Our Work

Humanities & Fine Arts

Humanities and fine arts scholarship at the U of A advances clarity, insight, and understanding about cultural development and interactions; the motivating power of historical influences and contexts; awareness and construction of meaning; and how individuals, societies, and cultures express themselves and their ideas in all forms. The Kule Institute for Advanced Studies anchors much of our cross disciplinary investigations in these areas and others.  Other research examines the interplay between the individual and science through historical and philosophical investigations, through the critical analysis of past, present, and potential technologies, and even through innovative artwork.  Key faculties: Faculty of Arts, the Campus Saint-Jean, Augustana Campus, the Faculty of Extension, and the Faculty of Native Studies

Canada's Francophone Heritage

Work on the Francophonie, minority-language rights and legislation, as well as intercultural research, distinguishes the U of A nationally and supports provincial and federal mandates to recognize and preserve the Canada's francophone heritage. The Canadian Studies Centre supports interdisciplinary research on issues that impact Canadian, particularly western Canadian, francophones. At Campus Saint-Jean,  the Institut pour le patrimoine de la francophonie de l'Ouest Canadien conducts cultural research using unique archives and digital resources of historical material.

Edmonton's Cultural Life

Edmonton and Alberta's cultural life is powered by the university's commitment to superb fine and performing arts scholarship over the past century. The Festival of Ideas brings the world's leading thinkers and provocateurs from all disciplines to engage Edmonton's citizens, and our extensive museums and collections resources create spectacular exhibits on topics such as arctic studies, meteorites, and western history in the university's downtown Enterprise Square Gallery. The Timms Centre for the Arts, a state-of-the-art facility, is a superb art theatre performance and training venue.  Innovative music research, inspiring performances, and leadership has created caliber concerts and choral experiences that enrich Edmonton and Alberta, and win international competitions.

Visual Expression

The study of art from its history to methods of production is at the heart of UAlberta's department of Art and Design. One of the department's many excellent features is the innovative print making program, which is recognized as one of the best in North America.

Central and Eastern Europe

Understanding Canada today requires an understanding of the people and cultures that built our country and particularly our region. With strong influences from central Europe and eastern Europe, felt today on the prairies, the Wirth Institute allows researchers and students to explore and connect with the countries in Europe's central region, while the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies and the Peter and Doris Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore allow researchers and students to delve into Ukraine's past and present.


The dynamism and complexity of modern China continues to make headlines; as that nation forges its future, it is seeking global connections. The U of A's China Institute's mission is to forge linkages between China-related initiatives and scholarship at the U of A, to enhance and support new teaching and research activities between Canada and China and to develop an enduring friendship and promote cultural, scientific, and business exchanges.

Cross Cultural Thought & Expression

U of A builds bridges across areas of research and study. For example, the Kule Institute of Advanced Study facilitates transformational interdisciplinary and comparative research at the highest level nationally and internationally and the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology is an archive and research resource documenting musical and cultural traditions locally and internationally that serves a wide range of students, researchers and community groups.

Ideas, Experiences, & Institutions

Exploring ideas, decisions and actions in a critical manner is essential for understanding the public policy ethics and exploring how elementary school children can employ new ways to think about foundational concepts. The university's legal, political, and social theory is increasingly engaged with issues in globalization, conflict and conflict resolution, peace studies, and restorative justice. The Parkland Institute investigates the economic, social, cultural and political consequences of changes in the intellectual and policy climates within Alberta and Canada.

Indigenous Languages & Cultures

UAlberta has developed rich research partnerships with Canada's Aboriginal and other indigenous people in culture, history, education, health and wellness, language and literacy, and social and legal areas. For example, the recently established Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research, the culmination of a decade-long partnership between UAlberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta, will co-ordinate and sustain academic research activity with and for Métis communities.

Challenging ideas

Scholars, artists, writers working together in once place at one time means inspiration and innovation; the U of A and the Banff Centre have partnered to make this happen. Banff Research in Culture is a new residency program that gives Alberta and international scholars the opportunity for extended research and discussion forums. With rotating themes and a diverse set of programs, participants develop new artistic, editorial, authorial, and collective projects, both individually and in connection with others.


The richness of the Japanese culture is indisputable and the Prince Takamoda Japan Centre for Teaching and Research allows researchers and students to expand their knowledge, whether is it through interdisciplinary research or through study of language and exchanges. The Centre grows Alberta connections with Japan by serving as the Canadian secretariat for the Japan Canada Academic Consortium.

Information Sciences & Humanities

In both the public and academic sectors, work on complex historical, economic, health, social, and cultural issues is increasingly dependent on databases of rich, written material. The U of A has been leading how to use advanced computing to develop and analyze such databases through initiatives such as the Canadian Institute for Research in Computing in the Arts and the Orlando Project. The university also sustains the Peel's Prairie Provinces, a rich digital resource of digitized historical documents for both researchers and the general public.

Understanding The Past

We understand the complexity of the human condition by examining the biological, social, material, and cultural past.  In archaeology and anthropology, UAlberta's innovative contributions result from integrating classics, history and ethnography with geophysics, geochemistry and molecular biology.    

The Written & Performed Word

A powerful expression of our culture is found in the written and performed word. UAlberta facilitates the study and high-calibre production of literature and theatre through its programs and centres, like the long-running Writer-in-Residence program, the digital resource Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, the literary hub that is the Canadian Literature Centre and the Playwright-in-Residence.

Recent Impacts