Steering Committee

Peter Dickinson (Contemporary Arts)—Director of IPS and Chair, IPS Steering Committee 

Peter’s research investigates the time- and place-based relationships between audience and event across a range of aesthetic practices (including dance, film, theatre, and performance art) and social formations (from same-sex marriage to urban mega-events).  He is the author, editor, or co-editor of ten books and special journal issues, including, most recently: World Stages, Local Audiences: Essays on Performance, Place and Politics (2010); Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice (2014); Mega-Event Cities: Art/Audiences/Aftermaths (2016); and Q2Q: Queer Theatre and Performance in Canada (2018). His essays have appeared in Dance Research Journal, Modern Drama, Screen, TDR: The Drama Review, Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Journal, Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Survey, CinéAction, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, as well as numerous other journals and edited collections. Peter is also a playwright, and productions of his work include The Objecthood of Chairs (SFU Woodward’s, 2010), Positive ID (Berkeley Theatre, Toronto, 2012), Long Division [Part 1 / Part 2] (Pi Theatre, 2016/17), and The Bathers (excerpt, Zee Zee Theatre, 2017). As a writer, researcher, facilitator, outside eye, collaborator, and occasional mover, Peter has worked with several Vancouver-based dance artists and companies, including Justine A. Chambers and Alexa Mardon, plastic orchid factory, Ziyian Kwan/dumb instrument Dance, Tara Cheyenne Performance, Kokoro Dance, Vanessa Goodman/action at a distance, Lesley Telford/Inverso Dance, and Rob Kitsos. These collaborations are the subject of Peter’s most recent monograph, My Vancouver Dance History, which is forthcoming from McGill-Queen's University Press in 2020. Between 2008 and 2018 Peter regularly documented Vancouver performance practice at performanceplacepolitics.blogspot.ca.

Sasha Colby (Graduate Liberal Studies)

Sasha Colby's current research is situated at the intersection of literature and theatre. Her work asks how literature and its contexts can be newly explored, represented, and disseminated through dramatization and other forms of embodiment. Her recently completed book manuscript, Staging Modernist Lives: H.D., Mina Loy, Nancy Cunard (funded by SSHRC), employs both theory and solo-performance scripts to critically investigate auto/biographical writing of the avant-garde within the social, political, and artistic currents of modernism. Sasha has performed from these plays in North America, Europe, and Asia.  Past SSHRC-funded projects include Stratified Modernism: The Poetics of Excavation from Gautier to Olson, a monograph on poetry and archaeology, and Voicing the Mosaic, a large-scale student/community installation and performance project which examined themes of language and identity in Surrey. A book-length meditation on memory, motherhood, and migration is currently in its final stages. In keeping with the themes of her research, Sasha teaches critical-creative approaches to literature, particularly Anglo-American and European texts 1860-1940.

Dara Culhane (Anthropology)

Dr. Dara Culhane, Professor of Anthropology, received her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology in 1985 and Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1994. Her early work concentrated on critical anthropology of colonialism, Indigenous peoples and Canada; collaborative research methodologies; marginalization and urban ethnography.  Culhane’s current research brings imaginative and sensory ethnography, memory work, writing, and live performance into productive conversations and debates, and provocative practice. Culhane integrates performance studies and experimental ethnography into teaching methodologies, and is co-editor of IMAGINATIVE ETHNOGRAPHY: creativity, research, and teaching, University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2016.  She is co-founder and curator of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography [www.imaginativeethnography.org], and a member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Performance Studies, SFU.

Culhane is intrigued by political processes of life story making, performing, and witnessing. She is currently working on two projects that draw on family stories, archival and private collections of letters and photographs, interviews, conversations, and an ethnographer’s diary.  One, a manuscript entitled “Encore! Travels With The Ghost of Margaret Sheehy”; and, two, a solo performance of dramatic storytelling, “Hear Me Looking At You”.  Both explore shifting experiences and analyses of family relationships over time and across space.  

Lynn Fels (Education)

My research interests and field of expertise is in theatre/drama education, performative inquiry, performative writing, pedagogy, curriculum, instruction and evaluation.

My current research focuses on exploring leadership through the arts, arts and technology, arts for social change, and participatory action research. I conceptualized and articulated performative inquiry as a (re)search methodology for my doctoral work.

Helen Leung (Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies)

Helen Hok-Sze Leung is an Associate Professor in the Department of of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong (UBC Press, 2008) and Farewell My Concubine: A Queer Film Classic (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010). She is a co-editor of the Queer Asia Book Series (Hong Kong UP) and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Chinese Cinemas (Routledge), Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke UP), and the Asian Visual Cultures Book Series (Amsterdam UP). Her current research projects include: (1) The Sound of Queer Cinema, a study of sonic issues in queer cinema; (2) Vancouver As Asian City, an examination of various trans-pacific itineraries in Vancouver’s urban culture; and (3) (co-authored with Audrey Yue) Queer Asia As Method, an exploration of the theoretical impact of Queer Asian knowledge.

Virginie Magnat (Interdisciplinary Performance, UBC Okanagan)

Dr. Virginie Magnat is an Associate Professor in Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her monograph Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women (http://www.routledge.com/9780415813594) received the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Ann Saddlemyer Book Award Honorable Mention. This book and companion documentary film series, featured on the Routledge Performance Archive (http://www.routledgeperformancearchive.com), constitute the first investigation of the artistic journeys and current artistic practices of women who collaborated with influential theatre innovator Jerzy Grotowski. Magnat’s four years of embodied research and multi-sited fieldwork were supported by two SSHRC grants, and she discusses her interdisciplinary methodology in book chapters and articles published in North American and international scholarly journals in the fields of theatre and performance studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, sociology, qualitative inquiry, and literary criticism, in English, French, Polish, Italian, and Spanish.

Coleman Nye (Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies)

Coleman Nye is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She earned a PhD in Performance Studies from Brown University. Her research and teaching works across the fields of  feminist science and technology studies, critical race and gender theory, theatre and performance studies, bioethics, disability studies, environmental politics, and anthropology of medicine and reproduction.

Cindy Patton (Sociology)

Dr. Cindy Patton, Professor, received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1992.  Dr. Patton joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in May of 2003 as Canada Research Chair in Community, Culture, and Health. She is an Associate Member in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.  Dr. Patton has worked in health research for two decades.  She has published work in the areas of: social study of medicine (especially AIDS); social movement theory; gender studies; and media studies.  Her current research interests include: social study of medicine health, especially social aspects of AIDS; bioethics; the history of sexuality; continental theory; and research design, especially mixed methods.

Celeste Snowber (Education)

Celeste Snowber, Ph.D. is a dancer, writer, poet and educator, who is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She has written and published over thirty essays in journals, and chapters in books, as well as numerous poems. Author of Embodied Prayer and co-author of Landscapes in Aesthetic Education, she is also finishing up several collections of poetry. She has focused her work in the area of embodiment, arts-based inquiry, holistic education, health education, curriculum studies and performative ways of writing, particularly through the body, and mentors a significant amount of graduate students exploring arts-based research methodologies. Celeste creates and performs as a solo dance artist in collaboration with other poets and musicians and continues to create/perform site-specific work in connection to the natural world. She has created and performed her full-length show of dance and comedy called, “Woman giving birth to a red pepper, which she hopes to tour in the future.  Her website can be found at   www.celestesnowber.com  and her Faculty profile at http://www.sfu.ca/education/faculty-profiles/csnowber.html and her blog at www.bodypsalms.com.

IPS Members