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Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston's book Staging Strife wins two awards
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Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, an assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of Anthropology, is co-winner of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry’s 2011 Qualitative Book Award for Staging Strife: Lessons from Performing Ethnography with Polish Roma Women (McGill-Queen’s University Press).
The International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry is located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Qualitative Book Award is awarded annually to a member of the qualitative and ethnographic community who has published a book that best represents a major contribution to qualitative inquiry.
Concerned with traditional power imbalances between researchers and participants, contemporary social science scholars have begun using collaborative research as an empowering methodology that involves participants in key decisions.
“Collaboration is a buzzword in academia right now,” said Kazubowski-Houston, whose book explores the limits of this methodology by examining a politically charged theatre performance undertaken with a group of Roma women in Poland.
“It’s a candid look at anthropological research methods, political theatre and advocacy, and the challenges and benefits of collaborative and performance-centred ethnography,” she said.
In the book, Kazubowski-Houston describes a production she co-wrote and co-directed using collaborative methods. She hoped it would result in more equitable research and raise community awareness about the violence and racism Roma women face. Instead, she found herself embroiled in ethically difficult power games in order to salvage the production.
Kazubowski-Houston says Staging Strife is the result of a painful reexamination of the experience and a long-overdue critique of collaborative research.
Kazubowski-Houston will be presented with the award at the annual meeting of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in May 2011.
Kazubowski-Houston is also co-winner of the Ann Saddlemyer Outstanding Book Award for Staging Strife. The Ann Saddlemyer Book Award on Canadian Drama and Theatre honours scholarly works of significant merit in an area of Canadian theatre research. It is awarded annually by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR/ACRT). The award will be formally announced at the CATR/ACRT annual conference to be held at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in Fredericton May, 2011.