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.

A monthly newsletter for faculty & staff of the Faculty of Humanities

A Message from the Dean


Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. This has become our mantra in the Dean’s office.


September is, in the best of times, a demanding month for chairs, directors, faculty members, teaching instructors and staff in the Faculty—not to mention our students. September 2020 will go down in the history books as so much more. With the first month of the new academic year behind us, I want to offer my sincere gratitude for your continued perseverance under these challenging circumstances and for keeping the Humanities strong, vital and relevant. Your hard work, creativity and strong commitment to our undergraduate and graduate students is making a difference.


I want to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day (September 30), a day to honour former residential school students and their families and a time to recommit ourselves to the ongoing work of truth, reconciliation and decolonization in the Faculty.


In the pages of this newsletter, we hear from the local academic organizers of the #ScholarStrike and their challenge to all of us: “What message did you get? is a question to keep asking, within our classrooms and without.” We also learn about the launch of the Landscapes of Injustice project’s interactive exhibit at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, with its focus on the state-administered displacement and dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s, its lasting legacies, and ongoing struggles for justice.


Finally, we share snapshots of some major accomplishments and activities in the Humanities: the Humanities’ award winners announced at the Fall Welcome Ceremony; John Archibald’s (Linguistics) induction into the Royal Society of Canada; Chase Joynt’s (Gender Studies) new award-winning film that premiered at TIFF; an interview with Neilesh Bose (History) about his current research; a profile of the European Studies’ COVIDA Collective; and a conversation with Stacee Greig (Custodial Services), who works tirelessly to keep the Clearihue Building spotless and the floors freshly waxed.


Thank you to everyone for all that you do.

- Annalee Lepp, Acting Dean, Humanities


Landscapes of Injustice Team Launches
National Exhibit, Book, Websites

Displaced Japanese Canadians leaving the Vancouver area (possibly Slocan Valley) after being prohibited by law from entering a “protected area” within 100 miles of the coast in BC. Credit: Nikkei National Museum and Cultural CentreLast weekend, Broken Promises launched at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre. This interactive exhibit, based on the work of the Landscapes of Injustice SSHRC partnership project, tells the story of the Japanese Canadian displacement and dispossession during the 1940s. The exhibit concentrates on seven narrators, and captures the grief, the loss, and the profound struggle for justice faced by Japanese Canadians—not just during the war but through a legacy of injustice that continues to reverberate today (read more)


Over 300 people watched the launch of Broken Promises live. Since then, the recording has been watched almost 4000 times, underscoring the import and the impact of the work. As Alex D'Arcy has noted, "you will not come away unmoved" from this touching and personal event.

The Landscapes of Injustice book reinterprets the internment of Japanese Canadians by focusing on the deliberate and permanent destruction of home through the act of dispossession.

Two new websites open this complicated period of Canadian history to new audiences across the globe. A narrative-based website (pictured left) focuses on the personal stories of those impacted, while a complementary site (right) provides a trove of resources and lessons designed for secondary-school teachers.

Anti-Racism in the Humanities

Naomi Osaka Aljazeera image (credit Matthew StockmanGetty ImagesAFP)

In the wake of anti-racist movements across North America, including the direct action on September 9th and 10th associated with the US-led #ScholarStrike and its Canadian counterpart #ScholarStrikeCanada, a collective of academics from UVic and Camosun College asks: “What was the message you got?” (read more)

Chase Joynt Film Premieres at TIFF

Actor and activist Marquise Vilsón auditions for the role of Billy Tipton in No Ordinary Man.

A smart, touching and eye-opening (for this cis male) tribute from the trans-masculine community to one of its own – No Ordinary Man rescues the life story of 20th century jazz artist Billy Tipton from tabloid tragedians, restoring his legacy as a loving father and talented musician.


Originally presented at Cannes Docs 2020, No Ordinary Man premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last month. B.C. residents can still stream it via the Vancouver International Film Festival until October 7th.

You can also catch Chase speaking at the Dean’s Lecture Series about another of his films, Framing Agnes, which dives into transgender historical archives and blends sociological research with contemporary performance.


Focus on Research: Neilesh Bose

Neilesh Bose (History) at the University of Victoria (September 2020)

Even when this Tier II Canada Research Chair in global and comparative history isn't traveling abroad or organizing initiatives such as the Global South Colloquium here on campus, Neilesh Bose is always on the move. With an edited volume on the history of globalization due out in December from Bloomsbury Press and a book-length biography in the works on Indian revolutionary activist and publisher (and former Victoria, BC, resident) Taraknath Das, we sat down with Bose to learn more about his current research (read more)


European Studies Students and Instructors Form COVIDA Collective

COVIDA collective launched at the University of Victoria

As COVID19 swept the globe this spring and forced the university to move away from in-person instruction, two dedicated European Studies instructors met a small group of students online each week to discuss emerging issues and best-practices for a post-pandemic world. From these humble beginnings, the COVIDA research collective was born (read more)

John Archibald Named

Royal Society Fellow

Royal Society of Canada elects John Archibald, pictured at Finnerty Gardens in September 2020. Photo: UVic Photo Services

A prolific, ground-breaking and internationally recognized scholar of second-language phonology, John Archibald (Linguistics) has been recognized with one of the country’s highest academic honours (read more)


2020 Humanities Awards Honour Outstanding Staff and Faculty

2020 UVIc Humanities Staff and Faculty Award Winners

It is with great pleasure that we honour and celebrate Neilesh Bose (History), Chris Cookson (Desktop Support Services), Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins (Linguistics), Christopher Douglas (English), Christine O’Bonsawin (Indigenous Studies + History) and Kristin Semmens (History + Germanic and Slavic Studies) through these awards. Read on to find our more about how these outstanding staff and faculty members have made the Faculty and, indeed, the University, a better place to be (read more)


Faces of the Humanities: Stacee Greig

Stacee Greig (Facilities Management) at the University of Victoria, September 2020

If you recognize this friendly face, it’s probably because you’ve spent a bit of time in the Clearihue building, where for the last 8 years Stacee Greig has worked in Custodial Services. We sat down with Stacee for a long-overdue conversation to learn a bit about her and her work at the University (read more)

Things That Make You Go Hummm

4 year old Illiyan stands beside one of his 'listen to Nigel' posters (photo credit: - Zen Tharani and Shazia Karmali via Vancouverisawesome.com)

Christine O'Bonsawin (Indigenous Studies + History) knew she was about to receive the Faculty's inaugural Həuistəŋ Award during the Fall Welcome awards ceremony, because we had shared the news with her in advance. What she didn't know, just prior to the moment captured above, was that her two daughters were tip-toeing up from behind to honour her with a gift of their own. For the rest of us, watching it all unfold was quite a treat.


Screen capture used with permission from Dr. O'Bonsawin.


This section features the small, personal moments 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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