Field Stories: Community-Engaged Research in Times of Crisis

March 26, 2021

About the visual symposium

Field Stories: Community-Engaged Research in Times of Crisis is a day-long virtual symposium that explores a range of community-engaged research (CER) practices, stories and assemblies about current social, health crisis and change.

We are living through one of the most disruptive and transformative eras in living memory, a period when multiple health, environmental, social, political and economic crises are threatening the very bonds of social life. This is challenging our ability to care for each other and imagine a common future. In this moment, community-engaged research is often at the very heart of efforts to coordinate meaningful and affective forms of care, understanding and action that answer to current crises and offer hope for the future.

The CER in Times of Crisis symposium explores how community-engaged research fosters playful exploration, supports policy action and system change, and offers radical hope for the time ahead. We welcome community members, students, university- and community-based researchers and others interested in the reach and potential of community-engaged research for our times.


Alchemical Acts: Crises, Art and Community-Engaged Research

As community-engaged researchers, what have we found in this time of loss? How have we newly understood how to be together, through our separation? This keynote will reflect on how our personal geographies and connections- researchers, communities, artists- can be transformed in times of crises, how we might come to better see what is essential- the intimacy and immediacy of pressing social issues- especially when we draw upon the potency and poetry of art.


Kathleen Gallagher

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Distinguished Professor in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, Kathleen Gallagher studies theatre as a powerful medium for expression by young people of their experiences and understandings.


Land as Life: Ongoing Institutional Resistance and Survivance in Pandemic Times

Panel 1 at 1100-1150 PT

Land as Life is a community-led and created undergraduate course that has been running for 18 years. In this presentation, we hope to cultivate a dialogue through reflection of the data collected throughout the course with students, student-helpers, course instructors and Elders/Knowledge Keepers, that addresses the question of how the university can cultivate community-engaged research for social and cultural sustainability in good relation with people, community and land? 

Walk With Me: uncovering the human dimensions of the overdose crisis

Panel 2 at 1300-1350 PT

Over the past year and a half, a team of artist-researchers, front-line workers and people with lived and living experience have banded together in solidarity - attempting to come to terms with the impact of the overdose crisis on individuals and communities through practices of story sharing. This team invites Field Stories participants to listen to a podcast about our journey, and to think through the complex roles community-engaged research plays when connecting with the overdose crisis.

Art-ful Engagement in Small Cities: Beyond the Project

Panel 3 at 1400-1450 PT

This panel, composed of university and community members, will speak to the process of CER and the entanglement with university research agendas. Through three interrelated CER initiatives the panel will discuss the special zones of contact at play in community engaged research collaboration in smaller communities, and unpack the implications of project thinking, project funding and sustainability of CER initiatives.

Research as Advocacy: Collaborative Inquiry Meets Material Practice

Panel 4 at 1500-1550 PT

This panel highlights collaborative inquiry as a multivocal, interdisciplinary, reflexive and community-centered research method by discussing its intentions and impacts in the Artist in Residence Studio programme at the Vancouver School Board, with specific focus on the activities and outcomes achieved and the ethos and relationships fostered in partnership with Emily Carr University of Art + Design at Mount Pleasant Elementary, towards mobilising and re-envisioning equitable access to arts education in primary to tertiary institutions in BC.