Jennifer Beth Spiegel

Jennifer Beth Spiegel is a post-doctoral fellow in the department of Art History and Communications at McGill University in Montreal and holds a doctorate in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She teaches courses in performance and media theory as well as theatre history. Her research focuses on the use of performance in exploring social and environmental issues at the intersection of pedagogy, aesthetics and community mobilization, and its role in shaping individual and collective sensibilities.

Her current research project focuses on the growing social circus movement that are emerging globally to empower marginalized youth and explore issues of local concern. She is particularly interested in the cultural politics that are played out through transnational knowledge exchange. The focus of her current work is on the role of Quebec based organizations in the development of Ecuadorian social circus programs, a country currently noteworthy for its burgeoning social movements and politically engaged artists. This project follows from Jennifer's previous project Staging Ecologies in which she looked at the use of theatre and theatricality within transnational environmental health and justice initiatives in Ecuador, Canada and in Bhopal, India. Her research draws on participatory ethnographic and experiential methodologies and has been supported by IDRC, FQRSC and ORSAS (UK) amongst others.

Jennifer has been a member of several experimental theatre, performance and circus ensembles, and currently performs as an aerialist in experimental multi-media performance.

cirque circus group


Members of the group are regular collaborators engaged in an ongoing conversation. They regularly attend Working Group meetings in Montreal or elsewhere and are expected to give at least one talk a year or to act as respondents to colleagues' papers.


Graduate Students

Regular participants, working with Working Group members or working on circus-related scholarly topics:

  • Dr. Tracy Zhang
    post-doctoral fellow, Concordia University; supervisor Norma Rantisi
  • Joanna Donehower
    doctoral candidate, PhD in Humanities, Concordia; supervisor: Louis Patrick Leroux
  • Lyn Charland
    doctoral candidate, PhD in Humanities, Concordia; supervisor: Louis Patrick Leroux
  • Sue Proctor
    MA in SIP, Concordia; supervisor: Louis Patrick Leroux
  • Johanna Tzountouris
    MA, Laval University
  • Katie Lavers
    PhD Candidate through WAAPA (Edith Cowan University, Australia)


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