2021-22 Shadbolt Fellows: Joanne Arnott, Megan J. Davies, Alana Gereke, and Erin Soros.

FASS News, Community, English, Gerontology, Urban Studies, Indigenous Studies

Introducing the 2021-22 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows

September 17, 2021

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) is pleased to announce the scholars selected to the 2021-22 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellowship in the Humanities Program. The program increases the visibility of the contributions of the humanities and arts to the university community. It also engages the wider community through publicly involved scholarship and creativity.

The 2021-22 Shadbolt Fellows (and host departments) are: Joanne Arnott (Indigenous Studies), Megan J. Davies (Gerontology), Alana Gereke (Urban Studies), and Erin Soros (English).

The Shadbolt Fellows will engage with Metro Vancouver communities through exhibits, performances, artworks, workshops and events that realize FASS's values of advancing reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization at SFU as well as the strategic prioritiy of improving equity, diversity and inclusion at SFU more generally.

"We are fortunate to have the Shadbolt Fellows program bringing community-engaged scholarship, art and literature to SFU as well as the wider community throughout the academic year," says Peter Hall, Dean pro tem of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

"This year's Fellows each bring a critical lens to contemporary social life in British Columbia; they will explore Indigenous literature, place-based practices of care, experiences of aging during COVID, and mobilities within and beyond the pandemic. I look forward to the many ways they will engage students, faculty and local communities with their new written works, public talks, performances, exhibits, webinars and participatory actions."

Read more below about this year’s Fellows below. And please join us on October 25, 2021, for Storytelling, movement and influence in the Arts and Humanities: a conversation with SFU's 2021-22 Shadbolt Fellows, featuring all four visiting scholars. 

2021-22 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows 

Joanne Arnott is a dedicated 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. 

Host: Department of Indigenous Studies

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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.

Megan J. Davies (PhD, McGill) is associate professor of 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.  

Host: Department of Gerontology

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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.

Alana Gerecke is a Canadian emerging scholar and her research on the spatial and social politics of site-based dance, dances performed in public spaces along the west coast of Canada was recognized with a CGS SSHRC award, a SSHRC-allocated Queen’s Fellowship, and Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship. 

Host: Urban Studies Program

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Gereke has presented numerous papers at major national and international conferences and she was awarded the 2019 Robert Lawrence Prize, the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s top emerging scholar award, for her essay “Choreographies of Exclusion.” She is also co-founder and co-director of Behind Open Doors Arts Collective, a company that has staged several notable performance works. During her Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Theatre at York University, Alana examined colloquial expressions of embodied assembly in public—social choreographies enacted by so-called “untrained” movers.

While at SFU, Gerecke proposes to extend her ongoing research, Public Intimacy in Pandemic: Social Choreographies for the Kinesphere to explore the possibilities and limitations of moving together in the era of COVID-19. While her research is acutely specific to this present moment, its relevance also extends beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. She intends to offer a series of movement scores that experiment with models for moving together while maintaining physical distance, that will take shape in a series of public workshops and other public engagement activities. A website that translates these participatory movement scores into digital space - extending the reach of moving together at a distance beyond a shared geography, will also be created; she plans to engage with Urban Studies’ efforts at public outreach in the form of podcasts, public talks, and more.

Erin Soros has won national and international awards for her poetry, nonfiction and fiction, which draws on oral history with loggers, such as Best Canadian Poetry Award (2020) for her piece “Weight”, and the Long Poem Prize (2019) amongst others. She mentors first-generation undergraduate and graduate students and others from working-class backgrounds as well, a project she began at the Britannia Centre in Vancouver, and now continues through social and professional networks.

Host: Department of English

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While at SFU, Erin Soros will return to the Downtown Eastside community where she has deep roots and will bring decades of advocacy, training, writing, research, connection, and care to a set of projects that are both therapeutic and creative, historical and transformative. Her work will include: a one-woman show on psychosis, a textual/visual exhibit, a radio documentary, and she will facilitate a writing group and an inter-disciplinary panel, in addition to the work Madmade.

Soros received her PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia and an MFA in Writing (Fiction and Translation) from Columbia University. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Cornell University and the University of Toronto; and received an appointment as the Harper-Wood Fellow of St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge, a position that supported research in oral history in the Northwest Territories, amongst other visiting scholar fellowships.