Articles tagged with: Carol Merriam

  • MIWSFPA welcomes Elizabeth Vlossak as Director

    Associate Professor of History Elizabeth Vlossak will take on the role of Interim Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on July 1.

    (adapted from The Brock News, Sunday, June 03, 2018 | by )

    Associate Professor of History Elizabeth Vlossak will be become Interim Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on July 1 when current Director David Vivian begins a year-long sabbatical.

    “I’m really looking forward to continuing to strengthen our community partnerships and perhaps develop new ones,” says Vlossak. “I’m thinking of ways to bridge the Humanities so that there is more interaction and collaboration between the MIWSFPA and other departments on the main campus.”

    Being a historian, Vlossak says she loves how “the city’s past has been preserved in a way that is relevant to the present, while also looking to the future,” in terms of the MIWSFPA building. But the school isn’t just the building. “It’s the people — students, faculty and staff — doing incredible work that enriches Brock as well as St. Catharines and the Niagara region.”

    Vlossak’s research area is 20th century European history, with particular interest in cultural history during the two world wars, women’s history, gender and nationalism, and memory and the politics of commemoration.

    She is a founding member and Associate Fellow of The History Lab, a collaboration with the Niagara Falls Military Museum, Seedling for Change in History, and Associate Professor Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas.

    Vlossak has also consulted with the Department of Dramatic Arts on two Mainstage productions, Ring Around the Moon (2006) and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (2016), sharing her research specialization with students and contributing to their successful performances.

    “The executive of the school is particularly excited by Associate Professor Vlossak’s record of community engagement through undertakings such as The History Lab,” says Vivian. “We look forward to her contribution to existing programming and relationship building with our community partners, as well as her unique new initiatives.”

    “I’m very pleased that Professor Vlossak is willing to take on the role of Interim Director of the MIWSFPA,” says Faculty of Humanities Dean Carol Merriam. “Professor Vlossak is an active, energetic, and imaginative teacher and scholar, and will bring those same qualities to the work of the School.”

    Vivian, Associate Professor with the Department of Dramatic Arts, has been Director of the MIWSFPA since 2016. Previously he was Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture (3 years) and Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts (4 years). He teaches theatrical design, production and stagecraft and has designed sets and costumes for Department mainstage productions.

    “The directorship is an unusual job involving work with faculty, staff, students and external partners, and Professor Vivian has balanced all of these demands very effectively,” says Merriam. “I wish him well of his rightly-deserved sabbatical.”

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

  • Symposium to focus on depictions of animals in literature, art and society

    Visual Arts Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded with the Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the HRI Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17. Szoke’s work with animals includes her current piece, Midst, which uses video projectors and fog machines to create animations of large animals on a wall of fog.

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, April 09, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    The Elephant in the Room will be the topic of discussion next week at the annual Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art and society. Faculty members from the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science will share their work on critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Symposium organizer Associate Professor Keri Cronin hopes this year’s topic will bring together researchers from across the University to start important interdisciplinary conversations and make the work already being done more visible.

    “Brock is, in my opinion, the place to be for animal studies,” says Cronin. “But because those of us researching and teaching these topics are so spread out and scattered across campus, it’s hard to get a sense of just how deep this research runs.”

    These HRI events are essential to maintaining the Faculty of Humanities’ sense of community, says Michael Carter, Associate Dean of Humanities and Director of the Humanities Research Institute.

    “The symposia provide wonderful opportunities for interaction and mutual support of our diverse research and creative agenda,” he says.

    The HRI was created to encourage the development of research programs and initiatives within the Faculty, as well as to generate public awareness of the diversity of humanities research by faculty and graduate students.

    This year, Visual Arts Associate Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded the 2017 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the symposium. Szoke’s artistic work includes media art, interactive animation, installation and printmaking.

    Szoke’s multidisciplinary work has included creating a free smartphone app, “Invisible Histories,” which maps nuclear waste at the Niagara Falls, N.Y. Storage Site, where more than 270,000 mice used in radioactive experiments have been buried.

    More recent work by Szoke has included “Bold as Love,” a site-specific response piece at Rodman Hall Art Centre, and “Knitting Cigarettes,” an ongoing performance art piece of public knitting.

    The 2017 HRI Spring Colloquium will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 17. The full schedule is available online.

    What: HRI Spring Symposium, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching”

    Where: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    When: Tuesday, April 17, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby.
    See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • HRI Spring Term Symposium: The Elephant in the Room

    Image: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.

    The Humanities Research Institute will be hosting its Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17, 12:30 to 4:30 pm at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts room 406. The public is welcome to attend! No registration required.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching,” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art, and society. Faculty members from the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Science will share their work on various aspects of animal studies, including critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Opening remarks: Michael Carter, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities

    Session I: 1:00 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • John Bonnett (History), “Turns, Convergences and De-Stabilization: Is the Animal turn the next Big Thing in History?”
    • Barbara Seeber (English Language & Literature), “Animals and the Country House Tradition Revisited in Mary Leapor and Jane Austen”
    • Elizabeth Neswald (History), “Feeding the Dog”
    • Adam Dickinson (English Language & Literature), “Anatomic: Microbes, Chemicals, and Metabolic Poetics in the Anthropocene”

    Coffee/tea break: 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    Session II: 2:45 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • Kendra Coulter (Labour Studies), “The Elephants are Working: Animals, Labour, and Care”
    • Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), “Surveillance or Sanctuary?: The Power and Potential of Live Cams for Humane Education”
    • Lauren Corman (Sociology), “Vile Creatures: Abject Animals at the Limits of Society and Culture”

    Presentation of Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity to Professor Donna Szoke

    Donna Szoke (Visual Arts), “Invisible Animals”

    Closing remarks: Carol Merriam, Dean, Faculty of Humanities

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby.
    See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors

  • Brock thanks Rotary Club of St. Catharines with new Reflecting Pool at downtown Walker School

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, October 20, 2016 | by )

    The bond between Brock University and the Rotary Club of St. Catharines became a bit tighter today when Brock formally dedicated the Rotary Reflecting Pool at its Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Under a drizzly fall sky, representatives from Rotary, the University and the City joined students and local residents for the first look at the new artistic water feature as it was unveiled during a midday ceremony.

    The University dedicated the pool to recognize St. Catharines Rotary’s support in helping Brock locate its arts school into a restored industrial heritage site. In doing so, the Walker School became a key factor in the city centre’s economic and cultural revival, alongside other major downtown projects the Meridian Centre and FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, which also received support from the Rotary Club of St. Catharines.

    In 2011, as Brock was seeking government and community help to relocate the MIWSFPA from its main campus into the city’s core, the Rotary Club of St. Catharines announced it would donate $100,000 to the cause, the club’s largest single gift in its nearly-100-year history.

    Over the next four years the school took shape in an award-winning project that integrated new construction with a carefully refurbished textile mill dating to the 19th century. The project — made possible by a $26-million investment from the Province of Ontario, and provision of the former industrial site from the City of St. Catharines — was opened in the fall of 2015.

    Set amidst modernist sculptures in a greenspace beside the Walker School, the Rotary Reflecting Pool’s gently flowing current echoes the tranquility of a semi-private space that can be used by students and by members of the public.

    Brock’s Interim President Tom Traves said the University is very pleased to partner with an organization like Rotary on an investment that will benefit not just students but citizens all across Niagara.

    “Just as the Welland Canal contributed to the life of the City many years ago, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the Performing Arts Centre are contributing to its revitalization,” said Traves. “As we stand in this space, we further transform this area and we thank Rotary for its support of Brock.”

    Rotary Club of St. Catharines President George Darte said the club agreed to contribute such a large sum because the Brock project represented a historic opportunity that the community could not afford to miss out on.

    “Our members are dedicated to the vitality and the prosperity of the community,” said Darte. “Through our support to the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, we are delighted to be nurturing the next generation of artists and performers here in St. Catharines, while at the same time contributing to the revitalization of our downtown core.”

    Liz Palmieri, the Rotary Club of St. Catharines past president, who was chair of the club’s Major Grants Committee at the time of the gift, said club members knew what they had to do.

    “We felt strongly about our commitment to the arts in our community,” said Palmieri, “and we are proud to be major supporters of an institution that embodies the vision of Marilyn I Walker, one of our community’s finest citizens, artists and philanthropists.  It is a fitting tribute to her memory.”

    Like the Walker School project itself, the pool’s actual creation is the result of many parties working together.

    It was designed in a collaboration between Scott Roper, of Brock Campus Planning, Design and Construction; David Vivian, Director of the MIWSFPA; Arie Shipper of Merit Contractors; and Wally Healey and Brian McLeod of Stevensville Lawn Service, with artist Elizabeth Chitty who consulted on details of local history and geography.

    The project’s strong focal point occurs where the water flows through a metal grate fashioned by Fenwick blacksmith Ken Robertson. The grate consists of a series of panels set at different angles, representing the hillsides of the Walker School’s valley setting, as well as iron cutouts to portray Twelve Mile Creek, the Niagara River, the Welland Canal and the Raceway which used to course through the property on which the Walker School now stands.

    The following message is on a plaque beside the new water feature:

    The Rotary Reflecting Pool is dedicated to the Rotary Club of St. Catharines and to the historical significance of the original Welland Canal which was located nearby. Rotary’s support for this place of tranquility and creative reflection for students and the community is an investment in arts and culture that celebrates the revitalization of the St. Catharines downtown core.

    There are over 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide whose motto is “Service Above Self.” Rotarians are dedicated to important global causes including the quest to eradicate polio, education, clean drinking water, assistance for mothers and children, and numerous other initiatives. 

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts occupies the historic 1880’s Canada Haircloth Building and 1940’s storage shed near what was once the third lock of the first Welland Canal. Water was diverted from the canal along the north side of the building to provide electrical power to the mill. The Welland Canal transformed the local economy and navigation of the entire region.

     

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    Categories: In the Media, News