Office of the Dean, Department of Theatre
Associate Dean, Research
EDUCATIONBA (McGill University), PhD (University of California, Berkeley)
Laura Levin is Associate Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies and Associate Dean, Research in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design.
She teaches courses on contemporary theatre and performance art, devised theatre, and practice-based research. Her research focuses on site-specific, immersive, and urban intervention performance; performing gender and sexuality; activist and political performance; performance, human rights, and environmental justice; intermedial and digital performance; research-creation methodologies; and performance theory. She is Associate Editor of Canadian Theatre Review (former Editor-in-Chief) and Co-Editor of Performance Studies in Canada (with Marlis Schweitzer)—winner of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s (CATR) 2018 Patrick O’Neill Award for Best Edited Collection. She is Editor of Theatre and Performance in Toronto and Conversations Across Borders, a collection of dialogues on performance, politics, and border culture with performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Laura has also edited special issues of journals on a wide range of topics: performance art, performing politicians, performance and space, digital performance, performing publics, choreographies of public assembly, and more. She is author of Performing Ground: Space, Camouflage, and the Art of Blending In, winner of the CATR’s 2015 Ann Saddlemyer Award for best book in English or French, and currently writing a book on performance and political culture in Canada.
Laura has worked as a director, dramaturg, and performer on a number of performances in North America and co-curated research-creation projects that investigate intersections of art, geography, archives, and digital technologies. Examples include staging performance art works at international festivals (e.g. TALIXMXN with Jess Dobkin at the Encuentro Performance Festival in Mexico City, 2019), art installations at museums (e.g. MetroARCADE at the Bata Shoe Museum, co-curated with Shauna Janssen, Stephen Lawson, and Aaron Pollard, 2016), and activist performance interventions with the feminist art collective, the Queen’s Beavers (with Kim McLeod and Helene Vosters). She is currently serving as dramaturg for Jess Dobkin’s Wetrospective, a performance art exhibition slated to open in fall 2020 at the Art Gallery of York University.
Laura is Principal Investigator for Hemispheric Encounters: Developing Transborder Research-Creation Practices (2020-2027 SSHRC Partnership Grant), a project that brings together a group of universities, community organizations, artists, and activists across Canada, the US, and Latin America to study “hemispheric performance” as a research-creation methodology, a pedagogical strategy, and a tool for social change. This work builds on earlier SSHRC-funded research conducted by the Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas for which she served as Co-Investigator (PI Peter Kulchyski), a research initiative that assembled Canadian researchers studying political performance and linked them to the activities of NYU’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. Laura is also co-curator, with Marlis Schweitzer, of the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series, which emerged out of the SSHRC-funded Performance Studies (Canada) Project, an ongoing collaborative study that seeks to explore how cultural conditions have produced alternative articulations of “performance” in Canadian contexts.
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