Friday, June 29, 2007

AERA American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting Focus on Research, Civic Responsibility

Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility
"This year’s Annual Meeting theme provides an intellectual space for scholarship focused on schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Examples of relevant research topics include, but are not limited to:
(1) higher education and community development
(2) education and social service partnerships
(3) community-based teacher education
(4) project-based learning in metropolitan settings
(5) juvenile justice and opportunity to learn
(6) fiscal policy and planning
(7) educational role of the professions (e.g., health, law, and engineering).

While in New York City, the AERA community will have an opportunity to explore research, historical writings, and moral arguments. An overarching purpose is to define, frame, contextualize, explain, and debate solutions to the ongoing challenge of linking research on schools, neighborhoods, and communities to matters of civic responsibility and capacity-building opportunities. Please consider participating in this important intellectual endeavor. "
More information:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Banff Centre Inspires Creativity A Place for Artistic Collaborations

This afternoon my thoughts turn to the mountains and our Canadian West.

I have heard from many artists and researchers who have had rich experiences working independently and collaboratively at the Banff Centre in Alberta. I thought you may be interested in the following information:

"Banff has offered artists the opportunity to pursue their work in an environment of inspiring physical grandeur, in company with fellow artists engaged in the act of creative exploration, in an institutional culture shaped by profound respect for the creative process. The gifts that Banff has offered to the creative spirit: the power of place, the luxury of time, the synergy of community, the opportunity to pursue hard creative work both in isolation yet in a community of like-minded people, remain important and relevant.”

"The Banff Centre is a catalyst for creativity, with a transformative impact on those who attend our programs, conferences and events. Our alumni create, produce and perform works of art all over the world, lead our institutions, organizations and businesses, and play significant roles in our cultural, social, intellectual and economic well-being, and in the preservation of our environment. "
See slide show for more information:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Global Poverty, Human Development Open Medicine Call for Papers

Global Effort to Help Support Research into Global Poverty/ Human Development

Open Medicine Call for papers

JOIN OPEN MEDICINE in a global effort to raise awareness and stimulate research into poverty and human development. On October 22nd 2007, Open Medicine and more than 200 other scientific journals will publish original research and commentary focused on this important and underserved area of scientific discourse.
Papers should be submitted online. Please paste a subject line in the covering letter: "Re: Call for papers - Global Poverty and Human Development."

Nurse Poets Sought for Magazine Publishing Opportunity

Magazine Seeks Submissions from Nurse Poets

This note forwarded today from CCAHTE liaison, Eastern U.S., Dr. Stephanie Brown Clark, Assistant Professor, Medical Humanities, Centre for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Every issue of RATTLE gathers poems from a specific ethnic, vocational, or social group, comprising a special section of about 20 pages. We're currently seeking submissions from nurse poets for our Winter 2007 issue.

We want...
poems written by nurses -- they don't have to be about nurses. If you're a nurse, submit 3- 5 poems by August 15th, 2007.
We're also seeking ...
essays about the relationship between nursing and/or medicine and poetry -- why are there so many nurse- poets? How does working in this career affect your writing? Does poetry affect how you do your job? If you can write an essay that encompasses both nurses and poetry, we're interested.

Feel free to query first by email

For more information on upcoming tributes and special guidelines, see our
call for submissions page

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Arts and Cancer, Wellspring Helps Support Cancer Patients and Caregivers

Wellspring Offers Supportive Programs and Art Therapies

I recently heard from Daniel Lockwood, Program Manager at Wellspring, the cancer support centre in London, Ontario. Wellspring has opened an additional new location in Stratford, Ontario on the premises of The Quilt Project, 55 Downie Street in Stratford. The centre offers Peer Support daily from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Yoga and Journaling as well as a Resource and Lending-Library.

The History of Wellspring

"Wellspring founder Anne Armstrong Gibson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Along with all the other fears about treatment, survival and the future of her husband and two young children, she experienced something more, an overwhelming sense of isolation. She quickly realized that this was an all-too-common experience among cancer patients, and became determined to fill the void. With the help and encouragement of some of the leading experts in the field of oncology, Anne worked with family, friends and supporters to establish Wellspring, a non-profit organization offering psychological, emotional, social, spiritual and informational support to individuals and families living with cancer.Anne's vision for Wellspring was to create a Canada-wide network of community-based centres that would provide people with the tools they required to cope with cancer. In 1992, Wellspring opened its first centre, The Coach House, on Wellesley Street East in Toronto. In 1999, Wellspring launched its second centre, in north Toronto, on the campus of Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre. Over the following two years, centres serving the regions of Halton-Peel, Niagara and London, Ontario all opened their doors. Although Anne died in 1995, her vision still guides the organization toward achieving a network that will one day span across Canada."
excerpt from website at

Wellspring offers many helpful and supportive programs such as a coping skills program, discussion series as well as expressive arts programs among them Art and Music therapy.
The organization critically evaluates all programs and conducts research into broader topics in supportive care. The programs and centres are guided by The Wellspring Model, which is based on the goal of effectively meeting the diverse supportive care needs of as many cancer patients and caregivers as possible.

Wellspring is able to provide comfort, support, education and coping skills to a growing number of men, women and children who are living with cancer. Their network registered over 30,000 visits last year, and that number continues to grow. All programs are free of charge for individuals and families living with cancer, and Wellspring receives no core or government funding.

Wellspring offers:

  • High-quality supportive care programming for people with any type of cancer

  • Programs for children whose parents have cancer

  • Support, coping skills and information for the partners, sibling, friends, parents, and other caregivers of cancer patients

  • Childcare and transportation services for families seeking cancer support at Wellspring Halton-Peel

  • Specialized programs for people facing cancer in the Chinese, Aboriginal, Gay and Lesbian communities

  • Volunteer development and support

Read an article about Wellspring, London at featuring interviews with Wellspring, London Executive Director, Shelley Markland and
London Art Therapist, Wanda Sawicki

If you would like to support Wellspring, information about donations can also be found at the website.

"Art, because it's a creative thing, pulls something out of you that is really life-giving and life-promoting," says Sawicki, "and that's a moving thing to see at a time in your life when you are facing possible death."
Wanda Sawicki, Art Therapist

Life Writing and Translations theme for International Auto/Biography Association Conference

IABA International Auto/Biography Association Conference

Honolulu, Hawaii
June 23 to 26, 2008
Life Writing and Translations
Call for Papers Deadline November l, 2007

The Center for Biographical Research and the International Auto/Biography Association invites scholars from around the world to attend the sixth IABA conference, which will be held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.
The theme for this conference is Life Writing and Translations, in the widest sense of the term. We welcome papers dealing with the following kinds of translation, and others as well
  • Linguistic­-Accounts of language acquisition, and their relation to senses of identity, of relations with others, of community, of separateness.
  • Immigrant life writing narratives, Indigenous peoples and life writing, Poly-lingual texts, polyphonic and heteroglossic, texts, the translation of life writing texts from one language to another.
  • Generic­-Life writing texts from one literary, artistic,disciplinary, technological, or rhetorical form to another.
Papers can deal with representing peoples’ lives in any medium­, graphic, text,writing, image, performance. They can examine the adaptation of one representational form to another ­from book to film, from film to musical, from orature to literature, from page to stage to page, from popular confession to autoethnography, multi-generic works, ­online life writing, incorporating visual, aural, and textual dimensions, or performance works, combining presence and representation in several media.
Papers should be limited to fifteen minutes in length, to insure time in all sessions for questions and full discussion. Panels on a single topic and submitted together are welcome.
Abstracts can be submitted by mail or fax to:
IABA Conference Call for Papers , c/o The Center for Biographical Research, Department of English, 1733 Donaggho Road, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822 USA Fax number: 1-808-956-3774
Organizer: Professor Craig Howes
Department of English
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1733 Donaghho Road, Honolulu
Hawai'i 96822, USA
Email: or
Tel: 808-956-3774
Fax: 808-956-3774


Monday, June 18, 2007

Alzheimer's, Drama and Research, New Performance Seeks to Foster Humanistic Approach to Dementia Care Practice

Ethnodramatic Production to Help Enhance Communication and Relationships

CCAHTE Journal Advisory Board members
include leaders in the creative arts, health, training and education as well as researchers and scientists working at the intersections of the arts and sciences.
Continuing our reporting on CCAHTE Journal Advisory Board members and their ongoing projects this morning, we present information about a new ethnodramatic production by Pia C. Kontos, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Toronto.

Below we present brief excerpts from the paper, “Expressions of Personhood in Alzheimer’s, Moving from Ethnographic Texts to Performing Ethnography", Pia C. Kontos and Gary Nagalie, University of Toronto as published in Qualitative Research, 2006. (excerpts published with author permission.)

There were three main goals in developing the ethnodramatic production “Expressions Of Personhood in Alzheimer’s”

1) to provide an accessible presentation of research to audiences of diverse disciplinary backgrounds

2) to recover the experiential immediacy of the body present in the original data-gathering setting, which, in the case of this dramatic production, permits a powerful demonstration of how selfhood is manifested in gesture and action

3) to create a space to engage in a form of social inquiry that resonates simultaneously with critique and the envisioning of new possibilities (Denzin, 1997).

Expressions of Personhood in Alzheimer’s is a production that not only re-presents embodied expressions of selfhood in Alzheimer’s disease, but also critically exposes depersonalizing tendencies of treatment contexts and caregiving relationships that are a consequence of an assumed loss of selfhood that is widely associated with the cognitive deficiencies that lie at the core of dementia. It is our contention that this ethnodramatic production has the potential to open a space for seeing the humanity of persons with dementia, and for envisioning the prospect of a truly humanistic approach to dementia care practice.

As part of the development process Kontos created a partnership with ACT II Studio, a theatre school and creative drama centre for older adults, which is part of the Seniors Education Programs in Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Toronto, Canada. ACT II Studio has a demonstrated history of developing socially relevant dramas for public presentation. Their director, Vrenia Ivonoffski, agreed to provide artistic directorship.

The collaborative process began with a meeting between Kontos, Ivonoffski, and a group of interested actors. All were provided with descriptions of the research participants who feature in the five vignettes. Five actors committed to the project, all having had some personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease, which was agreed upon by Kontos and Ivonoffski as necessary background to sensitize them to the general condition of the illness and, as much
as possible, to the nuances of embodiment in the lived experience of the illness.

The development of Expressions of Personhood in Alzheimer’s is part of a larger research agenda to humanize the practice of dementia care. With the production now complete, we are embarking upon the next stage of our research, which involves the performance of this drama and focus groups we are conducting with nurses and ancillary health care professionals in three different long-term care facilities. It is anticipated that responses to the performance by the focus group participants will serve as a springboard for discussion about embodied selfhood, and how perceiving a broader range of behaviour as meaningful could enhance communication and the development of interpersonal relationships, and how this could ultimately improve the quality of caregiving and the quality of life of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact info: Pia C. Kontos: Department of Public Health Sciences University of Toronto 11035-550 University Avenue Toronto, ON M5G 2A2CanadaTEL: (416) 597-3422, ext. 7609FAX: (416) 597-7105Email:

Qualitative Research

ACT II Studios, Toronto

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dance Helps Transform Grief, Performances Healing Journey for Lata Pada

Today in London, Ontario at the Wolf Performance Hall, 251 Dundas at 4:00 Lata Pada and her Toronto troupe and Indian guest artist Satyanarayana Raju will perform a program titled Kshetram (Dancing the Devine). Kshetram fuses devotional poetry with the music and dances of India. A celebration of classical Indian dance, kshetram is comprised of seven pieces that include solos performed by Lata Pada.
In an article this morning in "The London Free Press" James Reaney tells Lata Pada's story of loss and healing and how she has used traditional dance and her own performances as forms of autobiographical expression. Reaney reports, "Lata Pada, of Toronto, lost her husband and both daughters in the 1985 air India terrorist bombing. She transformed her grief into an autobiographical performance that uses music and classical Indian dance to recall her horror and her healing."
"At its heart," says Pada, "Kshetram is based on a spiritual journey, on the notion that our life
on Earth here is only a journey to ultimate realization."
In addition to Kshetram, Dancing the Devine, Pada has performed other personally transformative dances. At the website, Dancing our Stories Personal Narratives from Dance Animation, , she writes, " Due to my personal history and tragedy in my life, I have experienced the value of dance and art as an important tool to overcome some terrible things that happen in society. Through repeated performances of my work, Revealed by Fire, I have understood the value of the work and seen how people have been transformed by it, how they have been moved to make some positive changes in their lives. This work has not only given me a new meaning in my life, but it has provided a great understanding of the transcendental value of art."
excerpts included from James Reaney, London Free Press Article, "Dancing the Devine a Sunday Delight",Sunday, June 17, 2007, London Free Press
Dancing our Stories Personal Narratives from Dance Animation

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Narrative Matters Conference 08 Call for Papers and Presentations

Narrative Matters 2008: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Narrative Research, Perspectives, Practices and Issues

"Storying our World"

May 7-10, 2008
University of Toronto
Call for Papers and Presentations
Deadline: September 30, 2007
"As humans we continually story our experiences. We construct our world through our personal, community, institutional and political narratives. The 2008 Narrative Matters conference theme aims to explore all of these narrative sites. Narrative continues to gain recognition as something people do, use and research. The Narrative Matters conference provides a meeting place for people interested in doing, using and researching narrative in diverse contexts and fields. The blurring and crossing of boundaries catalyzes discussion and inquiry at Narrative Matters conferences. We invite proposals for papers, presentations or participatory sessions on a variety of topics around the practice, use and research of narrative."
For more information see website:
(info. above excerpt from website)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

bell hooks, Cultural Criticism and Transformation

I invite you to visit today with intellectual, scholar, writer and poet

bell hooks

YouTube Video
Cultural Criticism and Transformation

More on bell hooks at

Monday, June 11, 2007

Employment Opportunities for Researchers in Arts Informed Research, Importance of the Body for Self Expression, Dementia Care

We recently received news about two excellent research opportunities in arts informed research and dementia care.

Research Associate Level I

Research Associate Level II

Dementia Care: Exploring an Arts-Informed Educational Program

Embodied Selfhood and Person-Centred Dementia Care: Exploring an Arts-Informed Educational Program

START DATE: July 3, 2007

REPORTS TO: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Principal Investigator, Research

We have received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to conduct a research study to implement and evaluate an arts-informed educational program in two different long-term care facilities. The program is for dementia care practitioners and uses drama and other arts-informed approaches to enhance understanding of the importance of the body for self-expression by persons with severe dementia.

Our primary research objectives are:

1) to explore the effectiveness of the arts-informed educational intervention in teaching the person-centred care approach to health practitioners and in changing their practice, and the factors influencing its success or failure

2) explore impact of the educational intervention on health practitioner and resident outcomes.

For detailed information about these two positions:
Dr. Pia Kontos
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute,
11035 - 550 University Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2A2
Fax: (416) 597-7105

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Collaborative Research: Drama Helps Explore Difficult Situations

An interesting report (excerpt) from the Vancouver Island Health Authority site
at demonstrates how drama
can be applied to help foster teamwork in collaborative research projects.

Collaborative Research Teams: Using Drama to Explore Difficult Situations

On November 3rd, the third workshop in our Collaborative Research Workshop series was held in the Medical Sciences Building at UVic. This series is a collaborative effort between the University of Victoria's Centre on Aging and VIHA’s Research and Academic Development department, with the goal of increasing our combined capacity to conduct high-quality health-related research. Support for this workshop was received from UVic Office of Research Services; Victoria Palliative Research Network New Emerging Team; BC Network for Aging Research, Rural and Remote Health Research Network, and the Disability Health Research Network and involved participation from the Centre on Aging, School of Nursing, Applied Theatre Department, as well as VIHA’s Research and Academic Development Department and RP1.

Using a technique called “Forum Theatre”, events based on real-life scenarios were adapted for the stage. Audience members were given an opportunity to reflect upon the incidents/events and to become involved in the process of changing how the scenario unfolded, and then review the event from a new perspective.

The audience included researchers and students from the University of Victoria as well as health providers from VIHA who were interested in increasing their knowledge and skills in the collaborative research process as well as networking with others interested in partnering to conduct research. "

Another winning example of the creative arts practically applied in research, action and practice.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Arts Research, Arts Based Educational Research Conference Highlights Narrative and Performance

Arts Based Educational Research Conference

July 5th, 6th, 7th 2007
Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol

The second international arts-based educational research conference

This conference provides a bi-annual focus for the blurring of genres between arts and social science research, arts-based research as an inclusive and participatory form of inquiry and arts-based methods of disseminating educational and human science research. This year the conference coincides with and pays particular tribute to the 2007 celebrations and commemorations of the abolition of slavery within the UK and the 40th St Paul's Carnival in Bristol (July 7th).


Peter Clough, Liverpool Hope University, author of ‘Narratives and Fictions in Educational Research’ and Andrew Sparkes of the University of Exeter, author of ‘Telling tales in sport and physical activity’ in conversation about writing as a form of inquiry

Yvonne Sliep, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, author of ‘Narrative theatre for social action’ and Casper MBatha of the Narrative Theatre Group will be presenting and performing their work.

Salome Raheim, University of Iowa, USA will be presenting a singing keynote, an African-American journey from the times of slavery to the present day

Martin Hughes, Wan Ching Yee and Theatr Iolo, delivering a performance/ presentation of 'Ready or Not?', using drama to increase the impact of the
Home School Knowledge Exchange Project

Rita Irwin, Gu Xiong, Kathryn Ricketts, University of British Columbia, Ruth Beer, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and Pauline Sameshima, Washington State University on behalf of the A/r/tography research group exhibiting/ presenting work in progress from the 'city of richgate' project

Jane Speedy, University of Bristol (Plus the 'unassuming geeks' project) and Libby Worth (plus Physical theatre postgraduate students) , Royal Holloway, University of London presenting work in progress 'moving with the data'.

Excerpts from website:
For information about this conference E-mail

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Qualitative Research, References and Approaches, Handbook of Qualitative Research Essential Resource

Some have called the growing interest in qualitative research today a revolution. We are seeing this progressive work increasingly applied in education as well
as in health by educators, nurses and social work educators, in mental health and in participatory work for social change.

CCAHTE Journal frequently features contributions from leading educators and researchers engaged in qualitative research actively involved in projects related to education, health and humanities. Among qualitative researchers are those using arts influenced methodologies to help raise awareness about true stories and lived experiences in the context of environment while opening the way for social change or changes in health policy.

In our work in arts, research, health, training and education many of our projects involve some form of qualitative research (narrative approaches, phenomenology, autoethnography). Many researchers will have access to a reference copy of "The Handbook of Qualitative Research" by Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln..a book that is accessible as well as informative and includes contributions covering a range of approaches and methods in field work, data collection and assessment.
"Qualitative research is a field of inquiry in its own right. It crosscuts disciplines, fields and subject matter...
Qualitative research, as a set of interpretive practices, privileges no single methodology over any other. As a site of discussion, or discourse, qualitative research is difficult to define clearly.
...multiple theoretical paradigms claim use of qualitative research methods and strategies from constructivism to cultural studies, feminism, Marxism and ethnic models of study. "
(Pg. 3 introduction/ Handbook of Qualitative Research)

"In discipline after discipline, old models, methods and theories of research have been supplanted or supplemented by new paradigms, strategies and techniques based on
naturalistic study of people in their social and culture environment. The Handbook
of Qualitative Research is the first attempt to synthesize the vast world of activity.
.....Contributors to this authoritative volume represent disciplines as diverse as sociology and education, medicine and communication, anthropology and policy studies and come
from three continents."
From Handbook of Qualitative Research,
Norman K. Denzin, Yvonna S. Lincoln, editors
Sage Publications

"The Handbook of Qualitative Research" an excellent reference book for students as well as seasoned "explorers".

Friday, June 1, 2007

Art, Photography, Film and Video New Narratives Welcomed at International Visual Sociology Conference

2007 Conference of the International Visual Sociology Association

Public Views of the Private; Private Views of the Public

August 10, 11, 12, 2007 New York University New York
Keynote speaker:Martha Rosler

The 2007 Conference of the International Visual Sociology Association will take place August 10,11,12 at New York University in New York City.

"The theme for the 2007 IVSA conference is the multi-faceted relationship between public and private realms and how they are shaped by human action while at the same time conditioning our lives. The aim of the conference is to visually examine the various layers of the public/private relationship. Presenters and panelists are invited to explore how the social is embodied in the built environment, how visual media challenge and/or reinforce the traditional divide between public and private; and the alternative frameworks that visual sociology offers for reconstructing this relationship."

"Cultural forms, social institutions, and power structures always frame private and public realms. Recent research suggests that the relations and borders between public and private are rapidly changing. Visual Sociology provides useful tools for investigating and interpreting the complexity and interpenetration of public and private realms; making visible intersections, historical legacies, and cross-cultural processes. Art, photography, film and video as well as careful observation can depict local communities and global society and elucidate social cohesion and social conflict."

"Visual researchers construct their own images and interpretive narratives elucidating and questioning "the image" of public views and private views. The conference will present a wide variety of formats including video, poster sessions, installations, performances, photo exhibits, and multimedia presentations as well as traditional papers."

These excerpts from the website at:

Submission deadline : June 30, 2007