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Postdoctoral Fellow 2013-2014

University of Guelph

Lauren Michelle Levesque comes from an interdisciplinary background in music, theology, religious studies and spirituality. She completed her doctoral work in the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. Her dissertation explored the use of contemporary protest music performances as spaces for nonviolent vision and action in the context of the ‘war on terror.’ As a postdoctoral fellow, Lauren will be researching the ways improvised music-making builds a community’s creative capacity to engage with violence and social healing. A particular focus will be the work of scholar and conflict transformation practitioner, John Paul Lederach. This research is an outgrowth not only of her academic interests but also of her involvement with local social justice and women’s organizations in advocating for creative approaches to nonviolent social change.

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