Meet the new Associate Deans and Heads and Directors in Arts

The Faculty of Arts welcomes two new Associate Deans and eight new Heads and Directors.

New Associate Deans


Dr. Renisa Mawani, Acting Associate Dean, Equity, Innovation, and Strategy

Dr. Renisa Mawani is a professor in the Department of Sociology, with research and teaching interests in colonial legal history, historical sociology, and social theory. Her awards include the Association for Asian American Studies Outstanding Contribution to History Book Award for Across Oceans of Law (Duke, 2018), a Killam Prize for Graduate Teaching, and a SSHRC Insight Grant (2018-2023).

Dr. Mawani has contributed significantly to the Faculty of Arts as a member of the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program Steering Committee and Chair/Co-Chair of the Faculty of Arts’ Law and Society Minor Program, which she co-founded. More recently, she has been a member of the Sociology department’s Executive Committee and a member of the organizing committee for the Annual Racial (In)Justice Lecture (a collaboration with the Department of Anthropology).

As Acting Associate Dean of Equity, Innovation, and Strategy (while Dr. Siobhán McPhee is on parental leave), Dr. Mawani will oversee external reviews of academic units. She will also work collaboratively with colleagues across Arts to advance the commitments and goals of the Faculty’s strategic plan, support efforts within Arts to ensure alignment with the University’s Indigenous Strategic Plan and Inclusion Action Plan, and will facilitate engagement among faculty, staff, and students in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Dr. Christiane Hoppmann, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Christiane Hoppmann is a professor in the Department of Psychology, a Canada Research Chair in Adult Development and Health, and a core member of the UBC Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. She has consistently obtained competitive research funding including grants from SSHRC, CIHR, MSFHR, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Vancouver Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, and the German Research Foundation. She is also the recipient of a Killam Faculty Research Prize and a Killam Faculty Research Fellowship.

Dr. Hoppmann is well acquainted with UBC’s research infrastructure and has extensive experience managing a research lab. She is committed to excellence in graduate supervision and experienced in providing supervision of graduate and undergraduate research assistants and postdoctoral research trainees.

As Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Hoppmann will help advance the Faculty’s priorities in the areas of research, including Indigenous research, and graduate education.

New Heads and Directors


Dr. Michael Griffin, Head of the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies

Dr. Michael Griffin is an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (formerly CNERS) and in the Department of Philosophy. He studies the philosophers of the ancient Mediterranean world, especially the intellectual traditions that emerged around Plato and Aristotle during their lives and later, during the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. He is also interested in cross-cultural philosophy, with a focus on ancient philosophical depictions of human well-being.

Dr. Carla Hudson Kam, Head of the Department of Linguistics 

Dr. Carla Hudson Kam is a professor of Linguistics. Her research interests include first and second language acquisition, gesture and language learning and processing, language evolution, developmental semantics, and, more recently, early literacy.

Dr. Jonathan Ichikawa, Head of the Department of Philosophy

Dr.Jonathan Ichikawa is a professor in the department of Philosophy. His main research areas are epistemology, philosophy of language, feminist philosophy, and ethics. Dr. Ichikawa is particularly interested in connecting theoretical questions about the nature and significance of knowledge to moral, practical, and political questions.

Dr. Alan Jacobs, Head of the Department of Political Science

Dr. Alan Jacobs is a professor of Political Science specializing in the comparative political economy of advanced industrialized democracies, the politics of public policy, political behavior, and qualitative and mixed methodology. He currently teaches courses on the comparative politics of inequality, qualitative research methods, and research design. Dr. Jacobs’ current projects focus on the politics of inequality, public attitudes toward policy tradeoffs and public-goods investment, the sources of rightwing populist electoral support, and process-tracing and mixed-methods inquiry.

Dr. Catherine Corrigall-Brown, Head of the Department of Sociology

Dr. Catherine Corrigall-Brown is professor in the department of Sociology. Her research focuses on social movements, political sociology, and social psychology, particularly the study of identity. She was recognized for her outstanding teaching with a Killam Faculty Teaching Prize in 2017 and the Lorne Tepperman Award for Outstanding Teaching from the Canadian Sociological Association in 2022. Dr. Corrigall-Brown’s forthcoming book, Keeping the March Alive, explores how activist groups mobilize and survive over time by following groups that were founded right after the first Women’s March in 2017.

Annabel Lyon, Director of the School of Creative Writing

Annabel Lyon is a professor in the School of Creative Writing. She is the author of eight books for adults and young readers, including The Golden Mean and Consent. As director, Lyon will continue to prioritize pedagogical excellence, and promote equity and diversity in all aspects of Creative Writing. She recognizes the importance of sustained and ongoing engagement with anti-racist and anti-colonial teachings and learning strategies, and Indigenization of the curriculum to the Creative Writing community. Lyon hopes to extend the work of her colleagues by finding professional opportunities and creating strong ties in the employment industry for students.

Dr. Miu Chung Yan, Acting Director of the School of Social Work

Dr. Miu Chung Yan is a professor of Social Work. His major research includes settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees, critical cross-cultural and antiracist practice, internal dynamics in Chinese community, place-based community development and policy, globalization and social development, and North-South social work knowledge transfer. His teaching pedagogy is informed by the ideas of critical inter-subjectivity, reciprocal engagement, reflexive reflectivity and critical pragmatism.

Dr. Leonora Angeles, Director of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice

Dr. Leonora (Nora) C. Angeles is an associate professor at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice and at the School of Community and Regional Planning and. She is also a faculty research associate at the UBC Centre for Human Settlements where she has been involved in a number of applied research and capacity-building research projects in Brazil, Vietnam and Southeast Asian countries. Her continuing research and interests are on community and international development studies and social policy, participatory planning and governance, participatory action research, and the politics of transnational feminist networks, women’s movements and agrarian issues, particularly in the Southeast Asian region.