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Books Coordinator, Management Team member, Co-Investigator, Guelph Site Coordinator 2008-09

University of Guelph

A Shakespearean scholar and a jazz/music scholar, Dr. Fischlin has made impressive contributions to both fields. He has co-edited two books on the socio-political implications of improvised creative musics with Dr. Ajay Heble, project director of Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice. These are: The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation, and Communities in Dialogue (2004) and Rebel Musics: Human Rights, Resistant Sounds, and the Politics of Music Making (2003). He has also published two other books that study the relations between music and literary texts and music, nationalism, and gender. Dr. Fischlin's specialty is early modern Renaissance studies and his experience teaching Shakespeare has led to a number of projects including Adaptations of Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology of Plays from the 17th Century to the Present, co-edited with Mark Fortier, published in 2000; the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project (CASP), a website that was launched in 2004 with Version 2 of the site launched in August of 2007; and, the Shakespeare Learning Commons, a pedagogical site embedded on the CASP site. Fischlin was the lead designer/conceptor/producer of 'Speare – an online 3D video game for youth that teaches Shakespearean literacy, launched in April 2007. Dr. Fischlin earned a BFA in Music Performance and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Musicology/English Literature; Concordia University), and a PhD in English literature (York University). He has held a number of SSHRC Standard Research Grants and is the only arts scholar ever to have won a Premier's Research Excellence Award. Currently Fischlin is the General Series Editor for the five-book ICASP output forthcoming with Wesleyan University Press.

Recent work by Dr. Fischlin includes the just-published book The Community of Rights • The Rights of Community (Black Rose Books/Oxford University Press; 2011) co-authored with Martha Nandorfy. The book is the first associated with the ICASP project to examine in detail the concept of community in relation to multiple case studies drawn from global contexts. Fischlin has also recently released unique pedagogical software on the iOS platform, the Romeo and Juliet iPhone/iPad/iPod app., which features a media-rich version of the play specially designed for students and teachers working with the play.

Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace