Research Interests

Montmartre Cabaret/Erik Satie

The shift in aesthetic expressed by the dadaists and surrealists of fin-de-siecle and early 20th Century Paris profoundly influenced mainstream European/North American creativity. The awareness of marketing as a social and artistic endeavour and the successful synthesis of visual and aural arts retain a freshness after a century. The spring of 2011 saw the beginning of a collaboration with Grant MacEwan music instructor Roxanne Classen, University of Alberta’s Mireille Rijavec, filmmaker Patrick Ares-Pilon, shadow theatre designer Eva Colmers, and visual artist Caitlin Richards. The Chat Blanc project – Shadows and Light on French Cabaret will explore the cabaret practices and repertoire of Satie and his contemporaries, culminating in a multimedia performance slated for May 2012.

Ms. Classen and I performed a mini-concert for Singspiration music camp at Concordia University College in August 2011. We featured two songs by Claude Debussy (Beau Soir and La Belle Au Bois Dormant) and a narrated version of the catalogue miniatures Sports et Divertissements.


Historic labelling of newly-encountered cultures, political implications of naming geographic features, implications for the development of a universal translator – these are areas where exonyms reveal conscious and unconscious attitudes toward the Other. MacEwan student Amanda Brownrigg was my research assistant and co-author of Prawning the Universe: exonyms as a tool of ridicule in selected literature of the colonial fantastic. Ms. Brownrigg presented the paper at the 2011 International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. The paper was warmly received and was referenced in a subsequent session.

Moral Distress

Working as the project coordinator on a CIHR-funded study titled The Experience and Resolution of Moral Distress in Paediatric Intensive care Teams: A Canadian Perspective was a challenge. The project was based at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing, with Dr. Wendy Austin as the Principal Investigator. Dr. Austin is the Canada Research Chair in Relational Ethics in Health Care. The co-investigators included Dr. Daniel Garros (Stollery Children’s Hospital/U of A), Dr. Franco Carnevale (Montreal Children’s Hospital/McGill) and Dr. Arthur Frank (U of Calgary).

The interdisciplinary project collected, developed and examined the stories told about moral distress by members of PICU teams working in units with advanced life-sustaining technologies. After three years as the coordinator, ending in August 2010, I embarked on a new phase. I have been commissioned to write a multi-functional play to help disseminate the research findings. The play is intended to be used in education, in promoting discussion in the field, and in making the public more aware of the issues faced by health care professionals.

Scholarship of Learning

My particular interest is in how language educators teach English grammar; specifically, I am interested in visual elements of parsing. The implications of language change and the effects of technology on how we acquire language are interests which I hope to pursue in the future.