Shauna Janssen, PhD
& Principal Investigator
Shauna is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, where she holds a Concordia University Research Chair in Performative Urbanism (2018-2023). Her teaching, research and creative practice are consonant with urban humanities, critical interdisciplinary spatial practices, and performative explorations with and within the urban realm, including: site-responsive performances/ installations, urban interventions, and community collaborations.
In 2008 she founded Urban Occupations Urbaines (UOU), a research and curatorial platform for engaging artists and researchers, communities and the public, in creative and critical responses with the contested and unresolved architectural and spatial conditions of cities. She has been commissioned to create artistic and curatorial public art projects for the Centre d’Histoire de Montreal, La Fonderie Darling, and has collaborated on community events and cultural exchanges with cultural institutions such as Mutek (2019) Heritage Montréal, Montréal Arts Interculturel, Le Sud-Ouest de Montréal, and Parks Canada. Her contributions to research and the advancement of knowledge in critical urban spatial practices beyond academic audiences include a number of university-community collaborations, and invitations to give public lectures at cultural institutions in Montreal such as the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Ephemeral City, 2010), the artist-run centre Articule (“Would you be my curator?” 2012), and the McCord Museum (City Talks, 2013).
Internationally, she has given presentations about her research and urban curatorial work, as well as participated in various interdisciplinary and research-creation activities, events, curatorial and artist residencies hosted by institutions such as the Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, and Agora, Berlin (2015); the School of Art, Design and Architecture Creative Exchange Institute, University of Tasmania, Australia (2016); the Department of Spatial Design at Massey University, New Zealand (2017); the XX Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, Chile (2017); Performance Design at Roskilde University, Denmark (2018); Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space (Czech Republic, 2019); the DesignLab, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez. Santiago de Chile (2021); and The School of Performance Design and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, UK (2021).
Shauna's current research and creation projects employ dramaturgy, critical spatial practices (Rendell), feminist and intersectional methods, and scenography to engage with questions of the right to the city and the critical role art and design can play in mobilizing the development of more just urban futures.
Her research is funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC Insight Development and Partnership Engage Grants), the Fonds de recherché Québec - Société et Culture (FRQ-SC), and the Office of the Vice President Research and Graduate Studies, Concordia University.
She was the Director of Concordia's Institute for Urban Futures from 2018-2020.
Allison has developed an artistic practice committed to expanding the possibilities of dance and choreography, experimenting with forms of presentation, representation, potentiality, and imagination. She holds a BA from the University of Toronto in Political Science and Visual Studies, is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Dance Training Program, and completed her MA in Solo/Dance/Authorship at the UdK/HZT Berlin.
Allison has trained, taught, and performed internationally. Her solo and collaborative works have been presented at the Canada Dance Festival, Dancemakers, Fabrica de Pensule, Movement Research at the Judson Church, National Dance Centre Bucharest (CNDB), Salonul de Proiecte, Uferstudios, and numerous non-traditional performance spaces.
From 2006-11, Allison worked as a gardener in Toronto, with a speciality in topiary, hedge, and knot garden clipping. She is currently a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at Concordia University, researching performance and contemporary physicality through local gardens and gardening practices.
christian scott is fascinated by the ability of people to transform cities with playful actions. With an academic background in urban sociology and professional expertise in community planning and socioenvironmental projects, they use poetry, music, field recordings, body/movement, and urban intervention/installation as mediums of exploration.
christian is undertaking a PhD in Playful Cities, feminist/queer placemaking, performance art, and the relationship between memory/identity/body/space.
They grew-up between Montreal/Tio'tia:ke and Guadalajara (MX), and currently inhabit the H2N postal code.
Amanda explores the experience of home, belonging, and cultural identity by bringing into focus details of everyday practices whose ordinary status makes it particularly hard for us to notice their key role in defining who we are. Trained and graduated initially as a stage designer from The National School of Theater, Gutiérrez uses a range of media such as sound art and performance art to investigate how these conditions of everyday life set the stage for our experiences and in doing so shape our individual and collective identities. Approaching these questions from immigrants’ perspectives continues to be of special interest to Gutiérrez, who completed her MFA in Media and Performance Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently elaborating the academic dimension of her work as a Ph.D. student at Concordia University, studying the field of the acoustic culture in urban studies. Accordingly, these techniques also constitute the core of the pedagogical practice Gutiérrez has developed over a decade of teaching in diverse settings ranging from high schools on Chicago’s South Side to a senior center on New York’s Upper West Side, including academic institutions such as the SAIC, Connecticut College, and Columbia University. Gutiérrez has held numerous art residencies at FACT, Liverpool in the UK, ZKM in Germany, TAV in Taiwan, Bolit Art Center in Spain, and her work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as The Liverpool Biennale in 2012, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. A recipient of a grant from the National System of Art Creators, in Mexico, Gutiérrez is currently one member of the Board of Directors of the World Listening Project
Katrina is currently completing a Master of Design at Concordia. Both within and outside of academia, notions of boundaries, transformation, memory, and transition have informed her practice. Whether solidified into the more concrete language of colour and pattern in painting, used as a way to incorporate a more temporary, emotional and unstable understanding of space within architecture, or thought of in relation to the body in installations, these ideas remain a consistent driving force to think about space and spatial experience.
Currently, she is interested in exploring the potential in poetic analogies as a way to set up relationships between things that rarely come in contact with one another - painting, body boundaries and spatial borders - to merge questions of transformation and thresholds that emanate from the body with those characteristic to larger-scale spatial borders and boundaries.
Jacob Caines is a conductor, musicologist, and performer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jacob is on faculty at The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts as the head of the woodwind and theory departments, as well as an occasional faculty member at Dalhousie University, where he is the director of the DAL Wind Ensemble and professor of music history. He is also the founder of classicalqueer, a project dedicated to interviews with queer+ performers, writers, musicians, administrators and artists.
As a performer, Jacob was the music director for the award winning national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He is also a founding member of the Alkali Collective which performs and commissions works by living Canadian queer and BIPOC composers. The group is proud to be funded by the Canada Council. Jacob is an active adjudicator and clinician and has worked with the Canadian Music Competition and dozens of ensembles and arts groups across Canada.
In 2021, Jacob began his doctoral work with the INDI PhD program at Concordia University, where he is researching the role that Canadian communities of queer classical musicians play in shaping the culture of cities.
Anne-Audrey is a creator, mostly using interdisciplinary performance to express what sprouts from within, pulling the invisible, everydayness, and personal-political to the surface. Her work has been showcased in Montreal, Toronto, and New York.
She is the founder and dramaturg of I WOC UP LIKE DIS, a platform for femmes, priority to LGBTQ, folks of color to dig into healing while enabling dialogue through performance-making workshops.
Anne-Audrey is undertaking an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies where she explores I WOC UP LIKE DIS' work to understand the potential for community building/healing with queer and non-binary folks on the spectrum of race, gender, and sexuality through the dramaturgical process behind the making of autoethnographic performances. Her background includes mentorship from d’bi young anitafrika at the Watah Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed trainings, and being a registered social worker with an anti-oppressive practice.
Caroline is undertaking her MA in Concordia's INDI program.
She has been active as a choreographer, performer and teacher for 20 years. She has danced for choreographers such as Ginette Laurin (O Vertigo), Jacques Poulin-Denis, Paul-André Fortier and Jean-Pierre Perreault. In 2001, she began her own choreographic process and created several pieces such as: Hit and Fall (2009), SOAK (2011), Entailles (2013) and Matière blanche (2015). Her choreographic work has been presented in Montreal at Tangente, Agora de la danse, OFFTA, Festival TransAmériques, as well as in France, Hungary, Germany and South Korea.
In 2016, Caroline created Habiter sa mémoire, an outdoor performance which has been presented in more than 15 different cities and will continue its tour in Canada, Europe and China until 2020. In 2018, she presents the ambitious diptych Ground and Rebo(u)nd in collaboration with Montreal Danse. Caroline Laurin-Beaucage graduated from The School of the Toronto Dance Theater.
She has been teaching contemporary dance technique at Montreal’s Concordia University since 2005. She is the founder of Lorganisme and has served as the company’s artistic director since its creation.
Jamie Woollard is a musician and researcher. Her work with soundscape, multi-channel spatialization and experimental performance contexts is guided by a focus on place. She grew up on the prairies in Treaty 1 territory and is now based in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal, Canada). Jamie creates film scores and performance works, with an emphasis on surrounding the listener with sound to produce an immersive experience.
Jamie trained as a classical pianist for twenty years before becoming interested in electronic composition. She studied piano performance and electroacoustics at Concordia University, where she completed a BFA in Music in 2014 and published research on emergent practices in laptop music. After working with filmmakers for several years, she created "Heat Wave", a large-scale solo work for piano and electronics, and "Immortal Words", a solo album based on the poetry of bixsexual writers throughout history.
Jamie is pursuing an inter-disciplinary Masters in sound, theatre and urban geography. Her work considers how sound and spatialization can be used in theatre performance to emphasize intimacy, complexity, empathy and humour, in order to expand understandings of urban community.
Andrei Mamal undertaking a BFA in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, with a specialization in performance creation. His primary interest is the collaborative aspect of the creation process in theatre, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to new media and technologies in making live performance.
He is a recent recipient of a Concordia Ungraduate Student Research Award (CUSRA 2020) and joins the PULSE team to work on the dramaturgical potentials of using 360° filming and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies in the design of new media performance.
Andrei started his career back in his home city Chisinau, Moldova, where he co-founded a theatre collective called "Etajul 5". The project aims to create space for collaboration between independent theatre artists, exploring dramatic texts, documentary theatre and site-related performances.
Becca is an MA student in the Media Studies program at Concordia University. She’s a filmmaker and organizer, focusing on uplifting under-heard stories in both documentary, narrative fiction, and through community programs. Her work centers around the ways to use media to talk about issues in social and environmental justice, representation, feminism, queerness, anti-racism, and access. She is currently developing a climate change impact map of Montreal, in order to explore ideas on environmental embodiment and the social justice implications of the future.
As a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and former sex columnist for the Montreal Mirror, Alex Tigchelaar has included her voice in the movement to decriminalize sex work for over twenty-five years. An interdisciplinary graduate degree that investigates the political economies of cities, social semiotics, and the built environment was a natural extension of her creative interests and advocacy work. Alex has held multiple research positions in academia since she made her way here in her mid-forties, working on projects with the adult survivors of institutional violence, senior sex workers, and the organizers of safe consumption sites. As a research assistant at PULSE, she is looking forward to carefully opening the 1955 Lovell’s Montreal Street Guide she purchased on eBay and taking it back to the neighbourhood where it appears to have spent a great deal of its life, in a taxi station on Jeanne Mance that is no longer there. Alex believes that objects and
structures hold important stories about the city and considers them vital and active participants in her research about the built environment.
Alex’s PhD in HUMA is supported by a Joseph Armand Bombardier Scholarship.
Eduardo Perez trained as an architect at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). His work explores the intersection of architecture, design, performance and new media through research-creation projects and territorial actions oriented to generate critical spatial ecosystems. Perez is co-founder of the architecture collective TOMA, with whom he has exhibited his work internationally, and been awarded with the Graham Foundation Grant for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (2016). He has collaborated extensively with cultural and educational institutions in Chile, and has lectured at the Faculty of Architecture at UDLA, Santiago. Currently, he is pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal.
Joanna has been working in professional theatre in Montréal and in the United States since 2005, and, since 2012, has been artistic director of a theatre company in Montréal which features site-responsive performance collaborations between university students and theatre professionals. Her dissertation Performing Curiosity: A Research-Creation Inquiry into Urban Performance in Montréal explores the relationship between performance and its city of situation, putting into practice a spectrum of historical and contemporary performance techniques for engaging critically and creatively with contested urban spaces. Curiocité, the creative component of her doctoral research, is a multimodal urban research platform and theatrical device, based on the curiosity cabinet and popular street theatre forms. Abattoir de l’est is the street performance event issuing from the Curiocité platform, an urban fable that engages the histories and presents of Montréal’s rue Ontario and the east end district of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, where Joanna lives.
Ella is an undergraduate student finishing her BFA in Concordia’s Performance Creation specialization. Before she moved to Montreal she studied playwriting at The Theatre School at DePaul University where her works were performed at the Wrights of Spring Festival, as well at Playhouse NOLA in New Orleans. Her practice is especially informed by Chicago storefront theatre and the new play development work she was exposed at Chicago Dramatists. She is interested in immersive, site specific, interdisciplinary, and feminist theatre and theatre practices. She likes to consider herself a playwright and aspiring dramaturg and actor, and is also a classically trained cellist.
Mira completed her MSc in geography and urban studies at Concordia University. With a background in landscape architecture she is interested in the urban aspect of the field, and influenced by the question of 'Whose city?' She works with people-centered approaches to design that respect locale . During her graduate study, she became interested in exploring cultural landscapes and community/informal planning, particularly the indeterminate spaces of the post-industrial landscape, and in how they can act as spaces of opportunity and potentiality. Her research bridges these interests as it explores indeterminate spaces as sites of tension between gentrification and appropriation.
Naya is an interdisciplinary Lebanese-Canadian artist, currently enrolled in Concordia University’s BFA in Performance Creation. She has recently moved to Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal from Beirut where she was a sexual and reproductive rights activist. As a feminist, she has been involved in projects concerned with the reshaping of public spaces for women and queer persons in Beirut. In her artistic practice, she is interested in exploring questions of hope, recovery and transformation in a violent, patriarchal, colonial world.