Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows

Graduate Fellows

Özgül Akıncı

Özgül Akıncı holds BA in Psychology (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul), MA in Cultural Studies (Sabancı University, Istanbul). Her master thesis was published as a book (Humorous and Iconic Memory of An Art Event: Reading the Rural-Urban Divide in the Memory of Assos International Performing Arts Festival) by VDM Verlag in 2009. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program at UBC and writing her dissertation, “Practical and Theoretical Exploration of the Prostitution Effect in Women’s Contemporary Performing Practices in Turkey”. She conducts performance workshops with women to explore her research material on sex work, prostitution and feminist performance in dialogic, embodied and collective ways. As one of the recipients of Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Doctoral Teaching Scholarship, she designed and currently is teaching Performance, Feminism and Sex Work class (CULT 490) at UBC Okanagan. She is also recipient of University Graduate Fellowship (2012) and Henderson Award in International Development (2011). Her interview with Ruth Bieber (former artistic director and founder of Inside/Out Theatre) will be published at alt:theatre 2015 Spring Issue.

Yani Kong

Yani Kong is a Vancouver based visual culture scholar researching the concept of the disenchantment of the world and the possibilities for art and other visual phenomena to stimulate forms of re-enchantment.  Her previous studies have explored this concept in examinations of 19th century photography and the cultural history of American Spiritualism. New work from Kong seeks to politicize the notion of re-enchantment and turn it toward art made after 9/11 and the war on terror. Yani holds a Masters in Theory, Culture, and Politics from Trent University, and is an alumna of SFU SCA with a BA in Art and Culture Studies.  She is completing a PhD in the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.  

Areas: Critical Theory, Philosophy, Art History, Visual Culture, Cultural Studies

Dylan Van der Schyff

Dylan van der Schyff is a musical performer, teacher and researcher in philosophy of music and music education. He holds graduate degrees from SFU (MA Humanities/GLS) and the University of Sheffield (MA Music Psychology). His current PhD research in the Faculty of Education at SFU is funded by a C.D. Nelson Memorial scholarship and a SSHRC (CGS) award. van der Schyff’s academic work explores questions concerning music, meaning and learning at the intersection of biology, culture and lived experience, with a special focus on embodied cognition, philosophy of mind, emotion studies and critical ontology. His published work appears in journals such as Phenomenology and Practice, Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain, and Frontiers in Psychology. As a performer, van der Schyff has appeared on over 100 recordings and has collaborated in a range of interdisciplinary and international contexts involving dance, theatre and film. Articles about his work have appeared in the Chicago Reader, the New York Times, Down Beat and The Wire. He is currently artistic director of Barking Sphinx Performance Society and curator of the Vancouver Improvised Music Meeting. van der Schyff has taught at the Banff Centre, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Community College and Capilano University.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Alana Gerecke

Alana is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow pursuing a research project on social choreography at York University. During her PhD research at Simon Fraser University, she engaged a site-specific methodology to examine the spatial and social politics of contemporary dance set in public, urban places throughout Vancouver, Canada. Gerecke is a past Trudeau Scholar, and recipient of a Queen’s Fellowship, a CGS SSHRC doctoral award, and a Mellon Dance Studies Summer Seminar fellowship; recently, she was awarded Honourable Mention for CATR’s Robert G. Lawrence Prize for emerging scholars. She has published in Canadian Theatre ReviewThe Dance CurrentDance Research JournalPerformance ResearchRenegade Bodies: Canadian Dance in the 1970s (Dance Collection Danse, 2012), and has an essay forthcoming inThe Futures of Dance Studies anthology (2017). Gerecke is also an active independent dance artist and a movement facilitator. She was a company member with EDAM Dance (2006-2013) and co-founder of the Behind Open Doors Arts Collective (2004-2013); she has also danced with Battery Opera, Projet In Situ (France), and various other companies. An emerging choreographer, she has presented her choreographic works at local venues and recently undertook a residency as part of Unit Pitt Gallery’s An Exact Vertigo series.

Melissa Poll

Dr. Melissa Poll (BFA Acting, UBC; MA, UBC; PhD, Royal Holloway, University of London) joins SFU's Institute for Performance Studies as a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow based in the English Department. Her project, “Towards Reconciliation: Recognizing the Intergenerational Repercussions of Residential Schools through Intercultural Performance-Making,” investigates how select performing arts companies are crafting intercultural performances via a dramaturgy of reconciliation that restages colonizing practices in an effort to acknowledge the legacy of colonialism for First Peoples. Dr. Poll’s research on performance-making and interculturalism has been published in Body, Space & Technology JournalCanadian Theatre ReviewTheatre Research in Canada, and Interventions and her monograph, Robert Lepage’s Scenographic Dramaturgy, is forthcoming (Palgrave Macmillan)She has also worked as an actor (Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, and Théâtre la Seizième), critic (Vancouver SunVancouver Plays, and The British Theatre Guide) and dramaturg (Solo Collective and Shameless Hussy).