Created by :
                                                                                                                      Jacquelin Chatterpaul,
                                                                                                                     Research Officer’s Aide
                                                                                                                        Dr. Suzanne Jaeger,

                      NEWSLETTER                                                                                             Editor-In-Chief

                                                                                               Volu Volume 3: Issue 5 :December 2009

                                                   “An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.”
                                                                                                  ~ George Santayana

Irene Markoff
Course Director, Department of Music
  Irene Markoff, ethnomusicologist extraordinaire, received her      genres and Alevi/Bektashi and Tahtaci sacred repertoire in Thrace,
PhD in Music from the University of Washington in 1986 and           Western Turkey, and the Taurus Mountains.” Her original interest in
currently teaches music studies courses and performance. She also    heterodox Islamic communities began during her 1980s doctoral work
contributes to the Graduate Program in Music and directs the Bal-    in Turkey when doing research on Alevi master musicians and Alevi
kan Music Ensemble. One of the traditional instruments she plays     rituals.
is the Turkish bağlama (a long-necked, plucked, folk lute) that is
an important symbol for the expressive culture of Sufi and Shiite-    Alevi sectarian members from Anatolia are heterodox because they do
related Alevi and Bektashi sects in Turkey and Bulgaria.             not observe the five pillars of Islam, they do not frequent the mosque,
                                                                     and hold their religious ceremonies (cemler) with music and dance in
  Her past research investigated traditional and popular music of    private prayer houses (cemeviler). Although all worship meetings are
Bulgaria and Turkey in the homeland and diaspora, as well as Is-     led by religious elders (dede/baba/mürşid) and include prayers and the
lamic mysticism as articulated by Alevi/Bektashi communities in      singing of sacred songs (nefesler) and sacred dance accompanied by the
Turkey, Bulgaria, and Canada. Her current research, which began      bağlama, only married couples who are bound by fictive kinship and
in 2007, concentrates on Music, Architecture and Ritual in Islam.    have undergone ritual initiation can partake in rituals of a formal na-
                                                                     ture. Informal gatherings include the broader community. These groups
  Her focus on architecture is more on the use of space and the      are bound, by habit, to secrecy because they have often been misunder-
positioning of sacred symbols during rituals that involve sacred     stood by other local Turks who profess the faith of mainstream Islam. This
music and dance, than on purely structural considerations. The       is perhaps why Markoff, who is familiar with Alevi/Bektashi culture
confluence of sound, movement, and mystical poetry in such           and speaks both Bulgarian and Turkish, has found that procuring infor-
spaces assists in the achievement of “higher states of conscious-    mation requires time and patience.
ness that promise spiritual intoxication (wajd) and a unique and
                                                                       Markoff’s published research focuses on Turkish folk music theory
intimate union, even annihilation (fanâ) in the supreme being.”
                                                                     and performance, as well as Alevi and Bektashi expressive culture. She
Markoff hopes to con-
                                                                                                              has been researching Alevi/
tinue filming such ritual
                                                                                                              Bektashi music and rituals in
ceremonies taking place
                                                                                                              the eastern Rhodope Moun-
in prayer houses located
                                                                                                              tains of Bulgaria for several
close to saints’ shrines in
                                                                                                              years now and serves on the
Bektashi and closely-
                                                                                                              editorial boards of the Jour-
related Babai communi-
                                                                                                              nal of Interdisciplinary Mu-
ties in the Eastern
                                                                                                              sic Studies and Bulgarski
Rhodope Mountains re-
                                                                                                              Folklor. She has worked for
gion of southern Bul-
                                                                                                              The Bulgarian Academy of
garia.                                                                                                        Science’s Institute of Music
 Markoff’s research in                                                                                        and also contributed to the
the Eastern Rhodopes has                                                                                      Middle East volume of the
motivated her to examine                                                                                      Garland Encyclopaedia of
the origins of the music                                                                                      World Music as a consulting
and its “transnational,                                                                                       editor and author.
diasporic parallels”
through “a closer exami-     Left: Irene Markoff in the village of Bivolyane, close to Elmali Baba Shrine
nation of folk musical
                             Right: Interior of the Otman Baba Shrine
                                                                                                Volume 3: Issue 5 :December 2009

Naila Keleta Mae
PhD Candidate, Theatre Studies

  Canadian Playwright Djanet Sears once said that when we             Keleta Mae’s artistic and academic abilities drift across the
ask what it is to be Canadian we open a “Pandora’s Box”. It        lines dividing disciplines. She has found innovative ways to tie
can be an uncomfortable place to go, especially for the white      music, theatre, poetry, and race theory together as she researches
upper class. Despite this potential to cause discomfort, Theatre   and writes about the lives of black females in Canada. Like Sears
Doctoral candidate Naila Keleta Mae dares to open the box to       and other black Canadian artists, educators and scholars, Keleta
set free silences most people have chosen to ignore—not to be      Mae questions the idea of “home” and looks at black history
provocative, but to consider the                                                                  through an interdisciplinary lens
reasons for hearing what is being                                                                 using a series of art forms and re-
silenced. Keleta Mae plays the role                                                               search methodologies to mobilize
of scholar, educator and artist, test-                                                            and challenge black realities in Can-
ing the boundaries between disci-                                                                 ada.
plines in the Fine Arts and beyond.                                                                    Although currently working on
   When it comes to her outlook on                                                                her PhD, Keleta Mae is also a Fac-
life and research interests, Keleta                                                               ulty Member at Goddard College in
Mae emanates positivity. She                                                                      Vermont, USA in their Interdiscipli-
hardly needs to say anything to                                                                   nary Arts MFA program. As an art-
demand the respect she gets be-                                                                   ist, she presents her performance
cause her physical presence is                                                                    poetry as a way of thinking and cre-
commanding. At the FFA Research                                                                   ating discourse to give voice to those
Celebration in November, she                                                                      that have been silenced. In her album
spoke with a charismatic passion                                                                  “bloom”, she infuses elements of
about her research that captured                                                                  song and spoken word, drawing pri-
her audience’s attention. Her own                                                                 marily from black North American,
experience with the possibilities                                                                 Caribbean and West African musical
and limitations of being a Black                                                                  and storytelling traditions. Each
female has influenced her approach                                                                month, since June, she has released
to questioning societal roles as                                                                  for free, a new song from her album
prescribed by civil life in Canada.                                                               “bloom”. In October’s song entitled
She adds that, “my doctoral research is not only about silence,    “sometimes,” she sings “people talk, talk about change and the
its focus is on black performance in Canada, and I am arguing      need for justice/ but change is hard, and change often equals pain.”
that it is a perpetual performance.” She questions, “what is       Her voice, like aged honey, pours over the heart in comfort but the
blackness in Canada? What are the available roles and modes        lyrics, barred with pain, break it.
of expression for Canadian black women?” By playing with               If you wish to learn more about Naila Keleta Mae, or would
subtleties in her performance of a black female in Canada,         like to download a song from “bloom” please visit her website at
Keleta Mae examines the idea of race and gender and critiques
the political and social forces constituting our concepts of
blackness and femaleness.
  One can find stunning reviews of her artistic work on several
arts-focused blogs. Specializing in Theatre Studies, Keleta Mae
is already a recognized scholar. She holds a Magisteriate of
Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction and has worked
in Canada, France, Portugal, South Africa and the US. She is
already a recipient of two scholarships for her doctoral re-
search: the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate
Scholarship (2008-2011) from the Social Sciences and Hu-
manities Research Council (SSHRC) and an Ontario Graduate
Scholarship (2007-2008) from the Government of Ontario.
                                                                                                              Volume 3: Issue 5:December 2009

Brian Banton
Graduate student, Masters of Design
    Pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein once                                                                 culture that exists despite the growing number of
said that “art doesn't transform. It just                                                             individuals of mixed race decent. According to a
plain forms.” This is increasingly more                                                               recent Toronto Star article, the number of mixed
evident as advertising and marketing                                                                  race couples in Toronto has tripled since 2001.
becomes unrelentingly prevalent in our                                                                As of 2006, there were 289,420 mixed-race cou-
everyday lives. According to Statistics                                                               ples, including both married and common law
Canada, consumers are barraged with                                                                   relationships, and 85% of these were white
approximately 4000 advertising stimuli                                                                mixed with a visible minority (http://
each day (                                                         )
                                                                                                         Now in the second year of his Masters pro-
c7785.html). FFA Design graduate stu-
                                                                                                      gram, Banton is attempting to negotiate the vis-
dent, Brian Banton is aware of the
                                                                                                      ual signification of race within the world of ad-
power that advertising has in shaping
                                                                                                      vertising as a mode of discourse. Banton’s jour-
our consciousness of the world because
                                                                                                      ney has been a difficult one, however, given that
he worked in the field of commercial
                                                                                                      racial hybrids in the art world have seldom been
print design before going back to gradu-
                                                                                                      investigated. He looks to Adrian Piper who was
ate school. His graduate research fo-
                                                                                                      among the first to introduce issues of race and
cuses on racism in capitalism as ex-
                                                                                                      gender into the vocabulary of conceptual art.
pressed in corporate design. More spe-
                                                                                                      However, whereas Piper, as a Visual Artist,
cifically, he is interested in representa-
                                                                                                      created political art, Banton’s work focuses on
tions of identity and missing representa-
                                                                                                      political aspects of commercial design.
tions of racial hybrids.
                                                                                                          To return to Lichtenstein, the idea that art and
   Banton’s experience in the world of
                                                                                                      design contribute forcefully to our consciousness
corporate design taught him to see de-
                                                                                                      of identity is not new to feminist theorists. Al-
sign work as a commercial practice
                                                                                                      though racial hybrids have been overlooked, it is
rather than a mode of self-expression.
                                                Above: Brian Banton plays with the lines of           possible to create new representations of racial
The corporate agenda perpetuates im-
                                                distinction between races by manipulating a           hybridity by using new kinds of design type-
ages that enforce racial discrimination
                                                photo of himself                                      faces. Banton, with his research, may yet prove
and, according to Banton, negates the
                                                                                                      that it is possible for art to transform that which
voice of a designer who may be op-
                                                                                                      it formed in the first place.
posed to stereotyped images. Banton is a racial hybrid of both Jamai-
can and Anglo-Saxon descent. He felt he had to suppress an integral            If you would like to see more samples of Brian’s typeface designs that
part of his self-identity in order to do his job. He decided, therefore, to integrate a hybrid sense of identity check out his website at
delve deeper into the issue of race representation by exploring and
challenging the lack of visual representation of racial hybrids in media

A sample of Banton’s 3D emblems completed at York University. It was inspired by Italo Calvino's book Invisible Cities and
explores vernacular typography found in the Toronto neighborhood of Eglinton West, also known as “Little Jamaica”.
                                                                                                   Volume 3: Issue 4 :October 2009

  Research Of ficer’s Corner

This year’s FFA Research Celebration was held in TEL 1009 on November 17, 2009. Every presentation was exceptional; a view
confirmed unanimously in emails that I received from those who attended. Although the audience turnout was small, the event suc-
ceeded, nonetheless, in contributing to a sense of community among FFA researchers from different disciplines. It is always a chal-
lenge to get people out to these collegial events, and yet the audience response was so positive we’ll continue to hold them with the
hope that with more advance notice, more of you will plan to attend.

There are two more scheduled research events for this year:

1) A Faculty Hour Presentation is planned for Wed. Feb. 10th from 12:30 – 2:30 PM. Canada Research Chair and Associate Pro-
fessor Janine Marchessault from the Film dept. will be hosting a panel discussion and short film presentation on the Leona Drive
project. Some of the participating artists have been invited to reflect on the impact and significance of this exhibit. Please put this
event in your calendar because it will be an important opportunity to discuss the role that artists play within our civic communities.

2) Shelley Hornstein’s Walter Gordon Lecture has been rescheduled for Wed. March 31, 2010 from 12:30—2:30 pm. Title: Losing
Site: Architecture, Memory and Place. So, mark your calendars with this date too.

The location for these two events will be announced in January.

One final note: Julia Martyn and I are slowly making the rounds to all FFA departments in order to provide information about claims
for reimbursement against research accounts including P.E.R’s, generic and external grant cost centres. It seems to be increasingly
more difficult to use your York research money because of all the required paper work and stringent regulations for receipts and in-
voices. Our aim in these departmental visits is to hear about your particular concerns so that we can communicate them to Research
Accounting with a mind to developing accommodating systems that work for artists and researchers in the Fine Arts. We also want
to provide faculty members with some valuable tips and strategies for making claims against research cost centres. The number one
rule: Before you start to spend your money, talk to Julia to make sure that you are using the correct procedure, whether you intend to
hire a dancer, musician or other independent artist or whether you need to purchase a piece of equipment or building supply. Talk to
Julia! or ext. 77451

And lastly, I hope you have a restful and enjoyable winter break. I wish you lots of research dollars in 2010!

Best Regards;

Suzanne M. Jaeger
Research Officer
Volume 1, Issue 1
                    RESEARCH                                                                                     Page 5

                                                                                       Volume 3: Issue 5: December 2009

Grant Oppor tunities
York U Grants                                                                                                Deadlines
SSHRC Grant in Aid of Conference Travel                                                             February 1, May 1

CUPE Contract Faculty Conference Travel Fund                                                                   March 1
Ad Hoc Grant for Conference Travel                                                                            March 15
YUFA Sabbatical Leave Fellowship                                                                            January 15
FFA Minor Research Creation                                                                                 January 31
Specific Research Grant, non-leave/leave                                                                    February 1
CUPE Contract Faculty research Grant                                                                           March 1
CUPE Contract Faculty Tuition costs Fund                                                                      March 31
Professional Development of Contract Faculty                                                                     April 1
SSHRC Grants
Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) : Letter of Intent                                         February 21
Research Development Initiatives                                                                                 April 7

Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada                                                              May 1
International Opportunities Fund: Development Grants                                                             May 8
International Opportunities Fund: Project Grants                                                                 May 8

Thérèse F. Casgrain Fellowship (Research on Women and Social change)                                   October 1, 2011

Canada Council for the Arts
For Important Spring Deadlines for Canada Council Artists’ grants please see Canada
Council Website :

Ontario Arts Council
For Important Spring Deadlines for Canada Council Artists’ grants please see Ontario
Council Website:

Toronto Arts Council
For Important Spring Deadlines for Canada Council Artists’ grants please see Toronto
Council Website:

To top