Faculty of Humanities welcomes new School of the Arts director

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Springgay

Stephanie Springgay, an artist, curator and leading scholar in the emerging field of research-creation, is the new director of McMaster’s School of the Arts in the Faculty of Humanities.

Springgay, whose appointment began July 1, was formerly an associate professor with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, where she was a leader in research-creation, an approach that emphasizes the interconnectedness of academic research and artistic practice.

Currently, Springgay is also the co-director of the WalkingLab, a collective that employs feminist, queer, anti-racist and anti-colonial frameworks to critically challenge people to think differently about walking and challenging the notion that anyone can walk anywhere. She also researches the intersections between contemporary art and pedagogy.

“Stephanie offered exactly what we were looking for in the new director: an acclaimed interdisciplinary artist, top-notch researcher, and talented administrator who could help us bring to life our proposed program in Integrated Arts and lead the entire School of the Arts for the next five years,” says Pamela Swett, dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

“Stephanie’s success as an instructor and supervisor and her deep commitment to community-engaged research and artistic practice also convinced us that she will bring real skill and determination to relationship building on campus and between SOTA and our partners in the broader Greater Hamilton artistic community.”

Before coming to McMaster, Springgay had already developed strong connections to the growing Hamilton arts scene, including local artists, academics, and community groups. For her, the SOTA directorship offers the opportunity to enhance these relationships by working with McMaster’s diverse and creative faculty and students.

“I love the way SOTA is envisioning the future the arts – there are so many exciting things to come,” says Springgay. Also, its commitment to social justice and equity, to interdisciplinary artistic practices and its commitment to research-creation all make me incredibly excited to be part of this organization.”

Ultimately, Springgay wants to make SOTA a leading centre for research-creation.

“I want to make McMaster the go-to place for research-creation at all levels. This is where students and faculty want to be. This may sound lofty but with Pamela’s and the President’s support I really think we can do it.”