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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 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.