dr. shoshannah bryn jones square

Ph.D., Oxford, Activist and Interdisciplinary Instructor,

Bryn received her PhD in English literature (British Romanticism) from the University of Oxford (UK) in 2017, after which she worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English at the University of Manitoba (CA) and received a Research Affiliateship with the UM’s Institute for the Humanities, a body that celebrates and advocates for cross-disciplinary research. Between September 2019 and December 2020, she worked as an Instructor in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and then as an Interdisciplinary Instructor and as an ARTS-3000 Contract Instructor. She is a member of The Social Justice Centre and of KPU’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and its Arts Antiracism Committee and seeks to connect higher education to social justice and activism. Bryn is currently organizing an International Fall Forum (virtual), “Redesigning Our World,” with a group of students, academics, artists, and community members—the forum will be held from September 10 to 14, 2021. Bryn has had articles published in Essays in Romanticism and Studies in the Literary Imagination, and she is currently co-authoring a chapter with Dr. Carol-Ann Farkas (MCPHS University) for The Routledge Handbook of Health and Media—“Climate Health is Human Health: Working Through Eco-Anxiety with the Written Word in Print and Digital Media”—to be published in 2021, and co-editing, with Dr. Katelyn Dykstra, a collected volume, Intersex and the Health and Medical Humanities, to be published by Bloomsbury Publishing in 2021. She recently presented a paper, “Making Waves: Ripples of Consciousness in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” at “The Science of Consciousness Conference” (virtual). This paper is part of a larger project, “Books, Brains, and Benevolence: An Interdisciplinary Study of Empathy,” which advocates for a radical shift from a self-focused to an other-focused society and for a renewed awareness of how intimately connected we are to one another and to our environment. Indigenous ways of knowing and being are fundamental to this change. Bryn adores connecting and teaching, and she is constantly learning from her brilliant students—they are going to save the world! You can check out some of her writing and interviews on her website.

Plenary Speaker

dr. shoshannah bryn jones square
Prof. Valerie Ross

Director, Centre for Intercultural Musicology at Churchill College,
University of Cambridge, UK.
Member, Faculty of Music, Universiti Teknologi MARA


Professor Valerie Ross, PhD, is an accomplished composer-researcher with works performed in major cities in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Her music has been premiered at various festivals including the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, International Rostrum of Composers, Darmstadt International Institute for New Music and the International Society for Contemporary (ISCM) Music World Music Days in Warsaw, Stockholm and Essen. She has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, Japan Foundation and Commonwealth Foundation. Professor Ross is the Director of the Centre for Intercultural Musicology at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. She is also a visiting professor at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, Beijing. Prof. Valerie is a member of the Faculty of Music, University Teknologi MARA.

Dr Ross conducts transdisciplinary SCI-ARTS research collaborating with experts in the fields of electrical engineering (EEG studies), optometry science (eye-motion tracking) and occupational therapy (sensory integration). She is currently involved in a randomized clinical trial using bespoke music and narration for postoperative cardiac surgery patients at the Medical Specialist Centre, Universiti Teknologi MARA. Her publications include  ‘Bespoke Music-Narration for Mental Health using Progressive Muscle Relaxation in COVID-19 Times’, International Journal of Service Management and Sustainability (2020); ‘Nature’s Way of Healing’, GADING Journal of Science and Technology (2019); ‘Translational Research in Music’, International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Science Studies (2018); ‘Music in Painting: Painting in Music’, Idealogy Journal (2018); ‘Translating Intercultural Creativities in Community Music’, Oxford Handbook of Community Music (2018);  ‘Framing  Intercultural Music Composition Research’,  Routledge International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research (2016); ‘Music Intervention in Eye-Motion Tracking of Children with Autism’, Academic Journal of Science (2015); ‘Pursuit position gain, fixation duration and saccadic gain with music intervention in eye motion tracking’, SAI Intelligent Systems (2015); ‘Stimulating the Brain through Auditory Entrainment’, Sustainability in Music and the Performing Arts, UPSI (2014); ‘Violinists playing with and without music notation during performance: Investigating hemispheric brainwave activity‘, Intelligent Systems for Science and Information, Springer (2013).

prof mette hjort
Prof. Mette Hjort

Dean of Arts & Chair Professor of Humanities,
Department of Humanities and Creative,
Faculty of Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University,
Hong Kong.

Professor Hjort’s research spans the fields of literary studies, theatre studies, philosophy, and film and media studies. Much of her research has focused on the cinemas of small nations, with an emphasis on practitioner’s agency, creativity under constraint, gift culture, talent development, transnational collaboration, and artistic projects as alternatives or complements to cultural policy. Current research interests include moving images in the context of health and well-being, the ethics of image-based biographical fiction, and environmental aesthetics and green filmmaking.

Professor Hjort obtained her bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Theatre, and Film and Communications and master’s degree in Communications from McGill University, and her PhD in History and Civilizations from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Transnational Cinema Studies by Aalborg University in Denmark in 2017. Previous positions include Professor of Film Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Professor II of Arts and Media Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Associate Vice President (Academic Quality Assurance and Internationalisation) and Chair Professor of Visual Studies at Lingnan University, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature (and Head of Department) at Hong Kong University, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Aalborg University, and Associate Professor of Film and Communications (and Programme Director) at McGill University. Professor Hjort has held visiting professorships at St Andrews University and University College London, and has also taught at Fudan University. She is an Affiliate Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. A founding fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, Professor Hjort has served on the University Grants Committee (appointed by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive) and on the Board of the Danish Film Institute (appointed by the Danish Minister of Culture). Professor Hjort’s community engagement includes projects with FilmLab: Palestine and with the alternative film school, IMAGINE, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.