Professor VK Preston was recently awarded a SHHRC Insight Development Grant for her project, New Directions in Seventeenth-Century Performance Research: Intangible Baroques. VK’s project reveals an alternative history to 17th century dance and theatre, challenging the dominant narratives of its early modern performance history.
The heart of her research is a new manuscript that draws attention to silences and lacunae, attending to regions (the Arctic and Greenland, Ontario, Newfoundland, the Andes) practices (the smoking of petun – tobacco – on stage) and performances (non-binary dancers, resistance, protest, satire) that help scholars re-think this period. Her project also asks how practices circulate transnationally in the baroque and analyzes archives not previously studied in this field.
Insight Development Grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas. Funding is provided for short-term research development projects, of up to two years, proposed by individuals or teams.
VK also spent part of her summer teaching in a new Master of Fine Arts program in dance through the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. This program offers a summer semester abroad in France, providing international residences, workshops and symposia examining the role of dance and performance in contemporary society.
Following VK’s seminar in France during the Montpellier Dance Festival, she took part in the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) workshop in Anishinaabe Studies that brings together students, teachers, knowledge-holders, artists and Elders for a week-long summer institute on Manitoulin Island. VK is a collaborator in the SSHRC Partnership Development grant funding the summer institute. The goal of this most recent workshop was to examine the theme of Anishaabekwe (women’s) leadership and on conceptions of gender.