Bite-sized research presentations by recently appointed UBC Faculty Members across disciplines. Faculty presentations in this first session by the 2021-23 Leading Scholars Program cohort include:
Samuel Beswick, Assistant Professor, Law
I am a private law scholar with primary research interests in the areas of torts, unjust enrichment, limitations, remedies and privacy. My current research concerns the temporal scope of judicial changes in the law. Does, and should, new “judge-made law” serve as precedent to past circumstances? I am also the editor of an open-access coursebook Tort Law: Cases and Commentaries (2021 CanLIIDocs 1859), which explores the law of civil wrongdoing through the themes of the rule of law (equality of officials and ordinary people under law) and comparativism (common law development through judicial conversations over time within and between jurisdictions).
Language and Racial Attitudes Toward French Varieties
Marie-Eve Bouchard, Assistant Professor, French, Hispanic and Italian Studies
I am an anthropologically oriented sociolinguist, and I tend to enjoy the blurred space between these two fields. In the past few years, my main research project investigated the emerging variety of Portuguese spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe. But since I am at UBC, my new research projects focus on different varieties of Canadian French. Social justice is at the core of my work. I'm interested in understand how we unconsciously discriminate, racialize and exclude individuals based on language. My main research interests include language attitudes and ideologies, language variation, language contact, and language and identity.
How Your Genes and Environment Shape who you are
Annie Ciernia, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
My research focuses on understanding the molecules and processes that control how our brains develop during childhood and what goes wrong in the cases of brain disorders such as Autism. I specifically focus on immune cells in the brain and how they interact with the rest of our body and environment. We use mouse models to test how genetics combine with early life experience to shape brain function and our behaviour. The ultimate goal is to understand these mechanisms and leverage them to develop new therapeutics for brain disorders.
The Creation of Park Europa: Imaging Alternative Realities Through Docufiction
Igor Drljaca, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Film
I am is a Film Production Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film. My work deals with memory, diaspora, trauma, ideology and dystopias. My award-winning films have screened at hundreds of festivals including Berlinale, Locarno, Toronto, Telluride and Rotterdam. My recent work includes the feature documentary The Stone Speakers (2018), which examines the intersection of ideology and post-war tourism in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the short The Archivists (2020), a sci-fi dystopian musical. The White Fortress (Tabija, 2021), my most recent feature, is the first co-production between Canada and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and had its world premiere at the 71st Berlinale this year. It is also Bosnia-Herzegovina’s selection in the 2022 International Feature Film Oscar race. I am currently developing a VR project about the Canadian citizenship ceremony, The Oath, and a docufiction film, Park Europa, about Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future admission into the European Union.