About the MA in Humanities
The Humanities MA program is designed for students wishing to pursue specific cross-disciplinary, text-based research projects. First and foremost, our program aims to guide students in the research and writing of a high quality MA thesis. Students are to specialize in a specific period or theme in the context of a program that has a strong grounding in the humanistic tradition from ancient Greece to modernity. Our faculty’s research interests and expertise include: classical, medieval, and Renaissance thought and culture; modernity and critique; social and political thought; religion and culture; cross-cultural translation; humanities and citizenship; Chinese literary and cultural studies; and, humanities and the environment.
We believe that students should write a thesis rather than simply an extended research paper. It is in the thesis that the interdisciplinary enquiries undertaken in course work can be synthesized into significant research. It also prepares them, more specifically, for the rigors and challenges of producing a doctoral thesis. The Humanities MA Program is intended to serve, therefore, as a bridge to higher graduate work in top-ranked disciplinary or interdisciplinary programs. Students with an MA in Humanities are well prepared for doctoral work in interdisciplinary PhD programs such as that offered by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London, The Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture Program at SUNY (Binghampton), The Graduate Program in Humanities at Stanford, the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and the Social and Political Thought Program at York University and the Centre for Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario, to name a few. Those continuing on in programs such as classics, comparative literature, English, political science (political theory), or religious studies will bring with them both a strong foundation in their field and a valuable background in interdisciplinary work.
The SFU Humanities MA prepares students for far more than just doctoral work. Our graduates will be competitive in a wide range of careers, including secondary and college education, editing and publishing, media industries, and public and civil service. Through its rigorous training in critical thinking, interpretive and documentary methods, effective writing, and reasoned judgment, the SFU Humanities MA program cultivates skills essential to almost every profession.
Students benefit from many exciting events hosted by the Institute of the Humanities, which is affiliated with the Humanities Department, such as academic conferences, public lectures, small-group seminars, and roundtable discussions. Recent visiting lecturers hosted by the Institute include such nationally and internationally renowned scholars and thinkers such as Martin Jay, Robert Pippin, Richard Rodriguez, Michael M’Gonigle, Michel Serres, Ato Sekyi-Otu, William Leiss, David Kettler, Gwynne Dyer, and Russell Jacoby.
Students also have access to generous funding in the form of teaching assistantships, tutor-marker positions, research assistantships, graduate fellowships, and other scholarship opportunities.