The Culture & Crisis Collective


The Culture and Crisis Collective is a small group of Carleton scholars committed to exploring and discussing the role of expressive culture as it responds to contemporary social crises. In our research and teaching, as well as our collaborative work, we ask the following questions: What strategies have cultural producers—photographers and designers, writers and curators, musicians and filmmakers—devised in response to war, forced dislocation, racial terror, poverty, climate emergency? How does culture articulate and make visible complex, often overlapping social, cultural, and economic crises which demand change on a vast scale and are often difficult to fully understand? How can educators synthesize and address the unending barrage of crisis narratives that compete for our students’ sustained action and attention? And finally, is the rhetoric of "crisis," routinely employed by scholars of socially engaged art, useful? Or, is it a barrier to sustained structural analysis?












Chichi Ayalogu is a PhD student in Cultural Mediations (Visual Culture) at Carleton University. Her work on the Nigerian-Biafran war investigates the visual politics of humanitarian consumption. She recontextualizes the poverty images produced during the conflict, arguing that their emphasis on the malnourishment and suffering of black children substantiate negative and invalid ideas of a homogenous and benighted black Africa.








Veronika Kratz is a PhD Candidate in English Literature at Carleton University in Ottawa. Her dissertation project investigates US cultural narratives of desert transformation from the 1930s Dust Bowl to the contemporary moment. Her research focuses on the ways that environmental crisis is understood and utilized via pervasive cultural narratives – in the case of aridity, to necessitate political, ecological and industrial transformations in dry land systems. Her work on American environmentalist writer Rachel Carson has recently appeared in the edited collection Silver Linings: Clouds in Art and Science.










Franny Nudelman is a teacher and scholar who works at Carleton University in Ottawa. She has published widely on culture and crisis, with a focus on cultural responses to war and peace, and regularly teaches courses on this subject. Her most recent book, Fighting Sleep: The War for the Mind and the US Military, considers the role of sleep states in theorizing war trauma and war resistance after WWII, and she is co-editor (with Sara Blair and Joseph Entin) of Remaking Reality: US Documentary Culture After 1945. 




Kelsey Perreault is a PhD student in Cultural Mediations at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture (Carleton University, Ottawa). She holds a BA and MA in Art History from Western University (London, Ontario). She specializes in research on critical museology, difficult knowledge, memory studies, contemporary art, and art activism. She has also done work in curating, research, and archiving within Canadian museum institutions. Currently, her research focuses on art activism and social movement visual culture to critique the Western Art History canon through theories of intersectional pedagogy, and difficult knowledge.


















Meghan Tibbits-Lamirande is a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at Carleton University. Her research investigates the relationship between radical documentary films and extreme protest performances against the US War in Vietnam, such as armed struggle, armed propaganda, and self-immolation. Her critical theorization of documentary practice suggests that such actions imagined a model for documentary that did not rely on state-sanctioned, biopolitical forms of selfhood to assert its knowledge claims. Her work on Sto:lo author and activist Lee Maracle has recently appeared in the journal Studies in Canadian Literature.