PhD, English Literature (specialization in performance studies), University of Alberta 2009
My current research is preoccupied with the staged and social life of grass-roots feminist, trans* and queer scenes, especially live and video performance, as well as literary and anti-literary cultures, new media and popular cultures. I study the ways that public and private cultures merge in the scenes created and inhabited by feminists, trans* people and queers, and how desire and economics intersect with and inform radical artists and activists and vice versa. I am interested in the aesthetics, epistemologies, orientations and ethics of activist cultural production, especially cabaret (the variety show). This work is importantly influenced by my participation in these scenes as a writer, performer, critic, curator and activist. My first book, Poetry's Bastard: The Illegitimate Genealogies, Cultures and Politics of Spoken Word Performance, is under contract with Wilfrid Laurier UP (expected 2013). I am currently working towards a second monograph, provisionally entitled Sliding Scale: Translocal Feminist and Queer Cabaret Cultures, as well as an adjacent project, The Cabaret Commons: a collaborative, user-generated digital archive and anecdotal encyclopedia for feminist and queer artists, activists and audiences, with Jasmine Rault and Dayna McLeod.My artistic practice includes performance, video, cabaret, alter-ego performance, spoken word and installation-based work and has a focus on multidisciplinary collaboration. My earlier work includes The Twisted She Project (a collaborative intermedial collage in performance, video and sound art) and the GLITTERfesto: An Open Call in Trinity Formation For A Revolutionary Movement Of Activist Performance Based On The Premise That Social Justice is Fabulous. I am currently developing Queer Coping, a collaborative video project on queer, feminist and trans* experiences of familial religious violence, which is part of an ongoing performance cycle called Forgiving Medjugorje. Overall, I am deeply committed to the knowledges, practices and aesthetics of transformational and decolonizing media, performance, subjects, agential objects and scenes. My art-research-activism moves through the politics, spaces and places of genre, memory, agitation, consolation, and perverse identities and identifications.
Trans* Cultural Studies: Theory, Activism and Cultural ProductionCreative Resistance & Everyday LifePerformativity & Powerlessness: Embodiments of Social Action from BelowDiscourse Analysis (School of Media Studies, MA program) Feminist & Queer Cultural TextsSmall Genres: Shorts, Tweets, Skits and Zines
Journal Articles:“‘I remember . . . I was wearing leather pants’: Archiving the Repertoire of Feminist and Queer Cabaret in Canada.” Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace: Explorations in Canadian Women's Archives.” Eds. Linda Morra & Jessica Schagerl. Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012. 65-86.
“Dayna McLeod's Post-Nationalist Beaver and the Cabaret Phenomenology of Putting Out.” Feminist Mediations. Eds. T.L. Cowan, Kate Eichhorn & Jasmine Rault. Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 25 (Spring 2011): 230-239.
“‘a one-shot deal’: Contemporary Cabaret as Improvised Curation.” Canadian Theatre Review.(CTR) 143 Summer 2010): 47-54.
“Punk Rock Clit Lit: Reading Toward a Punk Poetics in Bent on Writing: Contemporary Queer Tales.” Canadian Poetry. Ed. Andrew Lesk. 57 (Fall/Winter 2005): 103-121"
Feminist Mediations. Co-Editor with Kate Eichhorn & Jasmine Rault. Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 25 (Spring 2011).
Short Publications & Reviews:
“Seeing & Being Seen at Meow Mix Cabaret.” Catalogue essay. Meow Mix Retrospective. Jan 10-Feb 2, 2013. RATS 9 Gallery. Montreal, Quebec. (Jan 2013). “Reading Through Difference.” Review of Cherríe Moraga’s A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings 2000-2010. Women & Performance. [Forthcoming] “Follow-up notes on the GLITTERfesto: TL Cowan in conversation with Tammy Pamalovovich, Aging Supermodel Lesbian Feminist Experimental Poet and Revolutionary.” Belladonna. “Transfeminism and Literature.” Vol. II. 147 (2012): 5-12.
“GLITTERfesto: An Open Call in Trinity Formation For A Revolutionary Movement Of Activist Performance Based On The Premise That Social Justice is Fabulous.” Canadian Theatre Review (CTR). Ed. Natalie Alvarez. 150 (Spring 2012): 11-17. “cabaret at grunt: up your community.” Activating the Archives. Grunt Gallery, Vancouver. Spring 2012.http://performance.gruntarchives.org/essay-cabaret-at-grunt.html“Harmonious Cacophony: 2boys.tv’s Tightrope.” Canadian Review of Literature in Performance. 3 (Fall 2011). http://www.litlive.ca/story/364“Making it Better: Dayna McLeod’s Celluloid Fantasies, Feminist Queer Revisionary.” No More Potlucks. (Summer 2011). http://nomorepotlucks.org/editorial/motive-no-16“The Queer Element & The Poison Cookie: Literature in Performance on the Cabaret Stage.” Canadian Review of Literature in Performance. 1.1 (February 2011). http://www.litlive.ca/story/230
Trans* feminist & queer visual culture, performance, literary & cultural studies; activist studies, new media & creative resistance; feminist & queer theory, especially aesthetics, epistemologies & theories of the transnational/translocal; speculative digital humanities; 20th & 21st-Century cabaret in Canada, Mexico, USA, France & Germany; 20th- & 21st-Century literary & anti-literary cultures; popular culture; genre theory; theories & practices of the avant-garde; performance writing, Performer Created Theatre.
Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics in the Americas (Hemispheric Fellow 2012-14 http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/fellows/hemi-fellows)Performance Studies InternationalCanadian Association of Cultural StudiesSexuality Studies Association
“A Hybrid Present Embodified: ‘Social Disorganization’ as Cabaret Methodology.” Panel Title: Then, Now, Then: Doing Hybrid Temporalities in Contemporary? Feminist and Queer Performance (Mexico City, New York City, Montreal). Co-organized with Dayna McLeod & Jasmine Rault. Performance Studies International/PSi 19. Stanford University, San Francisco CA. June 26-30 2013.
The Twisted She Project. CD. (2009).
Coastal Tongue: An Anthology of Women in Spoken Word in Vancouver. Eds. Laurie Bricker & T.L. Cowan (2004).
2012 – Eugene Lang College Civic Engagement & Social Justice Grant to host Theatre of the Oppressed workshops for Lang students. 2011 - Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. Title: “Feeling Speculative in Digital Space”2011 - Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant. Title: “Sliding Scale: Translocal Feminist and Queer Cabaret Cultures”2009 – Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Calgary 2009 - Canada Council for the Arts Individual Artist Project Grant for The Twisted She Project2009 – Alberta Foundation for the Arts – Multidisciplinary Project Grant for The Twisted She Project2009 - Governor General’s Gold Medal, University of Alberta. Recognizes the doctoral graduate of all faculties who achieves the highest academic standing.
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