Short-Term Research Fellowships: Performing the Canadian Jewish Archive

Miranda Crowdus Discussion
June 30, 2022
Quebec, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Jewish History / Studies, Music and Music History, Religious Studies and Theology, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, Archival Science


Performing the Canadian Jewish Archive

Short-Term Research Fellowships – Fall or Winter Semester 2022-2023

Administered by Prof. Miranda Crowdus, Director of the Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies and incumbent of the Endowed Research Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies


Project description:

Applications are invited for participation in the “Performing the Canadian Jewish Archive” project, an ongoing initiative under the aegis of the Endowed Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies at Concordia University. The goal of the project is to generate an ongoing series of critical research and creative projects from a range of disciplines that will: (1) utilize archival resources from a wide variety of current and original angles and approaches; (2) contribute to the breadth of critical scholarship investigating the Jewish-Canadian experience; and, (3) stimulate innovative interdisciplinary and creative engagement with archival resources to transform them into active agents of cultural production.

The scope of potential critical research and/or creative projects is broad; those involving multi- or interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.  Successful applicants will work independently on projects that directly utilize the holdings of the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives, whether as objects of research or creative inspiration. A successful project must engage in the process of, in some way, “animating” an archival holding so that it, and the aspects of culture and history it represents, become visible, tangible and currently relevant.  The “performance” aspect of the project need not be performance in the conventional sense, but indicates the requirement of critical or creative reflection on this process of animation. 

Projects can take the form of a range of critical research and creative projects, for instance:  (1) the transformation of archival documents into a theatrical script; (2) an electro-acoustic musical composition, utilizing recorded archival sound; (3) the rearrangement of archived cantorial or other sheet music; (4) the creation of an audio-visual installation from photographs and written and recorded word; (5) an annotated family tree or genealogy using archival documents; or even, (6) a critical or creative reflection on individuals and groups whose presence has been excluded from the archive (7) traditional historical studies of archival documents will also be considered provided they include some sort of transformation process, such as a public talk based on the research.

The subject of critical or creative engagement can extend beyond the boundaries of the archive proper, provided that the project is stimulated by it in some way.  For instance, the project could focus on: (1) as yet unarchived materials that should form part of its holdings; (2) ethnographic or auto-ethnographic experiences relating to the archive; (3) critical reflections on the theoretical identity and meaning of “the archive” in general and the “Jewish-Canadian archive” in particular; (4), the geo-spatial and demographic habitus embedded in the archive.  



Duration, responsibilities, and institutional support:

  • The fellowship is awarded as a flat rate of $7000 to support recipients and defray any costs associated with research.
  • Support for the project will be maintained for one academic semester and will involve 15 hours of work per week over the course of the semester from 1 September 2022 – 7 December 2022.  The total amount of $7000 will be granted in two installments over the semester, the first installment at the start of the project in the amount of $3000 and the second installment at the start of November 2022 in the amount of $4000 (the winter semester will have similar corresponding dates).
  • The recipient will be able to access sources at the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies and have access to photocopying at the institute. A workspace can also be arranged if needed.
  • The award is stand-alone, but in some instances the director will consider renewing the funding for another semester which will require a second application
  • Participants will present their findings in the format of a small public talk or conference presentation during or shortly after their incumbency and also be prepared to give one lecture in a class (where relevant/applicable) as part of the fellowship program.
  • Fellowship recipients should submit a report to Prof. Miranda Crowdus, every month to report on the progress of their project.
  • Projects should be in English or French


Application process:

Please send the following documents to, cc to with Jewish Archive in the subject line by the 30th of June 2022:

  • an abstract of your proposed project, NO LONGER THAN TWO PAGES clearly outlining: (1) a description of the project; (2) its goals; (3) the precise materials to be used from the Canadian Jewish Archive; (4) a detailed timeline for its completion; and, (5) if relevant, how this project fits into a larger research or creative initiative
  • An up-to-date academic C.V.
  • A personal statement of no more than one paragraph indicating your particular interest in participating in this project


Applicant requirements:

  • Applicants must be Canadian or have the right to work in Canada before applying for the fellowship.
  • In the interest of equity and inclusion, applicants without a formal academic doctoral degree, but who have other qualifications (for instance, an MFA or other non-doctoral terminal degree), expertise and/or experience that would generate a successful project, are warmly invited to apply.
  • All research must comply with current copyright and fair use regulations including rules relating to the use of materials from the archive, and gain research ethics approval (where applicable, e.g. research involving human participants).
  • Recipients should be resident in Montreal or the surrounding area for most of the duration of the fellowship.
  • The project can comprise part of a greater research or creative project, but must be sufficiently self-contained in its own right to ensure completion over the course of one academic semester.

Please contact Prof. Miranda Crowdus for more details at


Link to the website of the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives:

Canadian Jewish Archives - Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives (