Public Humanities Faculty Fellowships


The Public Humanities Hub (PHH) at UBC-Vancouver is pleased to announce the Public Humanities Faculty Fellowships. These fellowships are awarded annually to support research excellence among humanities scholars in the Faculties of Arts, Law, and Education at UBC and to develop and highlight public-facing research in the humanities. The call for applications can be found at the end of this page.

Please join us in congratulating our 2021-2022 Public Humanities Faculty Fellows!

4 headshots side by side of the 2021-22 Public Humanities Hub Faculty Fellows: Leo Shin, Minelle Mahtani, Katherine Bowers, Colleen Laird

Leo Shin (History; Asian Studies)
“Documenting the Hong Kong Protests
All eyes are now on Hong Kong. Since the fall of 2014, when the so-called Umbrella Movement once again brought the former British colony to the world’s attention, the city of 7.5 million has undergone transformations that could—even to those less inclined to be dramatic—be described as precipitous. While academics and non-academics alike will continue to debate about the sources as well as impacts of the changes that are taking place in Hong Kong, what is clear is the imperative to document such transformations. The project I am undertaking is relatively modest. With the help of a student research assistant, I will produce and curate an annotated catalog of a range of Hong Kong protests-related documentaries, podcasts, and multimedia journalism that are available in English. My goal is to create a publicly accessible archive that could be used for research and teaching by colleagues and students all over the world.

Minelle Mahtani (Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice)
“Radical Reciprocity: Mapping the Geographies of Inspiration in Critical Canadian Studies”
How do we acknowledge those who inspire us? This project maps out the nests of care that have supported our scholarly pursuits as researchers working in the field of social justice in critical Canadian Studies. It involves interviewing academics working in the social justice field, mostly at UBC. As a former President of the Association for Canadian Studies (where I won an award from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for my contributions) I learned that no idea ever emerges isolated on its own. Our research directions flourish in part because of our connections with others and by recognizing those whose work we stand onthose who inspire us to be the best academics we can be. By asking key critical Canadian Studies scholars about the article or work that inspired them to pursue a career in critical Canadian Studies, this project will map out an emancipatory epistemic logica different way of understanding the foundations of knowledge production in Canadian Studies that go beyond extraction. The final product will be a podcast series, highlighting these interviews culminating in a book project where the interviews will be transcribed along with an introduction and conclusion curated by me along with a series of high-profile pieces in top Canadian magazines.

Katherine Bowers (Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies)
“Dostoevsky’s The Double: An Open Access Literature-Twitterature Edition”
The project will create an open access teaching edition of Dostoevsky’s 1846 novella The Double that juxtaposes a public domain translation of the text and tweets from the @YakovGolyadkin Twitter project on facing pages. The edition will include a scholarly introduction and an appendix of teaching materials. The project aims to use new media to engage students in close analysis of the text and will provide tools for instructors to use to incorporate close reading through Twitterature in the classroom.

Colleen Laird (Asian Studies)
“OER Video Series on Japanese Women Directors
The proposed project, to develop a series of Open Education Resource videos on Japanese women film directors, is intentionally linked to the timed progress of my book project, Sea Change: Japan’s New Wave of Women Film Directors. In this public facing endeavor, I connect my own work to a larger movement of emergent scholarship with the aim of informing a new public perception and understanding of Japanese cinema. Drawing on my experience in the past three months producing OER videos on Japanese Horror films for higher-ed classrooms as digital alternatives to traditional lectures, the proposed series will feature interviews with scholars working on Japanese women directors, relevant film summaries and trailers, integrated stills and film clips, and educational “wrappers” that offer suggestions for further reading, further viewing, and classroom discussion questions. All videos will be captioned in English and Japanese, and hosted online under a Creative Commons license for viewing by general audiences.

If you would like to see past projects and previous faculty fellows, you may view them here.


The Public Humanities Faculty Fellowships will provide course-releases to up to four full-time, tenured or tenure-track UBC faculty members (in research and educational leadership streams) in Arts, Law and Education to work on individual humanities-oriented research projects requiring dedicated release time. These awards will enable award holders to do their research in an interdisciplinary community of scholars and to explore ways to make their research more public-facing and/or to share their research more broadly. Each successful applicant will be granted one three-credit course-release. Please view the linked application documents below for more details.

Deadline: March 1, 2021 
Terms of Reference and Instructions (PDF) (Word)
Application Form (Word)

Application Procedures
Please submit PDF or Word files of your current UBC CV (updated to acknowledge past and on-going public-facing research activities) along with a completed application form, signed by your Department/Unit Head, through the link below.

While we consider all applications on public-facing humanities research, we are particularly interested in projects with a commitment to social justice.

Queries can be directed to Public Humanities Hub Academic Director Mary Chapman at