Degrees & Programs
Art History & Visual Culture Creative Writing
Masters of Arts (MA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) invites students to think and work across disciplinary boundaries. The program is organized into Themes that ensure students learn together in a cohort and enjoy a coherent program of study.
FCCS sponsors the Digital Arts and Humanities Theme, and supports faculty members who supervise students in the following Themes:
Each Theme offers a unique set of graduate courses alongside a Professionalization Seminar that brings all the Themes together. Faculty members from across the Okanagan campus collaborate within the Themes to provide a rigorous, wide-ranging and intellectually productive graduate education.
The cohort of students in our Digital Arts and Humanities theme currently includes nine students at the masters and PhD levels, and three PhD students in the individualized option. Our students have provided profiles for you to discover more about themselves and their research.
Mike Unrau, PhD (Individualized option)
Mike is doing his PhD in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies on creativity and social innovation, particularly from a complex systems perspective. He investigates creativity as a transformational process of change moving from disorder to order (as per the “negative” entropic force described in thermodynamics) that occurs across multiple systems (such as in physics, chemistry, psychology, arts, and social systems). Applying this framework to social action, he studies creativity from a critical consciousness perspective that includes mindful action in a social innovation methodology. Mike received funding to do a collaborative “mini” social lab in India on domestic violence, was awarded the internationally competitive Banff Social Innovation Residency, and is an adjunct professor at Mount Royal University.
Kaytlyn Barkved, MA
Kaytlyn Barkved is a queer disabled digital artist building a practice of generative art methods framed by Critical Disability Studies. Fueled by passions for feminism, social justice, and activist art, she completed her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Gender and Women’s Studies and a minor in Visual Arts. She has participated in many drawing projects, most recently, completing a 100 day drawing project, exploring the interconnected nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder, mental illness, and queer identity. Visit her on Instagram to see her entire digital body of work and drawn responses to readings from her graduate coursework: @kaytlynbarkvedart.
Ahlam Bavi, PhD
Ahlam Bavi is a conceptual artist, industrial designer, and a digital humanist. She has studied and researched at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland and the University of Calgary, where her digital sculpture work was recognized by an award. She is trained in the Reggio Emilia Educational approach, as well as in VR and AR and digital technologies.
Ahlam’s visual artworks consist of conceptual sonic sculptures, digital remediate artworks, 3D calligraphy, and algorithmic 3D printed sculptures. She also collaborates with museums to improve the experience of low vision visitors and to re-imagine of artworks through digital technology.
Melissa Hart, PhD
Melissa Hart is a doctoral student currently working on a creative research project: Judas-Kiss—Betrayal of our Primordial Comrade in the Rarest Rainforest on Earth: wolves, humans, and British Columbia’s Southern Interior Rainforest. Hart’s current research interests lie in wolf creative narrative, digital painting, regenerative-culture, eco-art activism, and in-situ, practice-based methodology.
Yasaman Lotfizadeh, MA
Yasaman is a professional Graphic Designer and Art History enthusiast. In her first year as a masters student, she works both as a Research Assistant, supervised by Dr. Hussein Keshani, and a Graduate Academic Assistant, affiliated with the AMP Lab. Her current study focuses on applying Digital Humanity theories and tools in connection with the sixteen-century Persian illustrated manuscripts. She is interested in historiography through Social Network Analysis and Data Visualization.
Yasaman completed her previous studies in Graphic Design, where her artworks focused on cultural and historical contexts. In her research, she worked on two Persian illustrated manuscripts, with a focus on miniature’s decorated Shields.
Having a variety of teaching experiences, including private institutions, high schools, vocational colleges, and universities, in her career, Yasaman found herself passionate about teaching. From 2014 to 2019, she taught several Art History, Graphic Design principle workshop and Design software courses. As a former skating instructor, player and referee, and in her free time, she likes to skate.
Heather Magusin, MA
Heather Magusin is a professional photographer, cyclist, and writer. Her research centers on the inﬂuence of public discourse on our responses to complex social-environmental phenomena; currently, wildfire is her focus. Her thesis analyzes the Twitter response to the 2016 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire, and her GRA work on the Living with Wildfire research project focuses on wildfire in the Okanagan region. Her other research interests include the intersections of urban design, active transport, and socio-environmental justice, specifically around bike commuting as a tool for emancipation and revolution. In her free time, you can find her outside riding her bike, hiking in the backcountry, nerding out over plants and lichens, or debating passionately about obscure topics.
Heather is the 2019/20 DAHU Grad Student Representative.
Sepideh Saffari, PhD
Sepideh Saffari is an award-winning artist and architect currently pursuing her IGS Ph.D. in Digital Arts & Humanities at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. She is also a graduate research associate of the AMP lab and a member of the Centre for Culture and Technology. In these affiliated research centers of the university, she has been collaborating on projects such as Aga Khan Garden web app and Water Ways. In 2006, she started her academic education in Architectural Engineering in which she ranked third and first among students in her BA and MA programs respectively. Since then she has held artistic and architectural positions, namely teaching at universities, designing constructed buildings, and working at game and animation companies.
Meg Yamamoto, PhD
Meg Yamamoto was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in Visual Studies at the University of Calgary, completing her degree through a Study Abroad program in Berlin, Germany in 2014. She was awarded the University of Calgary Silver Medallion in Art in 2015 and spent the following two years studying the geometric, structural, and symbolic properties of Hiberno-Saxon Knotwork. Meg completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. Her master’s thesis research was funded by the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and she received a University Graduate Fellowship as well as the Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship from the University of British Columbia. Her PhD research looks at how experiential and artistic responses to the local flora and fauna can be documented in online archives and databases.