Faculty & Instructors

  • DART Professor’s book wins Outstanding Book Award

    Professor Joe Norris with Kakali Bhattacharya, Chair of the Outstanding Book Award Committee of the Qualitative Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

    Professor Joe Norris with Kakali Bhattacharya, Chair of the Outstanding Book Award Committee of the Qualitative Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

    Joe Norris’ book, “Playbuilding as Qualitative Research: A Participatory Arts-based Approach” was selected as the winner of the American Educational Research Association’s Qualitative Research SIG’s 2011 Outstanding Book Award. This book not only met all the criteria for the award, it exceeded every criteria. Norris bridges arts-based research, qualitative inquiry, and playbuilding grounded in rich theories and created dialogue for various social justice issues. The committee members (Linda Evans, Allison Anders and Kakali Bhattacharya – see in the photo with Joe Norris) exclaimed not only about the accessibility, utility of this book, but the ways in which this book challenged their thinking, made them imagine how the audience participation might look like at the end of the scenes, and created the fertile ground for much needed dialoguing. The committee was honored and privileged to review the works of such great thinkers as Valerie Janesick, Kathryn Roulston and Norman Denzin, change agents, and activists in qualitative research and are delighted to present Joe Norris with this years’ Outstanding Book Award.
    Congratulations, Joe.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Director of cSTAC and DART Professor honoured for his contribution to the City of St. Catharines

    Pictured left to right are Professor Debra Maclauchlan and Associate Professor Peter Vietgen (Faculty of Education), Associate Professor David Vivian and Assistant Professor Virginia Reh (Department of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Humanities)

    Pictured left to right are Professor Debra Maclauchlan and Associate Professor Peter Vietgen (Faculty of Education), Associate Professor David Vivian and Assistant Professor Virginia Reh (Department of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Humanities)

    Associate Professors Peter Vietgen (Visual Arts Education in the Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education) and David Vivian (Department of Dramatic Arts and the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Faculty of Humanities) were each presented with three Volunteer Recognition Certificates from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of St. Catharines, at the 23rd Annual Volunteer Recognition Night co-sponsored by the City of St. Catharines, the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce, and the Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery.

    Professor Vietgen was nominated by the Niagara Artist’s Centre for his contribution to the Public Art Advisory Committee of the City of St. Catharines. Professor Vivian was nominated for his service over four years as Chair of the Culture Committee of the City of St. Catharines.  Both Committees of Council are actively engaged in developing new policy, advocacy, funding, recognition and opportunities in the arts and culture sector, contributing to the creation of stimulating and sustainable culturally-rich lives in the city of St. Catharines.

    Given annually, the Volunteer Recognition Awards recognize those outstanding volunteers whose unselfish and dedicated service to an organization has made a significant difference in the community. Nominations are open to youth and adult volunteers, who are presented with their awards at a banquet hosted by the Mayor and councillors in April. This year the banquet was held at the Quality Hotel Parkway Convention Centre on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship

    The Department of Dramatic Arts lost a cherished colleague and friend, Dr. Marlene Moser, on December 21, 2010.  In her honour we have established the Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. To contribute to this Scholarship please send donations to the attention of Norm Bradshaw, Faculty of Humanities, Brock University. The cheque or gift should be made out to Brock University and indicate Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. All donations are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the provincial government.

    For more information please contact Norm Bradshaw .

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    Categories: Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • DART mourns the passing of a friend and colleague.

    Marlene at the Humanities Research Institute Symposium in December, 2006

    It is with deep sadness and grief that we share with you the news of our dear colleague Marlene Moser’s passing on the evening of December 21, 2010.

    Marlene’s courageous five year battle with breast cancer developed into metastasis this past summer.  Her condition started to deteriorate rapidly Monday morning and she was admitted to the Juravinski Hospital Tuesday morning and passed away peacefully Tuesday evening surrounded by all of her family.

    Marlene has been a member of the Brock Community since 2000. During her tenure as professor, researcher, creator, Director and Chair she provided leadership and love to her colleagues and students in the Department of Dramatic Arts.  She was instrumental to the development of the Department as a site of luminous and rigorous investigation of theatre praxis.  Her mentorship of five colleagues through tenure and promotion is but one facet of her legacy to the future of our research, pedagogy, and community. Her presence in the burgeoning theatre scene of St. Catharines was only recently curtailed as she focused her creative energies to meet the challenge of cancer – the vision of her initiatives remains undiminished and in our hearts.

    Marlene fought this cancer with such strength, courage and determination. The Department greatly mourns her passing.

    for more information please see her web page

    see the Brock News article here

    Information about the visitation and an upcoming celebration on January 4th, 2011 is found in the obituary in the Hamilton Spectator.  Here are the details:

    Family and friends may gather at the BAY GARDENS FUNERAL HOME, 1010 Botanical Drive, BURLINGTON, on Tuesday, December 28th between 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A celebration of Marlene’s life (reunion) will take place on her birthday, January 4th at the Royal Botanical Gardens at 2 p.m.

    There is also an online Book of Condolence at the above webpage.

    The Department of Dramatic Arts will host a memorial event in the new year, with details to come. Download the PDF for the Department of Dramatic Arts’ celebration of her life here.

    In her honour we have established the Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. To contribute to this Scholarship please send donations to the attention of Norm Bradshaw nbradshaw@brocku.ca, Faculty of Humanities, Brock University. The cheque or gift should be made out to Brock University and indicate Marlene Moser Memorial Scholarship. All donations are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the provincial government.


    Photos:


    Memories:

    Name: Derrick de Kerckhove
    Location: Naples, Italy
    How did you know Marlene?: I directed Marlene’s Phd. thesis
    Your comments: Since I have been away in Europe most of the time since 2008, having lost touch with Marlene a couple of years after she passed her oral – brillantly – I had not heard this heartbreaking news. I remember her elegance, intelligence, determination and freedom of spirit. This is the kind of loss that sinks deep in a community. My best wishes for the recovery of this community.

    if you wish to submit a comment or share a memory about Marlene, please contact dramatic.arts@brocku.ca

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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Professor studies dark tourism

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, September 9, 2010)

    Imagine a tourism experience where you pay to spend hours pretending to illegally cross the American border from Mexico.

    You trudge through muddy fields under the blare of gunfire. You run exhausted through sewer tunnels. You are placed, scared and blindfolded, in the back of a truck, only to end up where you started — at a restaurant, gift shop and main office, and people telling you to enjoy your stay.

    This is the new trend in post-9/11 dark tourism, a term that describes the act of visiting the sites of tragedies as a tourist. This experience is called immersive simulation, and Natalie Alvarez, assistant professor of Dramatic Arts, is writing a book about it.

    Alvarez has received $23,449 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her research project, “Enactments of difference: immersive simulations and performance from training to dark tourism.” Alvarez will study two types of immersive simulation: that experienced by tourists, and that experienced by soldiers who train in increasingly popular model villages to prepare them for overseas interaction with foreign cultures. Included in that is investigating how performance techniques are used in counterterrorism and intelligence training.

    One dark tourism experience Alvarez will study is that of El Alberto, Mexico, where the community has been depleted by immigration to the U.S. Mexicans pay $20 (U.S.) each to be taken on an overnight fake U.S. border crossing. Ironically, the popularity of the adventure tourism has rejuvenated the town’s economy. Alvarez has twice experienced the tour, which she describes as frightening and surprisingly political, given that it’s billed as adventure tourism.

    “It started with a rousing speech by members of the community about how the work is an homage to those who lost their lives crossing the border,” she said. “We sang the Mexican anthem, followed by the sounds of sirens in the distance of the U.S. border patrol and shouts telling us to start running.”

    Other examples include a recreated Stalin-era Gulag prison camp in Lithuania, where people pay to spend a day as prisoners. In Liepaja, Latvia, tourists stay overnight in a naval jail.

    Alvarez will also visit simulated villages used to train soldiers for duties in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a recreated Afghani village in Norfolk, England, and simulated Iraqi villages in California and Arizona, where actors are recruited to play insurgents and civilians.

    Demand for these simulations has skyrocketed since 9/11, she said.

    “A lot of performance scholars and performance artists talk about the border hysteria and the kind of war on difference that evolved from 9/11,” she said. “There seems to be a desire to rehearse encounters with the cultural ‘other’. I want to know what kind of anxieties are being played out in these scenarios.”

    While on the surface, immersive dark tourism and immersive military simulation seem unrelated, “there are intersecting themes that make them worth putting together in conversation,” she said.

    Alvarez will spend the next two years traveling and observing these simulations, followed by a year of writing.

    Alvarez, who is cross-appointed to Liberal Arts, joined Brock in 2006. She currently serves as a co-editor of the Canadian Theatre Review’s Views and Reviews and has two forthcoming edited books: Fronteras Vivientas, an anthology of Latina/o-Canadian plays, and New Essays on Latina/o-Canadian Theatre and Performance. Both are published by Playwrights Canada Press.

    Links:
    Natalie Alvarez faculty page
    Full list of Brock’s SSHRC recipients
    Past “researcher of the month” profiles

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  • First Marilyn I. Walker endowed Chair in Creativity, Imagination and Innovation announced

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, February 10, 2010)

    Brock has announced the creation and first recipient of the Marilyn I. Walker Chair in Creativity, Imagination and Innovation.

    The Chair is awarded to the Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts for the duration of their term as Director. Derek Knight, the current Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is the first person to hold the position. The endowed Chair supports building the school’s programs, enhancing its facilities and positioning it to be one of the best fine arts schools in North America.

    “Today we are announcing the first privately endowed Chair in the history of Brock,” said President Jack Lightstone. “This Chair represents a major step in the development of our University because it helps us fulfill our blueprint for the future — which includes fostering research and creative activity, expanding graduate and professional programs, enhancing interdisciplinary studies and community engagement. Our goal is to establish endowed chairs in all six faculties at Brock.”

    From left: Jack Lightstone, Marilyn I. Walker, Derek Knight, Rosemary Hale

    Renowned Canadian fibre artist Marilyn I. Walker made the Chair possible with a $15 million gift to the University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts in November 2008 — the largest donation the University has ever received. The gift was endowed in perpetuity to support the future improvement of the School and its programming. This Chair represents the first tangible outcome of this vision.

    “This announcement is about advancing the arts at Brock and in Niagara,” said Rosemary Hale, Dean, Faculty of Humanities. “It is also about enhancing our capacity to play a key role in partnering with our surrounding communities to influence the cultural redevelopment of our region as we work to build a world-class arts facility for our students, faculty, staff and patrons.”

    Funds associated with the Chair will be used to support programming and investments at the School to build up its and University’s reputation in the area of fine and performing arts.

    Derek Knight has worked at Brock since 1985. He teaches courses in 20th century European and North American art history, contemporary art and theory, and contributes to the MA program in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts. In addition to his own production of photo-based, conceptual and site-specific art and participation in more than thirty group shows, Knight has developed a profile as an independent curator.

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