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From Crisis and Recovery to Discovery:

Innovation and Connection Across Virtual and Global Landscapes


Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 13:30 - 15:00

Live panel on Zoom; spoken in English. No ASL interpretation or translation will be offered for this event.


Join Now in room D

This video essay examines the relationship between crisis, recovery and the potential for discovery in a five-year, multi-sited ethnography situated in Toronto, Bogotá, Coventry, Athens, Lucknow and Kaohsiung, entitled Global Youth (Digital) Citizen-Artists and their Publics: Performing for Socio-Ecological Justice. Working with researchers, youth, theatre-makers, artists and drama teachers across these global sites, our fieldwork practices have shifted to challenge the (dis)embodied, (dis)orientations of space, time and matter that Covid restrictions demand as we work to defy the limited materiality of the virtual landscapes where we now live and work (Christ & Ward, 2020). Our exploration is provoked by a desire for “action at a distance”, a multi-sited, multi-aesthetic invitation “to go out of bounds” while staying in touch through innovative drama practices (Barad, 2012).

This video essay shares answers to our question for both youth and researchers: What has sustained you during these times as we shelter, together, apart, in place? We feature examples of these findings demonstrating how youth have managed crisis and recovery by focusing on discovery as a sustainable ‘aesthetic of care’ (Thompson 2015). These brave answers from youth challenge our understandings of the relational and the performative in digital spaces and provide a more hopeful answer to Barad’s ever timely question (2012), “what is the measure of closeness”? Part of that “measure” is a research reciprocity as we continually define and redefine ways to be “close”, fostering a responsive and intimate understanding of what crisis, recovery and discovery look like across six international sites under vastly different conditions.

Works Cited

Barad, K. (2012) On Touching-the inhuman that therefore I am. Differences, 23(3), 206-223.

Christ, R., & Ward, A. (2020). Embodiment and social distancing: Practices. Journal of Embodied Research, 3(2), 27-50.

Thompson, J. (2009). Towards an Aesthetics of Care. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 20(4), 430-441.


A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Distinguished Professor in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning cross-appointed to the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, Dr. Kathleen Gallagher studies theatre as a powerful medium for expression by young people of their experiences and understandings. She has published numerous books and articles on the intersection of youth, theatre, and the social world. Her most recent co-edited collection, Global Youth Citizenry and Radical Hope: Enacting Community-Engaged Research through Performative Methodologies (2020) and her forthcoming monograph, Hope in a Collapsing World: Youth, Theatre and Listening as a Political Alternative are based on her recently completed collaborative ethnographic study.

Nancy Cardwell is a fifth year PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on arts in education through the lens of critical literacy studies and feminist theory in elementary and secondary school settings. She has been both a course and studio director at York University, a guest lecturer presenting on culture, politics and dance, and has created arts based workshops for educational outreach programs at the National Ballet of Canada, the Stratford Festival, as well as across school boards in Ontario. Both a Dora Mavor Moore and a Gemini award winning dancer and choreographer, Nancy is an established artist on the Canadian dance scene.

Christine Balt is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Pedagogy in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include interdisciplinary applications of applied theatre, performance, audience research and drama education in studies of ecologies, place and urban environments. Her current research engages with site-specific and place-based performance as tools for examining how young people find and make ‘place’ in sites of rapid urban development.

Munia (Debleena Tripathi) is a 2nd year PhD student at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto. She has worked in Kolkata, India, as a theatre director, playwright and trainer since 2010. Her research interests include applied theatre, theatre audiences, and contemporary Bangla theatre.

Lindsay Valve is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Pedagogy in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include differential understandings of validity, social impact evaluation, relational frameworks for measuring the societal impact of research and the assessment of research ‘quality’. Her current research examines the impacts of social science and humanities research by mobilizing the experiences of community members and participants to interrogate the ‘curriculum’ conferred by the research process.