GRA to help develop a Place and Power requirement for the BA degree. 

Pay rate: $27 to $32 per hour, depending on experience

Hours per week: 10 to 20 depending on availability

Length of employment: Summer 2020 and potentially into Fall 2021

Application deadline: May 15th,, 2020

To apply: send your CV and cover letter to


The Faculty of Arts is attending to historical and institutional gaps both in breadth requirements, overall awareness, and understanding of legacies of power and settler colonialism in what is now known as British Columbia. One of the recommendations coming out of this work is for all BA students to have some sort of understanding of the way in which place and power intersect, and how that can be organized into the BA degree. Our current thinking is that a BA Place & Power requirement will provide students with the skills, resources, and confidence to think beyond inherited colonial thought processes as they resonate specifically in what is now known as British Columbia. We seek to provide UBC BA students with the opportunity to learn more about BC in a way that contributes to decolonial knowledge while studying the tools of analysis that take up power and privilege.   

Of note here is that a place and power requirement is not an Indigenous Course Requirement (ICR). There are important lessons to be gleaned from ICRs already in place in Canada. We are working in a context where this requirement cannot put Indigenous and racialized students, faculty, and staff at further risk. This requirement cannot be a patchwork solution to much deeper structural problems. We are looking to develop a good foundation for sustainable and healthy learning in the long run.

The Role: We are looking for a student to help us conduct a literature review on a) how place can be defined/positioned in this type of learning, b) how power can be defined/positioned in this type of learning, and c) what a meaningful intersection of the two might be in the context of UBC. We will also need to conduct an environmental scan for how other schools might be approaching similar questions.

The student will be working directly with Dave Gaertner and have regular interaction with him as he seeks to integrate key findings into the larger degree requirements project.


 The research assistant will be asked to:

  • Conduct a literature review on how “place” and “power” can be defined/positioned in a BA
  • Help to identify meaningful intersections of place and power in the Faculty of Arts at UBC
  • Conduct an environmental scan of peer institutions and peer-reviewed published works
  • Consider how the various departments in the Faculty of Arts could offer such a requirement 
  • Compare current recommendations against trends in the literature review and environmental scan, highlighting synergies and gaps.
  • Assist in consultations with UBC faculty as necessary/able.
  • Assist in the writing of a final report to be distributed to UBC faculty.


  • Currently a student at UBC
  • Previous experience working in the context of Indigenous educational priorities
  • Previous experience in summarizing academic literature
  • Knowledge of TRC an asset
  • Knowledge of adult learning theories an asset
  • Previous experience working at a university an asset

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