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Thinking Spaces: Graduate Student Colloquium

Please join us for the next meeting of the Thinking Spaces Reading Group on November 23, 2012 from 3-5pm in the public library at 100 Norfolk Street. We will be welcoming three guest speakers from the School of English and Theatre Studies PhD program, David Lee, Nicholas Loess, and Paul Watkins, together with special guest respondent Dr. Alan Stanbridge (University of Toronto at Scarborough).

SETS PhD student David Lee is a bassist, cellist, and author with several fiction and non-fiction books to his credit, including Chainsaws: A History, The Battle of the Fivespot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field, and his recent novel, Commander Zero.

Nicholas Loess is a PhD student in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. He lives in Guelph with his partner Rosa and animal co-creators Emilia and Peanut. His current research is exploring the creative linkages between experimental film and improvisation. His creative work has been critically and artistically influenced by Trinh Minh-Ha, Chris Marker, Dziga Vertov, and Gilles Deleuze.

Paul Watkins is a SSHRC-supported doctoral student 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. Recently, 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 a DJ project entitled, Dedications.

Drawing on a diverse range of musical examples from the early-twentieth century to the present day, Dr. Stanbridge’s current SSHRC-supported research project focuses on the manner in which a variety of discourses have shaped contemporary understandings of musical meaning and cultural value. Dr. Stanbridge has published articles on popular music, jazz history, and cultural policy, and he is currently working on the forthcoming Rhythm Changes: The Discourses of Jazz, to be published by Routledge in 2010. He is a contributor to the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World (writing the entries on Postmodernism, the Hollywood Musical, and Jazz), and a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Cultural Policy and the Jazz Research Journal. Dr. Stanbridge teaches courses in cultural policy, cultural studies, and jazz history, and he is the recipient of a Faculty Teaching Award for his contribution to the teaching of undergraduates. In a previous life, Dr. Stanbridge pursued a fifteen-year career in professional arts management and music promotion in the UK, during which time he held the post of Director of the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, and occupied senior management positions with several arts centres and music organizations, including Midlands Arts Centre and Jazz Services. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology (Carleton University), a master’s in communications (University of Wolverhampton), and a master’s equivalent in arts administration (City University, London).

As always, please spread the word to your peers, students, fellow artists and friends.

The final Thinking Spaces meeting of 2012 will be on December 7 from 3-5pm at 100 Norfolk featuring guest presenter Matt Brubeck.

Listening itself, an improvisative act engaged in by everyone, announces a practice of active engagement with the world, where we sift, interpret, store and forget, in parallel with action and fundamentally articulated with it ("Mobilitas Animi" 113).

– George E. Lewis