Welcome to the Department of Humanities, Philosophy and Religion (HPR)

“Humanities” is one of the General Education components of all programs, which students are required to complete, together with English, French, Physical Education and, in most programs, a Complementary component of two courses. The Department of Humanities, Philosophy, and Religion also offers first and second level courses in Philosophy and Religion for Social Science and the Arts, Literature & Communication programs, as well as courses in the Arts & Sciences and Liberal Arts programs.Humanities course offerings come in three forms: Knowledge, World Views, and Ethical Issues.

“Knowledge” and “World Views” courses together constitute the introductory or 100-level component of Humanities courses which are concerned with the most basic and general aspects of being human.  These courses provide the background to the 200-level course on “Ethical Issues.”

The focus of study in Knowledge courses may be any appropriate field of knowledge. An appropriate field can be any serious body of knowledge relating to education, law, psychology, creativity, social behaviour, or other disciplines. Humanities courses approach each from an interdisciplinary perspective.

World views are understandings of reality shared by groups or societies defined or self-defined on the basis of common geography, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, ideology, history, religion, spirituality, political values, psychology, language, culture, (dis)ability, etc.

Ethical issues are understood to be questions of social and moral significance approached from a perspective that examines questions of valuing and the notions of good and bad. “Ethical Issues” courses are not meant to be introductions to ethical codes but rather to allow students to examine important questions of human morality as they relate to their respective fields of study and to apply an authentic critical thought process to the resolution of these issues.


Members of the Department

List of Faculty Members

Brigidi, Bianca : On leave

Brigidi, Bianca

On leave

Martin, Ryan : Faculty member

Martin, Ryan

Faculty member

Riverin, Maude :

Riverin, Maude

Continuing Education - Humanities 514-457-6610 ext 5175

Motta, Rossio : On leave

Motta, Rossio

On leave
514-457-6610 ext 5583

Tiflati, Hicham :

Tiflati, Hicham

514-457-6610 ext 5702

Arès, Violaine : Co-chair

Arès, Violaine

514-457-6610 ext. 5176

Austin, David :

Austin, David

514-457-6610 ext. 5181

Bellemare, Mario :

Bellemare, Mario

514-457-6610 ext. 5711

Browne, Meredith :

Browne, Meredith

514-457-6610 ext. 5140
HA-105 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion

Cockburn, Jenny : Chair

Cockburn, Jenny

514-457-6610 ext. 5486

Collins, Robert : Faculty member

Collins, Robert

Faculty member
514-457-6610 ext. 5845

Daniel-Hughes, Brandon :

Daniel-Hughes, Brandon

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.

Di Stefano, Paul : Coordinator, Peace Studies & Social Justice

Di Stefano, Paul

Coordinator, Peace Studies & Social Justice
514-457-6610 ext. 5180

Duguay, Sylvain RIP :

Duguay, Sylvain 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 littérature 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.

Fu, Roy : Chair

Fu, Roy

514-457-6610 ext. 5006

Ghosh, Sujata : On leave

Ghosh, Sujata

On leave
514-457-6610 ext. 5151

Grant, Grell :

Grant, Grell

514-457-6610 ext. 5169
HA-211 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion

Faithful Hamer, John :

Faithful Hamer, John

514-457-6610 ext. 5162

Kaderavek, Karen : Retired

Kaderavek, Karen



Kerwin-Jones, Eileen : Coordinator, Women's Studies and Gender Relations

Kerwin-Jones, Eileen

Coordinator, Women's Studies and Gender Relations
514-457-6610 ext. 5420

Laferrière, Eric : Chair HPR

Laferrière, Eric

Chair HPR
514-457-6610 ext. 5178
HA-101 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion

Larose, Avery : Coordinator, Liberal Arts

Larose, Avery

Coordinator, Liberal Arts
514-457-6610 ext. 5185

Leblanc, Alexa : On leave

Leblanc, Alexa

On leave
514-457-6610 ext. 5721

Cheng-Ying Lin, Grace :

Cheng-Ying Lin, Grace

514-457-6610 ext. 5803

Lunny, Debbie :

Lunny, Debbie

514-457-6610 ext. 5159

Maisonville, Derek : Coordinator, Indigenous Studies (formerly Aboriginal Studies)

Maisonville, Derek

Coordinator, Indigenous Studies (formerly Aboriginal Studies)
514-457-6610 ext. 5495

Mamfredis, Maria : On leave

Mamfredis, Maria

On leave
514-457-6610 ext. 5173

McGuire, Mark :

McGuire, Mark

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

McKinney, Kelly :

McKinney, Kelly

514-457-6610 ext. 5183

Nafi, Michael :

Nafi, Michael

514-457-6610 ext. 5193

Okker, Johanna :

Okker, Johanna

514-457-6610 ext. 5174

Sych, Steven Randall : On leave

Sych, Steven Randall

On leave
514-457-6610 ext. 5742


Rashid, Azra :

Rashid, Azra

514-457-6610 ext. 5722

Sanchez, Alberto :

Sanchez, Alberto

514 457 6610 ext 5989

Sherwood, Kathleen Donahue :

Sherwood, Kathleen Donahue

514-457-6610 ext. 5186

Steenbergen, Candis :

Steenbergen, Candis

514-457-6610 ext. 5712

Stephenson, Sandra : Retired

Stephenson, Sandra



Stewart, Penny : On leave

Stewart, Penny

On leave

Viqar, Sarwat : Chair

Viqar, Sarwat

514-457-6610 ext. 5177

Weiss, Alan :

Weiss, Alan

514-457-6610 ext. 5172

Woodrow, Anna :

Woodrow, Anna

514-457-6610 ext. 5137
HA-107 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion

Young, Tom : Chair

Young, Tom

514-457-6610 ext. 5750


Humanities, as part of the general education component, is intended to promote personal and social development and to give students a foundation that will help them understand their roles in contemporary society as members of the work force, citizens and individuals. The three sets of objectives and standards in humanities propose common frameworks for understanding the experiences, ideas and values of humankind and their diversity. They are aimed at developing critical thinking, reinforcing the ancillary skills involved in careful reading, organized writing, and well-developed oral presentations, and, where appropriate, improving media and computer literacy. Once students have mastered the three-stage process of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, they will be able to reflect in an informed manner and to communicate what they have learned in an organized and coherent fashion.

For a detailed course offering, please visit the General Education (Humanities) section of the Program Planner.

Supplemental Information

All cegep-level programs aim to “educate students to live responsibly in society”, “help students integrate cultural knowledge into their studies”, and “help students master language as a tool for thought, communication and openness to the world”. This involves the development of numerous skills, or “competencies”, such as problem-solving abilities, the use of creativity, the ability to adapt to new situations, the ability to exercise a sense of responsibility, and to communicate. According to the ministerial devis, students who have achieved the general education objectives in humanities:

– will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the following:

  • the main concepts, limits and uses of a form of knowledge including significant historical reference points
  • the main concepts, limits and uses of a world view
  • the nature and organization of the basic elements of an ethical question
  • methods for coherent integration of concepts and the formulation and synthesis of ideas
  • the importance and practice of adequately substantiated argumentation, written and oral

– will be able to demonstrate their ability to do the following:

  • describe, explain and organize the main elements, ideas, values and implications of a world view in a coherent fashion
  • compare world views
  • recognize the basic elements in a specific example of the organization, transmission, and use of knowledge
  • recognize forms of creativity and original thought
  • define the dimensions, limits and uses of knowledge in appropriate historical contexts
  • identify, organize and synthesize the salient elements of a particular example of knowledge
  • situate important ethical and social issues in their appropriate historical and intellectual contexts
  • explain, analyze and debate ethical issues in a personal and professional context
  • utilize the multiple strategies of critical thinking

– will be encouraged to develop the following attitudes:

  • openness to diversity and pluralism
  • awareness of the limits of knowledge claims, world views and ethical perspectives
  • respect for the points of view of others
  • empathy and acceptance of others
  • concern for global issues
  • determination to continue learning