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 quarterly newsletter for faculty, staff & friends of the Faculty of Humanities at UVic

A Message From the Dean
A screenshot from the Dean's 2020 virtual holiday luncheon

It is mid-December and the end of ‘the fall term like no other’ is upon us. There is a palpable sense of relief in the air (or is it on zoom?) as the winter break approaches.

Once again, I want to express my enormous gratitude to all of you – faculty members, teaching instructors and staff – for rising to the incredible challenges of this term, for your unrelenting hard work, for your professionalism, creativity and commitment, and for going above and beyond to support Humanities undergraduate and graduate students. I also want to acknowledge the custodial staff and other service providers who worked tirelessly to keep us safe in the Clearihue building over the last three months. Thank you so much for all that you do to keep the Humanities strong, relevant and vital in these uncertain and stressful times.

Sending my warmest of wishes for a very restful and restorative winter break. See you on the other side, in 2021!


Annalee Lepp

Acting Dean, Humanities

The Faculty Mentors Helping
Faculty Members Thrive Online

Sara Humphries and Janni Aragon zoom portraits

Since pivoting to remote instruction in the spring, two members of the Humanities community have worked tirelessly to support their colleagues through the transition. This is the story of how Janni Aragon and Sara Humphreys have helped Humanities instructors thrive online (read more).

A Record Year For Giving!

Giving Tuesday at UVic

This year, we raised 136% more money for Giving Tuesday than last year, thanks to our generous donors and a committed grass-roots team of fundraisers. In a single day, 49 individuals contributed over $7,500 for the Christine Welsh Scholarship for Indigenous Gender Studies Students - the highest number of donors out of all the Faculties!

Gender Studies Scholarship Supports Indigenous Students

Left to right: Jeannine Carriere (Social Work) and Christine Welsh (Gender Studies) standing inside of the First Peoples House. Photo Credit: UVic Photo Services

In addition to honouring Christine Welsh's extraordinary legacy at UVic and beyond, the scholarship created in her name also supports academically outstanding Indigenous gender studies students by removing financial barriers to their success. This is the story of the vital impact this award had for its first two recipients, Simone Blais and Sage Lacerte, who graduated this year (read more).

Focus on Research:

Environmental Philosopher Thomas Heyd

Environmental Philosopher Thomas Heyd

An endlessly active and engaged researcher and author who has been with the department of Philosophy since 1993, Heyd’s current research primarily focuses on environmental philosophy in the context of the Anthropocene and the human dimensions of climate change. We sat down with Heyd to learn more about this vital and timely work (read more).

Cultivating BIPOC Community on Campus

Alumna Amy Tang portrait

A feature on recent graduate Amy Tang, who talks about the experiences that led her to co-found the BIPOC English Grad Student Support Group at UVic (read more)

Role-Playing Brings History Lessons
into the 21st Century

Historian Rachel Hope Cleves

Students in a course taught by historian Rachel Hope Cleves this fall adopted historically-based characters from Medieval England and vied for control over their town's response to the spreading bubonic plague. You really have to see it to understand the magic of this innovative approach, which is why we included a video that you can watch by clicking here.

Stephen Ross Receives REACH Award

For Student Mentorship

English professor Stephen Ross portrait 2020

In addition to being an internationally recognized scholar of modernist studies, Stephen Ross has mentored over 50 graduate and postdoctoral students, cultivating a well-deserved reputation for his dedication to his students (read more).

New English Scholarship Supports Student Leadership and Community Engagement

Alumnus Barry Gough

Made possible in large part thanks to the generosity of renowned historian, biographer, author and UVic alumnus Barry Morton Gough, this important new scholarship will be awarded to academically outstanding undergraduate English students demonstrating leadership and innovation in their academic work and through community engagement (read more).

Meet Alumnus Rob Fleming, BC's Newest Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

Alumnus Rob Fleming portrait

This History graduate and former UVSS President who helped secure the BC Transit Universal Bus Pass for UVic students is now BC's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. This feature follows the winding path that led him to his calling (read more).

In Memoriam:

Dr. Judith Anne Payne (1942 - 2020)

Judy Anne Payne at UVic

It is with great sadness and respect that we announce the passing of Professor Emerita Dr. Judith Anne Payne, who was a pioneer of Latin American studies at UVic (read more).

Honouring the Long Service of our Colleagues

Jammie Cassels Long Service Congrats video screenshot 2020

We are proud to celebrate the long service of 7 members of the Humanities community this year, who have dedicated an awe-inspiring 195 years of service between them!

25 Years: Silvia Colas Cardona (Hispanic and Italian Studies), John Lutz (History), Martin Holmes (Humanities Computing & Media Centre).


30 years: Jamie Dopp (English), Gordon Fulton (English), Judith Nylvek (Linguistics), Keiko (Oto) Tachibana (Pacific & Asian Studies).

Things That Make You Go Hummm

Reddit post screenshot

"This is one of the kindest things a prof has ever done," posted one student from ENGL337 on reddit. "Protect this man at all costs!"


Inset was a screenshot from a message by Dr. Shamma Boyarin sent to his class:


"I don't know how many of you are in Victoria, but if you are, and you are away from family, I know this can be a difficult time. Hanukkah starts this Thursday and I will be making latkes (traditional potato pancakes) - if any of you would like, I could deliver some (safe, socially distanced) with sour cream and apple sauce. Let me know by Thursday so I can plan how many to make and how to deliver them."


We raise our hands to you, Dr. Boyarin. Thanks for reminding us about the importance of taking care of one another during these challenging times.


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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Clearihue Building, Room C305


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