Welcome to the Department of Humanities, Philosophy and Religion (HPR)
HPR is a department composed of interdisciplinary scholars who would like to introduce you to the world, to the past, and to yourself. Humanities forms part of the General Education core which all students are required to complete, together with English, French and Physical Education. We also offer first and second level courses in Philosophy and Religion for Social Science and the Arts, Literature & Communication program, as well as courses in the Arts & Sciences program. Our Humanities course offerings come in three forms.
The first kind of Humanities class (World Views) focuses primarily upon the present. In these classes, we will introduce you to the arts, media and politics of our world, and we will encourage you to learn about a foreign culture or look at your own culture more critically.
The second kind of Humanities class (Knowledge) focuses primarily upon the past. In these classes, we will introduce you to some of the key texts, ideas, visions, and dilemmas that lie at the foundations of world civilizations.
The third kind of Humanities class (Ethics) focuses primarily upon the care of the self. In these classes, we will introduce you to practical and theoretical exercises which promote introspection, self-knowledge, and wellness. In addition, the Ethics courses examine representation, ideology, racism, bioethics, the media, and the relationship between science, technology and society.
Though the study of the past, the present and the personal are naturally connected, we believe that our department’s strength lies in the diversity of our approaches to the human condition.
List of Department Chairs
514-457-6610 ext. 5176
514-457-6610 ext 5178
Members of the Department
List of Faculty Members
Steven Randall SychHA-112
514-457-6610 ext. 5742
514-457-6610 ext. 5176
514-457-6610 ext. 5181
514-457-6610 ext. 5711
514-457-6610 ext. 5140
HA-105 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion
514-457-6610 ext. 5486
514-457-6610 ext. 5982
Brandon teaches religion and philosophy. His courses include World Religions, New Religious Movements, Religion, Body and Myth, Biblical Literacy, Religious Ethics and Ritual and Tradition. His research focuses on the American Pragmatic tradition, especially the work of Charles Sanders Peirce and the naturalist philosophical traditions that grow out of process and pragmatic thought.
Paul Di StefanoCoordinator, Peace Studies & Social Justice
514-457-6610 ext. 5180
Sylvain Duguay RIP
Born in a tiny village in the Charlevoix region, Sylvain Duguay starts his academic journey by enrolling in the Canadian Navy and exploring the world of pure and applied sciences at the Royal Military College of Canada, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Kingston. He quickly discovers a passion for literature and the humanities and graduates from RMC with a BA in Études françaises. He then moves to Montreal and he completes a MA in Langue et literatures françaises at McGill. His PhD in Humanities, from Concordia, presents him with the opportunity to study questions of sexuality, gender, and identity as they are represented in theatre and film. A postdoctoral grant sees him join UQAM’s École supérieure de théâtre for a 2-year research project on multimedia theatre.
At John Abbott College since 2010, Sylvain encourages students to learn about themselves and the societies in which they live. He uses philosophy, cultural theory, science fiction, cinema, short stories, and a variety of other approaches to help students develop critical tools, and become more knowledgeable and more engaged citizens.
He is tall, and he likes to swim. He is also convinced that he has the best job in the world.
Sylvain was the victim of a tragic automobile accident in the Winter semester of 2017. He is sorely missed by his students and colleagues.
514-457-6610 ext. 5151
514-457-6610 ext. 5169
HA-211 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion
John Faithful Hamer
514-457-6610 ext. 5162
514-457-6610 ext. 5155
Eileen Kerwin-JonesCoordinator, Women's Studies and Gender Relations
514-457-6610 ext. 5420
Eric LaferrièreCo-Chair HPR; Coordinator, Liberal Arts
514-457-6610 ext. 5178
HA-101 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion
514-457-6610 ext. 5185
514-457-6610 ext. 5721
Grace Cheng-Ying Lin
514-457-6610 ext. 5803
514-457-6610 ext. 5159
Derek MaisonvilleCoordinator, Indigenous Studies (formerly Aboriginal Studies)
514-457-6610 ext. 5495
514-457-6610 ext. 5462
Maria MamfredisCoordinator, Liberal Arts
514-457-6610 ext. 5173
514-457-6610 ext. 5166
HA-212 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion
I have been teaching Humanities and religious studies courses at John Abbott since 2005 and was elected to the executive committee of the faculty union (JACFA) in 2012. I greatly value the warm and supportive community of faculty, staff and students. An experience with a Québec union delegation and our Venezuelan colleagues at the 2005 World Social Forum in Caracas had a significant impact on my teaching, engagement with, and general outlook on the world.
In 2006 I co-founded the campus sustainability initiative and sought to implement collaborative and participatory decision-making. Our latest project is the creation of a campus garden to reconnect to the food cycle, improve biodiversity and provide fresh produce to the campus food bank.
I make documentary films, write, read, cycle, garden, and spend as much time with my two children and partner as possible. A documentary film co-produced in Japan with Montreal filmmaker and friend Jean-Marc Abela (www.shugendonow.com) has been screened at festivals and conferences worldwide. We were honoured with the 2011 David W. Plath educational media award from the American Anthropology Association. I am currently working on a new documentary about the impacts of inherited trauma across generations.
In my classes I try to increase awareness about the far-reaching consequences of daily choices (our ways of consuming, thinking, and habits of being in the world) and inspire students to become more fully engaged citizens who take the responsibilities and rights of civic life more seriously.
Documenting Myths: film, politics, citizenship Lost in Translation: Japan's hidden diversity À Table: Knowing What to Eat World Religions Integrating Activity in Arts and Culture (CALL Program)
B.A. in English/film, Davidson College
M.A. in Asian Studies, Cornell
Ph.D. in Religious studies, Concordia
514-457-6610 ext. 5183
514-457-6610 ext. 5193
514-457-6610 ext. 5174
514-457-6610 ext. 5722
514 457 6610 ext 5989
Kathleen Donahue Sherwood
514-457-6610 ext. 5186
514-457-6610 ext. 5712
514-457-6610 ext. 5175
514-457-6610 ext. 5179
514-457-6610 ext. 5177
514-457-6610 ext. 5426
514-457-6610 ext. 5172
514-457-6610 ext. 5137
HA-107 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion
514-457-6610 ext. 5750
For a detailed course offering, please visit the General Education (Humanities) section of the Course Calendar.