Dr. Ashok Mathur


Collaborator - Thompson River University


Ashok Mathur comes to UBCO from his current position as a Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, and Director of the Centre for innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CiCAC) at Thompson Rivers University, where he has held an Associate Professorship in the departments of Visual & Performing Arts; English and Modern Languages; and Journalism, Communication & New Media since 2005. Prior to this he was Head of Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in Vancouver from 2001-05

Mathur’s cultural, critical, creative, and academic practice is wide ranging and investigates new models of artistic research and interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly those that pursue a social justice agenda.

Mathur was born in Bhopal, India, and immigrated to Canada with his family, settling in Nova Scotia and then moving west to Calgary, where he began working on a variety of small press and art projects. Mathur completed his PhD in English at the University of Calgary, focusing on anti-racism inside and outside the academy. His first book, Loveruage, was published in 1993 by Wolsak and Wynn. His first novel Once Upon an Elephant was published in 1998, and his second, The Short, Happy Life of Harry Kumar was published in 2001, both by Arsenal Pulp Press. His latest novel, A Little Distillery in Nowgong (2009), based on Parsi history and diaspora, was the premise for a touring multi-media installation that has shown in part or in whole in Vancouver, Kamloops, Ottawa, Kingston, and Halifax.

Mathur’s most recent work is in the area of art and reconciliation. In 2011, he was lead editor for Cultivating Canada: reconciliation through the lens of cultural diversity, published by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.