Jennifer Beth Spiegel, PhD

Part-time Professor, Theatre
Affiliate Assistant Professor, English

Jennifer Beth Spiegel, PhD
Office: S-EV 6705 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext.

Affiliate Assistant Professor

Jennifer Beth Spiegel (PhD Cultural Studies) is an Affiliate AssistantProfessor in the Department of English at Concordia, where she is Co-principalinvestigator on a research project funded by the Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch (CIHR) entitled “Social Circusand Health Equity: An Interdisciplinary, intercultural, internationalcollaboration”. The project examines the various political, cultural,economic and psychosocial dimensions of Ecuador’s national social circusproject, including how and why circus is being deployed as an ‘art for socialchange’ as well its impacts. The project will culminate in a book, co-edited byDr. Spiegel, under contract with McGill Queens University Press. Thisresearch extends the post-doctoral work also conducted at Concordia’sDepartment of English as part of a national Art for Social Change ResearchPartnership funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council(SSHRC). 

            In addition to her Concordia-based research on socialcircus, Dr. Spiegel is also a Research Fellow of the International Centre ofArt for Social Change (ICASC) at Simon Fraser University, where she serves as critical theorist,analyzing and comparing theoretical approaches to the practice and study of artfor social change. She is also working on a single authored book “Performing in the Red” on performanceand communication in the Quebec student movement and other contemporary socialmovements, building from some of her published articles on this subject (seebelow)

Recent major funding

Co-principal investigator: Canadian Institutes forHealth Research (CIHR) - Social Circus and Health Equity: An interdisciplinary, intercultural, international, collaboration     2014-2017

Post-doctoral research fellow (to become co-investigator following the two year post-doc) Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant -Art for social change: an integrated research program in teaching, evaluation and capacity-building 2013 - 2019

FQRSC Post-doctoral fellowship held at the Department of Art History and Communications, McGill, - Performance and the production of citizenship: performance, media and contemporary social movements 2011 –2013


Since 2009 I have taught multiple courses in performance and media theory, theatre theory and theatre history and both Concordia University and McGill University.

Selected publications

Refereed publications

Spiegel JB, “Singular Bodies, Collective Dreams:Socially Engaged Circus Arts and the “Québec Spring” in Cirque Globaledited by Louis Patrick Leroux and Charles Batson, McGill-Queen’s UniversityPress, 266-283.

Murray M, Sivaraman S, Calle K, Spiegel JB, De Bois J, Yassi A, QuizhpeA, “Fear, Wonder and Learning: reimagining the human-microbe story” in Antennae:the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture Spring 2016. 104 - 133.

SpiegelJB, “Masked Protest in the Age of Austerity: State violence, anonymousbodies, and resistance ‘in the red’” in Critical Inquiry: 41 (summer)2015, pp 786 – 810.

Spiegel JB, Rêve Général Illimité? The role of creative protest intransforming the dynamics of space and time during the 2012 Quebec studentstrike” in Antipode: 47(3) June 2015, pp. 770 – 791.

SpiegelJB, Breilh MC, Quizhpe A and Yassi A, "Social Circus and Health Equity:Exploring the national social circus program in Ecuador" in Arts& Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice 2015, 7(1), 65-74.

SpiegelJB, “Of Spectacle and Collective Resistance: Rethinking therelationships between ‘Symbolic’ and ‘Direct’ Action” in Radicalism:Conference Proceedings, University of Sherbooke Press, 2015.

SpiegelJB, “Social Circus as an Art for Social Change: promoting socialinclusion and cultural democracy” in Culture has an Impact! Universityof Tampere, Finland (February, 2014).

SpiegelJB, “Subterranean Flows: Water contamination and the politics ofvisibility after the Bhopal Disaster” in Thinking with Water: An Anthologyof Cultural Theory of Water ed. A. Neimenas, C. Chen, and J. Macleod. McGill- QueensUniversity Press, 2013.

Spiegel, JB and Yassi, A, “Theatre of Alliances?Role-play, Representation and Ecosystem Health in Ecuador”, in TheatreTopics, Vol. 17(2), Sept, 2007.

Recent conference presentations & invited workshops

Invited panelist, “Social Circus Round-table” Complement Cirque Festival, Montreal, July 2014

“Masks, Masquerades, Matraques: ‘SourisFest’ and other affective transformations in the face of Montreal’s State Repression” for “Manif-fiesta working group” Encuentro 2014, Montreal, June, 2014

Invited speaker on theme of theatrical strategies for addressing environmental justice issues following presentation of Bhopal a play by Rahul Varma, Teesri Duniya Theatre, February 2, 2014.

Invited speaker on theme of local and international communication strategies for environmental justice following presentation of Bhopal a play by Rahul Varma, Teesri Duniya Theatre, January 19, 2014.

“Social Circus as an Art for Social Change: promoting social inclusion and cultural democracy” at Culture has an Impact Conference, University of Tampere, Finland, December 2013.

“Art and Creative Communication in the Quebec Student Movement” University of Cuenca, Ecuador, May 2013.

 “Circus Blocs?: How street circus helped spark the Maple Spring” Circus Research Workshop, Montreal September 2012.

 “Staging the Maple Spring: Ecologies of Political Performance.” Performance Studies International Conference, Leed, UK, June 2012.

“Radical Theatre” invited lecture by TheatreStruck, Concordia, Montreal. Mar 2012.

Performance, video and research creation

Over the past ten years I have participated in numerous theatre and interdisciplinary performance research creation projects, as well as interactive research creation projects involving theatre, performance and video, social intervention theatre, and circus performances

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