Concordia University

Message from the Humanities Director

Shaping the future of knowledge and creative expression through interdisciplinary research and creation.

David Howes, Acting Graduate Program Director David Howes, Acting Graduate Program Director

Many of today’s vital issues consist of manifold and connected elements that call for an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and creative expression — something the Humanities interdisciplinary PhD program, housed in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC), is particularly well placed to offer. Humanities students enter the program with an MA or MFA, come from a variety of disciplines across the humanities, social sciences and fine arts, and benefit from a lively and supportive milieu conducive to innovation and cross-fertilization. Two exciting student-led events in 2015-16 – the Humanities Graduate Conference on Consumption and Detritus: Stories of Destruction and Reconstruction, and the Interdisciplinary Dialogues panel on Music is the Body – exemplify the rich diversity and innovative edge of Humanities students’ research and research-creation projects.   

Humanities PhD students are able to create their own path and pursue original interdisciplinary projects while supported by an advisory committee of three faculty members who can be chosen from departments across the Humanities, Social Sciences and Fine Arts at Concordia (see Faculty Profiles). In keeping with a growing desire for new ways of knowing and making, the Humanities program also welcomes research-creation projects that combine creative practice with scholarly investigation. Concordia has a long tradition of championing interdisciplinarity – see Research Currents for some of these areas of expertise and excellence – and Humanities students and their advisors are key participants in Concordia’s outstanding research and research-creation centres and labs, including Milieux (and its 7 research clusters: Community and Differential Mobilities; Indigenous Futures; Media History; Performance, Immersion and Interactivity; Post Image; Technoculture Art and Games; Textiles); Hexagram; Matralab; SenseLab; Mobile Media Lab; Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling; Feminist Media StudioCentre for Sensory Studies, Media History Research Centre, Centre for Expanded Poetics, Centre for Curating & Public Scholarship, and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre. Alongside their advisors Humanities students are also engaged in exciting inter-university collaborative research projects such as CRIHN, Figura/NT2, QCBS, and IMMERSe.

You can get a sense of the expansive range of innovative, provocative and inspiring projects by Humanities students past and present by perusing the current Student Profiles and browsing Humanities PhD theses, where you will find such recent award-winning theses as Iona Radu’s “Miyupimaatisiiun in Eeyou Istchee: Healing and Decolonization in Chisasibi”  (2015), Mona Tajali’s “Demanding a Seat at the Table: Iranian and Turkish Women’s Organizing for Political Representation”  (2014), and Myriam Suchet’s “Textes hétérolingues et textes traduits : de ‘la langue’ aux figures de l’énonciation. Pour une littérature comparée différentielle” (2010).

For recent ground-breaking Humanities theses by artist-researchers, see Adad Hannah’sExtending the Instantaneous: Pose, Performance, Duration, and the Construction of the Photographic Image from Muybridge to the Present Day (2013); Taien Ng-Chan's "Detouring the Commute (the art and practice of everyday travel)" (2016); Jaclyn Meloche's "Materials Matter: The Politics of Posthumanist Performativity in Contemporary Studio Practice" (2015); and Tatiana Koroleva's "(Un)Disciplined Bodies: Ascetic Transformation in Performance Art" (2014).

Since its founding in 1973 the Humanities interdisciplinary PhD program has been a premier site for innovative research and creation, and our Alumni have gone on to pursue fulfilling and successful careers in academia, the arts, government, community organizations, and the private sector.

We welcome inquiries from prospective students interested in exploring how their interests may fit within our program, and look forward to seeing you at the varied CISSC and Humanities events throughout the year.

Best wishes,

Dr. David Howes
Acting Graduate Program Director

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