Devora Neumark

Faculty, MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts
Residency Site: Port Townsend WA

Email
Devora.Neumark@goddard.edu

Biography

Devora Neumark, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher, educator, community-engaged practitioner and frequent lecturer. Neumark has been teaching in the Goddard College MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program since July 2003. She also serves as the Development and Funding Adviser to the First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec. Her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada-funded research-creation PhD titled Radical Beauty for Troubled Times: Involuntary Displacement and the (Un)Making of Home (Concordia University, 2013) was an inquiry into the relationship between the traumas associated with forced dislocation and the deliberate beautification of home. More recently Neumark, who has long been involved with live art and dialogic performance events, has been putting her attention to developing one body of work focused on wellness and the cultivation of joy as radical practice and another body of work centered on climate justice.

Education

PhD in Humanities (Fine Arts), Concordia University, Montreal
BFA with Distinction, Concordia University, Montreal

Areas of Expertise

  • Live art and community performance
  • Dialogic art practice
  • Women, prison and art;
  • New genre public art
  • Trauma theory and intergenerational healing
  • Migratory aesthetics
  • Displacement
  • Ethics
  • Community strategic planning and policy development
  • Social economy
  • First Nations education, employment and economic development in Quebec
  • Impact Benefit Agreements
  • Indigenous cultures and artistic praxis in Quebec and Canada
  • Queer theory
  • Storytelling
  • Third Realm beauty
  • Progressive education
  • Conflict resolution
  • Systems analysis
  • Anti-poverty initiatives
  • Climate justice

Personal Statement

“If you have come to help me, you’re wasting your time but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” It is simpler to attribute this quote to the Australian Aborigine Educator and Activist Lila Watson, which is most often what happens, than to take the time and effort to explain how this phrase was actually born of a collective process. In the 1970s an Aboriginal rights group in Queensland authored this statement for some of the printed literature they had produced as part of their organizing efforts (see: “The Power of Collaboration” by Bob White in Affirming Collaboration: Community and Humanist Activist Art in Quebec and Elsewhere, co-edited by Neumark, Chagnon and Lachapelle, p. 319. http://devoraneumark.com/works/affirming-collaboration/).

At the core of my teaching philosophy is a commitment to this kind of reciprocal relationship wherein faculty and students are co-learners and co-change makers. I think that an arts education has great emancipatory potential, particularly so when students are encouraged and supported to be active in their own learning. Working together, academic institutions and their faculty can promote a learning environment that fosters ethical engagement and grounded praxis. I aim to meet students where they are and to engage each one in a critical reflection about the world in which they live at the local, national and global levels. I aim to encourage students to see themselves as change makers in the intellectual, artistic, cultural and socio-political arenas: a complex world where research-creation has both great potential and significant consequences. I believe that the role of artists and educators is not to “help” communities and their members, but rather to participate in a dialogic process aimed at generating individual and collaborative insights leading to a kinder and more equitable, responsible, empathic and compassionate world; a world that is anti-racist and committed to climate justice and ensuring healthy ecosystems for generations to come.

Visit my website: www.devoraneumark.com