Associate Professor, Theatre
Affiliate Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment
Concordia University Research Chair in Performative Urbanism (2018-2023), Fine Arts
International Federation for Theatre Research, Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture & Technology, Con
On sabbatical July 1 2023-2024
Participation activities (peer reviewed conferences)
Art & Curatorial Projects, Interdisciplinary Collaborations
Visiting Researcher/ Artist-Residencies and Scholarly Invitations
I am an interdisciplinary artist-researcher, curator, performance designer, and educator working and living in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal, on the unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation. My teaching, research, and creative practice are consonant with performative, site-specific, intersectional and collaborative approaches to art making.
At Concordia I am Associate Professor of Performance Creation in the Department of Theatre, Creative Director of PULSE, and Studio Director of Immersive Storytelling housed at Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology. Between 2018 and 2023 I was appointed a Concordia University Research Chair in Performative Urbanism, and from 2018-2020 I was the Director of Concordia's Institute for Urban Futures.
My transversal approach to teaching has been shaped by twenty years as an educator and organizer in the field of theatre and twenty years experience working professionally, in the performing and live arts; devising, staging, managing and touring, nationally and internationally new contemporary Canadian works created for theatre, opera, and dance. In Canada, I have worked with companies such as Volcano Theatre, Theatre Columbus, the Tarragon and Factory Theatres, Queen of Puddings, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, among others, as well as toured with theatre projects to the Belfry Theatre, Citadel Theatre, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and the National Arts Centre.
Current research-creation activities are focused on the dramaturgy and creation of new media performance, site-responsive mixed reality scenographies that critically engage 3D visualization technologies in queer and feminist productions of space. My ongoing research and creation activities are focused on performative and curatorial engagements with the spatial politics of urban change, and often takes the form of site-specific urban interventions, collaborative art and community-engaged projects.
In Montreal, I have collaborated with a variety of artist run centres including La Fonderie Darling, Heritage Montréal, Centaur Theatre, Montréal Arts Interculturel, Le Sud-Ouest de Montréal, Parks Canada, and the Centre d’histoire de Montréal. I am a founding member and formerly co-director of Points de vue, a Montreal based community-engaged art, research, and urban activist platform. I have given public lectures and presentations at Mutek (2019), L'Observatoire des médiations culturelles (2022), and for cultural institutions such as the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Ephemeral City, 2010), Articule (“Would you be my curator?” 2012), SBC Gallery, and The McCord Museum (City Talks, 2013). Between 2018 and 2022 I served as the Quebec Representative for the Canadian Association of Theatre Research (CATR). Since 2019 I have been an associate artist with Imago Theatre (Montreal), focusing on feminist approaches to urban dramaturgy and performance creation. In 2014, I was the Associate Producer and Production Director for Manifest: Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas, the 9th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University, which was hosted by Concordia and attended by over eight hundred artists, scholars, and activists from across the Americas.
My research-creation projects are supported by the Social Sciences Humanties and Research Council, the Fonds de recherché Québec - Société et Culture (FRQ-SC), and the Office of the Vice President Research and Graduate Studies, Concordia University.
I regularly supervise graduate researchers working across and/or at the intersections of contemporary performance creation, architecture and design, immersive and new media technologies, geography and urban studies, and studio arts - housed within Concordia's Individualized Program, and/or the Humanities PhD, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture. If you are a potential graduate student and would like to work with me, I am interested in supervising research projects on contemporary performance and spatial practices taking place within the city, the spatial politics of urban change, site-specific and intermedial performance creation, immersive design, extended and mixed reality scenographies, (histories of) art and urban activism, expanded and new media dramaturgy, queer and feminist performance practices, interdisciplinary performance research-creation methodologies, and open to working with adjacent fields of study. Research-creation applicants must have a strong commitment to critical theory and writing, as well as practice.
Undergraduate courses taught:
SCEN 411 Urban Scenographies (Studio/Field School Program)
PERC 412 Expanded Dramaturgy - Contemporary Perspectives & Practices (SEMINAR)
PERC 486 Site Specific Performance Creation Practices (STUDIO)
PERC 312 Gender and Sexuality in Performance (SEMINAR)
PERC 211 Theatre and the City (LECTURE)
ARTX 498 Site-Responsive Public Art (STUDIO ARTS)
DFTT 498 Installation Art Practices & Public Space (DESIGN STUDIO)
ARTH 354 Histories of Design for Performance and Scenography (ART HISTORY)
Graduate seminar and directed studies:
INDI 80I Interdisciplinary Approaches to Performance Research Creation Methods
Current PhD supervision
Jacob Caines, PhD Individualized Program, "The Ontology and Culture of Queer Classical Performance, Urban Geographies, and Community Engaged Art." (research-creation)
Kevin Pinvidic, PhD Individualized Program, "Matérialité urbaine augmentée." (research-creation)
Current Masters supervision
Jamie Woollard, MA Individualized Program, "Thins Walls/ Voisines." (research-creation)
Current Postdoc supervision
Steven Greenwood, "Queer Detective Fiction and the Montréal Postwar Criminal Underworld" - 2023-2025 (FRQSC)
2021 Recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, Faculty of Fine Arts (emerging category)
Funded Research-Creation Projects
Principal Investigator SSHRC Explore program - "New Media Performance & Mixed Reality Scenographies." $5,000
Co-investigator, with Drs Jennifer Roberts Smith and Nicole Nolette
(Principal Investigators): SSHRC Partnership Grant, "Staging Better Futures/Mettre en scène de meilleurs avenirs." $2.499,000.
Co-investigator, with Laura Levin (Principal Investigator): SSHRC Partnership Grant - "Hemispheric Encounters: Developing Transborder Research-Creation Practices." $2.499,000.
Principal Investigator Zù & Concordia University Creative Research Fellowship (Office of Vice President Research & Graduate Studies). $10,000
Concordia University Research Chair in Performative Urbanism (New Scholar, Office of Vice President Research & Graduate Studies). $145,000.
Principal Investigator, FRQSC - "Digital Performativity of Public Space: Scenographic Approaches to Augmented Reality and Place-based Storytelling." $74,000.
Co-investigator, with Dr Cynthia Hammond (Principal Investigator): SSHRC Partnership Development Grant - "La Ville extraordinaire." $200,000.
Principal Investigator. Aid to Research Related Events, Exhibition, Publication and Dissemination Activities (ARRE) Program. (OVPRGS internal award). $5,000.
2020-2021 (extended to 2022)
Co-applicant. SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant: Déconstruction du pont Champlain : co-création de propositions de récupération des matériaux et engagement citoyen. Dr Alice Jarry PI. $25,000
Current and ongoing research interests:
Janssen, S. and Anja Mølle Lindelof. Editors. 2023. Performing Institutions: Contested Sites & Structures of Care. Intellect Books.
Hammond, C., S. Janssen, Crave, E. 2023. "Promenade Parlante: Intergenerational Dialogue, Urban Scenography, and Co-Creation." Editors, Anna Urbaniak and Anna Wanka. Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Approaches in Ageing Research.
Janssen, S. and Joanne Paterson Kinniburgh. “‘Fantasy in the Hold’ : the Logistics of Container Architecture, Trans*ivity, and Queer Port Urbanisms.” Editors, Jill Didur and Nalini Mohabir. (Post) Colonial Ports: Place and Non-Place in the Ecotone. Routledge. (forthcoming)
Janssen, S., Jurjans, K., Perez, E., scott, c. (2022). Mediating a Performative Response to Contested Urban Landscapes: Gorilla Park. JAR - journal for artistic research.
Janssen, S. (2021). Theatre Island and Urban Scenographies of Learning: A Performative Paradigm for Transversal Pedagogy. PARtake: The Journal of Performance As Research, 3 (2). https://doi.org/10.33011/partake.v3i2
Janssen, S. (2019) Performance design as mnemonic device for critical engagement with the spatial politics of urban change: the ARCADE project, Journal of Theatre and Performance Design, 5:3-4, 195-211,
Hammond, C., Shauna Janssen. (2016) Points de vue: Agency, Contingency, Community and the Postindustrial Turn. FIELD: a journal of socially-engaged art criticism, 3. http://field-journal.com/issue-3/points-de-vue-agency-contingency-community-and-the-postindustrial-turn
Janssen, S. 2023. "Urban Scenographics: methods, practices and pedagogies towards unsettling existing perceptions of place.” In Espacios y Objetos Performativos. Rodrigo Tisi, ed. Ediciones ARQ, de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Janssen, S. 2022. “Urban Scenographics and Performative Mappings of Place in the work of Larissa Fassler.” Larissa Fassler: Viewshed. Ed. Diana Sherlock. Berlin: DISTANZ. In German, English, French.
Janssen, S. 2021. "Camouflaged Screams: Immersive and Scenographic Constructions of Wilding." Exhibition text for Camouflaged Screams. Artists Laura Acosta and Santiago Tavera. Optica, Montreal. In English, French, Spanish.
Janssen, S., Hannah, D. 2017. PhoneHome: Architecture A/ Part. XX Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, “Unpostponable Dialogues.” Exhibition catalogue. Valparaiso, Chile. In Spanish, English.
Janssen, S. 2017. “‘Fantasy in the Hold’: PhoneHome: Architecture A/ Part”. Exhibition text. Architecture and Urbanism Biennial. Valparaiso, Chile. In English, Spanish.
"Mixed Reality Scenographics: towards performative and queer orientations."
Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ talks). 13 June 2023
Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ talks). 10 June 2023
Colloque: "Réinventer la scène". Montreal, 1-3 June 2023. https://reinventer-la-scene.labocinemedias.ca/en/home/
Invited speaker. « COHABITER, Imaginer les médiations culturelles au 21e siècle ». Montreal. 1-3 June 2022.
Theatre Ecologies: Environment, Sustainability, and Politics, conference of the International Federation of Theatre Research, Galway. 13-18 July 2021. Online.
University Art History Association Canada, Quebec City, 24-26 October 2019
Post/Colonial Port Cities: Place and Nonplace in the Ecotone. Concordia University, Montreal. 24-26 October 2019
Performance lecture with Dr Kristine Samson for the Prague Quadrennial. 10 June 2019.
Co-workshop leader with Dorita Hannah, "Urban Scenographies: SmArting the City." Prague Quadrennial Studio Series. 13-15 June 2019
Artist. this space is for you/ cet espace est pour toi. Mixed Reality Scenography. With Kévin Pinvidic. For « Acts of Assembly. » Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space 2023. June 8-18. https://pq.cz/pq-2023-info/projects-2023/performance-space-exhibition/this-space-is-for-you-cet-espace-est-pour-toi/
Artist-Curator. Public Art Installation. Collaboration with Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard. Performance Arcade, Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. 6 February - 6 March 2020.
Dramaturge. Les Voisines. Urban audiowalk. Created by Arianna Bardesono. Produced by IMAGO Theatre. Montreal, May 2019.
Curator. Janssen, S., C. Hammond. (2018-19)Promenade parlante: Episodes in a
Changing City. Public art walk co-created with the founders of the Living History Project, and Eric Craven.,12 October.
Artist and co-creator with Dorita Hannah. Sabina. Multimedia performance installation. Citta Invisibili at Teatro Potlatch, Fara Sabina, Italy. June 2018.
Multimedia Installation. Co-curator with Dorita Hannah and Jo Paterson Kinniburgh. XX Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, Valparaiso, Chile. October-November 2017.
Artist. Spatial Interventions. With Cynthia Hammond and Caroline Alexander. 2017-2023.
Artist. Site-specific installation. Collaboration with Jo Paterson Kinniburgh. “Performing, Writing” Symposium, University of Massey, New Zealand. March 2017.
Matters of Activity. Cluster of Excellence Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. October - December 2023.
"Urban Scenographies." DesignLab, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez. Santiago, Chile. December, 2022. ONLINE
“The Scenographic City.” School of Performance and Cultural Industries University of Leeds, UK. 14 January 2022. ONLINE.
"Dramaturgy of virtual environments and storytelling atelier.” Utrecht, Netherlands. 12 April 2021. ONLINE
“Performative Urbanism.” Department of Communication and Arts, University of Roskilde, Denmark. 15 February – 1 March 2018.
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