Annalee Lepp begins new term as Dean of Humanities

Humanities Dean Annalee Lepp. Image: UVic Photo Services.

Dr. Annalee Lepp, a highly accomplished researcher, teacher and administrator who is known for her commitment to social justice and consensus-based community building, has been appointed Dean of the Faculty of Humanities for a term beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2026.  She is the first woman to serve as Dean in the Faculty’s history.

As Acting Dean of Humanities since April 1, 2020, Dr. Lepp is widely credited with leading the Faculty through the pandemic with a steady hand, successfully balancing the evolving needs of students, staff and faculty while overseeing the mobilization of critical resources and support packages throughout this unprecedented period.

It is particularly noteworthy that Dr. Lepp’s term as Acting Dean began less than two weeks after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency in BC and increasingly strict social distancing measures were implemented across the province to contain the spread of the virus. Despite the challenges, the Faculty of Humanities managed to achieve incremental enrollment growth, advance its strategic priorities and increase its research revenues under her leadership.

Currently an Associate Professor in Gender Studies, Dr. Lepp served as the Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies (now Gender Studies) for eleven years. More recently she served as the Acting Chair of the Department of Linguistics and the Acting Associate Dean of Academic Advising for the Faculties of Humanities, Science and Social Sciences.

A historian by training, Dr. Lepp’s academic research has examined Canadian gender, family and legal history, with a focus on the history of marital breakdown and domestic violence in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her more recent research focuses on community-engaged studies of sex work, human trafficking, transnational labour migration and irregular border movements in the Canadian and global contexts. She holds a BA (Honours) from the University of Winnipeg, a MA from the University of Manitoba and a PhD from Queen’s University.

In 1996, Dr. Lepp was a founding member of the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW) Canada, for which she has acted as Director since 2000. Her work in this area has also included national advocacy and leadership positions in a number of collaborative research projects that approach human trafficking and irregular cross-border movements from a worker-centred and migrant-rights perspective. She has served as co-chair of the Board of Directors of Peers Victoria Resources Society since 2015 and chaired the Working Group that developed UVic’s first sexualized violence policy in 2016-2017.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to be given the opportunity to continue in the role of Dean of the Humanities. I strongly believe in the critical importance and invaluable contributions of the Humanities at UVic, including in the areas of research, teaching, interdisciplinarity, and undergraduate and graduate programming. I am excited to move forward with key strategic priorities in consultation with the Associate Deans Alex D’Arcy and Lisa Surridge as well as faculty members, sessional lecturers, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty. As this work unfolds in the coming years, these priorities are designed to build on our existing strengths, address current challenges and work toward a future in which decolonization, anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion are more fully integrated in all our efforts.” 

— Humanities Dean Annalee Lepp

Dedicated to challenging the status quo and reflecting on how languages, cultures, technologies and environments shape what it means to be human, the Faculty of Humanities is home to 152 faculty members across 15 departments and programs, and more than 1,900 undergraduate and 200 graduate students from across the world. Each year, Humanities courses attract approximately 24,000 registrants who work with our researchers and instructors to create a dynamic, collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment.

We are proud to celebrate Dr. Lepp’s appointment as Dean of the Humanities and to continue serving our Faculty’s community under her vision.