Thinking Spaces: Fall 2022

ANNOUNCING THE FALL 2022 LINE-UP FOR THINKING SPACES—a speaker series centred in improvisation presented by the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) featuring four speakers from the forefront of music, inclusion, philosophy, and physics.

This fall’s Thinking Spaces events are taking place between October 25 – December 8. All are welcome to attend these free events on campus (see individual events for specific venues) or online (via Zoom)!

Wednesday November 2, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm ET

IICSI House (9 University Ave E, Guelph) / Online via Zoom. Hilary will be joining us virtually. 

The Speaker: Hilary Bradbury

The Talk: Action Research Transformation: Liberating the Spirit of Yes/And at a Time of Eco-Social Crisis

Hilary Bradbury highlights where Action Research for Transformations (ART) is directed: towards a relational response to climate change and achieving global sustainability goals together. Using examples and allowing time for reflection and dialogue, her talk will pay particular attention to how interweaving our own developmental edges regards personal maturity can help meet the demands of social justice. Hilary’s recent book (Bradbury 2022, Elgar Publication) offers further background and examples of the impact ART offers.

About Hilary Bradbury:

Hilary Bradbury, Ph.D., is founder & curator at AR+ | Action Research Plus Foundation.  She plays a global community organizing role among action researching ARTists reflected in her position as Editor in Chief of the premier, international peer reviewed Action Research Journal. As a Professor for over twenty years (Case Western, USC and OHSU), Hilary’s expertise brings a transformative action research (“learn by doing”) approach to change. As curator at AR+ Foundation, she supports educator-change leaders and universities become more responsive to our eco-social crisis. 

More at

Wednesday November 16, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET 

IICSI House (9 University Ave E, Guelph) / Online via Zoom, Eric Lewis will be joining us virtually. 

Speaker: Eric Lewis 

The Talk: Improvising the Archive: Medea Electronique’s Archive of Digital Art

Eric will discuss assorted ways the digital domain opens up archives for more improvisatory ways of interacting with their contents, and will describe the Medea Electronique archive, and the thinking behind the recent project by co-authored by Eric called From Fruit to Root, concerning this archive, and theories concerning interactive archive and improvisational archive theory. 

About Eric Lewis:

Eric Lewis is a professor of Philosophy at McGill University, who specializes in the philosophy of improvisatory arts.  He is also the President of AIM (Arts in the Margins), the Director of LUC (Laboratory of Urban Culture), and sits on the managment committee of IICSI. He is a member of Medea Electronique, and an active improvisor on brass and electronics.

Thursday December 8, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET

103 MacKinnon / Online via Zoom, Joanne and Shoshanah will join us in-person. 

The Speakers: Joanne O’Meara in conversation with Shoshanah Jacobs

 The Talk: Improv For Scientists

Improvisational exercises have been a key element of theatre training for decades. With minor modification, these same exercises can be used in training scientists (and future scientists) to be better communicators. I’ll discuss my use of improv with our physics majors at U of G and give some examples of the science-y twists we throw on the activities to suit our purposes.

About Joanne O’Meara:

Joanne O’Meara has been a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph for more than 20 years, serving for almost 10 of those years as the Associate Chair (undergraduate). Joanne earned her PhD in Medical Physics from McMaster University and has since transitioned to a focus on Physics Education in her scholarly work. She is an award-winning educator with a deep commitment to her students.  Her most recent project involves the launch of a non-profit organization, Royal City Science, with the ultimate goal of building a new, state-of-the-art, science centre for southwestern Ontario.

About Shoshanah Jacobs:

Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs takes a systems approach to answering questions that are relevant within the communities that they work with. It means that they spend a lot of time learning about other disciplines. Their research expertise includes eco-physiology and biomimetics (aka biomimicry) and they apply this training to help communities develop nature-inspired solutions to challenges. They have worked with the community of Guelph in identifying ways to accessibly reduce the use of single-use plastics, and have tracked the way that personal-protective equipment (PPE) moves through and away from the waste stream to affect wildlife around the world. Dr. Jacobs started the BioM Knowledge Access Lab research group in 2012 to make science knowledge more accessible to community members and to engage the community in designing more inclusive ways of collecting information. They are an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology. Ask them why Gentoo Penguins are simply the best. 

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