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Social Aesthetics Conference: Improvisation & Social Research Group

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2010

From March 12 - 14, 2010, ICASP will host a Social Aesthetics Conference at McGill University. This conference explores the question of the extent to which the social and dialogical practices which are foregrounded in improvisation are themselves bearers of aesthetic effects. At the same time, speakers will consider how social, cultural, economic and political forces condition the aesthetic practices and values of improvised performance. In this way the conference is concerned with re-theorising the nature of the aesthetic in improvisational and related creative practices.

4th Annual Creative Music Festival and Symposium at Guelph

Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010

The University of Guelph Music Students' Association, Music Department and School of Fine Art and Music are holding the 4th Annual Creative Music Festival and Symposium Tuesday, February 9th - Thursday, February 11th, 2010. Join us for student performances, presentations, open classes, rehearsals, discussions, a performance by Dr. Ellen Waterman and Dr. James Harley's duo "Spin" for computer and flutes, and a keynote talk on "Queering Genre: Michael Jackson's Undoing of Pop Music Convention" by Dr. Susan Fast (McMaster). For further information and schedule, see the Music Students' Association website for information and details on proposal requirements.

2010 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium: Call for Papers

Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Guelph Jazz Festival, in conjunction with the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, the University of Guelph, and the SSHRC MCRI research project on "Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice," invites proposals for papers to be presented at our annual three-day international interdisciplinary conference. Proposals or papers should be submitted by May 31, 2010 to The 2010 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium c/o Dr. Ajay Heble, Artistic Director, The Guelph Jazz Festival email: .

ICASP Postdoctoral Fellowship Program 2010-11: Call for Applications

Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ICASP invites applications of postdoctoral researchers for two residential fellowships to be held at the University of Guelph, McGill University, or Université de Montréal (in association with CREUM – Centre de recherché en éthique). The project seeks to contribute to interdisciplinary research and graduate training in the emerging field of improvisation studies.

Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation - Call for Applications!

Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From August 29 - September 12, ICASP will host the 2010 Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation on the University of Guelph campus. Project participants with broad-ranging expertise will lead invigorating workshops, and guest speakers Tomie Hahn & Curtis Bahn and Bob Ostertag will give stimulating keynote addresses exploring this year's topic "Envisioning Improvisation as Social Practice".

New Issue of Critical Studies in Improvisation / Etudes critiques en improvisation

Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A new issue of Critical Studies in Improvisation / Etudes critiques en improvisation is now available. Vol. 5 No. 1 is a General Topics Issue and can be found on the journal's website at .

ICASP researchers present at Canadian New Music Network Forum 2010

Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ICASP Project Director Ajay Heble and Guelph Site Coordinator Ellen Waterman recently travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia to make a presentation at the Canadian New Music Network’s Forum 2010. Having introduced the project, they focused on ICASP’s outreach initiatives, emphasizing and describing the importance of partnerships between arts organizations, street-level community service groups, and university researchers in fostering more inclusive communities. For more information about CNMN and the forum, please see: .

Call for Papers: Brazilian Improvisations / Chamada de Trabalhos: Improvisações Brasileiras

Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Critical Studies in Improvisation/Etudes critiques en improvisation will publish a special issue on Brazilian Improvisations co-edited by Jason Stanyek and Alessandra Santos. Submissions are due by July 10, 2010 and will be accepted in both English and Portuguese. For more information please contact Professor Stanyek ( and Professor Santos ( Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation considerará trabalhos para um volume especial sobre “Improvisações Brasileiras” organizado por Jason Stanyek e Alessandra Santos. Por favor envie seu texto completo até o dia 10 de julho de 2010. Consideraremos textos em português ou inglês. Esta edição será parcialmente bilíngüe—uma seleção de ensaios em português aceitos será traduzida para o inglês. Perguntas poderão ser enviadas diretamente ao Professor Stanyek ( e à Professora Santos ( Brazilian Improvisations From sports to politics, from economics to pedagogy, from the arts to the quotidian expanses of everyday Brazilian life, the social and cultural spheres of Brazil have often been characterized as having decidedly improvisative valences. Indeed, the importance of improvisation to the enactment of Brazilianness would seem to be borne out by the sheer abundance of common words and phrases that emphasize extemporaneous action as a crucial modality of being “Brazilian”: jeitinho, malandragem, ginga, jogo de cintura, malícia, mandrake, esperteza, axé, manha, suingue, drible, malabarismo, balanço, equilibrista, pirataria, arranjar-se, molejo, cordialidade, and so on.

Improvisation and pedagogy policy meetings

Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009

Researchers from the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice project will meet on December 16th and 17th to develop the first in a series of policy papers to be created by project members. With support from the Musagetes Foundation, researchers, outreach partners, and other stakeholders will come together to investigate the links between improvisation and pedagogy (educational theory and practice).

George Lewis wins American Book Award

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Power Stronger than Itself, George Lewis' history of the AACM and American experimental music, was a winner of the American Book Award, presented by the Before Columbus Foundation. Lewis is the Improvisation and Pedagogy coordinator and a co-investigator with ICASP.

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