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Summer 2008: Research Assistant

University of Guelph

Currently working on her master's in Drama at the University of Guelph, Erica divides her attention between academic and creative work. Her research interests
are in cultural memory and narrative form. She did her undergraduate work in English at Laurentian University and wrote a set of short stories for her undergraduate honours essay. This summer, she is writing a play for her major research project.

During her undergraduate years, she founded a number of clubs and charitable organizations and was heavily involved in student government. She also
studied theatre and film, acting in and directing a number of plays and working on several films, including one produced for Toronto Sick Kids Hospital and the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research. She also worked on The Street Skins Project, a design project which won second place in the Design Exchange Museum's Design for the Cold Exhibition in 2005. The project proposed covering streets in northern cities with “Street Skins” – that is, transparent roofs made of
an ecologically friendly material which would hold in heat, creating a "micro-climate" that would be comfortable throughout the year.

As a student and as participant in the ICASP project, she is interested in integrating the literary, artistic, and critical/scholarly impulses of her work and in finding ways to direct her work towards building vibrant and sustainable communities.

Improvisation is, simply put, being and living this very moment. No one can hide in music, and improvising in music is to be truly in this very moment and being completely yourself, with all your qualities and faults. It is probably the most honest state for a human being to be in.

– John McLaughlin in an interview with Daniel Fischlin.