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2007-2009: Researcher, Administrative Support, Student Representative on Management Team

University of Guelph

PhD Research: My research project builds on work I have done on Chicano/a theatre in California in the 1960s to examine a broader range of historical moments and cultural texts (from corridos, hip-hop, poems, and experimental music) in which improvisation is taken up as a crucial mode for re-negotiating the physical and ideological terms of the U.S.-Mexico border. I explore the implications of neoliberal ideologies and border-protectionist impulses in the U.S. for migrating, "illegal," and annexed bodies both in terms of fraught border histories of violence, homelessness, and exclusion, and at sites of musical and literary innovation.

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.