A new leader has taken the helm at Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).
The Faculty of Humanities welcomed Linda Carreiro to the new position of Associate Dean of Fine and Performing Arts on Monday, Nov. 1.
She joins Brock from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, where she was the Associate Dean in the Faculty of Art.
“I’m really excited to work with people from across the arts and to work in a more interdisciplinary way with colleagues from across the Faculty of Humanities and across campus,” says Carreiro. She is looking forward to exploring new projects and trajectories, both for the MIWSFPA and for her own research.
Arts are important to any campus and community, says Carreiro, who believes this is particularly true at Brock.
“With the MIWSFPA situated downtown, it’s an integral part of the community and a vibrant part of the arts community,” she says. “People are really eager to support creativity and the arts because they know the significance of it to culture and society.”
Carreiro, who also previously worked at the University of Calgary, is ready to take on the challenges and leverage the opportunities that come with this new role, all while finding ways to bring the work being done at MIWSFPA into the community.
“I look forward to working with the other Associate Deans across campus to provide a stronger presence for the arts school,” says Carreiro. “It’s important to find more ways to bridge between the main campus and the MIWSFPA, as well as between the MIWSFPA and the Niagara community.”
Carreiro, of Indigenous and settler descent, is also interested in working on equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, having worked on various curriculum decolonization initiatives in the past.
“I definitely want to connect with Indigenous and other communities and try to make an impact in the right way,” she says. “For instance, through prioritized hiring initiatives, as it’s so important for students to see diverse faces reflected in the people who are teaching and working with them.”
Carreiro’s own creative work explores traces of the physical body in printed text.
“Almost of all my work now is text based,” she says. “By overtly evidencing the way in which I make printed words, I try to counter the ways in which we think about text.”
Her work challenges the idea of written text as authoritative when it’s clean, crisp and readable, and instead brings attention to its messiness, instability and subjective associations.
“People can start to see the materials, such as shadows and surrounding paper, as part of the meaning of the word,” Carreiro says.
Additionally, her work on what she terms ‘choreogrammatics’ explores what happens to our understanding of texts when we are forced to move while reading, and how such movement starts to open different meanings from words.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Dr. Linda Carreiro to the newly created role of Associate Dean of Fine and Performing Arts,” says Carol Merriam, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. “Dr. Carreiro’s work will build on the legacy of the MIWSFPA. Her experience and expertise will serve colleagues and students in the school, as well as the arts community in Niagara, very well indeed.”
The creation of the new Associate Dean role replaces the previous Director position at the arts school. The new position encompasses more student-facing experiences while giving the arts greater visibility within the University.
“The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts has been well served by some committed and hard-working Directors since its opening, and they have done excellent work,” says Merriam. “The position of Associate Dean of Fine and Performing Arts is a development of that Director role into a more visible leadership position.”