Emerging Scholars, Emerging Friendships: Reflecting on TEXT/SOUND/PERFORMANCE

By Amy Thiessen (Honours English candidate; SpokenWeb RA).

The TEXT/SOUND/PERFORMANCE: Making in Canadian Space conference in Dublin, Ireland in 25-27, April 2019 was an incredibly formative experience for me.

I had the chance to participate in a panel presentation and attend many other inspiring panels and performances. Dr. Karis Shearer, Megan Butchart, and I gave a presentation entitled “Canadian Poetry Off the Page in the Undergraduate Classroom” alongside Dr. Jason Wiens and Leah Van Dyk (MA English) from the University of Calgary, during which we explored pedagogical strategies for and challenges of teaching poetry from online sound archives in a classroom, contrasting it with more traditional methods of visual text-based scholarship.


Being part of this conference as an undergraduate student — and therefore amongst the youngest of scholars in attendance — was a challenging but exceptionally rewarding experience as I was among many accomplished scholars, poets, and performers. There was a lot of anticipation and many nerves going into giving our presentation, as I had not previously given a conference address. However, our hard work, practice, and diligent preparation meant the presentation not only went well but was also fun.


The AMP Lab crew in Dublin outside of Leo Kennedy’s Pub for the conference banquet. L-R: Megan Butchart, Dr. Emily Christina Murphy, Dr. Karis Shearer, and Amy Thiessen.


Attending this conference pushed me to think more about my academic future and provided a number of connections and knowledge sharing opportunities that I can only anticipate will support me moving forward in my schooling and future career. Finally, aside from the conference itself I was able to spend time travelling in Ireland spending time delving into Irish history and culture as well as forming fantastic friendships. Special thanks to AMP Lab UBCO, SpokenWeb, and Tuum Est for making this experience possible.

A fantastic friendship: Amy Thiessen and Megan Butchart travelling together after the conference.