Thinking Spaces: 2020-21

Faces of all the 2020-2021 Thinking Spaces presenters. Text reads:Thinking Spaces: The Improvisation Reading Group & Speaker Series

Thinking Spaces, The Improvisation Reading Group and Speaker Series, considers the ways in which improvisation can provide us with new ways of thinking and acting.

In the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters, IICSI presented an online iteration of Thinking Spaces. Moving the series online created an opportunity to connect with a diverse range of guest speakers and audience members from across the country and around the world, opening up the experience of Thinking Spaces to a wider circle than ever before.

The 2020-21 Thinking Spaces lineup featured:

  • George Lipsitz: Research Professor Emeritus of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Joel Bakan: Author, filmmaker, and Professor of Law at UBC
  • Joni NehRita: Jazz musician, performer, and music educator
  • Dong-Won Kim: Korean percussionist, pedagogue, and vocalist
  • University of Guelph Professor James Harley alongside students from the Critical Studies in Improvisation (IMPR) graduate program
  • Raven Chacon (composer, performer, and installation artist) Candice Hopkins (curator)
  • Taiwo Afolabi: University of Regina Assistant Professor and applied theatre practitioner
  • Jessica Bissett Perea: interdisciplinary scholar in Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and Music & Sound Studies and Associate Professor at University of California, Davis
  • Dhruv Jani: Founder of the Game and Art studio Oleomingus based in Chala, India
  • Roger Dean: Composer/improviser and Research Professor at the MARCS Institute, Sydney
  • Harald Kisiedu: Historical Musicologist and lecturer at the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences‘ Institute of Music.

With thanks to our speakers, we are now offering recordings of 2020-21 Thinking Spaces events through our Research Library, which you can persuse below:

George Lipsitz, “Insubordinate Spaces: Why Improvisation and Accompaniment Matter Now”

Joel Bakan, “The New Corporation”

Dong-Won Kim, “Time To Plant Seed”

Dr. James Harley and IMPR Graduate Students: Interactive Improvisation in Times of Isolation project, “Improvising and Listening”

Raven Chacon and Candice Hopkins, “Dispatch”

Taiwo Afolabi, “Ethical Questioning in Research: Insight from an Applied Theatre Project”

 Jessica Bissett Perea, “Improvising Indigeneity”

Dhruv Jani from Studio Oleomingus, “The Concentric Fictions of a Generous History: Hypertext and Other Annotations to Memory”

Roger Dean, “AI and Improvisation: Virtual Improvisers, Virtual Pianos”

Harald Kisiedu: “Living Ball of Fire: Peter Brötzmann, Black Experimentalism, and Politics in 1960s West Germany”

Thank you to our wonderful speakers for taking part in this series, and thank you to our 2020-21 session sponsors: the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and, from the University of Guelph, the Sociable Cities Speaker Series; the Canada India Research Centre for Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE); the College of Arts; the School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM); the School of English and the Theatre Studies (SETS); the Department of Sociology and Anthropology; the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, and the Music Students’ Association.