Teaching and learning with Canadian art students in North Iceland: towards the Posthuman

Kathleen Vaughan* (Corresponding Author), Education in the North

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article presents a reflective consideration of the author’s design and implementation of the Iceland Field School for Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), describing her desire to bring her teaching, research and art-making practices in line with her posthuman values. Named “Imagining Iceland,” this course provided 13 senior undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to spend the month of June 2016 in the small north Iceland community of Blönduós, making art according to their individual practices. The course aimed to support both the professionalization of the students’ artistic practices and their engagement with the particularities of Iceland as an ethically complicated place to visit, learn and make art, touching on environmental and posthumanist themes. Offering a case study of the Iceland Field School, the text articulates the problems and contradictions the author finds in implementing her posthuman values in her teaching, and offers four examples of student work for consideration as to whether their artmaking and experiential learning begins to connect them to the world around, dismantling humanist hierarchies. The author ends with short list of questions that will guide her future work and that may be of value to others striving to implement arts-oriented teaching in the north.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-25
Number of pages20
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2019


  • Field schools
  • Iceland
  • research-creation
  • artist residencies
  • arts-oriented teaching


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