jennifer wicks

Department of Art Education
Concordia University

Speech Title : “Creative Practice as Reflexivity in Action”

Jennifer Wicks is a PhD candidate in Art Education at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Informed and influenced by her multi-disciplinary art and teaching practice, Jennifer uses collaborative and art-based methodologies in the realm of post qualitative inquiry. She is currently exploring curriculum development, transnational collaborations, new materiality, a/r/tography, and pedagogical approaches and the multi-sensory to better understand impacts on learning and creative development in teachers, students, researchers and artists.

aileen pugliese castro

Senior Lecturer, Department of Art Education
Concordia University,

Speech Title: “Seeing beyond what we see”: The role picture book illustrators play in the development of a child’s imagination

Aileen Pugliese Castro, MAT, is Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator of the BFA Specialization in the Department of Art Education at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she is a doctoral student. Her current research investigates the intersection of young children’s imagination and picture books. Over the past 25 years as early childhood, elementary, and university art educator, her writing and research have been featured in numerous books and articles. She has presented at multiple national and international conferences sharing her work as a visual art educator, teacher trainer, and researcher. Aileen is also a practicing watercolor painter who has exhibited her paintings across North America.


Professor Steven J Zani

American University of Ras al Khaimah,
United Arab Emirates.

Speech Title :Romanticism, Modernism, and the History of Imaginative Expression in the West: “I’m no Art Critic, But I Know What I Hate.” ”

Professor Steven J Zani is the Dean of the Office of Academic Support Services at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, in the United Arab Emirates.  A recognized teacher, scholar and administrator, he has served as department chair, a director of faculty development and first year experience programs, and in multiple dean roles, currently specializing in Academic Support and Globalization.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English, philosophy, and French from the University of South Alabama in 1992, a Master of Arts in philosophy from Binghamton University in 1997 and a doctorate degree in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University in 1999.

As a Comparative Literature scholar, his teaching and research ranges over multiple fields, from Gothic Romanticism to Philosophy, from Hermeneutics to Linguistics, from traditional scholarship in 19th century poetry, to cutting edge studies in contemporary film, postmodernism, and popular culture. His teaching experience is diverse, with work in private universities, faith-based institutions, government and state universities, as well as instruction to inmates in American prison systems. Writing about angels, zombies, poets, girl detectives, the Bible and more, Dr. Zani has given over 50 scholarly presentations, including work on American and Latin American literature, European literature, and Asian and Islamic literature, with interdisciplinary work including lectures on Psychoanalysis and Film at Yale University, on Cybersecurity and Social Engineering at the world-leading DEFCON computer conference, and he has an international book on freshman composition as well as numerous articles and book chapters in national and international publications.

Prof. Golam Sarwar Chowdhury

Notre Dame University,


Golam  Sarwar Chowdhury is at present Professor, Department of English and Humanities, Notre Dame University, Bangladesh. Before which he worked at Department of English and Humanities, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) and the British Council Teaching Center, Dhaka, in various capacities including Instructor of English as a Second Language and Training Consultant.  Before moving to British Council in 2004 he was Professor and Chair, Department of English, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Professor Chowdhury began his academic career at Chittagong University, Bangladesh, as Lecturer, Department of English in August 1981.

 Prof. Golam  Sarwar Chowdhury received his B.A. (Honours) and MA in English from Chittagong University; MA in Studies in Literature from The University of Texas at Dallas (Two-year Research Program) in 1990.  Thereafter, completed Doctoral course work between 1990 and 1992 from the same University.

Prof. Golam  Sarwar Chowdhury has won Vice Chancellor’s Award for Contribution to Teaching and Learning at ULAB: 2014; Fulbright, Salzburg and Nippon Fellowships.  Chancellor’s Gold Medal for Proficiency in English as a student: Chittagong University. He has attended more than 30 international conferences in Asia, Europe and America.

His research interests are Modern American theatre; 19th. Century American Literature;  19th and 20th Century American Novel; Diaspora Writing; Postmodern and Postcolonial Studies; South Asian Writings in English; Sociolinguistics; English Language Teaching (ELT).

gabriela pérez-acosta

Faculty of Music
National Autonomous University of Mexico,

Speech Title: “What can neuroscience tell us about musical imagination?”

Professional musician, educator and researcher. Born in Mexico City, Mexico, she obtained with honors a major degree in Piano Performance and continued her studies in L’École Normale de Musique de Paris/Alfred Cortot (Paris, France). As a pianist she has performed as soloist and in Chamber Music ensembles in Mexico, France, Cuba, Spain and the USA. Since 2010 she has been performing as a duo with Rebeca Samaniego, a Mexican mezzo-soprano.

In 2008 she obtained her Masters degree in Music Cognition. As a researcher, her main field of interest has been neural activity related to music/auditory imagery and its possible effect on the auditory peripheral system. More recently she has been also working on a research related to how musicians make use of music imagery and other types of mental representation in their performance practice. She has participated in several Conferences, Symposia and Congress related to Music Cognition and Systematic Musicology in Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Finland, Greece, Israel, England and Finland.

From 2011 to 2014, she was appointed Dean of Faculty of the Faculty of Music at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where also since 2016 has been academic coordinator of the Music and Science seminar. From 2015 to 2017 she held a research position at the National Centre for Music Research, Documentation and Information CENIDIM and is now pursuing her PhD in music cognition.

She is a full-time associate professor at the Faculty of Music of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, teaching music theory/ear training, research methods, psychoacoustics, and different topics related to music cognition and cognitive neuroscience of music. Her ultimate goal is to address the problem of music imagery from three different perspectives: neuroscience, cognition and phenomenology.