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CALL FOR PAPERS Meeting Points: Imagination and Spaces for Social Change


August 26-27, 2019, 
Saint Paul University


Meeting Points: Imagination and Spaces for Social Change is an interdisciplinary conference aiming to create opportunities for meaningful exchanges between academics, practitioners and the community. Creative solutions involving multiple stakeholders are needed today to respond to growing tensions in communities and social constituencies around issues such as inclusion, representation and sustainable engagement with "the commons" (Sabbagh and Schmitt, 2016).

Bridging reflection and action to design creative solutions calls for holistic worldviews, engaged leadership and a platform to learn from experiences. The objective of this conference is to offer such a platform. We therefore invite contributions on imagination and spaces that help inform the possibilities for creative engagement and meaningful connections leading to constructive social change. We particularly welcome contributions that address the following themes:

Imagination and Social Change

  • Cultivating imagination: dimensions of the individual and collective imagination; the role of education in cultivating these imaginations; barriers to imagination and stalled development.
  • Understanding imagination: moral dimensions of the imagination; imagination and spiritual experiences; imagination, mind and body; power and imagination.
  • Being responsible with imagination: dynamics of imagination, creativity and innovation; role of imagination in sustainability; responsible leadership and imaginative practice.

Spaces and Social Change

  • Listening to spaces: dynamics of particular social and/or political spaces; social movements and protest space; potentialities in sonic spaces.
  • Improvising spaces: spaces and improvised practices; the role of disruption and risk in building social connections; space and the creative process; boundaries and shifting spaces.
  • Resonating with spaces: conscious presence in shared spaces; holistic approaches to "the commons"; spaces for collective leadership and transformation.

In the spirit of creative interdisciplinarity, sessions will include both paper presentations and experiential, participatory workshops. The conference will also dedicate time and a shared space for collective brainstorming informed by the themes of imagination and spaces, as well as by the insight emerging from the sessions.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Alexandra Fidyk, University of Alberta

Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, University of Guelph

Martin Rutte, Project Heaven on Earth

Dr. Jesse Stewart, Carleton University


Download the Call for Papers 


Submission Guidelines

Paper presentations

Paper presentation sessions will allocate 15 minutes to each presenter followed by a Q&A with participants. Presenters can use PowerPoint, a poster format or other creative formats (please contact the organizers for specific details on possible formats).

Submit an abstract (500 words excluding references) indicating clearly how your paper connects with the themes of the conference outlined above.

Experiential workshops

Experiential workshops are designed to enable participants to explore dimensions of imaginative and creative practices and thus gain insight into the intrinsic connections between reflection and action. Academics, practitioners and community members are all social agents whose inner lives are major contributors to constructive social change. These participatory sessions provide opportunities to understand differently and more intimately some of the practices we teach, research and advocate for. The capability to step outside of the habitual to enter a new imaginative space opens new possibilities and new learning.

Workshops consist of 90-minute sessions and must be designed around exploratory and embodied processes. They need to incorporate an aspect of space and imagination and be grounded in a reflection on social and/or community dynamics. They may be built around a variety of outputs (e.g., artefact making, improvisation exercises, meditative explorations, sonic experiences).

Submit an outline of the proposed workshop (approximately 1,000 words, excluding references) explaining the purpose and sequence of activities, the expected outputs (including material required, if any), any limitations or special considerations for participants, as well as how your proposal addresses the themes of the conference outlined above. 

Submission Deadline

Email your proposal to by April 15, 2019. Please include ‘Meeting Points Conference’ in the subject line of your email.

We will confirm acceptance or otherwise by May 15, 2019.  

Registration Information

Registration will open on May 15, 2019, until August 12, 2019. Registration and payment of fees is completed online and details will be posted on this page in due course.

Three graduate student bursaries covering the registration fees are available. To be considered for a bursary, graduate students need to submit a one-page cover letter alongside their paper or workshop proposal outlining their current position and research project, and explaining why they believe attending this conference will help them in their research.

Accommodation and Travel Information

The conference is hosted by the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. Situated in the Old Ottawa East area of the city (223 Main Street), the campus is accessible by bus from downtown (Rideau Centre: Route 5 towards Billings Bridge, Paid parking is available on site or nearby.

Accommodation needs to be arranged by participants separately. We will post further information on hotels or other arrangements soon.

Conference Organizers

For questions regarding the conference, email the organizers:

Dr. Cécile Rozuel                      

Dr. Lauren Michelle Levesque  


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