Post Doctoral Fellows & Other Affiliates

  • Amber Berson


    Amber Berson is a writer, curator, and PhD student conducting doctoral research at Queen’s University on the subject of artist-run culture and feminist, utopian thinking. She most recently curated The Let Down Reflex (2016, with Juliana Driever); TrailMix (2014, with Eliane Ellbogen); *~._.:*JENNIFER X JENNIFER*:.~ (2013, with Eliane Ellbogen); The Annual Art Administrator’s Relay Race (2013, with Nicole Burisch); and The Wild Bush Residency (2012–14). expand

    She is a member of the Montréal-based Critical Administrative Practices Reading Group; is the 2016 curator in residence through the Darling Foundry and Asterides France-Quebec cross-residencies in Marseille; and is the Canadian ambassador for the Art+Feminism Wikipedia project. Her writing has been published in Breach Magazine, Canadian Art, C Magazine, Esse, Fuse Magazine and the St Andrews Journal of Art History and Museum Studies.
  • Nadine Blumer


    Nadine Blumer (Ph.D. Sociology, University of Toronto) is affiliate faculty at CEREV and in the History Department at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research focuses on sites of cultural production such as museums, monuments, and heritage tourism to understand why societies remember some histories of violence while ignoring others. A recent article about grassroots activist responses to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights appears in the Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies (2015). expand

    In spring 2012 she co-curated an exhibition about marginalized histories of violence called Moving Memory in the CaPSL lab, experimenting with new methodologies for addressing commemoration of violence and “competitions” over victim status. She has published from her longstanding research about the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Roma population in a special issue on counter-monuments in Espace arts magazine (2016) and in The Nazi Genocide of the Roma: Reassessment and Commemoration (Berghahn Books, 2013), the most comprehensive book to date on the experience and representation of the Roma under National Socialism. Nadine is a former research fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and has received research fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, the Central European University (Budapest), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
  • Shelley Ruth Butler


    Shelley Ruth Butler (PhD York University) is a cultural anthropologist who researches museums, curating, and heritage sites in Canada and South Africa. She co-edited (with Erica Lehrer) Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (MQUP 2016), and facilitates Curatorial Dreaming workshops for researchers, museums professionals, and community groups ( Her first book, Contested Representations: Re-visiting Into the Heart of Africa (1999 & 2011) is a widely taught ethnography of a controversial exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum. expand

    Her interest in reflexivity and curating as a critical social practice is reflected in her contributions to Museum Theory: An Expanded Field  (2014) and Slum Tourism: Poverty, Power, Ethics (2012). Her newest curatorial research project explores the (im)possibility of exhibitions in response to suicide. She teaches interdisciplinary courses related to contemporary cultures with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
  • Sharon Gubbay Helfer


    Dr. Sharon Gubbay Helfer is an oral historian, a scholar-practitioner of difficult dialogues, and a facilitator and trainer in the skills of everyday peace-making developed by the Compassionate Listening Project. As Research Associate with the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia, she worked on the project “Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide, and other Human Rights Violations”.expand

    There she created a pilot archive of Palestinian Canadian Life Stories and an online exhibit created together with the Palestinian participants, an exhibit launched at CEREV in 2012 (click here for a link to the project website). Her current projects focus on dialogue, peace-building, and transformation starting with individual citizens in Montreal, Quebec and Canada. Sharon was a CEREV Curatorial Fellow in the Winter of 2012.


  • Shauna Janssen

    shauna janssen

    Shauna Janssen is a Montreal-based urban curator with a background in professional theatre practice, and interdisciplinary studies. Within the context of urban change, in her curatorial practice she works with artists to create site responsive performances, interventions, installations, and collaborative community projects. In 2010, she founded Urban Occupations Urbaines, a curatorial platform for artists, communities and the public to creatively and critically engage with cities and urban change. Her curatorial work involves long-term documentary and site-specific research projects.expand

    In her practice she asks how critical curation can be a mode of intervention in the public realm, and how neighbourhoods in transition might be active collaborators, with artists, in the surfacing of significant pasts, sublimated political positions, and forms of cultural agency, including the agencies of the built environment itself. She is working with oral history, critical post humanist thought, feminist and queer theory to rethink sites, discourses, and themes such as spatial agency, the public sphere, gender, class, race, gentrification and the right to the city.  Her ongoing research addresses the cultural politics of postindustrial urban spaces, and the role of art/ists in creating politically engaged communities in these spaces. She is currently undertaking research on the role of digital and new media in the public sphere in relation to expanded scenographic practices and concepts such as spatial dramaturgy and performative urbanism. She received her Ph.D in Humanities (2014), Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture at Concordia University, where she has also taught in the Departments of Theatre and Art History.
  • Leila Qashu


    Leila Qashu is a 2016-2018 Banting postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS). She is interested in theoretical and practical intersections between the expressive arts, women’s rights, vernacular feminism, legal pluralism, and vernacular belief. With a commitment to community-driven research, she is looking for ways to apply participatory, practice-based methodology.expand

    She has been working with the Arsi Oromo in Ethiopia (the Arsi are a subgroup of the Oromo ethnic group) and conducting fieldwork since 2002, independently and in conjunction with a French research team and the UNESCO – Norway funds-in-trust project on Ethiopian instruments, music and dance (2005-2009). Her PhD research, for which she held a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship (2010-14) and was a member of the SSHRC – MCRI project, Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing, she focused on ateetee, an Arsi women’s sung dispute resolution ritual; the dissertation examined how an expressive form enables women to peacefully protect, promote and claim their rights in a rapidly changing social environment. Her current research project focuses on marriage by abduction and other challenges facing young Arsi women, and their strategies – especially the use of expressive arts – for questioning, resisting and changing cultural practices. She plans to use collaborative, participatory video work as a primary medium to create collaborative representation of Arsi stories. Her aim is to create a research-creation dissemination model that will constitute action for young women and includes ethnographic research, multimedia collaborations, and representations of the women’s expressions.



  • Jessica Roda


    Jessica Roda is a 2016-2018 SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at CEREV & CaPSL in collaboration with Heyman Center for Humanities, Columbia University. With a background in musicology, ethnomusicology and anthropology from France and Canada, her research interests centre on the creation and the representation of ethnic and religious identities after social rupture of filiation in the aftermath of war, omission and repression, on heritage-making as well as on intercultural and interreligious dialogue.expand

    At CaPSL she will investigate the ruptures and reconstruction of kinship ties among Ex-Ultra Orthodox Jews of Montreal and New York City. An author of over twenty articles, Jessica presents at conferences regularly in French, English and Portuguese as a guest researcher (USA, Brazil, Japan, France) and as a speaker in the academic, associative, community, and cultural milieu. Co-editor with Daniela Moisa of the book Heritage and Cultural Diversity (2015, Presses de l’Université du Québec), she is also Research Associate at the Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies and the Groupes Sociétés, Religions et Laïcités (CNRS, GSRL). She has a long experience in collaborative research with festivals and museums promoting Jewish identity in France and Canada.
  • Joseph Rosen


    Joseph Rosen writes about how cultural memory and historical trauma affect contemporary politics. He is currently bringing his research into mainstream media and public forums. “The Third Solitude” re-assesses myths of anti-Semitism in Quebec, and was nominated for Best Essay by the National Magazine Awards 2016. “The Israel Taboo” addresses why it is so difficult to talk about Israel in Canada, and was nominated for Best Essay by the National Magazine Awards 2015.expand

    Since then, Rosen has hosted public dialogues about Israeli-Palestine in various forums, including a public talk by Ari Shavit. He has also engaged in political discussions of Israel and Canadian politics in The Walrus and in The Harper Decade. Rosen has engaged in public conversations with novelists Yann Martel, Ayelet Tasabari, (a Yemenite-Israeli author), and Assaf Gavron (an Israeli author who has written novels about suicide bombing and settlements). During an FQRSC postdoctoral fellowship at CEREV Rosen focused on the role of trauma and testimony in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Rachel Sandwell


    Rachel Sandwell is an historian of southern Africa, whose work focuses on gender, race, and the politics of resistance in South Africa. She is currently a FQRSC post-doctoral scholar at the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand. She is working on two projects, one on South African public sphere debates over violence against women in exile’s aftermath, and a second on the ethics and practice of oral histories of struggle in South Africa. Both of these projects engage with questions of public of recent times of conflict. In South Africa, she has worked withexpand

    the people’s history website project, “South African History Online,” an NGO which aims to restore the diverse voices of ordinary South Africans to public narratives about the anti-apartheid struggle. Recent publications include “Love I Cannot Begin to Explain: The politics of reproduction in the ANC in Exile, 1976-1990” in The Journal of Southern African Studies and “If Not Feminism, Then What? Women’s Work in the African National Congress, 1980-1990,” in What is Feminism? Transnational Activisms in the “Second Wave”, (eds) Jennifer Nelson and Barbara Molony (Bloomsbury Press, Forthcoming).
  • Stephanie Tara Schwartz


    Stephanie Tara Schwartz was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at CEREV (2015-2016), and is Research Director at the Museum of Jewish Montreal (MJM) and co-editor with David S. Koffman of Canadian Jewish Studies/Études juives canadiennes. Her current project “Mapping Moroccan Jews in Montreal: A Social and Digital History” seeks to explore the influence of Moroccan Jewish artists and activists on the city. Through her work with MJM she curated the exhibits Sacré/Profane: Samy Elmaghribi (2015) and Parkley Clothes: 1937 (2014) at Nuit Blanche à Montréal, expand

    designed and taught the museums’ tour guide training and summer fellowship program, and helped lead and produce physical and digital walking tours on themes including Hazzanut and Jewish social service in Montreal. She is co-editor with May Telmissany of the book Counterpoints: The Legacy of Edward Said (2010). Her articles on Jewish diaspora, the literature and film of Arab Jews and Jews and multiculturalism in Canada have been published Borderlands e-journalCanadian Jewish StudiesComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East and Critical Inquiries: A Reader in Studies of Canada. She is also Research Associate at the Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies.