UBC Public Humanities Hub launches to help scholars share expertise on urgent societal issues



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About 120 scholars, staff and community members gathered at Sage Bistro on March 9 to celebrate the official launch of the UBC-V Public Humanities Hub.

The event was an opportunity to share the Hub’s mission and recent accomplishments, allow participants to explore new opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange, and discuss the value of humanities research.

“Many of the most urgent issues society faces today are issues that humanities faculty have thought about a lot: race, class, gender, religion, refugees, reconciliation, colonialism, community, artificial intelligence, and art,” said Mary Chapman, academic director of the Public Humanities Hub. “Humanities scholars want to be part of ongoing conversations about these important issues, and the Hub has been created to help faculty, media, and community partners talk together more easily and more often.”

Established in 2019, the Public Humanities Hub is a three-year pilot project that supports collaborative research and develops public-facing humanities research.

“Many of the most urgent issues society faces today are issues that humanities faculty have thought about a lot: race, class, gender, religion, refugees, reconciliation, colonialism, community, artificial intelligence, and art.”
Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub

Recent activities include funding five new research clusters to promote interdisciplinary research, building partnerships with organizations like the Vancouver Art Gallery, VIFF, and Roedde House Museum, and launching a media training series on communicating research through podcasts, social media, trade books and Op-eds.

“Those of us who have worked with the Hub this year see it as a space of action, activity, even activism,” said Chapman. “That’s why we describe it using the verbs that guide us: Incubate, Collaborate, Communicate, Advocate.”

Chapman invites everyone to share ideas about how the Hub can support knowledge exchange between humanities scholars and the wider community.

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Mary Chapman, Academic Director of the UBC Public Humanities Hub

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Gage Averill, Dean of Arts

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Kalina Christoff (Professor of Psychology), John Christopolous (Assistant Professor of History), and Katharine Huemoeller (Assistant Professor of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies)

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Ken Tsui (Vancouver International Film Festival) and Letitia Henville (Public Humanities Hub Steering Committee)

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Anthony Shelton, Director of the Museum of Anthropology (MOA)

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Bonny Norton, Public Humanities Hub Fellow and Professor of Language and Literacy Education

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Henry Yu, Professor of History

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Sydney Lines, Gillian Glass, Alyssa Sy de Jesus, Mary Chapman and Heather Tam