Concordia University



Message from the Humanities Director

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

Erin Manning, Graduate Program Director Erin Manning, Graduate Program Director

Imagine a PhD that is yours to design! This is what we propose with the PhD in the Humanities. You choose what your approach is, and with whom you wish to work, focusing primarily but not necessarily exclusively on faculty from across Concordia University (see Faculty Profiles). You put your courses together to best orient your proposed research. Particularly suited for mid-career researchers and practitioners (but open to emerging scholars and artists as well), this is a program that suits those who have a vision, are working at the interstices of areas that don't easily fall into disciplinary frames, work locally as well as internationally, want to reorient their practices and create news ways of thinking and making. Research-creation is at the heart of what we do - a practice-based approach not restricted to art-making. How does your work alter how we learn and how we know? This is something we are interested in exploring with you.

The PhD in the Humanities is dedicated to research across the fine arts, the humanities and the social sciences. We understand practice as the art of thinking as well as the art of making. We don't propose new boundaries for thought. Our invitation is to open thought to the limit, to ask what else thought can look like. Does this look like ethnographic research, like creative writing, like sculpture, like dance? Does it propose new ways of choreographic thinking? New forms of writing? Philosophic thought at the crossroads with decolonial thought and practice? Critical race studies? Trans-thought and practice?

The PhD in the Humanities is housed in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture. 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.

Concordia University 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 GamesHexagramMatralabSenseLab; Mobile Media Lab; Centre for Oral History and Digital StorytellingFeminist Media StudioCentre for Sensory StudiesMedia History Research CentreCentre for Expanded PoeticsCentre 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 CRIHNFigura/NT2QCBS, 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 Womens Organizing for Political Representation”  (2014), and Myriam Suchet’s “Textes hétérolingues et textes traduits : de la langueaux figures de l’énonciation. Pour une littérature comparée différentielle” (2010).

For recent ground-breaking Humanities theses by artist-researchers, see Adad Hannahs “Extending 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).

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.

Dr. Erin Manning
Humanities PhD Program Director
Research Chair, Relational Art and Philosophy
Concordia University

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