About Us



Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston

BA - University of Manitoba MFA - Interdisciplinary Studies, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University PhD Under Special Arrangements - Simon Fraser University

Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre

Professor Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston is an anthropologist, performance theorist and theatre director. Her areas of study include experimental and performance ethnography, ethnographic storytelling, physical theatre, political/activist theatre, the Roma people, socialism/postsocialism, ageing, violence and terrorism. 

Her research has explored performance as an ethnographic research methodology and representation. She worked on performance ethnography projects with Roma minorities in Poland, Nazi-Holocaust survivors in Canada and Poland, and low-income residents in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Her research has also bridged bioethics, policy, neuroscience and gerontology. She collaborated on a study that investigated theatre as a method of public engagement in health policy development regarding the use of reproductive technologies. Her current projects study the politicizing potential of physical improvisation and empathy in arts-based research, and examine dramatic storytelling as an ethnographic research methodology in the study of ageing.

Her book, Staging Strife (McGill-Queens University Press 2010), was awarded both the 2011 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Outstanding Qualitative Book Award and the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Ann Saddlemyer Book Prize. Staging Strife explores the challenges of collaboration and activism in performance ethnography by analyzing a politically-charged theatre production undertaken with a group of Roma women in Poland. Dr. Kazubowski-Houston’s  other publications include journal articles in Social Science & Medicine, Text and Performance Quarterly, Anthropologica, Canadian Theatre Review and West Coast Line.

Professor Kazubowski-Houston is the Co-Founding Member of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE), a project committed to advancing critical and politically conscious research. She has also worked as a professional theatre director, performer, and playwright in Canada and Poland, and trained as a theatre director with prominent Polish theatre/visual artist Józef Szajna.