Kelsey holds a BA in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia, an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, and an MA in Theatre Studies from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a PhD Candidate in English with an emphasis in Performance Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Alongside Claire Robson and Jenn Marchbank, Kelsey is the co-editor of Basically Queer: An Intergenerational Introduction to LGBTQA2S+ Lives published by Peter Lang in 2017. Her scholarly articles have appeared in academic journals, including: The Canadian Theatre Review, Studies in Musical Theatre, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, and The International Journal of Sport History.
In addition to scholarly publication, Kelsey applies and disseminates her research as a theatre and sport practitioner. She is the lead artist of numerous community based theatre and performance projects, the coach of girls’ and women’s basketball teams, a board member for New World Theatre and Basketball British Columbia, and a public speaker who gives talks at elementary and high schools across Vancouver’s Lower Mainland. For a list of recent projects, see: Applied Theatre & Sport
She is also a sessional instructor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2019 Canadian Association of Theatre Research, and a graduate fellow at Simon Fraser’s Institute for Performance Studies. Her studies are generously supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarship.
Selected Books & Articles:
Basically Queer offers an introduction to what it can look and feel like to live life as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, two spirited and trans. Written by youth and elders who’ve lived these lives first hand, the book combines no-nonsense explanations, definitions, and information with engaging stories and poetry that bring them to life. Basically Queer answers those questions that many want to ask but fear will give offence: What is it really like to be queer? What’s appropriate language? How can I be an ally? It also provides a succinct and readable account of queer history and legal rights worldwide, addresses intergenerational issues, and offers some tips and tricks for living queer. It does so in an easy and conversational style that will be accessible to most readers, including teens. The text will be of interest to those teaching courses in gender, sexuality, queer and women’s studies. It will be a useful resource for those who are questioning or examining their sexual or gender identities and those who are in relationship with them, such as doctors, teachers, parents, or friends.
The 2012 Olympic Badminton Scandal: Match-Fixing, Code of Conduct Documents, and Women’s Sport (Peer Reviewed)
At the 2012 Olympic Games, eight badminton players were disqualified from the women’s doubles tournament for intentionally losing matches in the group stage. The incident marks the largest mass disqualification of athletes from multiple countries for match-fixing at the Olympic Games in the twenty-first century. Significantly, it is also the first time that female athletes have been disqualified from a Summer Olympic Games for match-fixing not related to betting or gambling. This essay weaves together two interdependent arguments. First, it is suggested that the incident can be understood through the lens of three separate but interconnected issues: the history of match-fixing, the growth of code of conduct documents in sports, and the regulation of women’s bodies in sports. Second, it is argued that the athletes’ gender is a critical element of the incident. The primary aims of the article are to position the 2012 badminton sandal as a key moment in the history of match-fixing and to suggest that the incident is important for future research and policy creation.
‘Memory in Two Voices:’ An Aesthetics of Care in Performance Groups for Older Adults (Peer Reviewed)
This short essay uses James Thompson’s aesthetics of care to examine “Memory in Two Voices,” a multi-vocal poetry performance about dementia by lesbian partners Chris Morrissey and Bridget Coll. Noting how Chris and Bridget’s multi-year tenure in the Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elder (Quirk-e), an arts and performance group based in Vancouver, Canada, gave the women the emotional and artistic resources to respond to Bridget’s dementia diagnosis, I suggest that an aesthetics of care can be beneficial in long-term arts and performance groups for older adults and seniors.
Screen and Roll: Transmissions of Embodied Knowledge through Canadian Women’s Basketball History
Analyzing the role of cockfights in Balinese culture, Clifford Geertz argues, “Attending cockfights and participating in them is, for the Balinese, a kind of sentimental education. What he learns there is what his culture’s ethos and his private sensibility (or anyway, certain aspects of them) look like when spelled out externally in a collective text” (449). Geertz’s thesis can be applied to Western sport: particularly in the twentieth century, sport was a place where men went to learn physical skills, values, and sentiments associated with masculinity. In this article, I examine the residue of sport’s male-dominated history through performative writing. I weave together historical quotations, performance theory, and a personal narrative about my experiences as a female basketball player and coach to consider the relationship between female bodies, the practice of sport, and the transmission of embodied knowledge. Ultimately, I argue that embodied repertoire is a significant site for the transmission of sport technique and the study of sport history.
Broomsticks and barricades: Performance, empowerment, and feeling in Wicked and Les Misérables (Peer Reviewed)
In this article, I examine the act one finales of two Broadway megamusicals–“Defying Gravity” from “Wicked” (2003) and “One Day More” from “Les Misérables” (1987)–to query the relationship between the performance of these numbers and the generation and circulation of feelings of empowerment. As musical theatre scholar Jessica Sternfeld argues, megamusicals offer a performance where ’emotions run high [and] the tears tend to flow both onstage and in the audience’. Both “Defying Gravity” (where one character in a single song offers a performance of empowerment) and “One Day More” (where an ensemble performs empowerment) have been singled out for their affective impact on audience members and their association with empowerment. Through an analysis of these two numbers, I argue that the numbers’ artistic elements intentionally emphasize the performance of empowerment’s two defining characteristics, power and change, in order to amplify characters’ feelings of empowerment. This, in turn, establishes an affective link between stage and auditorium.
Hockey Sticks and Heartstrings: The Men’s Gold Medal Hockey Game and the Affective Legacy of the 2010 Olympic Game
When Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal for Canada in the gold medal men’s hockey match at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the crowd went wild. The post-game atmosphere was described by media outlets as “electric” and “joyous.” Is there a more precise way to define the feelings that circulated during and after the game? In this essay, I examine one of the intangible impacts of The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games: its affective legacy.