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Media and Public Relations Coordinator

University of Guelph

Paul Watkins is a SSHRC-supported doctoral candidate in the University of Guelph’s School of English and Theatre Studies, as well as a doctoral fellow with the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice project. He is also an Editorial Assistant with Theatre Journal, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Guelph Jazz Festival. His dissertation is tentatively titled, “Soundin’ Canaan: Music, Resistance and Citizenship in African Canadian Poetry.” It addresses the politics and ethics of Canadian multicultural policy and citizenship— focusing on intersections between music and text as a border-crossing praxis—particularly as voiced by African Canadian poets. He has published reviews and articles on multiculturalism, Canadian poetry, jazz and improvisation, with a recent paper in Critical Studies in Improvisation titled, “Disruptive Dialogics: Improvised Dissonance in Thelonious Monk and Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers.” His paper on jazz poetics in Dionne Brand’s Ossuaries is forthcoming in a special issue of MaComère. Currently living in Toronto, Paul is an aspiring musician, actor, sound artist, poet, and writer. He is currently working on a collection of poetry entitled, Listenings, and has recently finished a DJ project entitled, Dedications.

Musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

– Ajay Heble