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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: Alex Oliphant

Creating a Collaberative Digital Memorial with People Affected by the Overdose Crisis

This is a Chancellor’s Chair research project focused on collaboratively constructing three digital memorials with people affected by the overdose crisis. The project is running for three years, and is led by Aaron Goodman, faculty member in the Journalism and Communication Studies department at KPU. Two student research assistants are working hard on the project, and we would welcome additional participation and assistance from students.

Students may perform the following tasks and others:

  • Taking part in remote, weekly meetings with Aaron and research assistants.
  • Helping to record remote peer-to-peer audio interviews with people who have lost family members, partners, colleagues, and others to fatal overdoses.
  • Editing audio interviews.
  • Finding scholarly journal articles and other sources relevant to the project.
  • Writing research summaries about scholarly journal articles and other sources.
  • Helping to conceptualize three digital memorials.

Minimum Qualifications Required: 

30 Credits from courses at the 1100 level of higher, and approval of the Dean. 

Contact Email:

EDIing HIgher Education: Unpacking Multiple Tensions

This study aims to explore faculty and administrators' perceptions and to unveil tensions surrounding equity, diversity, and includsion (EDI) processes in higher education through a case study of EDI process currently underway at KPU. I am interested in unoacking tensions between EDI discourses and practice as well as in exploring the diverse reasons for supporting ot critiquing EDI processes. 3 Credits, 2 Students. Students will conduct lit review, data analysis, transcribing, and editing. 

Minimum Qualifications Required:

English proficiency, good reasing, writing, and editing skills, good work ethis, critical thinking and self-discipline, interests in the research topic. 

Contact Email:

Decolonizing Music Education: Contemporary Perspectives and Implications for Innovative Curricular Design of Post-Secondary Music Degree Programs

This Project addresses fundimental issues at the forefront of contemporary educaion. It investigates current perspectives on decolonization and explores how the curricular design of post-secondary degree programs may be affected by them. In the Fall 2021 semester, the student research assistant will collaborate with the instructor to assess, organize, and collate findings from previously completed research, survey digital and print literature, and develop strategies for innovative curricular design. In future semesters, students may have the opportunity to contribute to published articlesthat documents the team's findings and participate in conference presentations. This project has student learning outcomes appropriate to meet a 3 Credit Course. 

Minimum Qualifications Required: 

Current participation in a post-secondary, undergraduate degree program; an interest in decolonization, social justice, or the de-centralization of historical European and American perspectives on curricular design, the ability to review and summarize digital and print materials; the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English through speaking and writing; the ability to work collaboratively within a team and under supervision of a faculty mentor. 

Contact Email:

Portraits of the Artist as a Kept Man: Normative Masculinity in American Literature and Film, 1945-1961

I am working on two articles that both explore the issue of masculinity and normative gender roles in the post-World War Two era. One article focuses on questioning how radial Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road truly was, especially in its portrayal of gender roles. I argue that by eliminating Dean's bisexuality from initial draft of the novel, Kerouac made Dean more traditionally heterosexual, ans thus more acceptable to mainstream audiences. I will compare this novel to Ginsberg's poem Howl and Baldwin's novel Giovanni's Room, which were criticized for their more open portrayal of homosexuality and questioning of traditional gender norms. The second article focuses on exploring four Hollywood films that present the male artist as a kept man, thus violating traditional gender normas by giving the woman the financial power in the relationship: Humouresque (1946), Sunset Boulevard (1950), An American in Paris (1951), and  Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). The student will explore theses texts, and also do background research on gender roles in the time period, as well as find scholarly articles and books on these texts. This will be a 3 credit course. 

Minimum Qualifications Required: 

A strong interest in literature and folm and in the topic of gender roles, especially masculinities, and experience researching and writing about literature. 

Contact Email:

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: