Welcome new faculty

Welcome to our newest faculty members in Humanities.

Dr. Erin Akerman

Erin Akerman (PhD, Western University) is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario from the Georgian Bay Métis Community. She is excited to join Brock as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. Erin studies Indigenous literatures of Turtle Island (both early and contemporary) and often reads the work of nineteenth-century Indigenous writers in relation to early Canadian and British Romantic literatures. Her recent or forthcoming articles address Métis oral narratives in the Great Lakes region, Ojibwe poet Jane Johnston Schoolcraft’s writings, Indigenous feminisms, and British writer Anna Jameson’s travel narrative Winter Studies and Rambles in Canada. She looks forward to working with Brock students, sharing her research with the Brock community, and learning from her colleagues across campus.

Amanda Burk

Amanda Burk is a new Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, coming most recently from Nipissing University, North Bay. Amanda’s studio practice is centered in drawing and her research interests focus on contemporary Canadian drawing and studio-based pedagogy. Her artwork has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be found in such collections as: the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Cobra to Contemporary (Netherlands), and the City of Toronto. Amanda is a research associate of the NSCAD Drawing Lab, and is currently collaborating on the study, The Effects of Language and Schema on Drawing Performance, as well as a SSHRC funded Insight Grant, Perceptual and cognitive processes in observational drawing: Pedagogical Implications. From 2011-2016, Amanda ran Line Gallery as a curatorial research project. Line Gallery was an independent gallery dedicated to exhibiting and documenting contemporary Canadian drawing. During Line Gallery’s five-year run, it produced 25 solo exhibitions featuring the work of many notable drawing artists from across the country. Amanda received her MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and her undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Linda Carreiro

Dr. Linda Carreiro comes to Brock as the Associate Dean, Fine and Performing Arts, and as a Professor of Visual Art in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. For over two decades, she has been pursuing creative and critical inquiries on text-based visual artwork, making interconnections between the root word of text (textus/texere)—meaning tissue or textile—with the tissues of the body. Anatomical studies, both her own work conducted within a dissection lab as well as historical representations of the anatomized body, underscore all her research interests. A recent project, choreogrammatics, examines how the impact, affect, and plurality of meanings are intensified through a physicalized performance of reading. Artworks resulting from this research include solo and group exhibitions internationally, invitational speaking engagements, and written contributions in both peer-reviewed and invited publications. She has received grants through the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Manitoba Arts Council, and was selected as a Residency Fellow in the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, as well as a Massey Visiting Scholar. Prior to her appointment at Brock, Linda served as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University in Toronto, and as Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Nicholas Hauck

Dr. Nicholas Hauck (PhD, University of Toronto) spends much of his time practicing, thinking, and reading about translation in the broadest sense of the term: as an encounter between different modes of expression. His research interests include 20th and 21st century poetry, hybrid forms of writing, experimental translation, and translation theory. His current projects explore the interconnectedness of body, text, and performance, specifically as it relates to aural/oral experiences (sound poetry, homophonics, non-human sounds). He is the author of L’inhumain poétique (Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2022), and Walter Benjamin, un essai (Éditions Sémaphore, 2015). In 2020 he co-founded the Toronto Experimental Translation Collective (tetcollective.com), which combines the formats of seminars, workshops, and performances, to renegotiate relationships within and across languages and media.

Joshua Manitowabi

Joshua Manitowabi (BA McMaster University, MA McMaster University, PhD ABD Brock University) is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous History. His research has centered on Indigenous histories and Indigenous education. Josh’s master’s thesis, It sometimes speaks to us: Decolonizing Education by Utilizing Our Elders’ Knowledge, explored the experiences and recommendations of elders in introducing Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into the curricula of Anishinaabe schools. His doctoral dissertation, Anishinaabek Knowledge and Power on Manitoulin Island, is an ethnohistoric study of Odawa agency and perspectives regarding 18th and 19th century treaties made with the British Crown.

Dr. Troy David Ouellette

Troy David Ouellette is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Troy comes to us from York University, where his dissertation focused on Assemblage Theory. His transdisciplinary practice centres on creating organizations that assist cultural practitioners in research-creation, thereby extending the field of media art practice into the community. As “Principal Organizer” of the Sound Art Innovation Lab, his work dovetails with interests in organizations (as organisms) that might function as platforms for social and environmental justice. His recent research involves “Synæsthetics” a neologism that attempts to bridge digital and organic/analogue sensory divides. By combining systems esthetics with synesthesia, Ouellette contends that this interconnectedness of entities and events may promote sites of parasitic resistance to foil hegemonic processes.

Dr. Nina Penner

Dr. Nina Penner joined the Brock community in July 2020 and is thrilled to be continuing as Assistant Professor of Music. Dr. Penner is a musicologist specializing in opera, musical theatre, and film music. Her first book Storytelling in Opera and Musical Theatre (Indiana University Press, 2020) explores how forms of sung drama tell stories in comparison with other media. Through discussions of recent productions in Canada, she also reflects on how centuries-old works remain meaningful to contemporary audiences and have the power to attract new, more diverse audiences to opera and musical theatre. Her current work documents the experiences of people of colour in Canadian opera and how projects led by people of colour are exploring new models of authorship and collaboration. Dr. Penner grew up in Niagara and is grateful for the opportunity to give back to Brock and the wider community.

Dr. Adam Rappold

Dr. Adam Rappold (PhD, The Ohio State University), Department of Classics. Adam comes to Brock after teaching at The Ohio State University, where he obtained his PhD with a dissertation entitled “The Shadow of the Polis: A Synchronic and Diachronic Examination of the Skira festival in Athens.” His research interests center on exploring the influence of ancient religious thought and performance on the reception of Athenian drama (both ancient and modern) – particularly in cases where such an exploration expands our understanding of the voices of marginalized or non-elite viewers. He has presented at national and international leading conferences on a number of subjects pertinent both to the study of ancient religions and classical drama including: the evolution of myth, the influence of politics on religious cult, and on the novel mythmaking of Euripides’ lost Erechtheus. In addition, he has been published in Archiv für Religionsgeschichte (2014), with an article entitled ‘The Stuff of Dream: An Aesopic Critique of Dream Interpretation.”

Dr. Jennifer Roberts-Smith

Dr. Jennifer Roberts-Smith joins Brock as Professor and Chair of Dramatic Arts. She is an award-winning artist-researcher, whose transdisciplinary work in performance, digital media, design, education, and social justice has appeared in theatres, exhibitions, and scholarly publications internationally. JRS is the founder and co-convenor of the qCollaborative (qcollaborative.com), an international, intersectional feminist design research lab focused on performance and technology. Her recent projects have supported community-driven interventions into cycles of harm perpetuated by systemic racism in Nova Scotia (in the Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation project); reconciliation in post-conflict zones in Colombia (in Design for Peace); and women’s prison reform (in Theatre for Relationality) and disability rights (Aesthetics for Accessibility) in Waterloo Region, Ontario. JRS currently directs Staging Better Futures/Mettre en scène de meilleurs avenirs, a cross–Canada, industry-academic partnership to integrate anti-racism, decolonization, equity, diversity, and inclusion into post-secondary theatre education. She began her career as an actor and director in Canadian theatres and comes to Brock from the University of Waterloo, where she served as Associate Chair, Theatre and Performance for almost a decade.

Dr. Sarah Stang

Dr. Sarah Stang joined the Department of Digital Humanities (though it was a Centre at the time) as an Assistant Professor of Game Studies in 2022 after receiving her PhD from the Communication & Culture program at York University, with a dissertation focused on gender representation and the design of female monsters in games. As a feminist game scholar, Sarah’s research primarily explores gender representation in both digital and analog games, though she writes on other forms of marginalization and analyzes film and television as well. Sarah’s published work has examined topics such as the representation of female monstrosity, androgyny, and parenthood, as well as the nature of interactivity and the current state of feminist game studies. She is delighted to be part of the Brock and St. Catharines community.

Dr. Priya A. Thomas

Priya A. Thomas, PhD is a dance/theatre historian, musician, and dancer/choreographer. Her scholarly and creative activities reflect a multidisciplinary critical practice that probes changing historical understandings of the human in dance and performance practices. Her research on historical configurations of the nonhuman/monster in transatlantic contexts of the long nineteenth century (1750-1913) has been recognized through publications in leading peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, international conferences, research awards, grants, and fellowships. Her polyvocal record of artistic creation spans a range of dramatic vocabularies and performance practices (Bharata Natyam, yoga, modern/contemporary, and more recently, flamenco), and includes a catalog of critically acclaimed recordings as a musician/songwriter. Until June 2021, she served as a tenure-stream assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University. She is currently working on a SSHRC-funded book manuscript on monsters in theatrical performance, a Canada-Council funded fictohistorical performance project entitled, The Last of the Rhinestone Cowboys: Expo 67’s Sunset Years, a directorial project for the Decolonize Your Ears Playwrights Festival (Red Beti Theatre, Hamilton), as well as a full-length recording as a musician/songwriter. She currently serves as Book Review Editor of the peer-reviewed theatre journal, Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada (University of Toronto Press). She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University.