The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows in the Humanities

Embracing the humanities

Jack Shadbolt, December Birds (detail), 1983, serigraph. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the Shadbolt Estate, 2008. Photo: Victor Ballesteros. © Courtesy of Simon Fraser University Galleries.

Jack and Doris Shadbolt exemplified a vision of the humanities and arts whereby the work of the artist was seen as integrated into the natural and social worlds the artist inhabited.

The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows in the Humanities

The Shadbolt Fellowship Program is a means of increasing the visibility of the contributions of the humanities and arts to the university community; and engaging the wider community in the work of the humanities and arts.

The Fellows will help us imagine how we can make the world we live in better through acts of world-making in the creative arts and/or publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities, in alignment with the fundamental values of advancing reconciliation and equity, diversity and inclusion, communication, coordination, and collaboration.

Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed-blood writer and arts activist, born in Manitoba and based in Coast Salish territories on the west-coast. Arnott is an artist and editor with a strong point of view and an impressive history of championing the arts—notably the work of Indigenous artists—among the wider community. 

Arnott has been Poetry Editor of EVENT magazine since 2015, curating the poetry section as well as organizing EVENT’s annual Indigenous Voices reading, and she is the founding co-editor of the Salt Chuck City Review of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast (2019) and founding member of the collective (2009). Joanne has published several books including A Night for the Lady (2013), Steepy Mountain love poetry (2004), and My Grass Cradle (1992), as well as anthologies and poetry such as Speak Out, For Example (2002) and “Watch Your Head” (2020). Joanne has received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts (2017) in Vancouver and was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award of the League of Canadian Poets in 2015.

While at SFU, Joanne proposes to extend her ongoing research for the book, RETURNED: The Writings of Connie Fife, and to create a long form essay, to bring forth the works of Connie Fife for a new generation. She intends to meet with students of creative writing, Indigenous literature and Canadian literature and to create an “Indigenous writer's salon,” as well as an event around the publication of the book.

Host: Department of Indigenous Studies

Megan J. Davies (PhD, McGill) is professor in the Department of Social Science at York University and a community engaged scholar on the history of health in British Columbia, with research interests in old age, women, rurality, social welfare, health policy, everyday health and madness. Davies has published innovative work in refereed academic journals and edited collections and a book, Into the House of Old: A history of residential care in British Columbia (McGill-Queens UP, 2003). Davies is also Principal Investigator on Canada’s first national CIHR-funded project on the history of deinstitutionalization and the shift to community mental health, her academic work has been oriented toward public facing scholarship.

Working collaboratively with the mental health community, Davis has been involved in various projects connected to Madness Canada/Folie Canada. This activist site is a unique creation – an exhibit showcase, a research resource, and an educational hub. Her collaborative projects connected with the site include producing a documentary The Inmates Are Running the Asylum (2016), coordinating and coediting the After the Asylum/ Après l’Asile Project online exhibit, coordinating the online teaching resources History in Practice/ Histoire en tête (relaunched 2019), and collaborating on the 2018 MAD CITY exhibit in Vancouver’s Gallery Gachet, a social justice arts space in the Downtown East Side.

While at SFU, Megan proposes a public exhibit, Remembering COVID in Long Term Care, using visual and audio storytelling to consider COVID in long term care facilities (LTC) in the Lower Mainland, including narratives representing different ethnicities, genders, and ages. She plans to work with students to create these representations that honor the lives of elderly people who died of the coronavirus in LTC. The exhibit is designed both as a memorial and as a vehicle to foster dialogue and have participants reflect on ageism and the policy histories of LTC in BC with the aim of moving towards better planning for both residents and workers. Beyond that, her “Doing Difficult History: Methodologies in Democratizing Storytelling and Display” webinar will be a discussion of how scholars, museums and artists are reordering how we present challenging past-present narratives.

Davies is a tenured professor at York University and received her PhD from McGill University.

Host: Department of Gerontology


Alana Gerecke is based in Vancouver, on the unceded traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Gerecke is a settler scholar, mother, and dance artist of mixed European descent. Her current book project examines the spatial politics of site-based dance and of daily choreographies of urban circulation.

Gerecke has been involved in Vancouver’s dance community for fifteen years; she has collaborated with a range of independent dance artists in the city and beyond and was a company member with EDAM Dance from 2006-2013. A former Trudeau Doctoral Scholar (SFU) and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow (York U), Gerecke is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Vancouver’s Dance Centre. Her research on social and urban choreographies was awarded the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s 2019 Robert Lawrence Prize and her artistic practice has earned support from both federal and provincial arts councils.  

During the tenure of her Shadbolt Fellowship, Alana Gerecke proposes to extend her ongoing research into urban movement with her project Public Intimacy in Pandemic: Social Choreographies for the Kinesphere. Here, she will explore the possibilities and limitations of moving together in the era of COVID-19. She intends to work between artistic practice and academic research to develop a grounded examination of the particular movement vocabularies of urban circulation that have characterized this pandemic, anchored by a set of movement scores that experiment with models for moving together while maintaining physical distance. This research will incorporate public workshops and other engagement activities into its methodology, including involvement with Urban Studies’ efforts at public outreach in the form of podcasts, public talks, and more.

Host: Urban Studies Program

A settler born in Vancouver, Erin Soros is an award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and critical theory who is a Shadbolt Fellow in Public Humanities at Simon Fraser University where she researches trauma-induced psychosis and the psychiatric and police response to it. Her academic articles have appeared in Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Sociologica: International Journal for Sociological Debate, differences: Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law.

New work on psychosis is forthcoming in Futures of Neurodiversity, MLA, and in English Studies in Canada. Her poem “Weight” received The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize and was included in Best Canadian Poetry 2020. Her lyric essay “Cord” received Gold at the 2021 National Magazine Award for “One of a Kind Storytelling.” Her fiction, which builds on the oral history of BC logging communities, has received the CBC Literary Award and the Commonwealth Award for the Short Story.

Host: Department of English

Previous Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows in the Humanities

  • 2020-2021: Juliane Okot Bitek, Department of English
  • 2020-2021: Eden Robinson, Department of Indigenous Studies
  • 2020-2021: Fabian Romero, Department of Indigenous Studies
  • 2020-2021: Prophecy Sun, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
  • 2019-2020: Keren Zaiontz, English
  • 2019-2020: Dylan Robinson, Indigenous Studies
  • 2019-2020: Carleigh Baker, Indigenous Studies
  • 2019-2020: Denielle Elliott, Sociology and Anthropology
  • 2019-2020: Lucia Lorenzi, Urban Studies
  • 2019-2020: Susan Mertens, Graduate Liberal Studies
  • 2018–2019: Ivan Coyote, Writer-in-Residence, English
  • 2015–2019: Anosh Irani, Writer-in-Residence, World Literature
  • 2015–2019: Dr. Katie McCullough, Visiting Assistant Professor and Director, Centre for Scottish Studies
  • 2015–2019: Yosef Wosk. During his tenure in this role, Yosef Wosk appointed twenty Graduate Liberal Studies/Shadbolt Community Scholars. The goal is that over time these scholars will form a substantial and influential group strongly connected with GLS, SFU, the community, and each other in ways that promise many opportunities for artistic and philosophical collaboration.
  • 2017–2018: June Scudeler. Working with the Department of First Nations Studies and SFU Galleries, June Scudeler (Métis) examined the intersections between gender studies, Indigenous literature, film, and art 2017–2018: Anakana Schofield, Writer-in-Residence, English
  • 2017: Cecily Nicholson, Writer-in-Residence, English
  • 2015–2017: Dr. Gregory Feldman, Visiting Assistant Professor in International Studies
  • 2016: Jordan Scott, Writer-in-Residence, English
  • 2014–2015: Dr. Rima Berns-McGown, Visiting Lecturer in Muslim Studies
  • 2014–2015: Rawi Hage, Writer-in-Residence, English
  • 2014–2015: Madeleine Thien, Writer-in-Residence, English
  • 2013–2016: Dr. Richard Frank, Visiting Assistant Professor in Criminology, studying Cybercrime
  • 2013–2015: Dr. Nicolas Fillion, Visiting Assistant Professor in Philosophy
  • 2013–2014: Dr. Onur Bakiner, Visiting Assistant Professor in International Studies
  • 2011: Daniel Meilleur, Visiting Professor of Performing Arts
  • 2009: Ying Chen, Visiting Professor of French
  • 2008: Douglas Todd, Visiting Professor of Religion and Ethics

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