Arts One

Teaching opportunities for existing faculty in Arts One in 2022 – 2024

The Arts One program is seeking tenured/tenure-track faculty and 12-month Lecturers with ongoing appointments to join continuing Arts One faculty for a new course offering on the proposed theme, Sources of the Self, for 2022 – 2024. The provisional description for this theme is provided at the bottom of this message.

Arts One is an interdisciplinary program that has been offering a distinctive first-year experience at UBC since 1967. Successful completion of Arts One gives the student 18 credits (6 in English, 6 in History, and 6 in Philosophy); however, instructors have come from every department in the Faculty of Arts in the program’s history.

One cohort of up to 100 students is team taught around a specific theme—in this case, Sources of the Self. Each cohort comprises five instructors, who decide upon the list of texts to be taught (usually around 24 main works in total) by mutual agreement. Each instructor typically lectures on at least four texts, runs a 1.5-hour seminar of twenty students twice a week on all texts comprising the curriculum, and conducts five 1-hour tutorials of four students each per week. Instructors also meet once a week for a team meeting, to discuss the texts at hand and to devise essay topics for the tutorials. Assessment is primarily by essays.

The teaching load of Arts One is the equivalent of a 2-2 load for tenure stream faculty. The Dean of Arts compensates Departments who release faculty members to the program.

We warmly welcome enquiries and brief statements of interest from faculty members who are keen to engage in interdisciplinary approaches, in team teaching, and in first-year instruction. Please include your areas of specialization and interest, recognizing that you would frequently be teaching beyond the borders of your specialty in this program, and the texts or related works you might suggest for the proposed theme. Kindly send this information to by Friday, November 12, 2021.

For inquiries about the program or further information about the proposed theme, please contact either the current Chair of the Arts One Program, Prof. Robert Crawford (, or Prof. Brandon Konoval (


Sources of the Self (Arts One, 2022 – 2024)


Sources of the Self

How do we seek to understand the self, whether our own or that of each other? Is it something we can create or something that we uncover, an identity we claim or one that we can transform? The pursuit of self-knowledge and the search for identity may engage us in exploration that lasts a lifetime; many have found the very concept of a self to be misleading or illusory, an attempt to grasp hold of something that is fundamentally fleeting and perhaps even unknowable. Yet, as profoundly personal as our search for, or questioning of the self may be, this pursuit draws us into negotiation with the social, cultural, philosophical, and historical circumstances in which we live—with our sense of a place in the world. The title of our theme refers to the work of a modern Canadian philosopher, Charles Taylor, but our concern with sources of the self can be traced across a diversity of times and places, and from the earliest forms of literature through to contemporary initiatives and debate. Guided by drama and discourse, poetry and autobiography, novel and film, we will explore the manifold pathways taken for the investigation or cultivation of the self, and inquire where those pathways may yet lead.