School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & HumanitiesWestern Arts and Humanities

Program

A transformative experience

The School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities at Western University offers an educational experience unique in Canada. SASAH’s advanced 4-year liberal arts program combines interdisciplinary study, language acquisition, community engagement, experiential learning, interaction with digital technologies and environments, and international travel and exchange. The School’s enriched learning experience educates students’ imaginations as future research leaders and global citizens:

Cultural: exploring the complexities of human achievement, communication, and motivation

Linguistic: acquiring languages other than English

Experiential: exposure to firsthand learning and professional opportunities in London, across Canada, and abroad

Global: contact with a wider cultural community through international study, travel, and exchange

The SASAH program draws on the Faculty of Arts and Humanities’ national reputation for scholarly excellence and classroom innovation, and acts as a catalyst for cutting-edge research, teaching, and student-directed learning. Graduates receive an undergraduate Major from the School in conjunction with a Major from an existing program, thus combining disciplinary rigour with interdisciplinary flexibility and experimentation. We encourage our students to take their learning outside the classroom through local, national, and international community engagement and professional experience.

Disciplinary Studies

Students in the School register in the Major in Arts and Humanities, but they also must be registered in a second major or honors specialization in a discipline in the Faculty. In other words, the Major in Arts and Humanities cannot be taken on its own.

The First Year

All students in the School register for Arts & Humanities 1020E. Team-taught by the School’s Research Fellows, this course is a thematic and historical survey of representative fields and topics within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The course will introduce students to the study of culture and its central place in society. Assignments will emphasize scholarly rigour and advanced communication skills, as well as introduce the principles of experiential learning.

Second to Fourth Years

Students then progress through an increasingly intensive and enriched curriculum. Second-year courses orient students in theoretical approaches and research methods specific to Arts and Humanities. Organized around the specific research expertise of the School’s Fellows, third-year special topics courses in interdisciplinary topics combine self-directed study with opportunities for international exchanges. The fourth year offers experiential learning courses that expose students to training in the broader community, capped off by a full-year seminar focused on a specific theme crucial to global cultural development and combined with intensive study abroad. Detailed course descriptions found on the Courses page.

Experiential Learning

The School provides an environment where students can engage in every aspect of learning beyond simply being an individual in a classroom. There are opportunities for practical teaching, research assistantships with faculty and graduate students, conference coordination, course planning, curating, publishing, etc.

Research Fellows

SASAH’s focussed learning environment means that students receive engaged mentorship from the School’s Research Fellows, drawn from the over 140 full-time professors in Western’s top-ranked Faculty of Arts and Humanities. This group of dedicated scholars includes Canada Research Chairs in Linguistics, Literary Criticism and Theory, and Bioethics (cross appointed with the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry); four Distinguished University Professors; seven winners of the Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research, Western’s most prestigious research award; and several winners of the 3M National Teaching Fellowships and the Edward Pleva Teaching Award, Western’s highest teaching honour.

Publication

The School will launch a yearly online journal publishing top interdisciplianary essays from the School, the Faculty, and other institutions across Canada and the US. The School's students will gain valuable professional experience coordinating aspects of the journal's publication.

Location

The School is housed in Weldon Library, Room 109, on main campus, which includes offices for the Director and administrative assistant and, most importantly, a common space for students and faculty to engage in creative, critical, and professional exchange and debate.