Last updated: June 14, 2017 @ 01:22PM

Interdisciplinary Humanities

PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities

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

Carol U. Merriam
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Michael Carter
Faculty of Humanities

Core Faculty

Irene Maria F. Blayer (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Leah Bradshaw (Political Science), Christine Daigle (Philosophy), Martin Danahay (English Language and Literature), , Barry K. Grant (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Jane Koustas (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Jack N. Lightstone (History), Mathew Martin (English Language and Literature), Carol U. Merriam (Classics), 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), Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), Michael Driedger (History), Ifeanyi Ezeonu (Sociology), David Fancy (Dramatic Arts), Margot Francis (Women's and Gender Studies/Sociology), Allison Glazebrook (Classics), Elizabeth Greene (Classics), Scott Henderson (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Leah Knight (English Language and Literature), Brian Lightbody (Philosophy), Ingrid Makus (Political Science), Behnaz Mirzai (History), Elizabeth Neswald (History), Trevor Norris (Education), Olatunji Ojo (History), Catherine Parayre (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Brian E. Power (Music), Daniel Samson (History), 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), Jason Hawreliak (Centre for Digital Humanities), Peter Lester (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Donna Szoke (Visual Arts)

Adjunct Professors
Hans Skott-Myhre (Child and Youth Studies)

Graduate Program Director
Christine Daigle

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, Technology and Digital Humanities, and Ways of Knowing.

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 as 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. An interview may be required.

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. HUMA 7P05 may not be used to fulfill HUMA degree requirements. All electives must be approved by the course instructor, the student's supervisor and the Graduate Program Director.

Language Requirement
Students will be required to demonstrate reading competency in one language other than English by
means of a written examination. Students will translate a passage into English. Students are required to take the exam in the year of their entry into the program and each September thereafter until they pass, to a maximum total of three attempts.
The language chosen is to be related to the program of study and must be approved by the supervisor.
Evidence of passing a similar language exam in an MA degree may take the place of the PhD language
exam with the approval of the Graduate Program Director.

Students are required to take the research and professionalization seminar (HUMA 7N07) in both first and second year of the program.

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 examinations.

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. The general exam will cover two of the four fields of specialization and will be based on a reading list provided by the Program Committee.

Course Descriptions

Note that not all courses are offered in every session. Refer to the applicable timetable for details.

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.
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.

Graduate Seminar in Political Theory (Political Theory for Posthumans)
(also offered as POLI 5P83)
A comparison of important and opposing contemporary approaches to the interpretation of major texts or issues in political theory.

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.

Professionalization and Research Seminar
Non-credit compulsory research seminar for first and second-year students. Forum to develop thesis research topics and academic skills.

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.
Prerequisite(s): HUMA 7P01, 7P02 and four additional half-courses. Completed thesis proposal.
Note: This course will be evaluated as Credit/No-Credit and cannot be used as an elective to fulfill the PhD in Interdisciplinary degree requirements.

Buddhism and Psychoanalysis
Interdisciplinary study of the relationship between Buddhism and psychoanalysis as it has developed from Freud to the present. Theorists such as Freud, Hui-neng, D.T. Suzuki, Lacan, Mari Ruti and Z︣iz︣ek.

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.

Trauma, Subjectivity, and Culture
Trauma studies as a field of interdisciplinary study. The relationships among trauma, subjectivity, art, and culture studied through selected theorists, such as Caruth, LaCapra, and Scarry, and selected works of art.

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.

Fanaticism: Political and Aesthetic Dimensions
Analysis of texts and art related to political, religious, and aesthetic extremism, excess, passion – and their value-counterparts: moderation, balance, and reason. Discussions and debates will focus on how these conceptual dichotomies have shaped thought, dissent, and creative activity from the ancient world until the present.

Consumerism as Worldview
Explores the origins, nature and implications of consumerism as a worldview from historical, philosophical, political, cultural and ecological perspectives. Themes to be examined include: commodification; branding; ‘McDonaldization’; citizen/consumer and modern/postmodern divide; historical progress; and technology and ideology. Authors may include Marx, Arendt, Heidegger, Baudrillard.

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.

Principles of Interactive Media: Theory and Design
Key theoretical concepts and debates related to interactivity, games, participatory media, and design. Analysis of interactive texts including videogames, augmented reality platforms, and social networking sites.

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.