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English and Cultural Studies, Languages and World LiteraturesOther Titles: Interdisciplinary Performance; Theatre; Associate Member, Gender and Women's Studies
Office: CCS 368
Graduate student supervisor
Performance Studies; Culture, Creativity and Health & Well-Being; Cultural Anthropology; Qualitative Research; Arts-Based Inquiry; Indigenous Epistemologies and Methodologies.
Courses & Teaching
Performance Studies; Qualitative Research; World Performance Traditions; Experimental and Intercultural Theatre; Physically-Based Performance Practice; Body-Voice Integration; Traditional Singing.
As a French citizen of Occitan ancestry, my personal commitment to cultural diversity is rooted in a foundational life experience: at the age of 15 I was fortunate to receive a two-year full scholarship to study at the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, a non-profit institution promoting international understanding through education. It was while living in this “global village” hosting two hundred students from over sixty-five countries in the coastal forest of Vancouver Island that I became aware of the infinite potentialities that arise when people with different cultural legacies live and work together. I have since envisioned cross-cultural performance research and pedagogy as a powerful site of encounter, exchange, and collaboration.
I studied Theatre and Literature at the Université La Sorbonne in Paris while pursuing performance training outside the university system, as the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree does not exist in France. I then pursued doctoral studies in Theatre at the University of California, where I also held a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellowship in Anthropology.
My training as a performance practitioner and educator is rooted in the physically-based, experimental approach of influential theatre innovator Jerzy Grotowski, and I am especially indebted to the teachings of master-performers Rena Mirecka and Zygmunt Molik, two key founding members of Grotowski’s internationally acclaimed Laboratory Theatre. For an example of my participation in the voice-body integration training led by Molik, please see the online excerpt of the documentary film Dyrygent, featured on the companion DVD of Zygmunt Molik’s Voice and Body Work (Routledge 2010). For an example of my participation in the paratheatrical training led by Mirecka, please see The Dream which is part of my Meetings with Remarkable Women documentary film series featured on the Routledge Performance Archive
virginiemagnat.space (Research Website)
Indigenous Inquiries Circle (Organizing Committee) – International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
Institute for Performance Studies (Steering Committee)
Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal (Associate Editor)
Ph.D. in Drama and Theatre, University of California, 2003; D.E.A., English Department, Sorbonne/Paris III, France, 1993; Masters in English and Theatre Studies, Sorbonne/Paris III, France, 1990; Foundation Year Program, University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada, 1985; International Baccalaureate, Lester B. Pearson United World College, 1984.
Selected Publications & Presentations
My publications have appeared in North American and international scholarly journals as well as edited collections in the fields of theatre and performance studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, sociology, qualitative inquiry, and literary criticism in English, French, Polish, Italian, and Spanish.
The Performative Power of Vocality (Routledge 2020). More information…
Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women
Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies Series. More information
Companion Documentary Film Series featured on the Routledge Performance Archive. More information
Selected Book Chapters
“Experiencing Resonance as a Practice of Ritual Engagement,” co-authored with Manulani Aluli-Meyer, Mariel Belanger, Jill Carter, Corinne Derickson, Delphine Derickson, Claire Fogal, Vicki Kelly, Carolyn Kenny, Joseph Naytowhow, Julia Ulehla, and Winston Wuttunee. Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships, co-edited by Shawn Wilson, Andrea Breen and Lindsay DuPré, Canadian Scholars (forthcoming Fall 2019). Companion documentary film hosted on the UBC Institute for Community Engaged Research website https://icer.ok.ubc.ca/research/
“Occitan Music Revitalization as Radical Cultural Activism: From Postcolonial Regionalism to Altermondialisation.” Popular Music and The Postcolonial, edited by Oliver Lovesey, Routledge 2018, pp. 61-74. (Routledge 2018). https://www.routledge.com/Popular-Music-and-the-Postcolonial/Lovesey/p/book/9781138600508
“La performativité des processus contemporains de création.ˮ Metteur en scène aujourd’hui – identité artistique en question ? edited by Izabella Pluta. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2017. 287-296.
“Women, Transmission, and Creative Agency in the Grotowski Diaspora.ˮ Women, Collective Creation, and Devised Performance: The Rise of Women Theatre Artists in the 20th & 21st Centuries. Ed. Kathryn Syssoyeva and Scott Proudfit. Palgrave Macmillan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 221-235.
Special Issue Editor:
Special Issue “The Transdisciplinary Travels of Ethnography” co-edited by Virginie Magnat and Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston for Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies Vol. 18(6), 2018.
Thematic Section “Ethnography, Performance and Imagination” co-edited by Virginie Magnat and Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston for Anthropologica Vol. 60 Issue 2, 2018.
Special issue “Voicing Belonging: Traditional Singing in a Globalized World,” co-edited with Konstantinos Thomaidis for Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies 2.2 (2017), https://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=3356/
Selected Journal Articles:
“A Traveling Ethnography of Voice in Qualitative Research.” Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies Vol. 18(6), 2018
“Chanter la diversité culturelle en Occitanie : Ethnographie performative d’une tradition réimaginée.” Anthropologica Vol. 60 Issue 2, 2018
“We Came Singing,” co-authored with Jill Carter and Mariel Belanger. alt.theatre: Cultural Diversity and the Stage Vol. 14, No. 3 (2018), 28-32. https://alttheatre.ca/
“Decolonizing Performance Research.” Études Anglaises – revue du monde anglophone 69/2 (avril-juin 2016), 135-148) Special Issue “Performance Studies” edited by Marie Pecorari.
“Performance Ethnography: Decolonizing Research and Pedagogy.” Qualitative Research Outside the Academy. Ed. Norman K. Denzin and Michael Giardina. Left Coast Press, 2014.
“Can Research Become Ceremony? Performance Ethnography and Indigenous Epistemologies.” Canadian Theatre Review 151 (Summer 2012): 30-36.
Selected Grants & Awards
UBC Eminence Funding – Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-being. Co-PIs: Virginie Magnat and Karen Ragoonaden
Welcome Center Research Support Funding, University of Exeter (UK): “Exploring the cultural and creative dimensions of health and wellbeing through arts-based transformative engaged research” – Co-PIs: Virginie Magnat and Karen Ragoonaden
SSHRC-Funded Research Projects (Principal Investigator):
- Insight Grant (2016-2018) “The Performative Power of Vocality”
- Connection Grant (2017) “Honoring Cultural Diversity through Collective Vocal Practice”
- Research/Creation in Fine Arts Grant (2009-2011) “Tu es la fille de quelqu’un – You Are Someone’s Daughter”
- Standard Research Grant (2008-2010) “Meetings with Remarkable Women”
Awards & Distinctions
Canadian Association for Theatre Research Book Award Honorable Mention for
Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women
International Federation for Theatre Research New Scholar’s Prize (2001).
Exhibitions & Performances
Selected SSHRC-Funded Arts-Based Community Engagement Events
Honoring Cultural Diversity through Collective Vocal Practice, a performance workshop co-facilitated by Syilx Elder Delphine Derickson, Cree Elder Winston Wuttunee, Nêhiyo Itâpsinowin Knowledge Keeper Joseph Naytowhow, Dr. Virginie Magnat, and Syilx MFA students Corinne Derickson and Mariel Belanger (UBCO), hosted by the UBC Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, Kelowna, July 2017.
kwunkwancin, lulum chet, ’tilǝm ct (we sing), an intergenerational and cross-cultural Gathering/Singing Circle co-facilitated by Syilx Elder Delphine Derickson, Cree Elder Winston Wuttunee, Nêhiyo Itâpsinowin Knowledge Keeper Joseph Naytowhow, Dr. Virginie Magnat, Syilx MFA students Corinne Derickson and Mariel Belanger (UBCO), and PhD students Claire Fogal and Julia Ulehla (UBCV), hosted at the UBC First Nations Longhouse, Vancouver, February 2017.
Honoring Cultural Diversity through Collective Vocal Practice, a performance workshop co-facilitated by Syilx Elder Delphine Derickson, Nêhiyo Itâpsinowin Knowledge Keeper Joseph Naytowhow, Dr. Virginie Magnat, Syilx MFA students Corinne Derickson and Mariel Belanger (UBCO), and PhD students Claire Fogal and Julia Ulehla (UBCV), hosted by Simon Fraser University at Woodward’s, Vancouver, February 2017.
Kwunkwancin, an intergenerational and cross-cultural Gathering/Singing Circle co-facilitated by Syilx Elder Delphine Derickson, Syilx MFA students Corinne Derickson and Mariel Belanger, and Dr. Virginie Magnat, hosted at the Makwala Memorial Kekuli Winter Home, Kelowna, December 2016.
Institute for Community Engaged Research, University of British Columbia, Research Member, 2015-present.
Gender and Women’s Studies, Community, Culture and Global Studies, Associate Member, 2018-present.
Institute for Performance Studies, Simon Fraser University, Steering Committee Member, 2015-present.
Indigenous Inquiries Circle, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, 2013-present.
Centre for Imaginative Ethnography, independent cyber-collective curated by anthropologists Dara Culhane (SFU), Denielle Elliott (York), Magda Kazubowski-Houston (York), and Cristina Moretti (SFU), 2015-present.
Laboratoire d’ethnomusicologie et d’organologie (LEO), Faculté de musique de l’Université de Montréal and Faculté de musique de l’Université Laval, Research Member, 2013-present.
International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI), 2013-present.
Canadian Association for Theatre Research, (CATR), 2010-present.
American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), 2001-present.
American Anthropological Association (AAA), 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), 2009-10 and 2013-14.
Claire Fogal – Ph.D. in Theatre (co-supervision with Dr. Kirsty Johnson, UBC Vancouver).
Practice-based research on the influence of Etienne Decroux and Jerzy Grotowski on acting training and pedagogy in Canada. Recipient of a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and a UBC Public Scholars Award. Currently ABD.
Mariel Belanger – MFA Interdisciplinary Studies (Performance and Indigenous Studies).
“The Earth Re:Claimed Her – A Continuing Study of Blood Memory, Embodied Story Practice and Personal Governance,” a research-creation project of cultural resurgence exploring the interrelation of land and body as performed resistance. Recipient of a SSHRC Master’s Scholarship. 2018 Outstanding Indigenous Graduate Student Scholar Award, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois (completed September 2018).
Corinne Derickson – MFA Interdisciplinary Studies (Performance and Indigenous Studies – co-supervision with Dr. Greg Younging). “q̓weq̓wcy̓ ia na?l sneena,” a research-creation project of cultural resurgence bridging contemporary performance practice and Syilx captikwl traditional storytelling (completed September 2018).
Özgül Akinci – Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Studies. “The Embodied Labour of Femininity in Sex Work and Performance in Contemporary Turkey: Theory and Practice” (completed September 2016).
Cathy Stubington – MFA Performance. “Floating Lantern Ceremony,” a site-specific community-based environmentalist research-creation project celebrating the Shuswap River, Enderby, Secwepmec Territory (completed September 2012).
Tanja Woloshen – MFA Performance. “Room for The Underdog,” a durational and participatory queer dance-theatre research-creation project (completed May 2012).
Claire Leger – MFA Performance. “The Record of the Lonely House: Sharing the Embodied Song,” a choral theatre research-creation project for three women. Recipient of a SSHRC Master’s Scholarship (completed February 2012).
Andrea Garrett – MFA Visual Arts (co-supervision with Renay Egami). “Glitch: An Artistic Investigation about Relational Aesthetic-based Collaborative Art and Its Site-Specificity,” a site-specific collaborative research-creation project (completed May 2011).
Nicole Cormaci – MFA Thesis Project: “Woodhaven Customs and Border Patrol,” a site-specific durational participatory research-creation project (completed October 2010).