Thinking Spaces: The Improvisation Reading Group and Speaker Series

Night Improvisations performance

Night Improvisations featuring Ben Grossman, Reza Yazdanpanah and Kathryn Ladano.

The Improvisation Reading Group and Speaker Series, Thinking Spaces, considers the ways in which improvisation can provide us with new ways of thinking and acting. Throughout the year, this group organizes public talks, workshops, special events, and concerts, as well as reading sessions that may include music, performance, film, academic texts, fiction, etc., based around critical thinking on improvisation. Readings are circulated in advance, and may also include short informal presentations by current IICSI students, artists or community groups.

This group is open to all—community members, faculty, and students. We welcome new participants at any time throughout the year. Please contact us for more information or to be added to our mailing list.

Schedule of Current Events:

The winter 2021 Thinking Spaces series will be online. Attendees will need to register in advance of the event they would like to attend, and will be sent a link to the Zoom Room in the days just before the event.

Friday, February 26, 10AM- 12:30PM,  Taiwo Afolabi: Ethical Questioning in Research: Insight from an Applied Theatre Project.

Taiwo Afolabi, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. This presentation examines ethical questioning as an inquiry process germane to making ethical choices necessarily for an ethical practice. A moderated Q&A will follow the talk.  Please register online at

Friday, March 12, 3-4:30PM, Jessica Bissett Perea: Improvising Indigeneity

Jessica Bissett Perea is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work intersects the larger fields of Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and Music & Sound Studies. This talk frames improvisation as a practice through which we can better understand the densities and significance of performing Indigeneity in its many forms, including is/as an idea, analytic, and process. 

Friday, March 26, 3-4:30PM, Dhruv Jani – Studio Oleomingus: The Concentric Fictions of a Generous History. Hypertext and other annotations to memory

Dhruv Jani is the founder the game & arts studio Oleomingus; where they practice at the intersection of postcolonial writing, speculative architecture, and interactive fiction, and use games to study colonial power structures and the histories that they occlude and how hypertext might be used to pollute a single reductive record of the past or of a people.

See below for an archive of past events.

Thinking Spaces Archive

2020 – 2021

2019- 2020

Eric Fillion presenting Jazz Libre for Thinking Spaces in March 2020.

 Sept 27, 2019: Erin Felepchuk, Ben Finley, David Lane, Brent Rowan, Carey West, and Reza Yazdanpanah, Summer Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation: Showcasing Research & Lessons Learned.


Nathan Mejia explains Ambrisonics

SOFAM student Nathan Mejia demonstrates his project with Ambisonics

2017 – 2018

Kade L. Twist and Collaborators : Priya Shah, Jeji Varghese, Madhur Anand, Cherish Blood, Lacey Hill and Heather Majaury performance at Silence

2016 – 2017