Congratulations to Ajay Heble who won the 2016 SSHRC Impact Award in the Partnership Grant category for the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation. IICSI (pronounce it "icy") is a partnered research institute with sites at Memorial University of Newfoundland, McGill University, University of Regina, University of British Columbia, and the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is centred at the University of Guelph where Heble is Project Director. Over 56 researchers from 20 institutions and 30 community partners work on creating positive social change through the confluence of improvisational arts, innovative scholarship, and collaborative action. The Impact Award provides $50,000 towards research and dissemination for the project.
Ellen Waterman, Professor in the School of Music and site-coordinator for IICSI-MUN, was one of four researchers included in Heble’s nomination, along with Daniel Fischlin (U of Guelph), Eric Lewis (McGill), and Jesse Stewart (Carleton). “Critical Improvisation Studies is a burgeoning field of interdisciplinary scholarship, and IICSI is at the forefront of the field” said Waterman, “Our projects range from an academic book series “Improvisation, Community and Social Practice” through Duke University Press to an online peer-reviewed open access journal Critical Studies in Improvisation/Etudes critiques en improvisation www.criticalimprov.com. We run public lecture and workshop series and annual colloquia at our partner institutions along with numerous projects with our community partners. For example, at Memorial, we have partnered with Easter Seals, MMaP, and the Sound Symposium.” Memorial also supports an annual IICSI postdoctoral fellowship. Learn more about IICSI at www.improvisationinstitute.ca.