Archives: Seminars (2007-2009)


Centre for Arts-informed Research Works-in-progress Series:
Inspired and Inspiring Arts-Informed Scholarship




February 28, 2009

Seminar: Artistic Approaches to Environmental Education

Presenter: Hilary Inwood

This talk and workshop introduces current research into eco-art education, an
emerging field that brings together art education and environmental education to
foster ecological literacy. It will present the findings of a doctoral research study
that investigated curriculum development in eco-art education in elementary
school settings, as well as discuss the frameworks of collaborative action research
and arts-informed research. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about
and explore some of the arts-informed strategies by creating their own sculptural
bookworks on environmental themes in the latter part of the session. (Materials
provided.) Hilary Inwood is a lecturer teaching art education in the Initial
Teacher Education program at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the
University of Toronto. She is finishing her doctoral program in art education at
Concordia University this spring.

March 26, 2009

Seminar: Cheese Donkey on a Marble Staircase: Stories of Passing in the Life of an Immigrant Woman

Presenter: Lina Medaglia

My research is both arts-based and arts-informed as it involves a fictionalized autoethnography, Cheese Donkey on a Marble Staircase: Stories of Passing in the Life of an Immigrant Woman. Hidden within Cheese Donkey, and yet exposed to anyone who opens the pages, is another book, The Demons of Aquilonia. Demons constitute the heart of my research, an examination of the multiple identities some of us are forced to “wear” in exchange for the social currency required to pass through systems of injustice. This seminar will highlight the question of passing through immigrant eyes, particularly as passing intersects with gender and class struggles. Shared experiences will be welcomed.

Lina Medaglia is a founding member and professor in the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program of George Brown College, a unique applied program for women who wish to work as crisis counselors, transition workers, and social activists. Her current research interests include best practices and transformational moments in field education, trauma and resiliency work, and the “passing stories” of other immigrant women.



March 12, 2009

Seminar: Creative Writing as Source Material & a Means to Generate/Facilitate/Elicit a Group’s Associative Intelligence

Presenter: Ezra Houser

The session will include a brief presentation on using personal creative writing as source material to topic-mine, ground researcher presence, and frame scholarly inquiry. It’s an opportunity to participate in a swift, elegant and effective group Creative Writing activity designed to be easily adaptable for use in many situations. We should leave mutually enlightened and hopefully emboldened.

Ezra Houser is pursuing his M.A. in Adult Education and Community Development. His background includes work as a professional artist (poet, dancer, stilt-dancer), arts educator, and arts administrator. OISE has become a haven and refuge where he is reminded to cherish ideals and refine visions of a better future through dedicated pursuit of praxis.



March 5th, 2009

Seminar: (En)Compassing Heart: A Grassroots NGO’s Navigation Towards Sustainability

Presenter: Rachel Larabee

(En)Compassing Heart is an in-depth navigation through the contexts that empower and inhibit the growth and potential for grassroots Canadian NGOs. My research is a critical analysis of a youth-led, non-profit organization that I co-created and have maintained for the past five years. POR AMOR Community Enhancement Initiatives is an organization rooted in the arts which specifically uses poetry, as well as various other creative forms, as a vehicle to explore social and environmental issues within local and global communities.

Rachel Larabee is a second year M.A. student in the department of Adult Education and Community Development. In her development and identification as a poet, social activist and academic, her use of poetic and narrative forms in her research allows the use of the written and spoken word, in creative ways, which extend beyond conventional academic prose. These art forms also provide creative space for a merging of the multiple meaning making that she extracts from a mixture of case study analysis, appreciative inquiry and arts-informed methodological lenses. The performance of her poetry provides meaningful opportunity for her to embody the spirit of what she knows on both personal and academic levels.



February 26, 2009

Seminar: Hearing Voices & Juggling Academic Expectations

Presenter: Douglas Gosse

My research involves melding fiction writing with more standard qualitative research methods. I walk the line between competing discourses, methods, ways of interpreting the world, and expectations within the academy. Jackytar (2005), my educational novel, uses queer theory to question sense of identity and masculinities. Breaking silences & exploring masculinities, A critical supplement to the novel Jackytar (2008) contains essays written by scholars from education, social work, psychology, language & linguistics, and sociology, and expresses their views on changing masculinities using Jackytar and their own research. I am also conducting a provincial study on male primary school teachers and likewise employ arts-based and more traditional qualitative methods and modes of representation. This seminar will highlight the many struggles of juggling methodology, representation, and expectations in the academy, with opportunity for individual and group reflection on shared experiences.

Douglas Gosse is Director of the Northern Canadian Centre for Research in Education & the Arts (NORCCREA) at Nipissing University, North Bay, ON. His research interests include masculinities & men’s studies, identity, diversity, and arts-based educational research, especially fiction writing and creative research processes.



March 6, 2008

Seminar: The Performative Manifestation of a Research Identity: Storying the Journey Through Poetry

Presenter: Jennifer Lapum

She has learned to feed off
the (un)painted
an unfixing of
mere watching
(J. Lapum, 2008)

In this performative presentation, Jennifer Lapum shed light on her journey to a research identity and show how arts-informed methods can help researchers position themselves in their work. Jennifer's journey is a narrative tracing rendered through poetry and photography, which provides aesthetic sensibilities and the possibility for you to enter into and become caught up in our experience. She provided an intimate portrayal of the blurring and temporal nature of research identities. Poetry and photography were employed to illuminate the performative and dynamic place of research identities and as a way to visualize and feel the story within this poetical telling.

Jennifer Lapum is a PhD candidate at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. Her arts-informed narrative research is situated in the health sciences. Through her passion for poetry as an epistemology and a method, she became intrigued with the scholarly pursuit of cultivating a research identity.



February 21, 2008

Seminar: Knitting Cultural Survival: An Exploration of Political Oppression,
Cultural Artifact, Survival and Resistance: Latvian Mittens as Metaphor

Presenter: Michelle Balcers

Michelle is half-Latvian-Canadian, and came to this research with a
growing need to learn more about her cultural and ethnic heritage. Her father is Latvian Canadian, while her mother is Acadian; neither spoke to her in their native language while she was growing up, nor involved her in Acadian or Latvian-Canadian cultural events. This cultural disconnect became the catalyst for her research. Knitting Cultural Survival is an exploration of the role Latvian mittens played in sustaining Latvian culture during the Soviet occupation (1945-1991). For the research, she interviewed Latvian-Canadian knitters, altered digital photographs, and created sculpture and collage involving Latvian occupation era poetry on the theme of cultural resistance and political oppression. To Michelle, the Latvian mittens are a metaphor for the cultural survival of a small nation's people during a bleak period in the country's consciousness. The mittens represent hope, cultural survival and cultural traditions in the face of political oppression.

Michelle Balcers is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology, in the Comparative, International and Development Education collaborative programme.



February 7, 2008
Seminar: Representing Data Dramatically: Reflections On My Research Process

Presenter: Bonnie Slade

In this interactive and open presentation, Bonnie Slade shared her process of using Reader's Theatre to bring to life the central tensions in her research. She combined an Institutional Ethnography approach with Reader's Theatre to enable the participants to tell their own story of migration, deprofessionalization, volunteering for "Canadian work experience", and struggle. The presentation will include a reading of part of the Reader's Theatre project.

Bonnie Slade is a 6th year PhD Candidate in the Department of Adult Education and the Collaborative Women's Studies program.



January 31, 2008

Seminar: Fashioning Kleine Gemeinde Mennonite Women: A Crazy Quilt

Presenter: Lynette Plett

This presentation consisted of a visual and oral performance 
exploring religiously prescribed dress. The narrative was based on memory, 
diaries, pictures from family albums, and stories passed down orally, one 
fragment at time over many years. In the method of a crazy quilt, Lynette 
Plett pieced together scraps of sometimes disparate information about 
different generations of women and place them alongside each other.

Lynette Sarah Plett completed her doctorate in the History of Education program at OISE/UT in 2006. She is a quilter who can trace her quilting lineage back three generations. Lynette uses quilts and quilting to recover, recreate, and represent women's experiences of the everyday. This presentation is created from excerpts of her doctoral thesis: Thinking Back Through Our Mothers: A Sampler Quilt of Kleine Gemeinde Mennonite Women and Country Homemakers.



January 17, 2008

Video Conference: A Tangle of Lines: Ruminations on Poetic Knowing and Living

Presenter: Dr. Carl Leggo

For the past two decades I have been writing poetry as a way to know, be and become in the world. Poetry invites us to experiment with language, to create, to know, to engage creatively and imaginatively with experience. Jeanette Winterson makes a bold claim that “it is the poet who goes further than any human scientist.” I am interested in examining the places where poetry and human science research intersect, especially regarding philosophies, perspectives, and practices. Like all language use, poetry is epistemological and ontological. The world is known and experienced in language use. Poetry creates textual spaces that invite and create ways of knowing and becoming in the world. Poetry invites interactive responses and ways of uniting the heart, mind, imagination, body, and spirit.

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia where he teaches courses in English language arts education, writing, narrative research, and postmodern critical theory. His poetry and fiction and scholarly essays have been published in many journals in North America and around the world. He is the author of three collections of poems: Growing Up Perpendicular on the Side of a Hill, View from My Mother’s House, and Come-By-Chance, as well as a book about reading and teaching poetry: Teaching to Wonder: Responding to Poetry in the Secondary Classroom.



November 8, 2007

Seminar: The Somatic Score

Presenter: Susan Aaron

The Somatic Score is an arts informed project of the senses as “kinetic” in recognition of an awareness and use of them as restorative. It is an embodied questioning, a listening for where this kinesis was caught in one neighborhood and an offering of alternative relations for its freeing and restoration through the revelation of events. The exploration worked through three focuses: person as reflexive researcher; nature as environment named; and technology as the instrument of creating an environment as a point of view. The division between body and environment was erased through the play with the syncopation of the imagination as the rhythms of the senses as restorative. Art was the filter of reviewing these rhythms as dance, poetry, and digital camera, and artful living. The presentation format is an ongoing interrelation as a somatic score: a poetic writing and images that opened to the senses; a questioning of theory and practice; and a DVD as a revelation and use of digital technology.

Susan Aaron is currently a PHD student at OISE/UT in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning. She recently received a Masters of Education in Adult Education at OISE/UT based in transformative and artistic practice. She carries over her interests from a Masters of Drama from the University of Toronto; a fine arts degree from York University in dance and theatre; and years of research considering her three part question of person, nature and technology, as embodied in research presentations and writing.



October 29, 2007

Seminar: Bodygraphy: Dance as a way of inquiry

Presenter: Celeste Snowber

This session explored the body as a site of knowing, being, and writing. Movement as a method for understanding and discovering in the research process was opened up and its connection to pedagogy and transformation. Celeste created an improvisational piece, which was integrated as an example of finding ways for the body to be a site for inquiry.

Celeste Snowber, Ph.D. is a dancer, educator, and writer who is an
Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser
University. She has focused her work in the area of embodiment,
spirituality and arts-based inquiry. Author of Embodied Prayer, she has also written numerous essays and poetry in a variety of journals and chapters in books in the areas of the arts and continues to create performances in a variety of venues.


October 18, 2007

Seminar: The Queer Project: Trying Through Art, to Bring an End to 
Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men

Presenter: Spencer J. Harrison

Harrison’s talk looked at the production and exhibition of his interview-based art, which addresses issues of violence against lesbians and gay men. Exhibited in nontraditional sites such as hospitals, churches and police stations and discussed on the floor of the House of Commons, Harrisons’s paintings and installations changed ideas around the use of art and the subject matter the work confronted.

Spencer J. Harrison, BFA, MA is a nationally exhibiting Canadian artist. Currently he is a first year Ph.D. student in Adult Education and Community Development working with the Centre for Arts-informed Research.



Program in Adult Education & Community Development 
Department of Adult Education & Counselling Psychology
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
252 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6