Public Engagement Award winners 2022

The UBC-V Public Humanities Hub is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Public Engagement Awards. These awards are given to individuals who have exhibited outstanding public humanities engagement in the past two years, and whose work has contributed to the expansion of the range of voices in public discourse. Congratulations to the winners.

The winners of the award to recognize the contributions of a graduate student are Henry John for his commitment to inclusive public history and impact on museum policy and governance, and David Ng for his innovative arts-based community-engaged research projects and impact in creating dialogue and understanding of issues faced by marginalized communities.

Henry John (History)

Henry John wearing a blue knit sweater smilingHenry John is a settler who originally hails from the British Isles. He is a Doctoral Candidate in History at the University of British Columbia, where his research explores the interactions of woodworking labour union activism and environmentalisms in so-called British Columbia during the second half of the Twentieth Century. John currently resides on unceded Ts’uubaa-asatx territory, where he is facilitating a partnership between the Kaatza Station Museum and the local First Nation, and is the archivist for a large collection of labour union records produced by the nationwide forestry union IWA Canada.


David Ng (Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice)

David Ng wearing a black leather jacket smilingDavid Ng is a queer, feminist, media artist, and co-Artistic Director of Love Intersections – an arts collective made up of queer people of colour.  His current artistic practices grapple with queer, racialized, and diasporic identity, and how intersectional identities can be expressed through media arts. His interests include imagining new possibilities of how queer racialized artists can use their practice to transform communities. Through Love Intersections he has produced over 2 dozen short films, including “Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny”, which has screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide, including the Leeds International Film Festival and Aesthetica Film Festival.  He is a co-founding member of the Vancouver Artist Labour Union Co-Operative (VALU CO-OP), as well as a founding charter member of the Artist and Cultural Workers Union (IATSE B-778). He is currently a PhD candidate at UBC’s Social Justice Institute, and holds a Master of Social Sciences from the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town.


The winner of the award to recognize the contributions of a lecturer, sessional instructor, or postdoctoral fellow is Dr. María Carbonetti, for her community-engaged student projects developed in partnership with Mapuche authors and community organizations, and for the local, national, and international impacts of her cross-disciplinary outreach projects.

María Carbonetti (French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies)

María Carbonetti wearing a white blouse and beaded necklace smilingDr. María Carbonetti is a lecturer in the Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies (FHIS) who has developed advanced language and culture curriculum for the Spanish Program at the University of British Columbia. Carbonetti is a director of Spanish for Community, a community-based experiential learning initiative at the FHIS she created in 2016. Her research is currently focused on community engaged learning pedagogies applied to second language teaching and learning, particularly on translation as intercultural mediation in relationship with diversity, inclusion and curriculum indigenization/decolonization practices. She was the recipient of the Killam Teaching Prize in 2019.


The winners of the award to recognize the contributions of a tenured or tenure-track UBC-V Humanities faculty member (in research or educational leadership streams) are Dr. Katherine Bowers for her innovative approaches to advancing scholarship in her field, mobilization of humanistic knowledge to organize a flash teach-in to offer perspectives on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and mentorship of students in the public humanities, and Dr. Christopher Rea for his ongoing work to foster open-access humanities education, its measurable impact in his field and in the international community, and his sustained commitment to outreach and knowledge mobilization.

Katherine Bowers (Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies)

Katherine Bowers wearing a black filigree sweater smilingDr. Katherine Bowers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies and Director of the Centre for European Studies. Her research expertise is in nineteenth-century Russian literature and culture. She is the author of Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic (2022) and numerous articles as well as co-editor of four volumes; she is also co-PI on the DH project Digital Dostoevsky. Dr Bowers serves as Vice-President of the North American Dostoevsky Society and edits its blog, Bloggers Karamazov. Through these roles, she has facilitated many public humanities initiatives, including, most recently, a celebration to mark Dostoevsky’s bicentenary in 2021, co-organized with a group of Dostoevsky scholars from Canada, the US, and the UK.


Christopher Rea (Asian Studies)

Christopher Rea wearing a brown herringbone blazer smiling with bare tree branches in the backgroundDr. Christopher Rea is Professor of Chinese in the Department of Asian Studies. His books include Where Research Begins: Choosing a Research Project That Matters to You (and the World) (2022, with Thomas S. Mullaney), Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949 (2021), The Book of Swindles (2017, with Bruce Rusk), and The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (2015), of which Eric Idle wrote: “I am confident that it is the finest in its field to include a lyric by me.”  Rea created the Chinese Film Classics project (, the largest public collection of early Chinese films with English subtitles.