Leadership and Staff

Mary K. Bryson

Academic Director, Public Humanities Hub
Professor, Language & Literacy Education
Email: mary.bryson@ubc.ca

Dr. Bryson is a Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, Faculty of Education. Their research and teaching interests include medical humanities, critical literary theory, academic freedom and collegial governance, queer and trans theory and critical digital literacies.

Research Area:

Heather Tam

Program Manager
Email: phh.manager@ubc.ca
Phone: (604) 827-2313
Buchanan Tower 626 | MON TUE WED
Remote | THU FRI

Heather Joan Tam is an interdisciplinary artist, and a researcher for documentary films on history in British Columbia and Canada, including All Our Father’s Relations (dir. Alejandro Yoshizawa, 2016), the story of the Grant siblings who journey to rediscover their father’s roots in China and understand his relationship with their Musqueam mother, and Incorrigible: The Story of Velma Demerson (dir. Karin Lee, 2022), based on Demerson’s memoir about her illegal incarceration, while pregnant in 1939 under Ontario’s Female Refuges Act for living with her Chinese fiancé as a white woman, and her lifelong quest for justice. Heather was Curator at the Bowen Island Museum & Archives from 2007 to 2013.

Research Area: Public History, Creative Writing

Communications, Finance

Stanley Chia

Stanley Chia wearing a dark blue button-up shirt with dotted pattern, smiling

Programs Assistant
Email: public.humanities@ubc.ca
Buchanan Tower 397 | TUE WED THU
Remote | MON FRI

Stanley provides logistical, financial, event, and administrative support for the Public Humanities Hub’s various programs and outreach. He has a UBC Master of Arts in History (2021) with a keen interest in public history, community stories, and migration studies. His MA thesis primarily used oral history interviews to examine the 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur. Stanley continues to be engaged with his local community through freelance translation work, occasional classical music performances, and various non-profit initiatives.

Research Area: Asian Canadian history, modern history of Southeast Asia, public scholarship, community engagement, museum studies, oral history

Communications, Finance

Graduate Student Staff

Neil Aitken

Digital Projects Specialist
Graduate Academic Assistant, Public Humanities Hub
MLIS Student, School of Information
Email: naitken@student.ubc.ca

Neil Aitken (he/him) works at the intersection of many fields. A former computer games programmer and the author of two books of poetry, he holds a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing as well as an MFA in Creative Writing and a BS in Computer Science. Neil’s research interests include creative writing pedagogy, contemporary poetry, literary translation, speculative fiction, Asian American literature, Victorian technology, and the cultural history of artificial intelligence.

Research Area: Digital Humanities, Creative Writing Pedagogy, History of Technology, Contemporary Poetry, Literary Translation

I wrote my dissertation on Victorian representations of artificial intelligence (real and fictional automata, machine-like thinkers, mechanized reasoning, and calculational devices). Current research projects and interests include: developing complex interactive fiction games (Twine), collecting variant translations of Tang dynasty poems, creating digital resources that make it easier to locate and study 19th-century texts and documents related to Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, and in general, automata and machine intelligence. Creative projects include a commissioned opera, Star Singer, debuting in 2026, and a third book of poetry.

Ying Han

Communications and Education Content Specialist
Graduate Academic Assistant, Public Humanities Hub
MA Student, Department of Asian Studies
Email: ying.han@ubc.ca 

Ying (she/her) is a Graduate Academic Assistant with the Hub and a second-year MA student in the Department of Asian Studies. She is invested in doing interdisciplinary work within her research and loves discovering ways to connect the dots between seemingly disparate ideas. She is joining the Hub this year, and is excited to play a part in empowering learners, supporting unconditional access to knowledge, and cultivating an open-minded arena for exploration.

Research Area: Japanese Contemporary Women’s and Transnational Literatures, Queer Theory, Gender Studies

Billie Hu

Digital Scholarship Specialist
Graduate Academic Assistant, Public Humanities Hub
MLIS Student, School of Information
Email: billie.hu@ubc.ca

With a passion for digital scholarship, Billie (she/her) brings expertise in data analysis, visualization, and research data management. Proficient in tools such as Borealis, GitHub, and Tableau, her commitment to advancing digital literacy is complemented by a keen interest in fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative approaches within the academic landscape.

Research Area: Data Librarianship, Research Data Management, Digital Scholarship, Data Analysis, Interdisciplinary Collaboration

In my role within the Public Humanities Hub, I am working on the development of a comprehensive Digital Scholarship in Arts strategy plan, aiming to integrate innovative approaches into humanities research. As a workshop facilitator at UBC Library, I conduct sessions focused on enhancing research data management practices and imparting essential skills in Git & GitHub. Additionally, I serve as a Peer Technology Advisor at UBC iSchool, contributing my expertise to support peers in navigating the intersection of technology and information studies.

Sydney Lines

Project Manager, Public Humanities Hub
PhD Student, English
Email: sydney.lines@ubc.ca

Sydney Lines (she/her/hers) has several years experience working in higher education, museums, and in various kinds of cultural programming. She is a multifaceted creative thinker who loves big ideas, memorable stories, and gathering communities through participation in arts and culture. She started at the Hub as a Graduate Academic Assistant in 2019 and completed two PhD Arts Co-op terms as the Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives for the Hub during Fall 2020 and Fall 2022.

Research Area: Long C19 & Early C20 Transatlantic Literature, Community Engagement, Digital Humanities, Experience Design, Marketing & Communications

Communications, Community Partnerships, Graduate, Governance, Public Scholarship