UBC Okanagan was founded in Kelowna in 2005 as the second campus of the University of British Columbia, one of the leading research-intensive universities in Canada. In addition to being the traditional unceded territory of the Sylix and Nlaka’pamux First Nations, the Okanagan Valley is characterised by a shrub steppe biome and Mediterranean climate that is common in the USA, but restricted to the Southern Interior of British Columbia north of the border. This bioregional peculiarity, and the cultural phenomena that respond to and reshape it, is the topic of the research project, ‘Kelownafornia: Cultures of Nature in the Okanagan Valley’. The research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and led by Dr Greg Garrard, Professor of Environmental Humanities.
This multidisciplinary project is centred in the environmental humanities, which includes environmentally-oriented literary and cultural studies (ecocriticism), history, philosophy, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, and related fields. MA/PhD applicants are sought from any of these disciplines, or interdisciplinary Environmental Studies backgrounds, to undertake research in four possible themes: 1. Representing the Okanagan as a tourist destination. 2. A cultural and environmental history of wildfire in the region. 3. A cultural analysis of the controversial South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve, and related issues about endangered species. 4. An empirical study of landscape aesthetics in various demographic groups in the Okanagan. Training in research methods appropriate to each theme will be provided.
Interested students should apply to the Sustainability theme of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program. Applicants should have a First Class degree or equivalent. Students from non-Anglophone countries should have an IELTS score of 7.5 average for MA applications and 8 average for PhD applicants. PLEASE OUTLINE YOUR ACADEMIC BACKGROUND AND LANGUAGE SCORE IN YOUR ENQURY. I will not reply to incomplete or unsuitable enquiries.