The 2019-2020 Shadbolt Fellows clockwise from upper left: Lucia Lorenzi, Denielle Elliott, Dylan Robinson, Carleigh Baker, Keren Zaiontz and Susan Mertens.


Six SFU Shadbolt Fellows to explore arts and humanities with the Vancouver community

February 05, 2020

Simon Fraser University welcomes six new Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellows in the Humanities. This prestigious one-year fellowship recognizes that the humanities and arts are critical to developing creative and critical engagement on significant contemporary issues.

Throughout the year, the Shadbolt Fellows will conduct exhibits, performances, artworks, workshops and events to engage with SFU and Metro Vancouver communities. Their goal is to advance reconciliation, equity, diversity and inclusion, and communication, coordination and collaboration.

“The diverse talents and contributions of the Shadbolt Fellows showcase how the arts and humanities can help us, both in making sense of today’s world and making it what we think it should be,” says Lisa Shapiro, acting dean of SFU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

“They exemplify Jack and Doris Shadbolt’s vision of attending to our natural and social environments and harnessing the power of imagination to, quite simply, make the world a better place.”

Meet the 2019-2020 Shadbolt Fellows:

Carleigh Baker is a Métis/Icelandic writer. As an organizer, mentor and advocate, she has made valuable contributions to the Indigenous literature community. During her time at SFU, Baker will be writing a novel about how environmentalists facing the Canadian wilderness survive only due to the generosity of the local Indigenous community. She will also work with community collaborators on representation and space-claiming. With SFU Galleries, Baker is organizing workshops, talks, reading groups, film screenings and other events that encourage students, faculty and the public to consider art and culture’s role in cultural representation, Indigenous methodologies, and other ways of defining and acquiring knowledge.

Denielle Elliott is an associate professor at York University, and the co-founder and co-curator of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography. While at SFU, Elliott proposes to work on how experiments in ethnographic writing, creative arts and multimedia can shift our understanding of what it is like to be diagnosed, and live with, acquired traumatic brain injuries. She will hold an exhibition as well as a series of public conversations with artists who have created films, performances, literary works, animations and paintings as part of their recovery.

Lucia Lorenzi is an emerging scholar and artist who has made numerous contributions to public dialogues about sexual violence. She regularly discusses this issue through social, mainstream and alternative media channels. She has been awarded for her public service with a prestigious Governor General’s award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, which is awarded to Canadians who have made significant contributions to advancing gender equality. Lorenzi’s project at SFU involves researching her book about the Robert Pickton murder case, in which she explores how city design, planning and funding relate to questions of memory and violence. She also plans to work with community collaborators to develop a variety of activities, including a public symposium on the issue of public memory and gendered and sexualized violence.

Susan Mertens has forged a successful career as an arts critic and cultural commentator, and is currently working on an edited collection of the poems, letters and journals of Jack Leonard Shadbolt. During her fellowship, Mertens proposes to re-invigorate Jack Shadbolt’s spirit of engagement with a performative piece of life writing that choreographs Shadbolt’s words spoken against projections of his art, images from his sketchbooks, and photographs from his personal collection and beyond.

Dylan Robinson is a xwélméxw artist and scholar of Stó:lō descent. He is an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. While at SFU, Robinson will work on the sensory politics of Indigenous public art and Indigenous song-life. In collaboration with Keren Zaiontz, he plans to chart the ways in which public art in Vancouver has shifted in relation to public discourse on accessibility, recognition and the right to the city as experienced by Indigenous people and the disabled/deaf community. He will also collaborate on projects to create new walking tours and an experimental documentary short on “walking the Indigenous city.”

Keren Zaiontz is an assistant professor and Queen’s National Scholar of Creative Industries in the Global City in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University. She is co-editor of Sustainable Tools for Precarious Times: Performance Actions in the Americas and author of Theatre and Festivals. For her SFU project Zaiontz will develop a research-creation program to show how disability art and performance in a global city like Vancouver takes us beyond accommodation to disabled-led advocacy and self-determined futures. She aims to form a working group of disability artists, art activists and scholars to examine challenges preventing the disabled from participating fully in city life; and to facilitate a series of intersectional walking tours for the PuSH performing arts festival. She also plans to create an open access audio piece for the blind by walking with local writers invested in activist urban poetics who can describe what they see while conversing about art practices.  what they see for those who are blind.

A schedule will be announced for upcoming events featuring Shadbolt Fellows.

For more information, click here.