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MJ Thompson

Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies and Practices, Art Education

MJ Thompson
Office: S-EV 2.619  
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4646

On Research Leave 2023-24
MJ Thompson is a writer and teacher working on dance, performance, and visual art. A fan of dance in all its forms, she has been watching and writing about movement and performance for over twenty years. Committed to popular culture and everyday aesthetics, she has written for a wide variety of publications, including Ballettanz, Border Crossings, The Brooklyn Rail, Canadian Art, Dance Current, Dance Ink, Dance Magazine, The Drama Review, The Globe and Mail, Women and Performance, Theatre Journal, and more. Her academic work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada, and her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Performance Studies Canada (McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017). Most recently, she received the National Park Service Arts and Sciences Residency, Cape Cod National Seashore, August 2019, where she worked on a long-form essay about the embodied view (Departures 2020). Her book about Québec dancer Louise Lecavalier is forthcoming (Bloomsbury 2023).


PhD, Performance Studies, New York University (May 2008)
MA, Performance Studies, New York University (May 1999)
BA, English Literature, Ottawa University (May 1988)

Research interests

Thompson's research interests include dance and performance studies, feminist performance, theories of the body and embodiment, art and the environment, art and climate change, theories of everyday life, writing and writing pedagogy.

Teaching activities

Undergraduate Courses

FFAR 250: Reading the Arts Across the Disciplines

Graduate Courses

ARTE 606: Studio/Art Education
Art and the Anthropocene (2019)

ARTE 660: Special Topics in Art Education
Performance and Pedagogy (2018, 2015)

ARTE 606: Studio/Art Education
Water 2.0: Fieldwork and the Anthropocene (2017)

ARTE 606: Studio/Art Education
Image/Text/Motion: Water Poetics and Politics (2016)

Graduate Supervision


Eija Lopenen-Stephenson (March 2024)
Urban Choreographics: Tracing the Extra-Linguistic Pedagogies of Montreal's Underground Metro

Sara Lucie Hanley, Art Education (September 2023)
Plans de transparence: sur la pist d'une méthodologie éco-esthétique-somatique.

Lucie Lederhendler, Art Education (September 2019)
Art in an Unprogrammed Terrain: La Falaise Saint-Jacques, Montreal

Jessie Stong, Art Education (2018)
Durational Performance as Pedagogy: 200 Hours of Queer Puppets

Joy Ross Jones, Art Education (2018)
Developing a Feminist Pedagogy: A Self-Study of Empowerment through Mentorship

Renée Charron, Art Education (2017)
In-corporeal Diagrams: Drawing from Dance to Architecture

Adam Kinner, INDI (2016)
Suite canadienne (2015): Re-Performance and Otherwise Movements

Emilie St-Hilaire, Humanities (February 2024)
Facets of the Reborn Doll Phenomenon: Synthetic Relationships, Non-Reproductive Motherhood

Olivia McGillchrist, INDI (March 2024)
Virtual Islands: Submersion, Empathy and Identity in Virtual Reality

JoDee Allen, Humanities -- in progress
Rania Esmat, Art Education -- in progress
Magdalena Hutter, Humanities -- in progress
Allison Peacock, Humanities -- in progress


Thompson, MJ (2023) "Image to Action: Steve Paxton's Proxy as Chance Machine." In Return to the Body/Reversus est ad Corpus, Cauthery, Bridget and Osborn, Jonathan, Eds. Public: Art, Ideas, Culture; 23-37.

Thompson, MJ and Miller, Liz (October 2020). "Seeing Double, Biking Upstream." Heliotrope. Environmental Media Lab/University of Calgary.

Thompson, MJ (December 2020). "In a Landscape, or Against the Privatization of the View." In Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Special Issue "Composing Climate Change: Atmosphere, Affect, Attention;" Guest Editor Joshua Trey Barnett. University of California Press.

Co-edited with Seika Boye and Jane Gabriels. (2017) Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Colour. Third Edition. Statements from the third iteration of the Configurations gathering, held Jun 1-3, 2017, Concordia University, Montreal.

Thompson, MJ (2017). "Two-Way Street: The Icon and the City." In Performance Studies in Canada. Levin, Laura and Schweitzer, Marlis, Eds. McGill-Queen's Press; 287-315.

Thompson, MJ (2017). "The Colour of Childhood." In Sarindar Dhaliwal: The Radcliffe Line and Other Geographies. St-Catherines, ON: Rodman Hall Art Centre; 52-65.

Thompson, MJ (2016). "revised formations, post-disciplinary dance." Performance Matters. Vol 2, No 2 (Simon Fraser University).

Doolittle, Farfan, Flynn & Thompson (2013). "Folk as Keyword: Perspectives from Dance." In Discourses in Dance. Vol 5, No 2; 2-13.

Thompson, MJ (2013). "Rethinking the Pedestrian: Katherine Dunham, Walking and the Mimetic Everyday." In Discourses on Dance. Vol 5, No 2; 29-51.

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