Julia Lane

"I was attracted to SFU by the way in which the creative and interdisciplinary aspects of my research were embraced."

Arts Education, PhD

I have been studying theatre in various capacities since I was five years old and my parents put me in a summer camp at the Young People's Theatre (now the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People) in Toronto. I completed my undergraduate degree in Theatre Studies, specializing in creative ensemble, at York University. My masters, at Trent University, focused on the interconnections between theatre, Indigenous Knowledges, and environmental education. I began clown studies with John Turner at The Clown Farm (now the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance) on Manitoulin Island in the summer of 2008. I have since studied clown and bouffon with David MacMurray Smith and Karen Hines, respectively.

I am interested in all facets of theatre and particularly with the applications of theatrical creativity off-stage and "in-life." My doctoral research focuses on clowning and ethical transgression.

What attracted you to come to SFU?

I was attracted to SFU by the way in which the creative and interdisciplinary aspects of my research were embraced. I feel that SFU is a place that invites quirky-yet-meaningful research and so I felt that I (and my work) would have a home here.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and in what way?

I have been lucky during my time at SFU to work with many faculty members and administrators, both through my research and through my experience working for the Graduate Student Society. I have deeply valued the opportunity to foster these relationships. I have particularly enjoyed working with my supervisory committee (Dr. Vicki Kelly, Dr. Celeste Snowber, and Dr. Lynn Fels) and have appreciated the ways in which they blend insight, challenge, and encouragement in the feedback they provide me at our research meetings. I also appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with them in performance at an educational conference.

In my role at the GSS, I have been very grateful for the relationships that I have developed with Dr. Wade Parkhouse (Dean of Graduate Studies) and Dr. Tim Rahilly (Associate Vice-President Students). Both Wade and Tim have proven themselves many times over to be tireless advocate for students and I am very grateful to them for their work at SFU.

What inspires you to learn and to continue your education?

Everything! Living! I feel like every day I stumble upon another hundred or so ideas that make me think "that connects to clown because...", which is how I know that I have chosen the right dissertation topic! I have also been very inspired this semester by my experience as a sessional instructor. Watching my students come to the theatrical projects and questions that I present to them has stimulated my thinking and inspired me to dig deeper into my research.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I really encourage graduate students to find meaningful ways to get involved, even when this feels like yet another thing on the "to-do list." Committing myself to the GSS (and before that to the Education Graduate Student Association) has helped me to feel connected to SFU and has contributed in unexpected and wonderful ways to my research.