Research Networks

Our research networks foster interdisciplinary research and scholarly activities among faculty, faculty associates and graduate students.

These clusters serve as springboards for grant applications, events and workshops, new course and program development, and research innovation across the UBC campus and beyond.

The Critical Racial and Anti-Colonial Studies (CRACS) Research Network assembles UBC scholars whose work overlaps with themes covered by anti-racist and anti-colonial political movements, focusing on advancing a notion of social justice that foregrounds social transformation, not merely social inclusion. We hope to achieve this work by promoting scholarship and conversations in talks, lectures, workshops, and sponsorship of student-led initiatives.

We aim to promote research, engagement, student-faculty-community networking, and interdisciplinary understanding on questions at the interstices of social difference, inequality, and nature/environment. As such, our interests span fields of political ecology, critical nature studies, feminist and social justice research, environmental justice and activism, and affiliated fields.

More specifically, we aim to promote scholarship and interaction through talks and sponsoring visiting speakers through panel and teach-in discussions and workshopping works in progress. To this end, we host several events per year, including a half-day workshop for works in progress at the end of each spring term.

The Memory and Justice Studies network (MJS) offers research and learning opportunities for faculty, students, artists and activists interested in interdisciplinary research and praxis considering issues of mass violence, including war, atrocity, genocide, disaster, forced displacement, colonialism and slavery. Focused on questions on memory, social repair and transformative justice, the MJS network fosters creative and dynamic spaces for knowledge exchange and research-creation.

Our goal is to create a space of research, learning and public engagement that considers how communities affected by state repression or mass violence remember loss, talk about responsibility and seek justice. The network aims to contribute to GRSJ’s leadership in developing a transformative approach to social justice and providing opportunities for students, activists, scholars and artists to work, research, create and act in a growing number of areas affected by mass violence.

We understand that war, genocide, displacement, slavery, disaster, and settler colonialism have their own specific historical and material manifestations and discursive formulations. By bringing into conversation different histories and approaches and critical questions about how to decolonize the scholarly, creative and practice-based work on memory and justice, the network seeks to begin to establish more clearly the workings of memory and responsibility and map conceptual and creative ways to explore the subject.

Our focus on memory and responsibility interrogates the complex and diffuse manners in which people are implicated in the maintenance of violence; and what these acts of complicity reveal about the ways that systems of oppression and dispossession operate every day. It further aims to understand how mass violence is connected to broader systems of colonialism and capitalist formation and how non-official and socially lead responses to violence challenge the focus on transitions and legal accountability. By acknowledging historical and ongoing violence on land and social, human and other than human worlds and the ways regimes of violence such as sexism, classism or racism are exacerbated during periods of mass violence or disaster, we locate questions of responsibility concerning broader systems of dispossession, colonialism, extermination and cultural genocide.

Innovations in Social Justice Pedagogies: Disrupting the Narrative brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students interested in innovations in pedagogy from a social justice perspective. In particular, this network will focus on four interconnected areas: aspects of pedagogy such as evaluation and assessment techniques, accessibility in teaching and learning, social justice storytelling – how stories integrate into the classroom, and the research and development of best practices in syllabus production looking at options for creating templates for interactive course outlines with a focus on accessibility and sustainability.

Activities include:

  • Research
  • Focus groups with undergraduate students
  • Public learning opportunities in the form of pedagogy workshops with invited speakers
  • The creation of a digital pedagogy hub with syllabus templates and shareable resources across campus


Research Network Archives

Art/Criticality/Theory (A/C/T) is a network of scholars who approach the study of culture, literature, arts and performance from perspectives informed by and extending the traditions of critical theory in the global south and the northern metropoles.

Registered in the International Consortium of Critical Theory, A/C/T confronts the social, historical political and ideological framing of culture and promotes criticality in the service of social transformation.

Anti-colonial and anti-racist in bent, A/C/T explores emergent subjectivities and new social movements while recalling the complex genealogies of theory and the arts. Attentive to material practices, performance histories and the materiality of language, we share our knowledge of these histories and formal systems intending to explore and expose the constituent structures of power and proposing new avenues of critical engagement in social transformation.

The Indigenous Pedagogies research network represents a collaboration between Indigenous and feminist and GLBT faculty across diverse disciplines in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) and Critical Studies in Sexuality (CSIS).

While there has been an increasing number of Indigenous content course offerings across faculties, more so in Arts and Education here at UBC, and even a commitment to faculty and student development in raising awareness of indigenous issues, there remains a large gap in knowledge concerning Indigenous praxis.

University studies continue to be dominated by western, scientific and liberal thinking, leaving Indigenous knowledges and learning processes on the periphery. Decolonizing efforts cannot be limited to specific programs but rather seen as complex practices that need to be located across the institution.

Exploring love, loss and lament from critical – creative empathy perspectives and arts-based political practices in global-local contexts

We focus on creating global-local connections to foster a transnational and inter-cultural understanding of how Indigenous peoples and local settlers—whose lives and livelihoods are intimately intertwined with the life of rivers and watershed regions—(re)construct their past and (re)imagine the future of their social-ecological systems.

We are interested in how they make meaning and sense of place(s) through expressions of love, loss, lost memories, mourning and lament for the past, and hopes for an imagined future.

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