A message from the Dean

 Humanities Dean Annalee Lepp

As the Fall 2021 term comes to an end, a quiet has descended on the UVic campus. The much deserved winter break is upon us.

As always, I wish to express my enormous appreciation to all Humanities faculty members, sessional lecturers and staff for their hard work and commitment over this past term, and especially for their tireless support of our students. After seventeen months of remote teaching, learning and working, the return of thousands of students to campus in September - and the subsequent buzz in classrooms, hallways and study areas - was refreshing and reinvigorating.

With COVID-19 still an ever-present reality, I also wish to extend my deepest gratitude to the custodial and front-line staff who worked diligently to ensure our safety in the Clearihue Building throughout the term. We have, of course, now entered another period of uncertainty, marked by rising COVID-19 case numbers. To help reduce health risks, in-person final examinations were moved online as of December 13 and in-person social events were cancelled or postponed. We await further guidance from Island Health and the University on what we can expect in the spring 2022 term, but remain optimistic that ongoing preventative measures will have the desired effect.

In this newsletter we share highlights of some of the tremendous accomplishments from within the Faculty of Humanities this past semester. On Giving Tuesday, thanks to your generous contributions, we raised $6,714 for the Murray Dawson Fellowship in Humanities, which supports exceptional graduate students who may not qualify for other scholarships and funding. With the global situation placing scholars in financial difficulties and other dangers, we are dedicated to creating equitable learning opportunities for exceptional graduate students and will continue to raise funds for this Fellowship for the remainder of the year.

Beyond our corridors, I want to acknowledge the recent passing of two renowned and highly influential women scholars, writers, educators, and activists: Lee Maracle, a member of the Stó:lō Nation, who was a leading Indigenous academic and award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction; and bell hooks, whose extensive and pivotal writings on Black feminist thought and Black radical resistance inspired an entire generation. If you have not yet had an opportunity to read their works, we encourage you to do so, especially as we continue to press forward with necessary decolonial and anti-racist work in the Faculty.

Until we see you again in the new year, I wish you a restful, rejuvenating and safe winter break.

 

- Annalee Lepp, Dean
December 21, 2021.