People Collection

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Christine Stewart

Associate Professor

Arts

English and Film Studies

Research

In general, I am interested in the role that poetic language and form can play in the production of knowledge, and in the practice of concretely addressing issues of social justice. In other words, in my work I consider the ways in which language can be formally and contextually engaged to reconsider and potentially re-articulate the world. How might certain poetic practices undermine racist ideologies and colonialism, engendering ecological attentiveness, anomalous, and compassionate communities?

 

Because different forms of writing express different forms of life and different ways of thinking, poetic work merits inclusion in the array of thinking and writing practiced in the university — not just in the context of elective creative writing courses taken by a few students, but as an integral practice. Poetic forms can grant unexpected permissions and open startling potentials for the expansion of thought, the asking of questions, granting attention to the voices of others, and locating and creating knowledge.


All of my current projects are concerned with what it means to be here, on Treaty Six territory, in this city, on this land, in this country, on this planet, in a way that acknowledges and honours all my obligations and all my relations, the complex web of connective tissues that keep me here. 


Arriving in Edmonton in 2007, from the West Coast, I began the Underbridge Project, a creative research work that considers the underbridge at Mill Creek Ravine as a focal point from which to investigate the colonial history of Edmonton, and Canada. In working on this project, I encountered many communities in Edmonton whose voices, experiences and expertise are most often absent from the University. Seeking to shift the conditions that isolate us from each other, I co-founded the Writing Revolution In Place Research Collective (WRIP) with then-PhD student Daniel Johnson and Denis Lapierre from The Learning Centre Literacy Association. Now in its 5th year, the WRIP consists of researchers from the across Edmonton and the university. Together we conduct creative community-based research, with a focus on literacy and social justice. In 2013-2014, we conducted a sustained inquiry into the history of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and residential schools in Canada. In 2014-2015, in collaboration with the WRITE 494 class and Community Service Learning (CSL), we completed a grass roots public health research project called “Stigmergic Works: A Poetics of Health” (see article below for a description of this project). In 2015-2016, we were invited by research group from the University of Alberta and Kings University to participate in a project that seeks create an atlas of the Edmonton’s river valley from diverse perspectives. This project was entitled, “Where Are We When We Say That We Are Here?”



Please note: WRIP always welcomes new members from across the city and the university. 

 

http://www.woablog.com/2015/04/creative-collective-breaks-down-the-meaning-of-public-health/


Teaching

I teach experimental poetry, poetics and creative research in the WRITE Programme (English and Film Studies) and Indigenous literature and writing in the Transition Year Program (Faculty of Arts). In addition, I teach classes that work in collaboration with the Community Service Learning Certificate Programme. For more information on CSL classes: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/community-service-learning

 

I welcome graduate students who are working on a creative Master's Thesis, and all graduate students who are interested in poetics (specifically experimental and Indigenous poetics), and/or who are interested in community engagement and creative research. 


In addition to my listed classes, in 2016-2017, I will be working with amiskwaciwiyiniwak, Papaschase scholar Dr. Dwayne Donald and nehiyaw Elder Bob Cardinal in a six credit graduate class that will begin in Fall 2016 and end in Summer 2017. The intention of the course is to offer a land-centred study that will be based on the four-seasons as they shape and characterize the patterns of life and living that have existed in this northern plains region for thousands of years.

 

This course is supported by a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and the Faculty of Arts