Reading from Here

What does it mean to read and study language, literature, and culture in our current location?

Located on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam peoples, and formed through histories of colonial settlement and global migrations, our department engages in the study of language, literature, and culture as as means of critically responding to the social and historical forces that have shaped our current location.

Just as our faculty, staff, and students arrive at UBC through diverse itineraries – intellectual and otherwise – our department strives to engage with the global dimensions of literatures and cultures in English as well as established histories of translation and cross-cultural exchange. Informed by rich theoretical and methodological traditions in our respective disciplines, our research and teaching extends to emerging forms of communication and creative expression including new media and genres that go “beyond the book.” Instead of being limited by markers of period, genre, or theoretical approach, our department strives to be an exciting locus of intellectual exchange and debate.

Because critical reading and thinking lies at the core of effective and meaningful expression, we strive to equip our students with skills in writing and other forms of communication that will prepare them for a range for careers. We encourage students to adapt what they learn in the classroom to engage with communities on campus and beyond. Mindful that the histories that formed the University have often been exclusionary and oppressive, we strive to create spaces where difficult conversations can be cultivated in an ethical and, hopefully, transformative manner.

– Chris Lee, Associate Professor