Department of Humanities


Welcome to the Humanities Department at Simon Fraser University!
In the Humanities Department at SFU, students read and study the great texts of Western and Eastern civilizations from Ancient Greece to Modern Germany, from Taoism to Christianity, from the Italian fresco to Chinese film. Humanities courses appeal to students who are curious about many diverse areas such as classical and medieval studies, modern thought and culture, Renaissance humanism, and eastern and western religions. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, students will learn to pose questions and address concerns central to understanding the human condition.

Departmental News

JOIN US IN SURREY ON FEB 20TH for our visiting scholar's first free public lecture 

Dr Rodrigues' "The Agonistic Engagement Between Ambedkar and Gandhi" will begin at 6pm in SFU Surrey 2600, with a reception to follow. Everyone welcome!


Humanities Roundtable Discussion Series!  

Please join us every first and third Thursday of the month in a graduate student-led series of presentations on current themes within the Humanities. Our next installment "Chinese Culture and the Lunar New Year" is Feburary 7th in AQ 5118 beginning at 12:30pm. See our roundtable event page for more information. Hope to see you there! 

Dr. Samir Gandesha - Podcast Appearance 

What does a socialist conception of free speech look like? Can we really trust the capitalist state to protect the free speech rights of socialist critics? As free speech has become an increasingly explosive issue within our liberal societies, Oats for Breakfast chatted with Samir Gandesha of Simon Fraser University to get a better sense of what’s going on. Along the way we talk about the politics of free speech, the hypocrisy of the Right on this issue, and what a potential socialist alternative may look like.

Listen HERE

Study the writing of various Latin authors and explores the interplay between Latin and vernacular literatures, their roots in the past, and their role in creating the Western canon!

EXPLORE INDIAN DEMOCRACY this spring THROUGH THE LITERATURE OF ONE OF ITS KEY CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORS with the preeminent Ambedkar scholar, Dr Valerian Rodrigues

An examination of Eastern and Western Christendom from Late Antiquity to the 12th-Century Renaissance emphasizing religious, political, cultural, and social change.

Immerse yourself in the world of Pieter Bruegel! Each class will concentrate on several of his paintings and drawings, and we shall approach his art through a series of different techniques and modes, trying to understand him and his time.

Can you institute social change by making fun of ordinary people? 

What is violence? What effects does it produce at the level of singularities and of the social? When does violence transform into “terror”? In this course we will discuss different approaches to the study of violencein the work of critical theorists and creative writers from the 20th to the 21stcentury to interrogate the role of political and economic institutions, and more broadly of power, in the material and discursive deployment of violence.

Join Dr Eleanor Stebner, J.S. Woodsworth Chair, in reading the biographical writings of Primo Levi, Jane Goodall, Muhammed Ali and more

Past Events

Centre A and The Cinematheque, with support from SFU David Lam Centre and SFU Department of Humanities, welcome renowned Vietnamese-born artist, writer, and scholar Trinh T. Minh-ha for a special two-night program of her acclaimed film work. Subjective, self-reflexive, and intellectual, infused with feminism and anti-colonialism, and offering a dizzying array of sights and sounds, the award-winning “anti-anthropological” films of Trinh represent a startling reinvention of the documentary form. Read More

Quick Links

Institute for the Humanities

Torrent, Trickle: The Exploratory By Andrew Czink

Canada and the UN Convention Against Torture

Truth Before Reconciliation: Reframing/Resisting/Refusing Reconciliation

 Humanities' Social Media