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.
The Department of Humanities is in the process of updating its website and would love to hear from you!
Please take this 7-minute survey to help us gather feedback on our current website. Whether or not you have used the website before, you are welcome to participate! Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated and will be used to improve our site to better suit the needs of our diverse community of students, staff, faculty, donors, alumni, and emeriti, to name a few.
All individuals participating in the survey will be eligible to win 1 of 6 gift cards valued at $100 CAD each, for use at one of two local indigenous bookstores, Massy Books and Iron Dog Books. Winners will be selected on June 1st and will be notified through email by Humanities staff.
If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact staff member Katie Nordgren (email@example.com).
Take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/W67RYDK
Thursday, May 6, 5:30PM–7:00PM, Via Zoom Webinar (Registration Required)
Organized and sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Italians endured the Black Death, climate change, banking collapse, chronic war, political turmoil and a Catholic Church in disarray. In the midst of these significant and overlapping crises, where did they turn for solutions? The humanities. As a curriculum of study, the humanities first emerged in the context of these crises. But more importantly, it emerged as a response to them. In this talk, Dr. Emily O’Brien will explore the many ways in which Renaissance Italian humanists served as first responders in an age of sustained crisis. They did so by translating a curriculum rich in history, rhetoric, moral philosophy, poetry into practical tools and innovative solutions for tackling the problems of their day. More than just a tour of Renaissance Italy, this story carries a critical message for us today as we face the challenges of Covid-19 and our other 21st-century crises: now more than ever, we need the humanities.
Emily O'Brien is an Associate Professor in the History and Humanities Departments at SFU. Her research focuses on the intersection of politics and intellectual culture in fifteenth-century Italy and, in particular, in the Renaissance papacy. She has published several articles and essays on the writings of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) and a monograph entitled The Commentaries of Pope Pius II (1458-1464) and the Crisis of the Fifteenth-Century Papacy (University of Toronto Press, 2015). Her current book project focus on civic consciousness and the reception of Cicero's De Officiis in Renaissance Italy.
The Institute for the Humanities is hiring for a Summer RA position
Do you have a passion for community engagement? Are you interested in gaining valuable research and editing experience? If you answered yes to the above questions, we invite you to apply for our Summer Research Assistant position. Application deadline is April 30th.
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