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SEMINAR TEAM

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Louis Patrick Leroux

Prof. Louis Patrick Leroux is a Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science at Concordia University, Montreal. He is also a playwright and director.

Dr. Leroux is the Founding Director of the Montreal Working Group on Circus Research and is a regular international speaker. In 2017, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

He has been teaching circus and performing arts history at the National Circus School for seven years and hosts an annual international graduate summer seminar in circus studies at Concordia University.

Recent academic titles include: Contemporary Circus, co-authored with Katie Lavers and Jon Burtt (Routledge, 2019), Cirque Global: Québec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries, with Charles Batson (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2016); Le jeu des positions. Discours du théâtre québécois, with Hervé Guay (Nota Bene, 2014).


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Caite Clark
Assistant
Stage and Production Manager

After earning a BFA in Theatre and Development with a minor in English Literature from Concordia, Caite has been working as a stage manager on the Montreal theatre scene.


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Alison Bowie
Web and Online Support

Alison Bowie is a PhD in Humanities candidate at Concordia University focusing on the intersections between Québec theatre history, translation, and memory studies. She investigates how memory is transformed through the act of translation for the stage under the supervision of Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux. Alison’s research is being funded by the Fonds de recherches du Québec – Société et culture and by the Faculty of Arts & Science at Concordia University. She achieved her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) and her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Queen’s University.


Creative Team Leaders and Interlocutors

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Félix Marzel
DIX2 Design and Engineering Entertainment

From imagination into reality

Félix Marzel is an industrial designer and artist with Dix2. His passion lies in exploring the fine line between art and science in order to create strong experiences for a wide range of users. His aim is to bring this playfulness to every corner of the globe while staying true to his motto: you play, you discover; you discover, you innovate.

About DIX2

Since 2012, DIX2 inhabits public spaces with unexpected objects, invented and custom-designed, in order to spark people’s imaginations and mix up everyday life.

DIX2 is a unique design space in Montreal, Canada; a playground where a multidisciplinary team converges with the latest technologies. The design and engineering office is attached to a research and development workshop dedicated to the creative industries. All stages of a project are supported by a highly technical team committed to delivering a product that will stand out. Whether it's mixing up your routine with a musical bike, cracking a smile when you see a giant banana in the subway station, or charging your phone by pedaling your bike, DIX2 transforms the imagination into reality.


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Joseph Culpepper
Scholar and Magic Specialist

Dr. Joseph Culpepper is a researcher, magician, and magic consultant. He is a Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University's department of English (under the supervision of Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux) and Cirque du Soleil. The title of his current research project is “Adapting Human Performance Techniques, Illusion Aesthetics, and Specialized Apparatus from the World of Stage Conjuring to Contemporary Circus Disciplines.” He is also an associate researcher and instructor at CRITAC (Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer) at the National Circus School of Montreal. Dr. Culpepper is a cofounder of the performance collective Ars Mechanica, a member of The Magic Circle in London and serves on the editorial board of the journal Early Popular Visual Culture. His writing on magic has appeared in Genii, Magicol, Magicus, The Walrus, The Toronto Review of Books and in a number of academic press publications including Magie. Machines. Media. (Presse Universitaires du Septentrion, 2018).


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Marion Cossin
Engineer specializing in circus apparatuses (National Circus School-CRITAC)

Marion Cossin is an engineer of research at the Center for Research, Innovation and Transfer in Circus Arts (CRITAC) and a SSHRC Industrial Research Chair in Circus Arts in Montréal. She holds a Master's degree in mechanical engineering from École Polytechnique and is currently a PhD student in biomedical engineering at the Université de Montréal and École Polytechnique de Montréal in partnership with the National Circus School. Her works focus on the human-structure interaction between circus equipment and acrobats, improvement of safety practices, equipment design and performance improvement.


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Fred Gérard
Researcher and Apparatus Designer (National Circus School-CRITAC)

Involved in circus for over 30 years, Fred Gérard graduated from the first year of the Centre national des arts du cirque in Châlons-en-Champagne (France). He works in an artistic, technical or educational capacity with companies as diverse as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Archaos, Cirque Baroque, Cirque Pinder, Festival Circa Auch, C.R.E.A.C (Marseille), Productions Dragone (Belgium), Cirkus Scott (Sweden), Circo Etno (the premier Peruvian circus), École de cirque de Québec (Québec) and the group En Piste. From 2013 to 2015, he was the technical director of the National Center for Circus Arts and in 2019 he joined the Center for Research, Innovation and Transfer in Circus Arts (CRITAC) at the National Circus School of Montreal as researcher/designer in apparatus and performance environment.


Guest Speakers

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Alisan Funk
Assistant Professor of Circus
School of Dance and Circus (DOCH)
Stockholm University of the Arts

Funk has worked in circus for 20 years as a performer, coach, creator, director, and coach educator.

After a career as a circus trainer and pedagogue at Circus Smirkus and the National Circus School, Funk earned an MA at Concordia working on circus education. She completed her doctoral studies in Education at McGill University and is now Assistant Professor of Circus and Head of the Bachelors of Circus Arts at the School of Dance and Circus (DOCH) at Stockholm University of the Arts.


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Kari Zacharias
Assistant Professor
Centre for Engineering in Society

Kari Zacharias is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Engineering in Society at Concordia University. Kari is an ethnographer and Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholar with a background in engineering. Her research focuses on understanding inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration. In her recent work on art and technology collaborations within research universities, she identifies motivations and barriers for interdisciplinarity on individual and institutional scales. As a member of the Bridging Chasms initiative, she also studies interdisciplinarity on a personal level, seeking to identify strategies for successful communication between individuals with different worldviews. Kari holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto, an MA in STS from the University of Vienna, and a PhD in STS from Virginia Tech.


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Ann-Louise Davidson
Associate Professor, Education
Concordia University Research Chair, Maker Culture

Dr. Ann-Louise Davidson is an Associate Professor of Education and Concordia University Research Chair in Maker Culture. She is Associate Director of the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology and she directs #MilieuxMake, the Milieux makerspace initiative.


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