Faculty & Instructors

  • All-female Paris Photo project features work of Brock prof

    Brock Visual Arts Associate Professor Amy Friend had her work featured at the renowned Paris Photo last month, which highlights the work of artists around the world.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | By: Sarah Moore)

    How many female photographers have been omitted from history books — their stories never told and their work never shown — simply because they were women?

    That’s a question Brock Visual Arts Associate Professor Amy Friend has been asking herself quite frequently.

    It has also been front of mind for the French Ministry of Culture and for independent curator Fannie Escoulen, who recently featured the work of Friend and other female photographers throughout history in a new photo book, Elles X Paris Photo.

    Amy Friend is sat signing a book.

    Brock Visual Arts Associate Professor Amy Friend had her work featured at the renowned Paris Photo last month, which highlights the work of artists around the world. She was also chosen for inclusion in the new photo book, Elles X Paris Photo, and gave a book signing for her newly published Stardust at the art fair.

    Friend’s Ruth, October 1936, was showcased alongside images from other female photographers, ranging from early 20th century photographic pioneers to contemporary artists of today.

    The goal of the project is to draw attention to the systemic barriers that women have historically faced in the field, and to promote the work of an emerging generation of artists that are still largely underrepresented today.

    “To be featured among these other female artists was particularly special because it means that my vision and my perspective matter,” said Friend. “We have been historically approaching imagery that has been primarily constructed and presented from a male standpoint.

    “This project allows us to consider what it means for women artists like myself to present their view of the world, what barriers still exist that prevent female artists from holding a place in the history books, and what has to change in the future to overcome those barriers.”

    Ruth, October 1936, was composed using a found, vintage photograph of a woman firing a gun.

    As with the other photos in her Dare alla Luce (Italian for ‘to bring to light’) series, Friend pierced tiny pinholes in the photo before shining light through and re-photographing it to create an orb-like optical effect.

    “This image was especially fitting for the book because all we know about that woman in the photo is her name and that somewhere in the world, in 1936, she was shooting a gun. That’s all we know,” said Friend. “Her history was forgotten.”

    Elles X Paris Photo debuted this fall at Paris Photo in Grand Palais, Paris. Considered to be the largest photography fair in the world, Paris Photo showcases the work of artists from hundreds of galleries around the world.

    Friend, who was recently listed among an elite lineup of ‘7 Female Photographers You Should Know from Paris Photo’ in Artsy, exhibited work from Dare alla Luce, as well as doing a book signing for her latest monograph Stardust, from L’Artiere, Publishing.

    She was represented by in camera galerie (Paris), known for its esteemed roster of artists including Cindy Sherman and Jane Evelyn Atwood.

    “It was important to engage with people and artists from all over the world; making connections, talking about ongoing projects and celebrating,” Friend said of being part of the fair.  “I could also interact with work coming out of galleries and countries that I might never get to see otherwise. It was an enriching experience.”

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Give back this holiday season through on-campus initiatives

    Second-year Business Administration Co-op student Danielle Hynes places a donated toy under the holiday tree in the Campus Store. Community Care’s Adopt an Angel program is one of many charitable initiatives happening on campus during the holiday season.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 28, 2018)

    As the snow continues to fly and the temperature drops, the Brock community is ramping up opportunities to give back during the holiday season.

    Students, staff and faculty are invited to donate food, clothing, toys, time or money to any of several initiatives on campus.

    Donate Food

    Badgers food drive
    The Brock Badgers are collecting non-perishable food items for Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold at several upcoming Brock Badgers hockey games at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre:

    • Thursday, Nov. 29 — Women’s hockey vs. Guelph at 7:15 p.m.
    • Friday, Nov. 30 — Men’s hockey vs. Guelph at 7:15 p.m.
    • Saturday, Dec. 1 — Women’s hockey vs. Waterloo at 2:15 p.m.

    Student-athletes are encouraged to participate and help spread the word. The athletic team that raises the most food will receive additional Badgers 4 Badgers points.

    Food bins
    Community Care food bins will be located at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk.

    Suggested non-perishable food items include:

    •  peanut butter
    •  canned fish, meat, fruit and vegetables
    •  juice boxes and large juice containers
    •  pudding cups and apple sauce
    •  nut-free granola bars
    •  baby formula and cereal

    Special thanks to Brock Recreation’s intramural sports teams who recently completed a canned food drive for the 28th consecutive year.

    Donate Clothes and Toys

    Warmth tree
    Brock Recreation is collecting new or gently-used mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks at a tree located at the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk. Donations will be directed to the Salvation Army and Community Care.

    Clothing bins
    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is collecting gently used clothing for St. Andrews Church. Donations can be dropped off at the bin located next to School’s Campus Security office until Friday, Dec. 21.

    Toolbox Project
    The Brock community is being asked to contribute essential ‘tools’ such as toothbrushes, soap, socks, snacks and first-aid items to give to homeless men during the holiday season. The initiative is for Toolbox Project Niagara, a community initiative founded by Brock alumnus James Symons (BRLS ’11). Donations are being accepted until Friday, Dec. 14 at bins located at the Student Life Innovation Commons in Mackenzie Chown A 204 and the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk.

    Campus Store tree
    The Brock Campus Store is collecting new, unwrapped toys and stocking stuffers for Community Care’s Adopt an Angel program. Children’s names and ages adorn the trees to help donors chose gifts. Toy and monetary donations will be accepted until Tuesday, Dec. 18. Anyone who donates before Friday, Nov. 30 will receive $5 in Campus Store cash.

    Donate Time

    Holiday parades
    Volunteers are needed to walk with Brock at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Paradeon Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. A Brock float featuring a festive holiday scene will be the centrepiece of the University’s efforts and will be surrounded by warmly dressed volunteers at each event. Register to walk on the SignUp.com website.

    Home for the Holidays hosts
    Brock International is looking for Brock faculty and staff interested in hosting international students over the holidays. The time invested can be as little as a couple of hours participating in a winter activity like ice skating or enjoying a festive dinner.

    Prince of Wales Public School Holiday Extravaganza
    Volunteers will visit Prince of Wales Public School for the annual Holiday Extravaganza on Wednesday, Dec. 5, spreading seasonal cheer to about 150 kindergarten to Grade 8 students. The day will include holiday-themed activities, crafts and special guests. Learn more.

    Community partners
    If Brock students, staff or faculty are interested in volunteering with community organizations this holiday season, Kristen Smith, Brock’s Manager, Community Outreach Programs, can help connect them with community partners. For more information, email Smith at ksmith2@brocku.ca or call x3545.

    Donate Money

    Brock University Annual Fund
    Monetary donations to Brock’s Annual Fund will help support students through awards and scholarships, a student emergency fund and investments in learning spaces such as the Goodman School of Business and the Rankin Family Pavilion. Donate online.

    Socks for change
    Monetary donations are being collected for the Socks for Change project, which will donate a new pair of socks to the Toolbox Project for every $2 raised. Socks for Change collection containers (in the shape of mannequin legs) are positioned around campus.

    United Way Niagara
    Brock University’s United Way employee fundraising campaign is still underway, with a goal of raising $145,000 by the end of December. Gifts to United Way will help move people out of poverty, encourage children to reach their full potential and enhance the quality of life for adults living in crisis or with disabilities. Faculty and staff are encouraged to return their pledge forms to Human Resources or donate online.

    If there is a holiday fundraiser, clothing or food drive missing from this Brock News list, email campusnews@brocku.ca  to have it added.

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Community voices expressed through Brock art exhibitions

    Curt Richard, a student in VISA 3M90, surveys the exhibition that he and 52 other students have completed over the course of the semester. Manifestos in a Room is a collaboration between students in French, Visual Arts, and Studies in Art and Culture. It will be on display at Rodman Hall Art Centre until Dec. 30.


    (From The Brock News, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 | By: Alison Innes)

    Two Brock art exhibitions now on display are working to celebrate and amplify community voices.

    Manifestos in a Room and Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines were each created to engage with Northern Oracle, an exhibition by Heather Hart currently being featured at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    Through the exhibition, which includes an indoor rooftop installation, Hart asks visitors what they want to say to the world and advises them to shout it from the rooftop.

    Reflecting on Northern Oracle, 53 students in Visual Arts, Studies in Arts and Culture, and French came together to create their own statements, whether poetic, absurd or political. The expressions — in both English and French — were used to create Manifestos in a Room, on display in Rodman Hall’s Studio Gallery.

    Students worked throughout the fall semester to bring the exhibition, curated by Associate Professor Catherine Parayre and instructor Donna Akrey, to life.

    Jean Ntakirutimana, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, demonstrates the talking drum used to send messages over long distances in Cameroon. With careful training, a person could use the different tones produced by the drum to send messages. The drum is just one of the items on display in Sauti za Afrika/ African Voices/ Voix Africaines, an exhibition celebrating voices of Niagara’s African diaspora community.

    “It really helps to collaborate in one’s art practice,” said Akrey, whose art students were involved in the project.

    “We also did an assembly line production to create some of the work, which was fun and rewarding. I was impressed with how the 3M90 students embraced this project and made sense of it for the viewing public.”

    For the participating French students, the exhibition was a “great opportunity to practice writing constraints for fun,” said Parayre. “Students produced facetious manifestos, writing eloquently on a light-hearted topic. It allowed all of us to put our creative forces together and share a common space.”

    The exhibition includes a visual component as well as a three-minute audio track created by the students.

    Over at Brock’s main campus, the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MLLC) is hosting Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines, an exhibition meant to amplify the voices of the African diaspora in Niagara. Featuring 12 different languages, the exhibition combines modern writing with ancient traditions of communication.

    The display features instruments and figurines used for communication, such as a conch shell, similar to the one used to call for revolution in Haiti, and miniature replicas of Burundi drums used by royalty to communicate with their people.

    Also included is an intricately carved cow horn used to call people to come and hear the chief speak in certain regions of Africa, said Department Chair and Associate Professor Jean Ntakirutimana.

    Ntakirutimana worked with members of Niagara’s African diaspora and Sofifran (Solidarité des femmes et familles immigrantes francophones du Niagara) to collect people’s hopes, dreams and concerns to include in the display. Members have also loaned their personal objects for the exhibition.

    The display is a precursor to an event by the same name coming up in February. Co-hosted by Sofifran, MLLC and Studies in Arts and Culture, the event will be held at Rodman Hall and will also engage with Northern Oracle.

    Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines is a part of the Museum in the Hallway project, curated by Parayre. Located in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Mackenzie Chown A-block), the project features rotating monthly displays.

    Both African Voices and Manifestos in A Room will be on display until the end of December. Northern Oracle will be at Rodman Hall until March 3.

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Brock’s new Women’s Choir preparing for inaugural concert

    The Brock University Choirs rehearse for their upcoming performance on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Friday November 23, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Brock University’s new Women’s Choir is joining forces with the established Chamber Choir to perform its first concert next month.

    Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff will lead the Brock Choirs in Concert performance on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. It will take place at the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    The concert is part of the Department of Music’s Viva Voce! Choral Series, which begins its season Saturday, Nov. 24 with a performance by the Avanti Chamber Singers. The Women’s Choir and Chamber Choir are each comprised of about 30 members from Brock University and the wider Niagara community.

    Rensink-Hoff believes the concert provides a great opportunity to bridge the gap between students and the community and showcase the breadth of talented singers from the region as a whole.

    “It’s a neat dynamic as the students get to know the community members and vice versa,” she said. “I’ve been trying to encourage interaction between the singers during breaks so that it feels as comfortable as possible and the singers can bond with each other.”

    The choirs will be joined on stage by the Walker String Quartet, which will also perform some solo pieces during the concert.

    The Brock Choirs in Concert performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. There is also a $5 option available for eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) Box Office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

    The next performance in the Viva Voce! Choral Series will take place on Feb. 23 featuring the Avanti Chamber Singers. For more details on upcoming concerts, visit the Department of Music website.

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Brock’s String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble kick off holiday season with tributes to music legends

    Brock University’s Wind Ensemble will perform its Tribute to the Legends concert on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Friday November 16, 2018 | By: Sarah Moore)

    Brock University’s String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble will bring captivating melodies from legendary composers to the stage in their first performances of the season.

    As part of the Brock University Music Department’s instrumental series, the Orchestra’s Simply Strings concert will take place Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Cairns Recital Hall. The Ensemble will perform its Tribute to the Legends recital on Tuesday, Dec. 4 in Partridge Hall.

    The String Orchestra brings musicians from the University together with members of the community to perform standard masterworks and lesser-known gems of the string repertoire. It was added to the ensemble roster of the Brock University Choirs and Brock University Wind Ensemble in September 2017 to provide a place for university and community string players to perform together and share their talents.

    Led by conductor George Cleland, the String Orchestra will perform Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue, Warlock’s Capriol Suite, Sibelius’ Canzonetta, Op. 62a and Britten’s Simple Symphony at the Nov. 28 concert.

    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, the University Wind Ensemble features the talents of 64 musicians drawn from Brock University, community members and Niagara region high schools. Musicians from the Hamilton Symphony on the Bay and Niagara Symphony will also join in the concert on Dec. 4.

    The program will feature works of the past and present, including Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes, Gillingham: Galactic Empires, Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy, Bourgeois: Trombone Concerto, Barker: Cole Porter on Broadway, Bennett: Symphonic Songs and Bourgeois: Trombone Concerto.

    Kalman said the ensemble is thrilled to pay tribute to some of the world’s most influential composers in the state-of-the-art Partridge Hall.

    “We’re going to perform a diverse repertoire of timeless classics and easy-listening charts that will surely leave our audience breathless,” he said. “The evening also includes a brilliant trombone concerto, featuring our very own, supremely talented Alyssa Shanghavi.”

    Such performances from the Department of Music are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate of building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock.

    The conductors said their ensembles serve as cultural ambassadors of the Niagara region and encouraged, “faithful audience members and other music lovers to come out and experience these concerts.”

    Tickets are on sale now for both performances.

    Simply Strings takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Cairns Recital Hall. Tickets are $12 general admission and $5 for children 14 and under, as well as high school students through the eyeGo program. Complimentary tickets are available to current Brock students with valid student ID.

    Tribute to the Legends takes place Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $5 for high school students through the eyeGo program. Complimentary tickets are available to current Brock students with valid student ID.

    All tickets can be purchased through the FirstOntario PAC Box Office.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Avanti Chamber Singers to commemorate the Christmas Truce at first concert of the season

    The Avanti Chamber Singers are led by conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff during rehearsal for their upcoming performance Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 14, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    On Christmas Day, 1914, French, British and German soldiers along the Western Front laid down their weapons, emerged from the trenches and joined in song to celebrate the season. Now referred to as the Christmas Truce, the unofficial ceasefire was a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amid the violence of the First World War.

    To mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice, conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff will lead the Avanti Chamber Singers in a performance to remember the truce on Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines. This marks the first performance of the season for Brock’s choir in residence.

    Titled And on Earth, Peace, the concert will include Remembrance Day tributes, popular songs from the time of the First World War and classic Christmas carols. Songs will be performed in English, German and French, and the audience will be invited to sing along to carols that soldiers would have sung.

    “The moving story of the Christmas Truce was fitting inspiration for our first performance of the season,” said Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. “As we look back to Remembrance Day and forward to the holiday season, we will join together in song — just as those soldiers did more than 100 years ago.”

    Many differing stories about the Christmas Truce have been shared. Even today, it is still unclear exactly what happened on Christmas Day all those years ago.

    The most commonly shared account is that soldiers all sang carols together in celebration on Christmas Eve before emerging to wish their enemies a Merry Christmas the next day. After the soldiers ceased fire, they met to exchange small gifts and souvenirs.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is comprised of 30 musicians from around the Niagara region.

    Rensink-Hoff said she works with different individuals every year, and hopes to showcase the hard work and talent of this year’s choir at the opening concert.

    “The challenge with a new choir is gelling together as a group — not just musically, but interpersonally,” she said. “This is now my second season with Avanti and it makes a big difference when you know people more closely because it helps all of us feel that we are in this together.”

    Accompanying the Avanti Chamber Singers will be pianist and organist Lesley Kingham and guest trumpeter Timothy White.

    And on Earth, Peace takes place Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through the Avanti Singers website, at Thorold Music and Booksmart, or from choir members for $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. A $5 ticket is available for students and eyeGo program members.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be performing on Feb. 23 and April 27 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church.

    Rensink-Hoff is also the conductor for the Brock University Choirs, which includes both the chamber choir and the new women’s choir. Their first performance will take place Dec. 1.

    For more information about upcoming choral performances, visit the Brock University Music website.

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, Media Releases, News, Uncategorised

  • Public French-language tour to be held at Rodman Hall

    Associate Professor Peter Vietgen and teacher candidates from Brock University’s Faculty of Education explore the Northern Oracle exhibition by Heather Hart at Rodman Hall Art Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 14)

    A public tour will lead French-speaking art enthusiasts through the exhibitions of Rodman Hall Art Centre on Saturday, Nov. 17.

    Catherine Parayre, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, will lead the French-language tour and related discussion while moving through the historic St. Catharines building.

    The event, Maisons de l’art: Conversations en français et visite des expositions, begins at 2 p.m.

    Current Rodman Hall exhibitions include Up Close and In Motion: Selected Works from the Permanent Collection, curated by Emma German, and Northern Oracle by artist Heather Hart.

    Northern Oracle features a rooftop installation rising from the gallery floor and mixed media drawings. The work considers ideas of Black history, access to home ownership and the significance of having a place to call home. Gallery visitors are invited to interact with the installation by accessing the rooftop and its floor-level attic space.

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Brock prof unveils Invisible Histories at Toronto exhibition

    Invisible Histories, by Brock researcher and Visual Arts Chair, Professor Donna Szoke, is installed at the John B. Aird Gallery and CONTACT Gallery in Toronto until Nov. 23. Her work is pictured above: Donna Szoke, Invisible HistoriesGeo-loactive smart phone/tablet app, 2015


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 | By: )

    The work of Brock Professor Donna Szoke on the hidden history of nuclear waste is being featured in a Toronto group exhibition that opened last week.

    Szoke, a researcher and Visual Arts Chair, has her work on display as part of Digital Animalities — a two-venue exhibition of artworks that examines how human-animal understandings and relationships are changing through the use of ubiquitous media and new technologies.

    The exhibition is part of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada(SSHRC)-funded research project titled “Digital Animalities: Media Representations of Nonhuman Life in the Age of Risk,” led by Jody Berland of York University.It brings the work of artists and researchers together to highlight the challenges and opportunities for new understandings of animals in contemporary digital culture.

    Co-curated by Giovanni Aloi, Matthew Brower and Curatorial Assistant Seb Roberts, Digital Animalities divided the works into two exhibitions: Mapping (at the James B. Aird gallery) and Rendering (at CONTACT Gallery).

    Szoke’s Invisible Histories (a geolocative smartphone/tablet app she developed in 2015) is featured in the Mapping exhibition.

    The free app maps nuclear waste at a Niagara Falls, N.Y., storage site, where more than 270,000 mice used in radioactive experiments have been buried.The app brings public awareness to the fact that there is radioactive evidence of secret atomic testing that took place during the infamous Manhattan Project in Niagara.

    Users are guided through the app to the rodent burial site through the leadership of green, glowing 3D mice that become more prevalent on-screen as the site grows near.Szoke said it’s ironic, because no one actually wants to go towards nuclear waste, but the mice guide users to their graves to reveal their tragic end.

    Szoke was awarded the 2017 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

    Her artistic work includes media art, interactive animation, installation, drawing, experimentation and printmaking.

    Digital Animalities runs at the John B. Aird Gallery and CONTACT Gallery in Toronto until Nov. 23.  The Invisible Histories app is available for free download at the iTunes store (OsX) and Google Play (Android).

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

  • Active attacker info sessions to be held at MIWSFPA Nov. 8 & Nov. 14

    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018)

    Would you know what to do if there was an active threat or shooter on campus?

    It’s a scenario most people could never imagine happening at Brock University, but one that Campus Security wants to ensure the community is prepared for.

    Campus Security at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) will be holding two information sessions for staff, instructors, faculty and students of the School this month to discuss emergency preparedness in an active attacker situation.

    Rick Fraser, Brock’s Manager, Emergency Management and Life Safety, will be presenting material on the active attacker protocol that has been adopted at the University during these sessions.

    The information and training sessions will take place in MWS 156 on:

    • Thursday, Nov. 8 from 8 to 9 a.m.
    • Friday, Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to noon

    No registration is required, but the sessions are currently limited to those who study or work at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, due to space limitations.

    For more information on the MIWSFPA sessions, contact Rick Tollar, Supervisor, Campus Security Services, at 905-688-5550 x 6399.

    Information on the active attacker protocol adopted at Brock University is available on the Campus Security website.

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • DART prof wins national award for theatre criticism

    (From The Brock News, Tuesday Oct.30, 2018 | By: )

    Karen Fricker is getting rave reviews from a respected national audience.

    The associate professor in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts is being honoured with the 2018 Nathan Cohen Award for excellence in critical writing by the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.

    Fricker won the award’s short category for her 2016 Toronto Star review of Michel Tremblay’s classic Hosanna, as revived by Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre.

    Fricker, whose research areas include Quebec theatre, said the play is a complicated touchstone of Quebecois culture.

    “A big challenge of writing this review was trying to use the research-based knowledge I had about the play without being overwhelmed by it,” she said. “It was a really hard review to write, so it’s gratifying that it’s being recognized.”

    Fricker has a long history with theatre criticism, having written for outlets including The Guardian and Varietyas well as being the founding editor-in-chief of Irish Theatre Magazine, a publication that operated from 1998 to 2014. She has written for the Toronto Star since March 2016.

    Fricker joined Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts in 2013. Her research interests include contemporary theatre and globalization, popular performances of nation and cultural identities, and theatre criticism. Recent projects have included work on circus performance.

    “The benefits between my work at Brock and at the Toronto Star flow both ways,” Fricker said.

    “I try to connect students in my courses to what’s happening in GTA theatre, and we learn from each other’s responses to the work. When we publish their edited reviews on the DARTcritics website, their voices enter the broader dialogue.”

    As part of her interest in arts criticism in the digital age, Fricker established the blog DARTcritics.com to provide students with an opportunity to publish their work. The site grew from a space for student coursework to a year-round source of quality arts criticism in Niagara. The site now includes reviews and features by students and graduates who are paid for their work.

    The Nathan Cohen Awards were established in 1981 and are given out every two years to honour outstanding critical writing about theatre and performance in print or electronic media. The awards are named after legendary Toronto Star and CBC critic Nathan Cohen.

    A history of the awards and past recipients may be found on the CTCA website.

    Fricker will receive her award in December at a special luncheon in Toronto.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News