English and Cultural Studies Self Study

In the Department of English and Cultural Studies, our programs allow students to engage in research projects that range from literary studies, indigenous studies, cultural activism, community research, cultural heritage, digital production, and digitized cultural history. Our department will continue evolving, to meet the needs and interests of students and to conduct leading research in our disciplines. Watch for our growth in the Digital Humanities.

The Department of English and Cultural Studies came into existence in January 2019 with two sets of undergraduate degree programs already in existence, English and Cultural Studies. At the graduate level, the English program offers an MA in English, and the department shares oversight with Creative Studies of the DAHU Theme (Digital Arts and Humanities) amidst IGS (Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies) programming. The department also offers undergraduate courses in DIHU (Digital Humanities), some of which contribute to the Bachelor of Media Studies. The department’s new area of CORH (Communication and Rhetoric) has recently begun offering certificates in association with several undergraduate degree programs and is developing its own Minor degree program

There are twenty-three research faculty listed as members of the department. Of these, however, three are cross-appointed with other departments and programs. Of those three partially affiliated members, one is a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) and one is an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and the other has her primary appointment with another department. Among the remaining twenty, one is the Dean of FCCS and one is the Associate Dean Research of FCCS. Another member of the research faculty is on long term medical disability. That leaves seventeen research faculty simply dedicated to the department and its work at present.  

Five research faculty associate primarily with Cultural Studies. Two of those also are affiliated with the English Program, one is the cross-appointed Canada Research Chair, one is on long term medical disability.  

Seventeen research faculty associate primarily with the English program, though several teach courses cross-listed with Cultural Studies. Of those seventeen, three have appointments as a Dean or Associate Dean. One of the two Associate Deans is cross-appointed with another department and faculty, where she serves in her current decanal role.  

There are six department members in the Educational Leadership Stream. One of those is cross-listed with a primary appointment in another department and faculty. Another is currently the Associate Dean Undergraduate of FCCS. All ELS faculty are with the English program, and almost all are involved in the development of the CORH program, with the exception of the one cross-listed member. 

Seven department members are lecturers, five with the English program and two with the Cultural Studies Program. 

In this current academic year (2021-2022), the department is employing fourteen Sessional Instructors. Seven of these are employed full time, two of them with overloads, and the remainder are in varying degrees of part-time appointments. Of the 191 sections offered through the department in totality (in all programs and disciplines, at both the undergraduate and graduate level), 73 are taught by Sessional Instructors (38.2%). Virtually all sessional instruction, however, rests with the English Program. Only one course outside of the English program is taught by a Sessional Instructor this year, CORH 205, which is itself under the aegis of the English program. Of the 191 sections offered in totality by the ECS department (comprising CULT, CORH, ENGL, and DIHU), 110 are first-year ENGL (57.6%). Those 110 sections constitute 69% of all ENGL courses (110/159). Of those 110 first year sections, 70 are taught by Sessional Instructors (63.6%), 27 by Lecturers (24.5%), 11 by Research faculty (10%), and 2 by ELS faculty (1.8%). Of the totality of English offerings across all levels of instruction, 45.3% are taught by Sessional Instructors. These statistics reveal a heavy reliance on sessional instruction by the English program in order to meet its obligations to offer service courses.  

With the recently revised BA the pressures on the English program to deliver service courses in the area of composition has not abated. Cultural Studies now also has a role in delivering service courses for the BA in the area of Critical Thinking. These enrolment pressures make for sustained FTE counts and revenue for the Faculty, but they also create challenges in meeting the needs for staffing with suitable instructors.  

The department’s research productivity is growing and developing, even though most recent hires have been in teaching-intensive positions. Since 2005, with the transitioning of faculty and programs from Okanagan University College into UBC, it has taken sometime for research culture to ramp up to the University’s standards of researchThe department now has six members at the rank of Full Professor, counting the three research faculty in decanal positions. The department continues to see more members successful in winning research grants as well as publishing book and articles. Here is selection of departmental publications over the last four years, limited only to books, though many articles by members of the department appeared as well.  

  • Jodey Castricano. Gothic Metaphysics: From Alchemy to the Anthropocene. Cardiff, UK: University of Wales Press, 2021. 
  • Greg Garrard, Axel Goodbody, George Handley and Stephanie Posthumus. Climate Change Scepticism: A Transnational Ecocritical Analysis, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. 
  • George Grinnell. The Social Life of Biometrics. Rutgers University Press, 2020. 
  • Jennifer Gustar, Caleb Sivyer, and Sarah Gamble. The Ludic and Laughter as Feminist Aesthetic: Angela Carter at Play. Sussex Academic Press, January 2021.  
  • Allison Hargreaves. Violence Against Indigenous Women: Literature, Activism, Resistance. Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2017 (Winner of the ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism 2017). 
  • Oliver Lovesey. Postcolonial George Eliot. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 
  • Margaret Reeves and Elizabeth S. Cohen, ed. The Youth of Early Modern Women. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018. 

Here too listed are recent grants awarded to members of the department as principal investigators. It is worth noting the attention to curriculum development and pedagogy.

  • Kerrie Charnley, Jordan Stouck, and Tania Willard. ALT-2040 Fund: “Land-Based Indigenous Writing and Pedagogy Guide for Instructors and Students” (April 2021-March 2023), $30,000.   
  • Greg Garrard. SSHRC Insight Development Grant: “Kelownafornia: Cultures of Nature in the Okanagan Valley” (2020-2025), $276,140. 
  • George Grinnell. SSHRC Insight Development Grant“Punk Pedagogy” (2016-2019), $49,674. 
  • Emily Murphy. Canadian Foundation for Innovation John Edwards Leadership Fund: “(Re)Media Infrastructure for Multimedia Research and Creation” (2021-2026), $305,413. 
  • Aisha Ravindran. ALT-2040 Fund: Program Development: “Certificate and Minor in Communications and Rhetoric” (May 2020-April 2022), $93,002. 
  • Karis Shearer and Emily Murphy. Okanagan Excellence Fund: “Press Play! Research Creation, Arts Entrepreneurship, and the Digital Archive” (2019- 2021) $100,000 (total) .
  • Karis Shearer (Co-Investigator). Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant: “The SpokenWeb: Conceiving and Creating a Nationally Networked Archive of Literary Recordings for Research and Teaching” (2018-2025) $2.5 Million.Dr.
    • Jason Camlot, (Concordia University), Principal Investigator; Dr. Karis Shearer, one of ten Co-Investigators; UBCO, one of twelve partner organizations.
  • Allison Hargreaves. UBC, Aspire Learning and Teaching: “Indigenous Teaching and Learning in the English Classroom” (2019-2022), $39,250

In 2019, the newly formed department underwent a review. Among the reviewers’ recommendations was a suggestion that the English and Cultural Studies program become more closely aligned. This recommendation was not accepted by the programs, since Cultural Studies functions with programmatic and disciplinary autonomy. Though many of its courses cross-list with English, many also do not. Since that review, the Communications and Rhetoric initiative has come to the fore and has a trajectory to evolve into a fully-fledged program; at present it functions under the aegis of the English program. The review also recommended that the department continue to build strength in the Environmental Humanities and Digital Humanities. The advent of the CRC II in Ecofeminist Philosophy speaks to the first part of that recommendation. As for the second, the English program has identified Digital Humanities as its top priority for future appointments. The new creation of the Digital Humanities Coordinator role will also enable more attention to this area of teaching and research. The current Digital Humanities professor (and current DH coordinator) has obligations to the Bachelor of Media Studies Program. If Digital Humanities is to survive and thrive as an area in our department it requires more resources.  

The review also identified the need for the department to develop a more active engaged research culture. There is in fact a good deal of significant research in progress among members of the department. The department is now developing ways to promote and publicize its research output more vigorously, especially through the newly created Media Coordinator role.  

The review also made recommendations for creating physical spaces associated with the department. The reviewers noted the lack of departmental for developing and furthering collegiality among department members and for fostering community among students. It continues to be a challenge that the department has no place in which to establish and develop it departmental identity.   

The programs and disciplines in the department here following offer their own assessments of their current state for the purposes of this overview. 

Program Assessments

English Program Assessment

In our English program, students can study English literature, not only in its historical unfolding, but also in contemporary Canadian and global contexts. Our English programs include the BA Major and Minor, the BA Honours, and the MA.

Assessment prepared by Robert Eggleston, EPC Coordinator 

The strengths of the English program include its ever-intensifying research culture and expanding research output, its commitment to diversifying course offerings and to developing innovative curriculum which answers the needs of the newly defined BA degree (e.g., emergent CORH and DIHU programing)its collegial work environment, and its department-level leadership which is committed to ensuring that the English program maintains its place as a pillar of Humanities education.  The program has taken advantage of recent opportunities to renew and to diversify its faculty ranks, having appointed colleagues specializing in Indigenous pedagogy and composition (2020) and Black Anglophone literature (2021) and being in the process of appointing an assistant professor of teaching in communications and rhetoric.  The program’s current course offerings enjoy robust enrolment (especially in introductory courses), and this trend is set to continue as the program expands its range of curriculum offerings and UBC’s Okanagan campus grows in the future.    

Despite its manifest strengths, the English program is not without weaknesses.  For example, even as it has been able to add new colleagues recently, the program has done so without having a well-articulated plan for future direction and growth.  Instead, its recent hires have been opportunistic and have come in response to initiatives of and funding decisions made by upper-level administrators.  Moreover, governance structures at the program level are not keeping pace with program-level developments in curriculum and faculty complement expansion: as the number of faculty members specializing in communications and rhetoric continues to grow, and CORH programing truly takes on a life of its own, the ECS Department will need to revise its governance model and to create a stand-alone CORH program which can focus on CORH’s particular needs.  Even with recent faculty appointments and the promise of more to come during 2021-22, the secondary teaching and research areas currently operating under the aegis of ENGL—both CORH and DIHU—are relatively under resourced (with the latter specialization having but one faculty member fully devoted to it).   

The English program faces various challenges at present.  It has long provided the faculty members who serve in administrative positions across FCCS (with some eight members currently serving in a variety of leadership roles which grant them at least partial teaching release).  This commitment to leading FCCS has at times left the English program struggling to deliver a full range of English courses across the historical periods and the national literatures within which faculty members research and teach.  With its on-going attention to adding new programing (e.g. CORH) which supports the communications component of the revised BA, the English program has also set the stage for its being regarded by the University community as little more than service unit.  Even the recent appointments granted by the administration to the English program contribute to this perception: including the latest approved position (2021-2), four of the five most recent faculty appointments in English have been in the educational leadership stream, clear evidence that this program is increasingly dedicated to providing service courses.  This support for the curriculum needs of other units and degrees across campus comes with material cost: offering multiple sections of service courses robs the program of significant resources (such as faculty members’ time and energy) which could be devoted to building and diversifying the core elements of the English major itself.  Although providing large numbers of service courses obviously brings the program revenue, the scheduling and overseeing of such courses consumes an inordinate amount of administrative attention.  The problems of scheduling and oversight are further magnified by the volatile demand for courses as a result of the new BA’s requirements—in the short term, the English program needs a precise (and as yet elusive) means for determining which first– and second-year courses need to be on offer annually and in what quantities.  Finally, even with the benefit of additional faculty appointments in recent years, the English program continues to have difficulty providing enough programming to answer the growing enrolment pressures generated by other programs and degrees offered across campus.  

Cultural Studies Program Assessment

The Cultural Studies program combines its core courses with cross-listed courses from a variety of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Students shape their degrees by choosing courses from three broad themes: Media and Popular Cultures, Global Cultural Studies, and Critical and Cultural Theory.

Assessment prepared by David Jefferess, Cultural Studies Coordinator

  • Staffing: 
    • Core Faculty: Kyong won Yoon, Ruthann Lee (Leave), Maria Alexopoulos (Lecturer), Cameron Crookston (Lecturer), David Jefferess, Daniel Keyes, Astrida Neimanis (CRC) 
    • Affiliated faculty (Program committee members): Melissa Jacques, Allison Hargreaves,  
    • Affiliated faculty: Virginie Magnat 
    • There are a number of other faculty who teach cross-listed courses (e.g. with ARTH, ENGL, JPST, and VISA) on a regular basis 
  • Majors: 
    • Having peaked at 41 majors and combined majors in 2014, over the past four years the program has had between 18-23 majors and combined majors 
  • Enrollments: CULT 100 and 101 seats/enrollment increased from the typical ~200 between 2014 and 2017 to 321 seats in 2018/19, to nearly 400 seats in 2019/20 and nearly 600 seats in 2021/22.  
  • Program Revision: The program made significant revisions to the Major and Combined Major requirements as of September 2021, to better align with the revisions to the BA 
    • In addition, many CULT courses fulfill BA requirements in Communications, Critical Thinking, and Power and Diversity 


  • The program has benefited from growth in core faculty over the past few years, with the addition of two lecturer positions, who have allowed us to expand our first-year offerings significantly, as well as new CRC Astrida Neimanas, who enhances our research profile and plans to create courses that will be cross-listed with GWST and SUST. As noted below, Dr. Ruthann Lee has been on health leave for the past two years. 
  • Dr. Kyong won Yoon has been promoted to the rank of Professor. 
  • The program is currently in the process of hiring an Assistant Professor in the area of Environmental Justice. 

Research Profile

  • Core faculty are active researchers, publishing edited collections, articles, and chapters over the past two years in academic and popular venues. Dr. Kyong won Yoon has received significant funding from multiple sources and Dr. David Jefferess has been interviewed by multiple journalists, specifically relating to the WE Charity controversy and heritage practices in the Okanagan. Details can be provided. 

Student Achievement

  • The program attracts a diverse group of students, and the students who are considered and recommended for the FCCS Cultural Studies award always reflect this racial, gender identity, and sexual diversity, achieving GPAs of greater than 90% and exhibiting active contributions to the university community 
  • CULT graduates continue to excel in graduate studies, gaining acceptance into high profile academic and professional programs (i.e. Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBCV and Library Sciences at UBCV), and receiving graduate student funding 


  • Additional sections in CULT 100 and 101 easily fill, with the number of students enrolled in first year CULT courses tripling from ~200 to ~600 between 2017/18 and 2021/22; each time a new section has been added, it has filled.
    • This is particularly significant as during this period these courses were taken only as electives by students, fulfilling no specific requirements for the BA
    • As these courses now fulfill the Critical Thinking requirement of the BA, we anticipate increased demand for these courses, and so will require further resources if we are able to support this demand. 
  • 200 level courses are all near capacity 
    • With the addition of Dr. Hargreaves course, the more regular teaching of the Japanese Popular Culture by Nina Langton, we are offering more 200 level courses than we have historically been able to
    • Dr. Neimanis plans to create a 200-level course to be cross-listed with GWST 
  • Most upper-level courses are full or near full  

Program Adaptation 

  • CULT reviews its offerings and requirements on an ongoing basis, undergoing review and revision processes in addition to those required by the faculty
    • e.g. program review process that lead to revisions to requirements for the major and combined major, commencing in Sept. 2021.
  • CULT is currently engaging with data provided from a student survey conducted in August 2021 

Diversity of Faculty and of Offerings 

  • Our August 2021 student survey reveals that students value greatly the way the program focuses on diversity in its offerings and the way its faculty reflects this diversity 

Communication and Accessibility to Students 

  • In our August 2021 survey, students identified that the program coordinator and advisors respond quickly and effectively to their questions, are accessible, and communicate well about the program 


  • Following program revisions in 2011, the major saw steady growth, with a spike from 25 majors and combined majors in 2013 to 41 in 2014. This increase following a year in which we had a lecturer position and additional 100 and 101 seats. The major held steady at about 30 and then fell in 2018 to 23 and has consistently been around 20 since then. 
  • While we had hoped that a program that was disciplinary and multi-disciplinary, drawing on courses from other programs (e.g. SOCI, GWST, HIST) would create a robust and diverse program, it has become evident (i.e. through student surveys) that this is a limitation to the program, as CULT students lack a cohort or recognition in listed courses from other programs, etc. 
  • While many students have chosen to complete a combined major in CULT and ENGL, students often query the reliance of CULT on cross-listed ENGL courses. CULT students perceive and desire CULT as a program and discipline distinct from ENGL, Sociology, and other programs at the university. The new hire in the area of Environmental Justice will allow CULT to offer more CULT courses 
  • Many cross-listed upper-level courses have only 5-10 designated CULT seats. These courses tend to be under-enrolled, in contrast to established CULT courses or cross-listed courses with 15 or more seats; this likely reflects either the misinterpretation by students that the course will only have 5 to 10 students or the interpretation of students that because the course has so few CULT seats it is not designed as a Cultural Studies course 
  • Students often identify that university academic advisors are not able to adequately advise them, in part likely because the program is designed differently than typical degree programs in the BA. 

To address the stagnation in terms of majors and the limitations of program requirements, we revised the major and combined major requirements for 2021, shifting to two thematic streams from three, revising the second-year requirement from 9 credits to 6, removing many listed courses offered in FASS, requiring students to take more CULT designated courses, and requiring students to complete 6 credits at the 400 level. We hope that these changes will allow easier program planning for students, provide a more direct route through the degree, and consolidate majors in CULT designated courses 

  • Further, we plan student online socials and other gatherings throughout the academic year to introduce students to faculty and the program 
  • We anticipate that the increase in 100 and 101 seats will also help to attract students to the program; as a program that does not have a clear introduction to students in BC high school curriculum, students do not come to the university with a knowledge of the inter/discipline of Cultural Studies 
  • We plan to review the content and approach of 100 and 101 to identify why increased enrollments have not translated into an increase in majors as they did in 2013. 


  • Dr. Ruthann Lee has been on health leave since the beginning of 2020-21. In addition to her core CULT upper-level courses not being taught, her presence is missed on the program committee and as an active member of the university community, especially with initiatives linked to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 
  • CULT 100/101 
    • Pedagogical expectations for CULT 100 and 101 as requirements for the Critical Thinking area of the new BA ideally require smaller class sizes (e.g. 35 or 40 rather than the current 50); this will require increased faculty resources to maintain current seats, or a reduction of first year seats to facilitate the pedagogical requirements. 
    • Currently only 50% of students enrolled in these courses are first year students, so in order to ensure first year students have access to the courses, for instance to fulfill BA requirements, we will need to reserve seats for them and/or increase the number of sections/seats we offer. 

Community Engagement 

  • Historically Cultural Studies and its faculty have been very active in organizing events on campus and in the Central Okanagan Region, including an annual speaker series, discussion-oriented and workshop-style events on campus and in the community, walking tours, etc. As a result of the pandemic we have not been able to continue these initiatives 
  • The Student Course Union was not active in 2020-21, but there are students attempting to form a course union this year 
  • Based on student feedback and discussions within the program committee, we are using this time to consider the best approaches to community engagement 
    • Students have identified that speaker series, both in person and virtual, seem like an extension of the classroom; as one student noted, it is easy to find engaging lectures from notable speakers on YouTube, so it is not the best use of resources to have visiting speakers 
    • Students have identified the desire for more participatory events on campus and in the community, where they can be more actively involved as knowledge-producers, gain experience and skills, apply learning from the classroom, etc. 

MA English Program Assessment 

Master of Arts (MA) degree in English provides training in the theory, methods, and practice of literary studies in English. The program emphasizes a theme of place and its importance to culture and literature in both present and historical perspective.

Assessment prepared by Joey Castricano, MA Coordinator 

In the last two years, the English MA has seen a rise not only in inquiries from domestic and international students but also in applications to the program, which has undergone a revision to reflect the theme of Literature and Place. In fact, applications to the program are being made by very high calibre students and we have been fortunate to admit—and offer funding—to eight students in the each of the previous years. We have taken steps to promote the program on social media and to offer a range of courses that have a high appeal to incoming students. In spite of Covid limitations, we have had a respectable number of completions and more scheduled this academic year. Students who have completed the program are reporting success in other areas, such as applications to PhD program in other universities and we are confident in the strength of our faculty who serve as supervisors and committee members to those students in the thesis stream. The appeal, too, of the Independent Research Paper (IRP) is also growing. 

Communication and Rhetoric Assessment 

Courses in Communications and Rhetoric develop advanced level communication and research skills in specific disciplines: humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Assessment prepared by Aisha Ravindran, CORH lead developer  

The Aspire 2040 Learning Transformations Fund project to develop the Undergraduate Certificate and a Minor in Communications and Rhetoric (CORH) was piloted with six new CORH courses in Fall 2021, supported by a 15-member advisory committee representing the faculties at UBCO. The new courses in CORH display robust enrolment due to student interest in communicating across the disciplines, to lay and specialist audiences, and navigating efficiently in professional contexts that these courses offer. Currently, five students are pursuing the Certificate in CORH, and with the piloting of a distinct interdisciplinary CORH minor in 2023, we are optimistic about enhanced interest from broader student populations in the CORH program. At the next stage in program and curriculum development, we plan to develop a major in CORH as well as design graduate-level CORH courses. 

Digital Humanities Assessment 

Courses in digital humanities concentrate on digital editions, programming in our everyday lives, how technology shapes the world around us, and new and old technologies.

Assessment prepared by Emily Murphy, DH Coordinator 

In July 2021, the department created the position of Digital Humanities Coordinator in order to administer the DIHU course code, to help faculty members set up collaboration and support for digital humanities-related research and teaching, to raise the profile of existing digital humanities research, and to undertake, grow, and support research and teaching initiatives in the department. As a result of initial consultations with faculty members, the DH Coordinator has identified immediate, medium, and longer term curriculum development needs. Immediately, the DIHU courses require measures to increase the visibility of the courses in light of the fact that there is as yet no DH program: the development of official criteria for DIHU courses; cross listing and articulation of the DIHU course code into existing programs. In the medium term, the current program demands on DH-related courses at the undergraduate and graduate level are unsustainable—a research-stream hire is necessary to support existing program needs in the BMS and IGS DAHU programs, and in order to develop DH-related courses in the ENGL, CULT, and CORH programs and in the MA in English. This need is currently impacting the ability to recruit and support humanities graduate students in DAHU and DH-related graduate students in the MA English. In the longer term, the Coordinator would like to develop a DH Certificate, following the example set by the CORH Certificate to provide students with lightweight, flexible additions to their degree. This program development will not be possible without increased teaching capacity.  

Through consultation, the DH Coordinator has identified significant research interests in DH and related fields. However, distinct barriers among ECS faculty are the time commitments of sustaining current programs and the difficulties of securing SSHRC funds for humanistic projects. The Coordinator wishes to develop two programs to reduce these barriers, increase the profile of DH research in the department, and build capacity to take on major SSHRC awards. First, a course-based practicum program would provide students with hands-on learning in DH-related projects and provide seed support to existing research projects in the department. This course container is flexible, and would operate more like a thesis option or directed studies than an on-going, full-workload course. It might serve few or many students, may only be offered in line with faculty and student interest, and it would entail a careful application to scope research projects offered as a “course.” Second, the Coordinator suggests a targeted supplement to the FCCS Research Support Fund that would entail a course release and funds dedicated towards one sessional hire ($7000), in addition to the funds for capacity building ($3000), whether through training, assembling research teams, or developing new professional relationships. Ideally the Faculty will direct these funds towards DH, science and technology studies, critical code studies, or another related field in order to increase researcher capacity in this targeted area. This proposal recognizes the specific barriers to developing DH-related research areas in ECS: high levels of service teaching in addition to program demands, slow publication times, and labour-intensive skills building for DH projects.  


The constitution of the Department of English and Cultural Studies (ECS) establishes the governance structures of the Department and its two academic programs: the Cultural Studies Program and the English Program. Governance within this administrative unit shall be collegial, with an administrative structure consisting of one Department Head, three Program Coordinators (including the MA ENGL coordinator), a First Year English Coordinator, a Media Coordinator, a Digital Humanities Coordinator, and departmental and program committees as outlined below. The relationship between the two Programs within ECS shall be based upon mutual respect, program autonomy, and transparency around issues such as membership in programs and curriculum planning.

All persons holding a full-time appointment in ECS, or a joint appointment in ECS either as lead or collaborating department, shall be eligible to vote on all matters relating to departmental business arising within or under the auspices of a department meeting.

Depending on circumstance, full members of the Department may decide by ballot to allow colleagues holding sessional appointments to vote on select or all matters pertaining to department business.

The Department shall hold at least one full meeting of all voting members of ECS in each of the regular teaching terms of the academic year. The Head may call a full meeting, with reasonable notice, at any time. Any voting member of the Department may through the Head call for a meeting of the full Department, with reasonable notice. Member requested meetings shall not arbitrarily be denied.

Materials for meetings, including motions, shall be circulated in advance of a scheduled meeting to permit reasonable time for consultation and reflection. Formal motions shall normally be circulated at least one week prior to a scheduled meeting.

All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.

Members of the two undergraduate programs within ECS are able and expected to contribute to the design and operation of the undergraduate program(s) in which they qualify for membership by providing input on issues such as curriculum planning during meetings of the respective programs. Decisions about cross-listing of courses between programs, whether within ECS or with programs outside of ECS, will be made by the Department Head (who is responsible for the assignment of teaching responsibilities), and informed by recommendations made by the Joint Advisory Committee to the Head of ECS. Explicit criteria for the submission of course proposals either to the Cultural Studies or English Programs respectively will be made available to all faculty members in ECS and other departments by the Coordinators of each Program.

Officers of the Department and Committee Membership

Criteria and Procedure(s) for Appointment

  • Only tenured faculty members shall be eligible for appointment to the position.
  • The appointee shall hold the rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor.
  • The appointment shall be made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Dean, following consultation with members of the Department and in line with Policy 22 (Appointments and Extension of Appointments for Heads of Academic Units).

Terms of Appointment

(See Articles 1.1 and 1.2 of the Collective Agreement):

  • The appointment shall be for a maximum of 5 years, subject to satisfactory performance, and renewable at the discretion of the Dean for a maximum of another 5 years. Before renewing a serving Head’s term, the Dean shall solicit feedback from the Department.
  • The appointee shall receive a minimum of 0.5 FTE course release, plus other benefits, as outlined in the Collective Agreement (also see Section 2.4.3 of Senate/Board Policy 22).


  • Provide academic leadership and be responsible for day-to-day administration of the Department;
  • Foster a collegial working environment;
  • Represent the Department both inside and outside the University;
  • Consult faculty members annually regarding their interest in teaching undergraduate courses;
  • Provide mentorship to new faculty, including continuing and part-time faculty members;
  • Assign undergraduate and graduate teaching responsibilities after consulting with Program Coordinators, Associate Deans and others, as may be appropriate, taking into account the Faculty’s commitment to interdisciplinarity and the Department’s commitment to program autonomy;
  • Serve as ex-officio member of the GASC;
  • Be responsible for timetabling undergraduate and graduate courses in consultation with the Program Coordinators, Associate Deans, and others as may be appropriate;
  • Assess requests from Program Coordinators for cross-listing of courses within ECS as well as with other Programs outside of ECS;
  • Work with Associate Deans in the assignment of Teaching Assistants;
  • Be an advocate and leader for both disciplinary and interdisciplinary pedagogy and curriculum;
  • Evaluate marking assistance and work-study needs, and allocate support appropriately;
  • Monitor curriculum in the Department and provide leadership with new initiatives, program review, and strategic planning;
  • Receive research leave proposals from faculty members, and make recommendations to the Dean;
  • Serve as a channel for communication between Executive Committee and faculty members in the Department;
  • Coordinate recruitment of and mentoring of faculty members;
  • Build a pool of Sessional Instructors in consultation with Program Coordinators;
  • Coordinate appointment of Sessional Instructors and chair the Sessional hiring committee;
  • Prepare and administer annual budget for the Department;
  • Receive annual activity reports from faculty members, undertake consultation with the Consultative Committee for Merit and PSA, and make recommendations to the Dean;
  • Track teaching evaluations for undergraduate courses and review with faculty members as appropriate;
  • Conduct, as applicable, review meetings as per Article 5.02 of the Collective Agreement.
  • Serve on designated Faculty and departmental committees;
  • Hold, at least, two departmental meetings per academic year, one in each of Winter Term 1 and Winter Term 2;
  • Undertake other responsibilities as may be assigned by the Dean.

There shall be an English MA Program Coordinator to oversee, develop, and promote the English MA program.

Criteria and Procedure(s) for Appointment 

  • The appointment shall be made by the Department Head from among continuing faculty members who teach in the program, after consultation with program members and the Associate Dean (of Research and Graduate Studies), and with the consent of the Dean.

Terms of Appointment

  • The appointment shall be for a 2-year period, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • An incumbent will not normally serve two consecutive terms.
  • The English MA Program Coordinator shall receive a minimum of one course release per year.

Job Description

  • Assist with publicity, student recruitment and orientation events for the program;
  • Assist Head with teaching assignments and timetabling;
  • Assign graduate student supervision and provide the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) with an up-to-date list of supervisors;
  • Coordinate candidacy and thesis exams in collaboration with the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies);
  • Advise prospective and current English MA students;
  • Provide mentoring and support to English MA students;
  • Handle day-to-day graduate student issues, including appeals and complaints and direct them to Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) when necessary;
  • Represent the Department and the English MA program on appropriate Faculty and University Committees.

There shall be an Undergraduate Program Coordinator for each of the two undergraduate programs of Cultural Studies and English respectively to oversee, develop, and promote each program.

The Undergraduate Program Coordinators for ECS and the Head shall meet regularly to discuss all matters related to curriculum development, shared programming, timetabling, and so forth.

Criteria and Procedure(s) for Appointment

  • The appointment shall be made by the Department Head from among continuing faculty members who teach in the program, after consultation with program members, and the Associate Dean (of Undergraduate Studies), and with the consent of the Dean.

Terms of Appointment

  • The appointment shall be for a 2-year period, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • An incumbent will not normally serve two consecutive terms.
  • The English Undergraduate Program Coordinator shall receive a minimum of two course releases per year.
  • The Cultural Studies Undergraduate Program Coordinator shall receive a minimum of one course release per year.

Job Description

  • Assist with publicity, student recruitment and orientation events for the program;
  • Oversee the development of Curriculum for the program’s BA.
  • Submit program and course proposals, approved at the Program level, for consideration by the Undergraduate Programs Coordination Committee;
  • Coordinate advising and mentoring for prospective and in-program undergraduate students;
  • Assist Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and Department Head in the preparation and submission of materials for the Academic Calendar;
  • Assist Head with teaching assignments, TA assignments, and timetabling;
  • Hold Program meetings at least twice in each of Winter Term 1 and 2.

There shall be a First Year English Coordinator to assist the English program with the deployment of first- and second-year courses that satisfy the Communications Requirement in the BA.

Criteria and Procedures for Appointment

  • The appointment shall be made by the Department Head from among continuing faculty members who teach in the program, after consultation with program members and the Associate Dean (of Undergraduate Studies), and with the consent of the Dean.

Terms of Appointment

  • The appointment shall be for a 2-year period, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • An incumbent will not normally serve two consecutive terms.
  • The First-Year Coordinator shall receive a minimum of one course release per year.

Job Description

  • The First-Year English Coordinator (FYEC) will be responsible for coordinating the first-year curriculum, which may include proposing, receiving and reviewing new course proposals and modifications for all First-Year English courses; ensuring new and revised first-year English courses are appropriate to the level and consistent in terms of workload and assessment practice across multiple sections of the same course;
  • work with the Curriculum Coordinator and the Undergraduate Programs Planning and Coordination Committee (UPPCC) to prepare and forward proposals through the required review committees (BA Implementation, Senate);
  • assist the Head and English Program Coordinator, as needed, in scheduling first-year English courses and second year courses satisfying the Communications Category;
  • provide assistance and advice to new and continuing instructors of first-year English courses in such areas as textbook ordering, Canvas (Learning Management Learning Tool), syllabus development, adherence to agreed-upon course norms and templates;
  • assist new and continuing instructors with the administration of the 1st year ENGL diagnostic; assist identified students with shifting from ENGL 112 or 15X to ENGL 109 and vice versa;
  • update and maintain documents and resources supporting first-year English housed on the Canvas site;
  • provide assistance and advice as needed to first-year instructors on issues including plagiarism/cheating; classroom management; attendance/absence policy and so on;
  • coordinate activities that promote a writing community within the faculty and across the campus;
  • participate as needed and appropriate on departmental sessional hiring committees, and providing advice to Aboriginal Services on appointing instructors for Access sections;
  • participate in recruitment activities as appropriate, in particular, to assist the Head with sessional hires (i.e., to be a member on the sessional appointment committee) for first- and second-year instructors for the BA Communications Category courses.

There shall be a Digital Humanities Coordinator to advise the Head and other departmental representatives as appropriate on course assignments in the area of Digital Humanities both at the undergraduate (DIHU) and graduate level (DAHU); to assist with the development of digital humanities courses and programs; and to represent the department in collaboration with other academic units in the development and support of digital teaching and research.

Criteria and Procedure(s) for Appointment

  • The appointment shall be made by the Department Head from among continuing faculty members who teach and research in the subject area, after consultation with program members and the Associate Deans), and with the consent of the Dean.

Terms of Appointment

  • The appointment shall be for a 1- or 2-year period, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • An incumbent will not normally serve two consecutive terms.
  • This position will not normally have a course release but will be understood as a significant service contribution.

Job Description

  • Assist with publicity, student recruitment and orientation events for the digital scholarship related courses and programs from within and outside the university;
  • Submit undergraduate and undergraduate program and course proposals, approved at Program level, for consideration by the relevant program committee (e.g., ECS Undergraduate Program Committees, English MA Committee, IGS Program Committee);
  • Maintain digital-humanities related courses, including recommending cancellations of courses, articulating with BAIC Digital Literacy requirement, communicating required changes to courses to teaching faculty;
  • Advise faculty on digital-humanities teaching, including conceptualization of new courses, activities, assignments, resources, and other aspects of the development of teaching strengths in digital humanities;
  • Assist Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and appropriate Department Heads in the preparation and submission of relevant calendar material;
  • Assist appropriate Department Heads with Teaching Assistant assignments;
  • Advise relevant Program Coordinators in scheduling digital humanities-related courses in programs such as the BMS, the IGS Digital Arts and Humanities Theme, the ENGL Major, or CULT Major;
  • Initiate and assist faculty in the submission of digital pedagogy-related grant applications such as ALT2040 (as appropriate, may not be part of the role every year);
  • Collaborate with other academic units such as the Okanagan and Vancouver Libraries and the Centre for Teaching and Learning to create and maintain teaching support for digital scholarship.

There shall be a departmental Media Coordinator to assist with the promotion of departmental programs and events through social media along with the recognition of achievements among instructors and students in research and teaching.

Criteria and Procedures for Appointment

  • The appointment shall be made by the Department Head from among continuing faculty members, after consultation with those members and the Associate Deans, and with the consent of the Dean.

Terms of Appointment

  • The appointment shall be for a 1- or 2-year period, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • An incumbent will not normally serve two consecutive terms.
  • This position will not normally have a course release but will be understood as a significant service contribution.

Job Description

  • Broadly, the ECS Media Coordinator brings field expertise to three areas: process, consultation, and supervision;
  • Oversee the direction of the Departmental Instagram account, and provide support to the maintenance of program area Facebook accounts;
  • Develop and maintain a protocol sheet and guidelines for departmental social media;
  • Offer advice and guidance to members on the promotion of their achievements in teaching and research;
  • Consult with program area coordinators and with the FCCS Communications and Marketing Specialist and assist with
    • the creation of promotional material and social media material for department and program events;
    • and the promotion of student and alumni successes and achievements in our department’s program areas;
  • Recruit and supervise a Workstudy student who will assist with departmental media initiatives.


  • Advisory to the Head and to the Department;
  • Meet no less than twice in each academic term to collaborate on curriculum, program development, vision and so forth;
  • Make recommendations to the Head, Department, and Dean as appropriate;
  • Foster collegiality and cooperation between the two programs, as well as other units at the university, and all of their members;
  • Make recommendations to the Head regarding requests for cross-listing of courses between the two Programs within ECS as well as with Programs outside of ECS;
  • Advise the Head and the Department on departmental hiring priorities.


  • Head;
  • Program Coordinators for Cultural Studies, English, and the English MA;
  • One member holding a primary appointment in each of Cultural Studies and English, elected by the members of their respective programs; for a total of 2 members;
  • Elected members will normally serve for two years.


  • All persons whose appointment to the Faculty indicates appointment that includes English;
  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty as well as lecturers appointed to the Faculty on a full-time basis who teach at minimum one ENGL course within a single academic year;
  • Sessional appointments, as they are not required contractually to participate in service work, are exempt from committee work; however, sessional appointees are more than welcome to attend meetings should they so wish.
  • Although students will not serve as members on the EPC, the program coordinator will liaise with student representatives in the English Student Course Union twice per term.


  • Any member who is formally appointed to the program: CULT, CULT/ENGL, or other cross appointments as they may occur;
  • Any faculty member in the faculty who teaches at least 2 sections of a CULT designated course in a given academic year or teaches at least one section of a 100/200 level CULT course;
  • The program coordinator at the start of the winter fall term will invite faculty who meet the above CULT workload criteria to declare their intent to serve on the committee.
  • The program coordinator will liaise with the CULT Collective twice per term;

Either Program Committee may from time to time vote to invite colleagues from outside the program to attend and participate. Any member of ECS fulfilling the membership conditions above may serve simultaneously on both undergraduate program committees.


An Academic Appointment Committee is advisory to the Dean for appointments at all ranks: Sessional Lecturer, Lecturer, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Associate Professor of Teaching, Professor of Teaching, Acting Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. The committee will be tasked with the following:

  • Establish desired applicant skills, expertise, attributes, qualifications, documentation required, area(s) of expertise based on position to be filled, and evaluation process;
  • Create advertisement and advise on dissemination outlets;
  • Evaluate applications and establish a short-list of candidates;
  • Organize applicant itinerary, presentations, and interview questions for campus visit;
  • Assess short-listed candidates based on interview, presentation, references and other appropriate criteria;
  • Make a recommendation to the Dean, ranking all short-listed candidates and providing a rationale for the ranking. Before conveying this recommendation to the Dean, the Chair of the Committee will seek the approval of this recommendation from the Department’s Standing Committee on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure;
  • If the Appointment Committee chooses not to recommend a candidate, a written rationale for this decision will be provided to the Dean;
  • All hiring processes, decisions and recommendations for appointment, irrespective of position, will demonstrate our Department’s commitment to the principle of equity; it is the Duty of the Chair of the Committee to ensure that all members of the committee are versed in the principles of equity, inclusion, diversity, through consultation with Human Resources and the Equity and Inclusion Office;
  • The Chair of the Appointment Committee will refer all recommendations for appointment to the Standing Committee on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure for its evaluation and confirmation.

Addendum on the Appointment of Sessional Lecturers

Available Courses for Sessional Lecturers will be posted electronically by the Department for at least two weeks. Candidates for initial appointment at the rank of Sessional Lecturer are assessed principally on qualifications, performance in teaching, and experience. As per the Collective Agreement, non-continuing Sessional Lecturers have a reappointment right to one course in the subsequent academic year (from July 1 to June 30), if a course they are qualified to teach is offered and they have applied to teach the course (and subject to Article 10.01, if grounds for non-reappointment apply). Further courses assignments will be awarded principally on performance in teaching, based on formal evaluation of their performance in all of the courses taught in the previous twelve months. Continuing Sessional Lecturers’ right of reappointment will conform to Article 3.01b of the Collective Agreement.

In cases of emergency appointments, where there occurs a sudden and unforeseen need for a new assignment or appointment to be made in less than two weeks, the Head will recommend the assignment or appointment in consultation with the relevant program coordinator and at least one member of the Standing Committee on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure.


  • The Department Head will act as Chair and will not vote except to break a tie;
  • The Coordinator of the relevant Program Committee (voting);
  • Where the appointment is to be shared by two departmental programs, both Program Coordinators (voting);
  • A minimum of two Department members, as proposed by the relevant Program Committee (voting);
  • Where the appointment is to be shared by two programs, one Department member as proposed by each Program Committee (voting);
  • At the discretion of the Department Head, one appointed Department member (voting);
  • At the discretion of the relevant Program Committee(s), one faculty member from another Department (voting);
  • At the discretion of the relevant Program Committee(s), one student (non-voting).


  • To assess the performance of all members of a Department with continuing status: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Teaching, or Associate Professor of Teaching, and Lecturers (excluding Head, Associate Deans, and Dean);
  • To advise the Head on Merit and PSA awards, following which the Head will make recommendations to the Dean;
  • To serve as a consultative body in the case of a decision to withhold Career Progress Increments from a departmental member.


  • The Department Head will act as Chair and will be non-voting.
  • A minimum of four department members reflecting diverse perspectives and ranks, elected by members of the Department.
  • Each member will normally serve for two years.


  • Evaluate all recommendations from hiring committees and applications for appointment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure in conformity with the terms of the Collective Agreement;
  • Solicit views from all eligible members of the Faculty.


  • Department Head, Chair (non-voting) ;
  • 3 faculty members elected by the Department (voting);
  • One faculty member appointed by the Department Head from the Department (voting);
  • Each member will normally serve for two years.


  • As necessary, between submission of applications and the conclusion of the reappointment, promotion, and tenure process for a particular academic year.