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A newsletter for the Faculty of Humanities community

Spring 2021 edition


As final grades are being submitted and we leave a long winter semester behind us, we have completed our third-ever term conducted entirely online. This newsletter highlights some of our collective successes and shares updates from our community, reminding us that there is much for which we can be proud and thankful, and much to which we may look forward (read more)


Breaking the Language Barrier for Syrian Refugees

Linguist Li-Shih Huang recently launched the Syrians Learning English for Employment in Canada (SLEEC) program—a community-grounded, culturally sensitive and evidence-based approach to language instruction that helps Syrian refugee resettlement efforts (read more)

Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams Appointed to the Order of Canada

With pride and respect, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams, Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Indigenous Education, for her appointment to the Order of Canada. A member of the Lil’wat Nation, Dr. Williams has devoted her life to promoting and revitalizing Indigenous culture and language (read more).

Graphic Novels Illuminate Memories of the Holocaust

Excerpts from a forthcoming collection of graphic novels co-created by Holocaust survivors and accomplished artists were released by the Narrative Art and Visual Storytelling in Holocaust and Human Rights Education project, which is led by Charlotte Schallié, Chair of the Germanic and Slavic Studies department. The project was also featured by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) last month.

Digital Archive Reveals Extent of Japanese Canadian Disposession

The Landscapes of Injustice project led by historian Jordan Stanger-Ross has launched a free, open-access digital archive containing records detailing the dispossession and displacement of more than 15,000 interned Japanese Canadians (read more).


Project Manager Michael Abe was also featured in the ongoing UVic News series, A Day in the Life.


Joining the Conversation

In March, the university launched a partnership with The Conversation Canada, an independent online publication offering academic analysis with a journalistic flair. Two Humanities faculty have since published timely, compelling articles.

Trevor Van Damme Conversation Canada article screenshot

What ancient Greek handwashing can teach us about socio-economic inequality by Trevor Van Damme, SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in Greek and Roman Studies, offers an engaging and informative look into how the lessons from Mycenaean Greek palatial culture are relevant for the pandemic today.

Angie Chau Conversation Canada article screenshot

From Oscar noms to leading roles: The problem with saying Asian women filmmakers have finally ‘made it’ by Angie Chau of Pacific and Asian Studies examines the seemingly-contradictory increases of visibility of Asian women in film and anti-Asian sentiment/violence.

Awards, Scholarships & Bursaries

Digital Humanities Pioneer Janelle Jenstad Received a Lifetime Achievement Award for over two decades of leadership in digital scholarship and collaborative practices. Dr. Jenstad was honoured with the award by the Canadian Society of Digital Humanities this spring (read more).

Bursaries valued at $90,000 were announced by the French department for the 2021/22 academic year. The timely bursaries will remove financial barriers for students pursuing a bilingual post-secondary education (read more)

Major gift supports research in Japanese Canadian history, art, culture and language at the University. The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society created this award using funding saved during the pandemic (read more)

Looking Back at #HLW2021

The 3rd annual Humanities Literacy Week (Feb 8 - 12) was an incredible success, with three online events that showcased the powerful and creative scholarship of our faculty and students. Here we include our recommended reading list along with a small roundup of local coverage, in case you missed it.

Watch, Listen or Read

Course Feature

GNDR 349: Queer & Trans Cultural Production students share what they're learning and why this course matters (read more).

New Podcast

UVic faculty & students discuss their successes and failures in this Humanities-based podcast, Bounce (read more)

New Publication

Two Humanities researchers contributed to the publication Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting (read more)

Things That Make You Go Hummm

Professor Brendan Burke in Athens

Look familiar? Yes, that is indeed our beloved UVic logo in frame with the Acropolis of Athens. The gentleman rocking the UVic face mask is none other than Associate Professor Brendan Burke, who supervises graduate students in Greek and Roman archaeology here on campus and at the site of ancient Eleon. Currently "ensconced in Athens" while we're all ensconced at home, Dr. Burke has been generous enough to bring us along with him through his twitter feed with photos like this one.


This section features small moments or things that remind us of our shared humanity or pull on our heart strings that little bit. If you see something that makes you go hummm, send it to us at humscom@uvic.ca for inclusion in our next newsletter!



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We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional and unceded territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.