Wanda Hurren, PhD, is a researcher/artist at the University of Victoria who investigates links between people and places, in particular, places where we think and do our work. She firmly believes that the places where we live and work affect who we are and how we live and work, and vice versa. Wanda is interested in promoting an aesthetic sensibility in places of work, and she uses contemplative photography as one approach to cultivating an aesthetic sensibility. She has conducted contemplative photography studio projects in workplaces, classrooms, and communities with various age groups.
Wanda's recent study of Mapwork, nationally funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, explored links between identity and place, and as one component of the study she worked with seniors and youth in an intercultural association to create a series of postcards that were featured in the exhibit postcartographia.
Dr. Hurren's earlier research on spatial practices and diversity in public high schools, nationally funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Prairie Centre for Excellence in Research on Immigration and Integration, examined how secondary students negotiate the social spaces in their high schools, and how those negotiations relate to their identities. School policies and procedures were examined, and students took part in "mapwork" studies around their school, using photography and poetry to represent how they felt and thought about the social spaces in their school. Curricular policies and procedures were also examined for the role these aspects play in inadvertently excluding or including certain identities within the school.