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KPU is preparing for more on-campus activity in Fall 2021. For more on what’s happening for Summer and Fall 2021 [Read more]

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ARTS Courses


Explore different disciplines of an Arts Degree in one of our Arts Courses. Through courses that explore a different topic each semester from a multidiscipline perspective (ARTS 1100), or an intensive interdisciplinary field school in the Amazon rain forest (ARTS 3000) students gain knowledge that spans multiple areas of study. For more information about how these exciting courses fit within your degree, please make an appointment to see an Arts Degree Advisor on Advisor Connect.

*NEW COURSE for Fall 2021* GLBL 2000: Intercultural Engagement in Practice

Students will explore global competencies while developing a curiosity and awareness about the cultural world beyond their immediate environment. They will recognize their own and others’ perspectives while developing a commitment to inclusion, participation and cooperation with diverse audiences. Through experiential learning, service-learning, and ePortfolio based assessment students will reflect critically on their classroom and personal experience to create a personal development roadmap. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) will be used to provide a baseline of cultural development and to contribute to the development of individual learning plans.

For more information, please contact Lesley McCannell at

*NEW COURSE for Spring 2022* ARTS 2000: The Science and Practice of Wellness

Research suggests that 90% of university students report feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at times. The majority of students also report above average stress levels, loneliness, and anxiety. Not surprisingly, these emotional struggles can take a significant toll on personal and academic well-being. Arts 2000 – The Science and Practice of Wellness aims to engage students in a wide range of practices that are linked to well-being. Together, we will learn about, apply, and reflect on the value of practices such as daily gratitude, time spent in nature, social connections, self-compassion, and mindfulness. This course is experiential in nature with students engaging in weekly wellness activities in smaller cohorts.

*Please note the course delivery mode may be subject to change.

ARTS 1100: Experiencing the Arts

Students will explore a broad and compelling theme through the lens of different Arts disciplines. The theme will change each semester. The course will be run by an instructor who is passionate about the theme, with class sessions taught by visiting instructors from areas such as History, Psychology, Geography, Fine Arts, Political Science, and other fields. This will help students realize how different fields within Arts are connected, as well as suggest directions for further study. They will learn to view their world through multiple, and sometimes contrasting, perspectives and develop intellectual skills which are essential for learning in various disciplines and for continued learning in life beyond the University.

  • Summer 2021: Lauren Harding, Holidays
    This course takes the common question "what did you do for your summer vacation?" and uses it to explore and introduce a variety of academic disciplines in the arts and humanities. In this course will we explore holidays, festivals, vacations and other breaks from the mundane to understand how making time for fun, for celebration and for adventure defines and shapes the human experience.

  • Fall 2021:
    Aaron Goodman, Empathy and the Arts (online)
    Empathy is defined by Oxford Reference as “the ability to imagine and understand the thoughts, perspective, and emotions of another person.” In this course, students will explore how empathy is understood and applied by practitioners and researchers in a range of liberal arts-related fields. These may include Anthropology, Asian Studies, Creative Writing, Criminology, Educational Studies, English, Fine Arts, Geography and the Environment, History, Indigenous Community Justice, Interdisciplinary Expressive Arts, Journalism and Communication Studies, Language and Culture, Music, NGO and Nonprofit Studies, Philosophy, Policy Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Students will engage with compelling readings, audio-visual materials, and learn from a number of faculty members at KPU. The class will be run asynchronously and online, with optional synchronous discussion periods to be determined.

    Robert Menzies, Introduction to Film Studies (online)
    This course will be an introduction to the study of "film," and will approach this medium from a number of methodological and disciplinary directions (History, Art History, Asian Studies, Literature, and so on).


ARTS 3000: Interdisciplinary Amazon Field School

Learners will engage in an intensive interdisciplinary field school in the Amazon rain forest. They will take part in cultural and creative immersion activities, participate in community engagement projects, and contextualize their field learning by classroom-based analysis and critical reflection before and after their field experiences. They will develop interdisciplinary skills in creativity, academic inquiry, ecology and conservation, cultural awareness, environmental design, design thinking, and community development. Learners will become familiar with various expressive modalities of the Amazon region (e.g. design, writing, music, movement, expressive arts, materiality, storytelling, etc.) and will explore the application of those modalities in an integrative learning environment. Note: Students will spend two weeks at the Field School site in addition to class sessions on campus before and after travel. Students must be nineteen years or older at the start of the course

ARTS 3200: Inside-Out Prison Exchange

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program works with equal numbers of learners from KPU and from inside the prison in a transformative, collaborative learning community. Students will address issues of violence, alternatives to violence and transformation through an experiential learning process.

This course takes place within a provincial corrections institution in Surrey, BC (Surrey Pretrial Services Centre located at 14323 57 Ave, Surrey, BC.) There will be an equal number of inside (incarcerated) students and outside (KPU) students enrolled in this course. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 9:30 - 3:20 pm. The topic for this iteration of Arts 3200 will be Violence, Alternatives to Violence & Transformation. The first half of the course will explore the roots of both interpersonal and structural violence and its impacts on people, relationships and society. The second half of the course will introduce students to alternatives to violence including conflict resolution and peacemaking practices such as restorative justice. We will conclude with reflections on what it will take to transform ourselves and society in order to lower levels of violence.

File Inside Out 2020 Application Form

ARTS 4800: Arts Practicum

The ARTS practicum course introduces students to the workplace and degree-relevant entry-level work through placement in an employment setting. During the term, students complete 48 to 64 workplace hours (approximately 4-6 hours per week). The course is for senior students with a declared Major or Minor in Geography, History, Philosophy, Policy Studies, Journalism or Political Science. For more information visit the Arts Practicum website.

ARTS 3991, 3992, 3993: Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

Students will conduct research and scholarship in collaboration with a faculty mentor. This course will offer experiential learning in an academic setting by partnering students with faculty who have, or are initiating, research projects. Students will advance their research and professional skills, integrating these skills within a faculty-led project, through such activities as conducting a literature review, applying for Research Ethics Board approval, conducting research, applying research methods, drafting and revising reviews and/or articles, researching and compiling materials for conference presentations, and performing data analysis.

For program-specific information please contact:

For administrative questions please contact: Anne Lin

Exploring the Backstage of Climate Science Assessment: An Ethnographic study of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

This 3 credit course centers on the analysis of qualitative interview data that was gathered in 2018, 2019 and 2020 through open-ended, semi-structured interviews with social and natural scientists who are volunteering to write Assessment Reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is expected that students will code data using NVivo qualitative data analysis software according to a coding scheme developed with the faculty mentor. Students will also be asked to write an annotated bibliography relevant to the ethnographic study of climate change and global environmental assessments.

The first part of the term will consist of gaining familiarity with NVivo and writing the annotated bibliography. The second part of the term will focus on data analysis. As course outcomes, students will learn how to conduct qualitative data analysis, and gain an understanding of climate change as a social and political problem.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
The ability to adhere to the highest ethical standards of Academic Integrity and preserve the confidentiality of data is of paramount importance. The ability to think critically, ask questions, and communicate clearly is essential. Preference will be given to students who can demonstrate familiarity with qualitative research methods, qualitative data analysis, the sociology of scientific knowledge or science and technology studies, and the role, purpose and history of the IPCC. Instruction will be provided on how to use NVivo qualitative data analysis software.

Contact Email:

The changing role of universities in an era of superdiversity- with Lilach Marom (‚Äč‚ÄčEducational Studies)

This project is an attempt to engage with the growing phenomenon of superdiversity (Vertovec, 2007) in the context of Canadian higher education. Superdiversity, as a conceptual tool, urges scholars and practitioners to move beyond one-dimensional analysis of diversity, to identify more nuanced patterns that underlie societies nowadays. I aim to demonstrate the importance of unpacking intersections of global and local contexts in formulating how higher education can best respond to the educational needs of individual learners and their communities in the context of superdiversity. This project will explore the challenges and opportunities afforded by superdiversity in the context of Canadian higher education in multiple ways by: 1. Considering contextual inequalities and the need in higher education to recognize and confront challenges and issues that superdiversity presents; and 2. Addressing the practical ways in which educators and administrators can support superdiverse learners and communities. Students would get an opportunity to: 1. Conduct literature review 2. Help in recruiting participants 3. Data transcribing 4. Editing and copy editing. This is a 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required :
1. English proficiency
2. High level of academic writing and academic search

Contact Email:

The lived experience of post secondary students, managing a chronic physical illness while attending university- with Briar Schulz (Educational Studies)

Completion of a post secondary education is clearly linked with educational advancement and achievement, employment, income, in addition to overall individual and societal improvement. An increasing number of people are living with chronic physical health conditions and entering the Canadian post-secondary environment. But little is known about the lived experience of students managing a chronic physical health condition and how that impacts their postsecondary education, or what supports are needed to ensure their academic success. To date, there is strong empirical evidence suggesting the vulnerability of this population as they navigate multimorbidity (more than one condition, such as physical and mental health conditions together), marginalization, altered self-concepts and necessary adaptations to physical, and psychological limitations. Furthermore, the voice of Canadian post-secondary students on this subject is notably absent. The purpose of this narrative study is to examine the lived experience of postsecondary students studying and living with a chronic physical health condition using photovoice to extend the narrative research landscape. Finally, the results of this study can inform and prioritize appropriate resources for this population, supporting their academic success, and long term health and wellness. A student assisting in this research project would take on the status of a research assistant, and would be involved in all aspects of the research process, including conducting a literature review, applying for Research Ethics Board approval, conducting research, applying research methods, drafting and revising reviews and/or articles, researching and compiling materials for conference presentations, and performing data analysis. This would be a 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
CNPS 4300 Counselling Skills

Contact Email:

Governing Complexity: Future-proofing Higher Education Internationalization in Times of Uncertainty- with Conrad King (Political Science)

This course involves learning basic research design for qualitative research in the arts and social sciences. The research project is in its first phase, and it is part of an international research collaboration involving universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Our research group is trying to understand the interaction between higher education public policies, and a particular set of ‘end-users’ of higher education – international students. Students will learn about the overall research design of this project, and learn some elements of data collection, such as how to conduct a literature review. Students involved in this ARTS 3991, ARTS 3992 or ARTS 3993 research course would receive mentoring in social science research and methods. They will develop a literature review, as well as be involved in the development of presentations for local and international conferences, and papers for publication. Students will need to: have the use of a laptop and secure access to Wifi, have strong English language skills, excellent communication skills, competence with library search engines, and some interest in higher education politics and policy. There is the possibility to be involved in other aspects of the research (such as compiling survey data or preparing focus group material), depending on the skills and availability of the student. This could be a 1, 2 or 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
Ideally, students will have completed EDUC 1100: Introduction to Higher Education. They will possess advanced English language skills, and be familiar with library resources (for example, having completed the library’s research module:

Contact Email:

Mountains in Motion: Researching the Great Assam Earthquake in Upland Northeast India- with Kyle Jackson (History)

On 12 June 1897, Northeast India shook itself apart. In the Khasi Hills, ten-foot-tall stone megaliths shot out of the earth like darts. Boulders bounced like pebbles. In the hill station of Shillong, the earth ripped open in vast cracks, pulling down masonry buildings, buckling railways, and obliterating road networks. The shaking was most severe alongside soft-sediment riverbanks, where carcasses of Gangetic dolphins could be seen floating down the Brahmaputra River. When it was all over, the earthquake had laid waste to an area nearly half the size of British Columbia, from the epicentral tract around the mountains of Shillong down to the plains of Calcutta.

The Great Assam Earthquake of 1897 catalyzed human migrations, diverted the course of rivers, and disturbed watersheds and drainage networks. It crippled the finances of foreign missionary societies and spurred nascent governmental relief efforts, diverting funds from Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations. It permanently submerged thousands of acres of rice-growing land under sand and water. As humans in Shillong suffered from typhoid and homelessness in the wake of the destruction, Assam’s muga worms suffered their own population collapses, undercutting the silk industry. At the apex of the British Empire, colonial science responded to the disaster by transforming the region into a mountain laboratory where scientists would lay the imperial foundations of modern geology, theorizing new understandings about the focal points of quakes, the propagation of seismic waves, and the very structure of the Earth. But the quake generated other, forgotten seismologists, too: Khasis saw evidence of the colossal frog U Jumai, on whose back the world rested. Welsh missionaries blamed the earthquake on the sinfulness of the peoples among whom they worked. And Mizos theorized anew about the shape of the world, hypothesizing the involvement of immense beetles. Despite its profound significance to these diverse and entangled pasts in the history of India, the Great Assam Earthquake of 1897 remains hard to locate in the modern historiography of India.

As we are experiencing in the era of COVID-19, disasters expose and heighten social inequalities. They also have long tails: their effects can far outlast their immediate duration. In modern times, disasters are also moments when states are emboldened to reach in unprecedented ways into the everyday lives of citizens. Fundamentally transregional and transformational, the Great Assam Earthquake of 1897 demands interdisciplinary historical analysis that follows the quake’s many tails, trespasses across established regions of study, and moves across conventional boundaries segregating the study of Indigenous knowledges from the study of colonial science.

This ARTS 3993 research project invites an outstanding, self-motivated student to join Dr. Jackson in a preliminary foray into the archival materials he has gathered thus far. These sources are drawn from private and public collections in the United Kingdom, Assam, and elsewhere in Northeast India.

The successful research student will carry out five major responsibilities:

1) Conduct a literature review on the 1897 quake, producing an exhaustive annotated bibliography of existing secondary studies, while gathering any potential source materials digitally

2) Conduct a literature review of recent historical studies of other modern earthquakes (e.g. Bolton’s The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes), while gathering supporting source materials digitally where possible

3) Read and take detailed notes from digitized archival materials drawn from repositories in India and the UK (topics of note to be decided by the student in conversation with Dr. Jackson)

4) Generate a spreadsheet of archival repositories in the USA holding materials on the quake (e.g. correspondence from American missionaries stationed locally), along with specific archival call numbers for future use

5) Assist Dr. Jackson in developing and using quantitative methods for analyzing copies of the regional, historical newspaper Mizo leh Vai Chanchin

The student’s research assistance will be gratefully credited in any related future publications. These may include an article, a series of articles, or a larger book project, depending on where the sources lead.

This would be a 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
The student researcher must be comfortable working with copious digital photographs of historical documents. They should be prepared for a heavy reading load and be able to work independently and with consistent pace. They should have the ability to grasp and articulate the central arguments of scholarly articles and books. It would be an asset for the student to have significant experience with using library and archive catalogues and/or to have studied historical earthquakes in other courses. The student should be open-minded about learning and conducting independent historical research using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Contact Email:

The Study of Sea Level Rise and Drought Issues in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand and How Human Security is Impacted- with Ross Pink (Political Science)

Climate change is the leading development and human rights issue in the 21st Century. The Course will give a student the valuable opportunity to study and research core areas of climate change. The ideal Student candidate will be 3rd or 4th year, focused upon environmental studies through Political Science, Geography, Economics or a related Faculty and interested in a green career path.

This would be a 3 credit course.

Contact Email: