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Graduate Research Assistant

University of Guelph

Following undergraduate studies in English and cultural studies, Vaughn is in the Masters program in Capacity Development & Extension (in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development). The CDE program focuses on participatory paradigms and processes for addressing social and environmental change at all levels. CD, a bit like improvisation and life, is an emergent field considered to be inherently unpredictable and un-programmable. With an interest in all things performative, a highly un-disciplined perspective, a cultural worker in Guelph nonprofits, armed with a healthy sampling of improvisational movement in the ancient 80s, and mother of a full-grown 22 year-old daughter, Vaughn is interested in the cross-fertilization of the social sciences with artistic modes of knowledge and their significance for social change. Her major paper will focus on the possibility of narratives for sustainable culture moving through postmodernism, exploring the discourses of cultural globalization and post-colonial thought in literature and art.

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