC alumni (both campuses): $52,999
  • From other individuals: $186,641

Previous Reviews 

The Faculty as a whole has never undergone an external review.  This is due to two factors: first, because UBC Policy does not require external review of a faculty unless the Dean is being considered for renewal; and 2) no previous Dean of FCCS has been considered for renewal. 

That said, there have been a number of unit level reviews. 

The last review of the Department of Critical Studies (2006-2019) took place in 2014 and may be found here. 

Critical Studies External Review

As part of the re-organization of the faculty (2018-19), we undertook forward-looking reviews for the two new units, English and Cultural Studies, and Languages and World Literature.

FCCS Departments Report

ECS External Review

LWL External Review