Deborah Campbell

Deborah Campbell
Associate Professor, Director of Professional Writing, Lansdowne Chair in Fine Arts
Office: FIA 245


Area of expertise

Creative nonfiction, literary journalism, memoir, biography, travel writing.


Deborah Campbell's writing has been published in seven languages and eleven countries. Her latest book, A Disappearance in Damascus, won both the Writers’ Trust Hilary Weston Prize and the Hubert Evans BC Book Prize, and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. Screen rights have been optioned by filmmaker Terry George (Hotel Rwanda). She grew up in Canada and did part of her undergraduate studies in French literature in Paris and in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University before studying political science and history at Simon Fraser University and then completing a BFA and MFA at UBC. 

Campbell has worked in many parts of the world, including Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Mexico, Cuba and Russia, often immersing herself in cultures in conflict. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, New Scientist, The Walrus, Foreign Policy, and many other publications; she was an associate editor at Adbusters for five years. Her radio essays have been broadcast by CBC and NPR. She is the winner of three National Magazine Awards and the Dave Greber Award for social justice writing, and in 2017 received the Freedom to Read Award from The Writers' Union of Canada for her body of work. She has lectured at Harvard, Berkeley, Zayed University in Dubai, the International Journalism Festival in Italy and the National Press Club in Washington, and taught creative nonfiction and literary journalism at UBC before joining the Department of Writing.

Selected publications