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.
Dr. Shuyu Kong has been keeping busy!
Shuyu was recently awarded a SSHRC Small Research Grant to support a project “Rediscovering Chinese Women Artists Studying in France (1910s-1940s)”. The award period is 2020 to 2022.
Other news from Dr. Kong:
She also was residential fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences, Zhejiang University in the fall of 2019. She worked on a research project on Taoist Influences on Chinese landscape poetry and painting. She also gave a talk there on teaching Chinese Classics as Great Texts in North America.
Shuyu published an article on Chinese Australian artist Shen Jiawei and his history paintings in Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Vol. 18 no. 5 (Sept/Oct. 2019): Link to the article.
Watch this video for information on the Humanities Student Union!
Watch SFU's Dr. Samir Gandesha, UFV's Yvon Dandurand and UVic's Michelle Lawrence present during the February 24th Legislative Assembly of the Special Committee for Reforming the Police Act beginning at 9am.
Watch Dr. Samir Gandesha's Global New's "Fact or Fiction: Does ‘cancel culture’ work in holding people accountable?" segment!
Click the following hyperlinks to listen to Dr. Samir Gandesha discuss Posthuman Fascism on the Los Angeles Review of books podcast; "Riots, Liberal Democracy and Guy Debord" on the Correction Podcast, and "The inauguration of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr." on the CBC's BC today with Professor Emeritus Richard Johnson (UBC) and Angela Sterritt.
Read Dr. Samir Gandesha's Splinters Column on "Kamala, Angela, and the failed revolution"!
Watch Dr. Samir Gandesha's CTV interview on "What's Next for Trump After Impeachment", and the trailer for his talk for the Psychoanalysis and Politics Group on Trauma and Political Thought!
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies (SNF CHS) at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship (click to open PDF) focused on Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global, beginning September 2021. The search committee welcomes applications that span disciplinary boundaries from candidates working on comparative approaches to the advertised fellowship theme. Applicants from all fields of the humanities and the social sciences are encouraged to apply.
Learn how to apply now. Applications received by February 15, 2021 will be given priority.
New Journal Publication from Dr. Samir Gandesha
This is a conversation that took place at Dr. Vladimir Safatle’s São Paulo home on 16 February, 2019, during Dr. Samir Gandesha’s time as a Visiting Professor at the Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas -FFLCH-USP (Universidade de São Paulo). It addresses the South American roots of the authoritarian Neoliberalism that has now become a truly global phenomenon.
We are pleased to announce that this fall's event recordings are now available for viewing. To access the recordings, use the links below or visit SNF's YouTube channel.
Fall Seminar Series
Fourth Annual Edward and Emily McWhinney Memorial Lecture
Memory and Trauma Through History and Culture Series
- Keynote & Panel I: Migrations in Modern History
- Panel II: Culture, Art and Migration
- Panel III: Migration and Politics
- Panel IV: Migrations in Antiquity, Renaissance and Medieval History
- Panel V: Migrations and Impact on the Individual
Thank you once again to all of our attendees, sponsors, co-hosts, and our guest speakers, for bringing this semester to life despite its virtual nature!
If you have a moment, please consider completing this six-minute online survey to provide feedback on our fall events. Your input will be used to shape future programming!
Department of Humanities launches student award to honour retired professor Paul Edward Dutton
Via FASS News
November 12, 2020
After 37 years of service at Simon Fraser University, Professor Paul Dutton from the Department of Humanities has retired. Dutton is an historian of the Middle Ages who introduced thousands of SFU students to the delights and mysteries of early European history and culture in such courses as HUM 105: Western Civilization, HUM 103: The Invention of the Book, and HUM 307: Carolingian Civilization...
New book, Neutral Countries as Clandestine Battlegrounds, 1939-1968: Between Two Fires sees two SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies professors contribute to understanding of Balkan states as clandestine battlegrounds during the Second World War and Cold War. Learn more about the text and the SNF conference that culminated in the book here!
Congratulations to Professor Dimitris Krallis, who has been promoted to full Professor, effective September 1st, 2020.
We're thrilled to share the first Humanities Student Union newsletter! Catch up on how our students, faculty, and staff are coping in the time of the coronavirus here: "HUMSU Community Over Covid Newsletter."
Remembering Mary-Ann Stouck (1941-2020)
Dr Mary-Ann Stouck, a long-time member of the English Department, died on April 4th. Highly regarded by her colleagues and students, she will be remembered for her outstanding commitment to university teaching and for her personal qualities of intelligence, honesty, kindness, and “self-depreciating wit.”
Mary-Ann and her husband David were a part of the 1966 generation of SFU teachers and scholars. A graduate of McMaster University and the University of Toronto, she epitomized the primary concern of Canadian universities for exceptional undergraduate and graduate teaching. She was a Professor of Middle English at SFU over 37 years and, as a colleague remarks, “she loved teaching Chaucer.” A former student, who followed her into the profession of English, remembers “A learned and warm-spirited guide who took students seriously, and prepared them to engage with medieval tales on their own—in, of course, the deeply, expertly informed historical, conceptual context she provided…. And she gave students the very special gift of learning how to hear Chaucer in his own voice, firsthand. From her instruction, they learned habits of scholarship, the delights that follow the discipline.”
She was a knowledgeable and effective committee member in the English Department and a highly successful administrator. Late in the 1980’s, the Co-coordinator of the Humanities Minor Program invited her to teach an occasional course on the ‘Saints.’ But when Paul Dutton became Chair of History, “she agreed to step in as Co-coordinator (from 1993-1995) and spear-headed the drive to create a major program in Humanities and set up our joint major and minor programs with other departments. It was thus Mary-Ann who put us on a course to departmental status, which happened under Steven Duguid.” She also played a key role in the Canadian Society of Medievalists in the 1990’s.
After her retirement Mary-Ann served the West Vancouver SPCA with great dedication and, reflecting her love of animals, wrote two children’s books: Jeannie Houdini, A Hamster's Tale and A Fine Winter's Cap. Also in the 1990’s she was appointed as a board member to the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, published Medieval Saints: A Reader (1999), and the extremely popular A Short Reader of Medieval Saints (2009) which is not just an abbreviated version of her earlier book but “a quick transfusion of Saints for the busy student and reader.”
Most striking was Mary Ann’s great courage during the final two years of her life, after she had been officially diagnosed as suffering from mesothelioma. She continued to meet friends and to say her good-byes without a trace of self-pity. When breathing became more difficult for her and ventilators were in demand at hospitals and care homes, she turned to MAiD for assistance. She died at home with her family around her, with dignity and grace.
By Sandra Djwa (with Tirthankar Bose, Paul Dutton, Janet Giltrow, and Kathy Mezei)
Check out HUM MA Alum, Maggie Ka-ying Tsang's FASS 2020 News spotlight: "SFU researcher bridges Traditional Chinese Medicine with First Nations communities"! Congratulations Maggie as you continue building your research alongside and across communities!
Congratulations to Maggie Tsang on convocating this October! Maggie successfully defended "Chinese Medicine as Hermeneutic Knowledge? On the Role of Classical Works such as Huangdi neijing suwen in Chinese Medicine" in July. She stopped in after the ceremony to take photos with her senior supervisor, and Humanities Department Chair Dr. Paul Crowe. Maggie is now a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU.
Congratulations to Alexis Wolfe on successfully defending "Symbolic Collisions: Short-Circuits in the Libidinal Economy"! Thanks to Dr. Paul Dutton for chairing and to the members of her examining committee Dr. Samir Gandesha (Sr. Supervisor), Dr. Gary McCarron (Supervisor), and Dr. Svitlana Matviyenko (Internal Examiner).
Congratulations to HUM Professor David Mirhady for his July 2019 election as Vice-President of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric! He will succeed to be its President after the 2021 meeting in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and host the 2023 meeting in Vancouver. Keep tuned!
The Department of Humanities, SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and Institute for the Humanities have collectively organized a panel which brings together speakers from different disciplines to offer critical reflections on the legacies of past pandemics and challenges in the present.
This (online) panel is the second installment of the Memory and Trauma Through History and Culture series which provides opportunities for scholars to critically reflect on the nature and evolution of societies and cultures through a multidisciplinary lens.
When: Friday, November 20th at 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM PST
Registration: Registration takes place through Eventbrite. On the morning of the day of the event, the link to the webinar will be distributed by email. The webinar can also be accessed through Eventbrite.
Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/128941017053
Global Art Exchange and Modernism in Socialist China (1949-1979)
This week, on October 30 and 31, 2020, SFU’s David Lam Centre and the SFU Department of Humanities are hosting the virtual conference, “Global Art Exchange and Modernism in Socialist China 1949-1979."
According the conference website, this event is the most recent of a series, “Art and Modernism in Socialist China,” which is an international cooperative research and publication project launched in 2017 at Taikang Space, Beijing. The focus of the workshop is “on global exchanges among left-wing artists and their impacts on Chinese art during the most rigid period of Socialist China. From artistic exchanges with Latin America to the Romanian school in Chinese art education; from discreet international exhibitions in China to underground artist groups during the Cultural Revolution.”
Organizer and SFU Humanities professor, Dr. Shuyu Kong, says panelists at the workshops this week will be presenting a complex view of contemporary Chinese art history.
Register here: Session One on October 30, 2020 + Session Two on October 31, 2020.
Institute Director, Samir Gandesha is participating in the Freud Museum's international online conference "Psychoanalysis and the Public Sphere: Social Fault Lines". His panel "Indelible Racism?" begins at 15:50 BST on September 20th! Book your ticket here!
Dr. Samir Gandesha, director of Simon Fraser University's Institute for the Humanities, will give three public lectures at the University of Winnipeg (U of W) on November 4th and 5th, 2019. For more information, follow this link to The Uniter, Winnipeg's weekly urban journal: http://uniter.ca/view/dr.-samir-gandesha-to-give-public-lectures
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