Last updated: June 12, 2014 @ 01:53PM

Interdisciplinary Humanities

PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Field of Specialization
Critique and Social Transformation
Culture and Aesthetics
Digital Humanities
Ways of Knowing

J. Douglas Kneale
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Carol U. Merriam
Faculty of Humanities

Core Faculty

Sandra Beckett (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Irene Maria F. Blayer (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Leah Bradshaw (Political Science),Wing-Cheuk Chan (Philosophy), Christine Daigle (Philosophy), Martin Danahay (English Language and Literature), Corrado Federici (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Barry K. Grant (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Rosemary Drage Hale (Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies), J. Douglas Kneale (English Language and Literature ), Jane Koustas (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Jack N. Lightstone (History), Joe Norris (Dramatic Arts), John Sainsbury (History), Elizabeth Sauer (English Language and Literature)

Associate Professors
Michael Berman (Philosophy), Gregory Betts (English Language and Literature), John Bonnett (History/Digital Humanities), Janet Conway (Sociology), Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), Michael Driedger (History), Ifeanyi Ezeonu (Sociology), David Fancy (Dramatic Arts), Allison Glazebrook (Classics), Elizabeth Greene (Classics), Kevin Kee (History/ Interactive Arts and Science), Leah Knight (English Language and Literature), Brian Lightbody (Philosophy), Ingrid Makus (Political Science), Mathew Martin (English Language and Literature), Carol U. Merriam (Classics), Behnaz Mirzai (History), Shannon Moore (Child and Youth Studies), Tom Mulligan (OBHREE), Elizabeth Neswald (History), Olatunji Ojo (History), Catherine Parayre (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Brian E. Power (Music), Daniel Samson (History), Hans Skott-Myhre (Child and Youth Studies), Cristina Santos (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), R. Angus K. Smith (Classics), Mark Spencer (History), Linda Steer (Visual Arts)

Assistant Professors
Stefan Dolgert (Political Science), Donna Szoke (Visual Arts)

Graduate Program Director
Linda Steer

Administrative Assistant
Michèle Black

Program Description

Brock University's Interdisciplinary Humanities doctoral program provides students with a focussed context in which to engage with topics integral to the contested notions of knowledge, values, and creativity, as reflected in the specific fields of Critique and Social Transformation, Culture and Aesthetics, Digital Humanities, and Ways of Knowing (Epistemologies).

The program is committed to providing a rigorous interdisciplinary teaching and research environment that nurtures scholarly and creative activity. Such endeavours aim to investigate the past as well influence the ways in which reflection and creation contribute to the further unfolding of society and culture.

Students pursuing Brock University's Interdisciplinary Doctoral Humanities Program will have the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines.

Admission Requirements

Successful completion of a Master's degree in a humanities or cognate discipline, normally with a minimum average grade of 80%. Agreement from a faculty member to supervise the student is also required for admission to the program.

The Graduate Admission Committee will review all applications and recommend admission of a limited number of suitable candidates.

Part-time study is not available.

Degree Requirements

Students are required to take HUMA 7P01, 7P02 and four additional half-courses. Students may take a maximum of two half-course electives at either the MA or PhD level selected from the Faculty of Graduate Studies course bank. One of these two half-courses may be HUMA 7P90. All electives must be approved by the course instructor, the student's supervisor and the Graduate Program Director.

Students will normally be required to demonstrate reading competence in a language other than English. The language should be appropriate to the student's plan of study. Demonstration of competence will normally be made within the first 24 months of enrollment.

Students will be required to write and defend a thesis that makes a substantial and original contribution to existing scholarship and must be interdisciplinary in approach and scope, drawing on studies undertaken in coursework as well as in the comprehensive examination.

Students must take two written and one oral comprehensive examinations, demonstrating knowledge of at least one specific discipline and two fields of interdisciplinary humanities. These examinations must be taken by the eighth term of enrollment (end of April in Year 3). Students must complete all of their course requirements, the language exam and the thesis proposal before they take the comprehensive examinations. The specific exam will cover the student's proposed area of research. This examination committee consists of the student's supervisory committee. The general exam will cover two of the four fields of specialization and will be based on a reading list provided by the Graduate Committee. This examination committee consists of the student's supervisor and two additional members from participating faculty or the program committee. A participating faculty member who is not on either of the written exam committees will chair the oral exam. The oral examination committee will consist of the examination committees of both written exams. If failed, the student must repeat the examination within three months. A student who fails twice will be withdrawn from the program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Course Descriptions

Students must check to ensure that prerequisites are met. Students may be deregistered, at the request of the instructor, from any course for which prerequisites and/or restrictions have not been met.
Critical Theory: Frankfurt School
(also offered as PHIL 5V04)
A consideration of Frankfurt School Critical Theory through an examination of its core thinkers, including, but not limited to: Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Fromm, Habermas, Honneth. Themes discussed may include: instrumental rationality, domination, Freudo-Marxism, authoritarianism, constellations, ideology, fragmentary discourse, politics and aesthetics.

Merleau-Ponty: The Art of Perception
(also offered as PHIL 5P71 and SCLA 5P71)
Merleau-Ponty’s treatments and analyses of the visual (painting and film) and literary arts, seen as products, explorations, and distortions of human perception and embodied subjectivity, which shed light on our cultural and pre-cultural experiences of the world.

Humanities Computing
(also offered as HIST 5V71)
Use of the computer for research, teaching, and expression in the Humanities to support teaching and research, including topics such as text analysis, high performance computing, Geographic Information Systems, quantitative methods, photo-editing and animation, simulations, and serious games.

PhD Thesis
Preparation, public defence, and examination of a thesis that is interdisciplinary in approach and that demonstrates the candidate's capacity for independent thought and study.

Interdisciplinary Research and Writing in the Humanities
The nature and academic requirements of interdisciplinary studies, including research methodologies and resources. Focus on reading, discussion, writing, and the ongoing construction of an interdisciplinary thesis in the Humanities.

Fields of Interdisciplinary Study
Introduction to the four fields of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Humanities: 1) Epistemologies; 2) Critique and Social Transformation; 3) Culture and Aesthetics; 4) Technology and Digital Humanities.

Teaching Apprenticeship
Participation in the development and delivery of an undergraduate course under the mentorship of a Brock faculty member. Development of a teaching portfolio.
Note: this course will be evaluated as Credit/No-Credit.

Recycling of Stories in Contemporary Culture
Intermedial phenomenon of retelling traditional and classic stories for a contemporary audience of all ages. Biblical narratives, folk and fairy tales, oriental tales, myth, legend, literary classics for adults, canonical children's books in a variety of genres and media. Theory of intertextuality; verbal and visual retellings; aesthetics and codes; narrative strategies; generic transposition; intermedial transformation; production, reception, and marketing.

Text, Context, Intertext in Narrative: Constituting and Locating the Self in Culture
Interdisciplinary, intercultural and comparative approach to the study of narrative as it contributes to the construction of the self and cultures. Analysis of orality, storytelling, performance, narrative, memory, and cultural identity. Authors may include Benjamin, Ong, Ricoeur, Lejeune, White, Taylor.

Genre and Cultural Production: Form and Meaning
Genre theory and criticism of cultural productions such as film, television, literature, print, and music.

Hermeneutics of Personal, Social, and Artistic Transformation(s)
Theories of interpretation structure subjective and intersubjective experience. Theorists may include M. Heidegger, H. G. Gadamer, P. Ricoeur, H. Marcuse, R. Ingarten, M. Foucault, and J. Habermas.

Feminist Thought: Constructive Revisions of the Canon
Interdisciplinary approach to the role played by feminist thought in examining and reinterpreting central notions that pervade all disciplines, such as identity, individuality, alterity, rationality, knowledge, solidarity, community, engagement. Authors may include Beauvoir, Braidotti, Butler, Cixous, Fraser, Grosz, Haraway, Kristeva, Irigaray, Benhabib, Jaggar, and Ziarek.

Colonial/Post-colonial Histories
Examination of colonial and post-colonial history, fiction and art in colonial and settler-colonial societies.

Subjectivity Beyond Postmodern Global Capitalism
An examination of the possibilities of reconstituting subjectivity outside the logic of capitalist identity, through theory and literature. Writers include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Thomas Pynchon, RD Laing, Felix Guattari, Giorgio Agamben, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others.

Theory and Praxis of Digital Humanities
Introduction to computationally-supported methods and applications for analysis, expression, and teaching in the digital humanities. Course will provide readings on topics ranging from agent-based simulations to text analysis, and practical instruction in 3D modeling and Geographic Information Systems.
Note: No programming skills required.

Deep Maps in the Digital Humanities
Course provides a theoretical and practical overview of evolving expressive forms in the digital humanities, with a specific focus on the deep map. Students will review extant literature on the deep map, and participate in the conception, creation and design assessment of a proposed innovation for the Deep Map, expressed in Augmented Reality.

Directed Reading
Research course with directed study and regular meetings with a faculty member, covering topics not offered in a designated course, and with permission of the Graduate Program Director.