GALA Annual Conference & International Summer School

Posted on January 30, 2018

Creativity and the Liberal Arts Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Concordia University, Montreal Conference: 25-27 July 2018 The fifth annual GALA conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University, Montreal, in July 2018. It will begin with a late afternoon reception on 25 July, followed by two full days of lectures, presentations, and discussion. As in previous years, students will also attend. A ‘Delegates’ meeting (with representatives from each GALA partner) is scheduled from lunchtime onwards on 25 July. Registration details and advice about accommodation will follow shortly. See below for a call for papers. Summer School: 23-30 July 2018 A student summer school has been a feature of every GALA conference since 2015, and this year we are delighted to offer a dedicated GALA summer school as part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ graduate summer school programme. The summer school will be open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students at any GALA partner. Students will need to be nominated by their institution. The GALA graduate summer school will bring together graduate students to learn more about practice-as-research/research creation, the creative and cultural industries, multimedia practice, public engagement, social change, and the liberal arts through a series of  classes, workshops, and collaborative sandpits. It will be taught by faculty and technicians at Concordia as well as faculty from other GALA partners (see below for more details). Students will develop a multimedia portfolio of skills, experiences, and evidence that they can use in their existing research projects and future careers. The students will join the GALA conference on Friday 27 July. The summer school will conclude with a final showcase event on Monday 30 July. Ten subsidised places will be available to students from GALA partners outside Canada which will reduce the course fee (which includes accommodation) from CAN$1800 to CAN$900. Preference will be given to students coming from partners whose faculty will be involved in the summer school teaching. Fuller details of the summer school—include information about admission—will be circulated shortly. See below for a call for summer school faculty. Conference: call for papers Creativity is often cited as a key attribute of a modern liberal arts education but what does it mean in practice? The fifth annual GALA conference will bring together faculty and students from across the network to explore the role that creativity—broadly defined—can play in teaching and research, and how it might be better fostered, articulated, and valued. Topics for discussion include:

  • Creative thinking and creative learning
  • Creative practice in the classroom
  • Practice-as-research, practice-led research, and research creation
  • Collaborations between ‘traditional’ scholarship and creative practice
  • Co-creation with students and external partners
  • Creative practice, public engagement, and the creative industries
  • Creative entrepreneurship inside and outside the academy
  • Creative innovation
  • Transnational creativity
  • Rethinking the liberal arts

Participants may wish to frame their presentations in response to the first of the six ‘future challenge areas and sub-questions’ identified by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council:

  • What new ways of learning, particularly in higher education, will [we] need in order to thrive in an evolving society and labour market?:
    • What knowledge, skills and delivery methods are required in order for the public education system to create an innovative, resilient and culturally rich society?
    • What aspirations and expectations will a diverse and global citizenry bring to work environments, jobs and labour markets of the future?
    • What conditions are needed for new models of research—particularly, co‑creation of knowledge with the public, private and/or not‑for‑profit sectors—to flourish?
    • What roles will emerging and/or disruptive information and communication technologies play in learning for individuals, institutions and society?
    • What role should individuals, institutions and governments play in promoting and supporting the life cycle of knowledge, including creation, accessibility, retention and mobilization, across sectors, both domestically and internationally?
    • How can we harness [our] strength and innovation in the arts, digital media and cultural industries to build social, economic and cultural well‑being?

Presentations should be 20 minutes long. Please send proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical statement, to the GALA Academic Director, Ian Gadd ( by 28 February 2018. Summer School: Call for faculty We are looking for faculty from GALA partners to lead classes and/or workshops on one of the following areas:

  • The liberal arts in a global context
  • New methodologies for practice-as-research and research creation
  • Working with the creative industries
  • Creative practice in a multimedia world
  • Creative practice and public engagement
  • Creative practice and social change

The sessions can involve a mix of prior readings, lecture, seminar discussion, and hands-on tasks; each session should last about 90 minutes. We would expect faculty to lead two sessions on a single day, participate in the rest of the day’s activities, and chair a brief concluding review session. These sessions will run on 23–26 July; faculty are also invited to the final showcase event on Monday 30 July. Each faculty member will be allocated 1-2 subsidised places for students from their own institution. If you are interested in participating, please contact the GALA Academic Director, Ian Gadd ( by 28 February 2018. GALA The Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA) is a select international community of institutions, faculties, programmes, and research centres that seeks to develop new kinds of research and teaching collaboration, to support enhanced international mobility among staff and students, and to reimagine liberal arts education for the twenty-first century. Concordia University Concordia University is welcoming, engaged, and committed to innovation and excellence in education, research, creative activity and community partnerships. It dares to be different and draws on its diversity to transform the individual, strengthen society and enrich the world.  Concordia’s core values stem from those long prized by its founding institutions, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University. Concordia adopted the motto of the city of Montreal, Concordia salus, which speaks to well-being through harmony. The union of two very different institutions of higher education has led to an exceptionally successful synthesis of compatible and timely values. Faculty of Arts and Sciences: