Message from the Director

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities, 2017/18. And it’s my honour to be taking up the reigns as Director of the School in January 2018. In the meantime, please read the formal message of outgoing Director, Dr. Joel Faflak. Joel has spent almost five years doing a superb job of launching SASAH as a unique and ambitious program where great students have the privilege to “think together.” In his message Joel articulates the vision and spirit of SASAH, including by recognizing that our students aim to become “ambassadors for a learned, tolerant, compassionate society.” As we know, we are living in a world of many challenges to tolerance and compassion – and even, in some places and at times, to learning – so it strikes me that SASAH’s goals, and the individual aspirations of its talented and ambitious students, are more important than ever.

Together, we are probing the histories and strategies of humanities practices, including the scholarly and the community-engaged, to find innovative ways to help our culture and ourselves imagine the world as a place of possibility. And individually, our students are forging creative paths of inquiry that demand new forms of engagement, and renewed ideas about leadership. These are ambitious programmes for anyone to take on, and I have no doubt that, guided by the Research Fellows, SASAH students are capable of doing such work –and more!

Please be sure you stop to check out the Student Blog. Here you’ll get a clear sense of our students’ accomplishments and activities. The SASAH Blog Team is passionate about letting the community and world know about the SASAH student experience. As I enter my term as Director, I’m humbled to take over from Joel, excited at the prospect of working with and for the School, and truly looking forward to getting to know students better. And I say this to all SASAH students on behalf of the Research Fellows: we’re amazed by the work you’ve accomplished and continue to accomplish, and honoured to be part of your learning experience in the Faculty and at Western. You have one of the greatest opportunities in the world, and we’re thrilled to be part of it!

Patrick Mahon
Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities
M.F.A., University of British Columbia, 1991
B.F.A., University of Manitoba School of Arts, 1983
Education Certificate, (Art Major), University of Manitoba, 1979