The Liu Institute global research networks support interdisciplinary and collaborative exchange on pressing global issues. Created and managed by Liu Scholars, with faculty support, these networks strengthen ties between faculty and students, host conferences and events, and facilitate field research and dialogue on key themes.

The Beyond Text Collective encourages critical conversations and projects that explore digital technologies and the audiovisual realm to creatively express academic research. The collective invites scholars from diverse disciplinary fields to share experiences, collaborate, and enhance understandings of working with the non-textual.

Contact: Emily Amburgey –

The Comparative Urban Studies Network critically examines the emerging challenge of comparison in urban studies, discussing what can be compared, in what ways and to what end. The network includes scholars from diverse disciplinary fields, including urban and regional studies, architecture, visual arts, geography, sociology, anthropology, history, engineering and environmental studies.
Contact Rohit for more details:

The Corporate Social Responsibility Network shares leading-edge research and encourages lively debate among academics and practitioners regarding corporations and global sustainability. The network sponsors a range of activities, including panel discussions, guest speakers, film screenings, workshops and conferences.
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The scale, rate, and complexity of contemporary environmental change is unprecedented in human history, placing profound pressure on interconnected human and ecological systems. Human adaptation has garnered attention among affected groups and decision-makers as a way to ameliorate the harm associated with a changing environment. However, adaptive responses rarely address the underlying drivers of environmental change or the socio-economic and political conditions that engender vulnerability. As a result,  transformability––the capacity to create fundamentally new social-ecological systems when existing systems become untenable––has emerged as a research priority across a range of disciplines. The Environmental Change and Transformations Network (ECTN) aims to contribute to this emerging research area by enabling researchers from a range of disciplines to connect, fostering critical conversation about the opportunities and challenges of transformational change for navigating today’s profound environmental change challenges. The ECTN will focus on connecting, leveraging, and expanding the expertise of the UBC community in relation to environmental change and transformation. ECTN members will also be encouraged to reflect on how insights from Network activities can help specific socio-ecological systems achieve more sustainable, secure, and equitable futures, consistent with the mission of the Liu Institute.

Contact: Graham McDowell (, Sameer Shah ( and Lucy Rodina (

The Food Systems Network (FSN) is comprised of students, faculty, and community partners whose research/work focuses on one of the many aspects of the food system. The overall goal of this network is to increase collaboration and interdisciplinary conversations about critical problems facing our food system locally and globally. To get involved or for more information, please contact any one of the network’s Co-Founders below.

Amber A. Heckelman:
Ph.D. Candidate, Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems

Dana James
Ph.D. Student, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability

Laura Castrejon Violante:
Ph.D. Student, Interdisciplinary Studies

Victoria Ostenso:
M.Sc. Student, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems

The Global Health Network supports the development of a broad and inclusive conception of global health that improves individual well-being in ways that are just, equitable and sustainable. The network’s interdisciplinary approach looks within and beyond health sciences and emphasizes transnational issues, determinants and solutions.
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The Global Indigenous Politics and Settler Colonial Studies Graduate Student Collective (GIPC) provides a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars to engage in issues related to Indigenous self-determination and decolonization. Our goal is to generate collective and critical thinking around topics such as:

  • Indigenous rights
  • Resistance and resurgence
  • Settler colonialism
  • Social and environmental justice on Indigenous lands

With the goal of fostering a deeper engagement with these issues at the Liu Institute and at UBC more broadly, we plan and hold workshops, conferences, reading groups, and community events for both academic and public audiences. We also aim to respond to pressing issues by collaborating on op-eds, reports, and community-led initiatives. In this, we engage critically with questions around building academic-community alliances and the role of research in advancing self-determination. As a multi-disciplinary network, we approach decolonization from a local and global perspective, and prioritize activities that have a public impact.


Contact Emma Feltes for details:

The Working Group on Latin America and the Global explores the relationship between Latin America and broader global forces. In addition to examining how large-scale processes have shaped and even constituted Latin America, the group considers how Latin America has influenced and inspired events elsewhere in the world.
Contact Juan Felipe Hernandez for details:
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The Liu Migration Network is a network of graduate students working in the field of migration studies at the University of British Columbia. The network, formerly called the Graduate Student Migration Network (GSMN), has been in existence since 2004. It is now affiliated with the Liu Institute, an arrangement that provides more resources and opportunities for all members.

The Liu Migration Network is built on two important local migration-related projects. The first is an earlier inter-faculty initiative in migration studies (IFIMS) which sought to institutionalize the interdisciplinary study of migration at UBC. The second is the network’s important connections with Metropolis British Columbia. Although Metropolis BC ceased its research activity in 2013, a wealth of migration-related resources remains accessible on its website.

Like IFIMS and Metropolis BC before it, the Liu Migration Network aims to provide space for dialogue and discussion among scholars on important issues of migration theory, policy, and methods.

The Liu Migration Network aims to host several events each year. All graduate students working in migration studies at UBC, regardless of their affiliation with the Liu Institute, are welcome to be members of the Liu Migration Network and attend events. Please email the Chair, Saguna Shankar, at to join the mailing list. All members will receive email announcements of events as well as notice of migration-related funding, conferences, and employment opportunities.

The MRSR-WG provides a synergistic and un-censored space for students and faculty to discuss works in progress, read relevant texts and engage with politically engaged aesthetic practices to explore new ideas, theoretical trajectories and conceptual frameworks relevant to the working group’s areas of interest. The MRSR-WG hosts invitation only sessions for graduate students and faculty members and aims to advance conceptual thinking on memory, resistance and social repair in relation to conflict, historical injustice, and natural disasters. In the past two years, these closed sessions have taken the form of tertulias, which are informal and regular gatherings of a group of critical intellectuals and/or artists to engage in a lively discussion and share ideas and viewpoints, as practiced in Latin America. As a result of these tertulias, working group members have successfully assisted each other in the publication of peer-reviewed journal articles, organize collaborative workshops at international conferences such as the International Studies Association, successfully win competitive field research grants as well as experiment with art installations and other politically engaged, aesthetic projects.

The Philippine Studies Series: Academics, Action, Art is a Vancouver-based network of scholars and community members who are interested in discussing Philippine issues, promoting multiculturalism and supporting the integration of the Filipino community into Canada.
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The Post/Colonial, Critical Race and Feminist Theory Group is a monthly interdisciplinary study group focused on contemporary theoretical and methodological advances in global scholarship as it relates to: violence, displacement and social suffering; empire, race and sex; neoliberalism, the state and trans/nationalisms; Orientalism, modernity and Islamophobia.
Contact Professor Sunera Thobani for details: