Joe Norris

Humanities Research Institute




Joe Norris


 

Work currently in progress, or about to be begun, along with indication of when the project is likely to culminate and what form it will take:
 
My research spans a number of areas that ultimately falls under the umbrellas of voice, collaboration, and creativity. Through participatory theatre, research and pedagogy, I seek ways in which all participants can blend their voices harmoniously and discordantly to create polyocular ways of interpreting our world. At Brock University, I have reestablished Mirror Theatre (formerly of Alberta), a social issues theatre company, that responds to the greater community’s needs and interests and research and co-write plays for special events and programs. We have recently completed one such project on reproductive choice and are now exploring a) the physical and psychological dimensions of displacement as made manifest through the artificial political boundaries of borders and resistances to their crossing and b) academic integrity, moving it beyond its litigious dimension to an ethics of self, representation and identity. Mirror Theatre is an ongoing theatrical pedagogical research project that will examine a variety of issues, primarily those that relate to power and privilege.
 
In addition to performance scholarship with social issues theatre, I continue to publish articles and books that articulate such theatrical processes. I am under contract with Oxford University Press to write a book in their Understanding Qualitative Research series called Performance Genres. Presently, I am collecting written data by colleagues who employ performance arts-based research methodologies and will discuss how a variety of people define their process of data generation, interpretation and dissemination.
 
I am in the midst of untangling the variety of debates about quality arts in arts-based research. Using a medicine wheel format, I situate the debate in the four quadrants of pedagogy, poesis, public positioning, and politics. While this will be a short paper presented at he 2010 American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting, the amount of labor spent in identifying this complex and multifaceted issue has been massive.
 
My research interests are also at the meta-level as I explore epistemological and methodological issues in qualitative research. In addition to being a pioneer in the playbuilding genre, I have co-developed another research methodology called duoethnography. Written in a script format, readers witness two or more individuals examine and discuss their personal narratives of how they have come to believe and act in certain ways. Viewing their lives as curricula, the researchers retrace and reexamine their life experiences as teaching/learning moments. The script format disrupts the traditional meta-narrative of a single voice, moving the text to a dialogic form of representation as readers encounter differences in perspective among the researchers. A number of colleagues are using the methodology, including two doctoral students. Rick Sawyer, Darren Lund and I are under contract with Left Coast Press to write a edited book called Duoethnography: Promoting Personal and Societal Change in Dialogic Self-Study that will containchapters by those employing the methodology. Rick Sawyer and I are also under contract to write a methodological book with Oxford University Press’s Understanding Qualitative Research series called Duoethnography.
 
Work previously undertaken, research achievements or projects completed:
 
a) Advancement of Playbuilding/Applied Theatre as a Qualitative Research Methodology and a Pedagogical Prevention Strategy
My scholarship and research in the area of Playbuilding or Collective Creation span 25 years. As founder and artistic director of Mirror Theatre, I have employed a collaborative focus group approach that generated over 20 social issues plays. Many have been performed as school tours as well as academic performances at conferences as keynotes. My 2009 book is based upon my experiences with Mirror Theatre.
 
            Published
 
Norris, J. (2009). Playbuilding as qualitative research: A participatory arts-based approach. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.
Norris, J. (2008). Playbuilding. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (Vol. 2, pp. 630-633). Los Angeles: SAGE.
Norris, J. (2004). Shadows: Examining the power relationships in the field experience through audience participation theatre. Proceedings of the Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching, Edmonton.
R Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2001). What can we do?: A performance/workshop on bullying and managing anger. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Summer 2001. 111-128.
R Norris, J. (2000). Drama as research: Realizing the potential of drama in education as a research methodology. Youth Theatre Journal. 14, p. 40-51.
R Norris, J. (1999). Representations of violence in schools as co-created by cast and audiences during a theatre/drama in education program. In G. Malicky, B. Shapiro, & K. Masurek (Eds.), Building Foundations for Safe and Caring Schools: Research on Disruptive Behaviour and Violence. Edmonton: Duval House Publishing. p. 271-328.
R Norris, J. (1998). TIE/DIE: Listening to the voices of the audience. The National Association for Drama in Education Journal (Australia). 22, 1, p. 61-67.
 
Performed (Representative Sample)
 
Norris, J. & Mirror Theatre. (2010). (Director, co-author, actor, and joker). (Re)Productions. Opening performance for the Brock Center for Woman’s Studies: What Does Reproductive Choice Mean to You? St. Catharines, ON.
Norris, J., and Student Company. (2008). (Director co-author with Mount Saint Vincent graduate students). Let’s Make Time. Mount Saint Vincent University Summer Institute.
Norris, J. and Cast. (2007). (Director co-author with Ontario University Institute of Technology undergraduate students). Making meaning: The politics of knowledge construction. Keynote. The Teacher as Knowledge Creator Conference (Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education), Toronto, Ontario.
 Norris, J. and Cast. (2005). (Director co-author with Mount Saint Vincent graduate students). Warts or Beauty Marks? Keynote Performance, Atlantic Educators’ Conference. Antigonish, N.S.
Norris, J. and Cast. (2004). (Director and Actor with Ahmad, R.; Aswell-Doll, M.; Baker, B.; Pipan, R.; and White, R.). Reading power and replaying our lives: Exploring power relationships through the scripts of Megan Terry and David Mamet. Performance presented at the Annual Conference of The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Dayton, Ohio.
Norris, J. and Cast. (2004) (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company).   Shadowing. Keynote performance presented at the 2004 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. Edmonton: Alberta.
Norris, J. (2004). (Director co-author with elementary school students). Solving Problems. York Elementary School.
Norris, J. and Cast. (2003). (Director) Examining social issues through forum theatre. Invited presentation for the Theatre in Education Pre-conference of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. New York.
Norris, J. and Cast. (2003). Adams, J., Finley, S., Linden, M., Lefevre, D., Nelson, T., Joe Norris Ojaghi, R. (Director). Using Readers Theatre to tease out issues of interpretation and translation in qualitative research. Keynote performance presented at the Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference. Banff.
Norris, J. and (2002). (Director co-author with middle school students). Finally standing up. Gaiser Middle School - 5 performance/workshops
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2002). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). C5: Civility, Citizenship and Community Construction on Campus. Performance/Workshop for University Teaching Services, University of Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2001). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). Resolving conflict peacefully. Alberta Teachers’ Association and Lions Club International. Video
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2001). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Last Call… Your Call Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission’s YA program Launch. 3 communities.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2001). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Friends, Family and Foreigners. Five performance/workshops presented at the Expecting Respect Peer Educator Training sessions.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2001). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Home & School and Fair Play Rulz. Performance workshops presented over a two-year period as school tours and conference presentations.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2000). (Co-director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Discrimination. Performance/workshop for the Your Voice, Your Choice Youth Forum. Edmonton, Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2000). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). What’s the Use? Five performance/workshops presented at the Expecting Respect Peer Educator Training sessions.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2000). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). To the Movies. Performance presented at the Safe and Caring Communities Conference. Edmonton, Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2000). (Director, Actor). ReSearch: RePlay. Performance presented at the Qualitative Health Research Conference, Banff, Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2000). Coulda/Shoulda. (Director,MC, actor). Performance workshops presented over a five-year period as school tours and conference presentations.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (2000). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). Dealing with bullying. Alberta Teachers’ Association and Lions Club International. Video
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1999). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). Respecting diversity and preventing prejudice. Alberta Teachers’ Association and Lions Club International. Video
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1999). (Director, MC, actor). Under Construction II. Performance presented at the 1999 Conference for Safe and Caring Schools. Edmonton, Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre.(1999). (Director and Joker) Crossroads. Five performance/workshops presented at the Expecting Respect Peer Educator Training sessions.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1999). Risks (Co-director). Performance/Workshop. Drayton Valley, Alberta Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1999). (Director and Joker) Under Construction. A performance/workshops (four) presented at the Expecting Respect Peer Educator Training sessions and a nine-day school tour.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1998). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Complexities and Contradictions. Keynote Performance/Workshop presented for Western Canadian Conference on Human Sexuality.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1999) Yallery Brown (Director). Performance/Workshop. Drayton Valley, Alberta Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1998). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company).   One of these things is not like the other; One of these things just doesn't belongKeynote performance presented at the 1998 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. Victoria, British Columbia.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1997). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Shadows. Performance/Workshop presented for City of Edmonton, Community and Family Services, Peer Counseling Program (one junior and one senior high performance/workshop).
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1997). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). Beneath the Merchant of Venice. Performance/Workshop presented at Leduc High School. (one student show).
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1997). (Director, MC, actor and co-author with student company). What's the Fine Line? Keynote performance presented at the 1997 Conference for Safe and Caring Schools. Edmonton, Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1996). (Director and co-author with student company). Great Expectations III. Plenary Paper/Performance presented at the 1996 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. University of Saskatchewan: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1996). (Director and co-author with student company). Great Expectations II. Keynote Paper/Performance presented at the 1996 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. University of Saskatchewan: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1995). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). What's the Fine Line? Five Performance/Workshops presented at a number of schools and conferences over five years.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1995). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). 'clusions. Performance/Workshop presented at Austin O'Brien High School.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1995). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). If We Offend. Performance/Workshop presented during Education Week. University of Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1995). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). Great Expectations. Performance presented at the Annual Conference of The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Banff Centre for Conferences, Banff, Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1994). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). Rules of the Game. Performance/Workshop presented at International Week. University of Alberta.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1993). (Director, Actor and co-author with student company). Mirror/Mirror. Performance/Workshop presented for the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta's Equality and Respect day.
Norris, J. and Mirror Theatre. (1993). (Director and co-author with student company). The First Frontier. Paper/Performance presented at the 1993 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. University of British Columbia: Vancouver, British Columbia.
Norris, J. (1992). (Director and co-author with company No Spare Time). Paradise Lost. Paper/Performance presented at the 1992 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. University of Alberta: Edmonton, Alberta.
Norris, J. (1991). Snapshots of Playing Together. Paper/Performance presented at the 1991 Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching. University of Regina: Regina, Saskatchewan.
 
       b) Advancement of Arts-Based Research as a Qualitative Research Methodology
Through my own work and the encouragement of the work of others I have promoted the advancement of research methods to include other genres, predominantly arts-based. Within this genre, I have also published concept and research poems.
 
       Publications
 
R Norris, J. (2009). On the phenomenology of truth. Educational Insights. Retrieved from http://www.ccfi.educ.ubc.ca/publication/insights/v13n03/toc.html
Norris, J. (2008). Collage. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (Vol. 1, pp. 94-97). Los Angeles: SAGE.
R Norris, J. (2007). Dependence day. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. 4 (2), 6.
R Norris, J. and Buck, G. (2002). Guest Editor, Arts-based Research Special Issue, Alberta Journal of Educational Research. This is the only issue that had a CD of art included and the only issue ever reprinted, this time completely on CD.
Norris, J. (1993). Adulthood... lost Childhood ...found. Educational Action Research, 1(2), 255.
 
       Workshops
 
Norris, J. (2003). Arts based workshop. Four one-half day workshops presented at Research in Practice in Adult Literacy conference. St. John’s Newfoundland.
Norris, J. (2003/02/00). Arts-based workshop. Invited full day workshop presented at the Advances in Qualitative Methods Conferences. Edmonton and Banff.
 
c) The Use of the Arts and Drama in Teaching and Assessment
I also advocate drama as a learning medium and teach, provide numerous workshops and publish in this area.
R Norris, J. (2008). A quest for a theory and practice of authentic assessment: An arts based approach. LEARNing Landscapes, 2(1), 211-233.
Norris, J. (2001). Using drama in teaching language arts. In G. Tompkins, M. Pollard, R. Bright & P. Winsor (Eds.), Language arts: Content and teaching strategies (2nd Canadian Edition ed., pp. 284-321). Scarborough: Prentice-Hall.
Norris, J. (2001). Living citizenship through popular theatre, process drama and playbuilding. Canadian Social Studies, 35(3). Retrieved from http://www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css/Css_35_3/ARliving_citizenship.htm
Norris, J. (1998). Creative drama as adult's work. In B. J. Wagner (Ed.) Building moral communities through drama. Stamford, CT: Ablex Publishing Corporation. p. 211-230.
Norris, J. (1995). The use of drama in teacher education: A call for embodied learning. In B. Warren (Ed.) Creating a theater in your classroom. North York, Ontario: Captus University Publications. p. 279-305.
R Norris, J. (1995). Response-able guided imagery. Stage of the Art. 7, 4, p. 4 - 9.
 
       d) Advancement of Duoethnography as a Qualitative Research Methodology
Since 2002 I have been extensively involved in promoting duoethnography within the qualitative research community. In addition to the articles and chapters, I have arranged a number of panel presentations with other duoethnographers, all of which were refereed submissions. I have also given workshops on the methodology:
 
Publications
 
Sawyer, R., & Norris, J. (2009). Duoethnography: Articulations/(re)creation of meaning in the making. In W. Gershon (Ed.), Working together in qualitative research: A turn towards the collaborative (pp. 127-140). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, B.V.
Norris, J. (2008). Duoethnography. In L. M. Given (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods (Vol. 1, pp. 233-236). Los Angeles: SAGE.
R Sawyer, R., & Norris, J. (2004). Null and hidden curricula of sexual orientation: A dialogue on the curreres of the absent presence and the present absence. In L. Coia, M. Birch, N. J. Brooks, E. Heilman, S. Mayer, A. Mountain & P. Pritchard (Eds.), Democratic responses in an era of standardization (p. 139-159). Troy, NY.
 
            Workshops and Papers Presented
 
Norris, J. and Sawyer, R. (2008). Duoethnography. Workshop presented at the Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference. Banff
Norris, J. (2005.) From Autoethnography To Duoethnography: A Search For The Dialogic Self. One-half day workshop presented at Enhancing Qualitative Understanding of Illness Processes and Prevention. Edmonton.
R Norris, J. (2009). Duoethnography’ s emergent methodology.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Diego.
R Norris, J. (2009). The curriculum of sexual orientation.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Diego
R Norris, J. and Greenlaw, J. (2009). The curriculum of writing.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Diego
R Norris, J. and Sawyer, R. (2008). Duoethnography: Towards a dialogic research method. Full day workshop presented at the 9th Annual Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference, Banff.
R Norris, J. and Sawyer, R. (2008). Duoethnography’s tenets. Paper presented at the 9th Annual Advances in Qualitative Methods Conference, Banff.
R Norris, J. and Sawyer, R. (2008). An articulation of the emergent tenants of a dialogic and pedagogic curriculum research methodology.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, New York.
R Norris, J., Sawyer, R., McDermott, M., Shelton, R. Creswell, J., and Ligget, T. (2007). Duoethnographies: Towards the dialogic and critical engagement for a transformative curriculum. Panel of papers presented at the Curriculum and Pedagogy Conference: Balcones Springs, Texas.
 
e) Use of Case Narrative in Teacher Education
A precursor to my work with duoethnography was with the case narrative method. In addition to the book using case narrative with student teachers, a text that is used worldwide and in its second printing, a number of juried publications have come from this research.
Norris, J., McCammon, L. & Miller, C. (2000/2006). Learning to teach drama: A case narrative approach. Portsmouth: Heinemann. p. 122.
R Miller, C., Norris, J. & McCammon, L. (1999) Conversations on the use of case narratives in drama methods classes: A collaborative reflective journey. Journal of Professional Studies. 7, 1, p. 11-19.
R Norris, J. (1999). Emergent issues in qualitative research and teacher professional development. Youth Theatre Journal. 13, p. 46-56.
R McCammon, L., Norris, J. & Miller, C. (1999). Telling our stories, Teaching ourselves. The National Association for Drama in Education Journal (Australia). 23, 2, p. 101-110.
R McCammon, L., Miller, C., and Norris, J. (1999). Using case narratives in drama education to make learning and teaching real. Arts and Learning Research. 15, 1, p. 52-72.
R McCammon, L., Miller, C. and Norris, J. (1999). Preservice drama teachers as researchers: Using case development and analysis to promote the practice of research of research and the research of practice. In C. Miller & J. Saxton (Eds.) Drama and Theatre in Education: International Conversations. Victoria: International Drama in Education Research Institute. P. 40-46.
 
 
Research Grants held (including dates) and Research Awards or Honours:
 
            Grants

Brock University Advancement Fund (BUAF) Special Purpose Grant, $1500

St. Francis Xavier - University Research, Publications and Teaching Awards
            2005 - $2300
            2007 - $2400
            2009 - $2300
Fund for the Support of International Development Activities (CIDA)
            2001/02 - $10,000 (Support for Graduate Student Research, Oliver Kamau)
Community University Research Alliance (Letter of Intent Stage)
            1999- $5000.00
Emil Skarin Fund – University of Alberta
            1999 - $6,450
Support for the Advancement of Scholarship Fund (University of Alberta)
            1998 - $4000 (Case Narratives)
            1998 - $4000 (Image, Gesture, Sound)
Employment Equity Discretionary Fund (University of Alberta)
            1998 - $1955
Alberta Education: Research into Serious Learning Disruptive Behaviour
            1996 - $1770
Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada
            1988/899 - $12,230 (Doctoral Fellowship)
 
            Awards
2010    Brock University Best Practice Recognition Award 
2002    Finalist Research Award
            American Alliance for Theatre in Education
2001    Mirror Theatre (as Artistic Director)
            City of Edmonton Youth Council
            Youth Investment Award for Community Organizations Promoting Youth
1999    Premier’s Award of Excellence – Honorable mention for work done with Safe and Caring Schools Project (Province of Alberta)
1998    Undergraduate Teaching Award
            Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
1990    Honorable Mention - Outstanding Scholarly Research
            American Alliance for Theatre and Education
1986    Education Quality Award for innovative curriculum development
            Nova Scotia Teachers' Union
 
Areas of Research Interest (in brief):
 
Methodologies: Playbuilding/Ethnodrama, Duoethnography, Arts-based Research, Action Research, and Qualitative Research
 
Content: Safe and caring Schools, Issues of Power and Privilege, Bullying, Prejudice, Body Image, Substance Abuse, Human Sexuality, and Drama as a Way of Knowing, Doing, and Being