About Dr Charity Marsh
PhD 2005 York University
MA 1999 York University
BA 1998 University of Ottawa
BMus 1997 University of Ottawa
Dr Marsh is an Associate Professor in Creative Technologies and Interdisciplinary Programs in the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina.
Charity and her kiddos making the radio show, Imagine This Music!
From July 1, 2007 until December 31, 2018 Dr Marsh held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Interactive Media and Popular Music. As part of her CRC program of research in 2007, Dr Marsh was awarded funds through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Grant and the Saskatchewan Fund for Innovation and Science to create the Interactive Media
and Performance (IMP) Labs. Awarded her second term as CRC in 2012, she successfully applied for a second Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to further expand the IMP Labs to include the Centre for Indigenous Hip Hop Cultures and Community Research, as well as the Popular Music and Mobile Media Labs. The development of the IMP Labs as a community, arts-based, accessible, and public research space has greatly influenced Dr Marsh’s program of research, enabling an emphasis on community initiated programming and projects, as well as the development of Dr Marsh’s primary focus on populations often marginalized (i.e Indigenous youth, women, girls, trans and non-binary people, remote communities, and artists).
As Director of the IMP Labs, Dr Marsh has produced, developed, and facilitated multiple workshops on creative audio and digital technologies; she has curated the Flatland Scratch Seminar and Workshop Series; developed programming for supporting remote communities with hip hop programming; engaged in numerous collaborative hip hop and interactive media projects with many community partners (i.e. Scott Collegiate, the Northern Sport and Culture Association, Street Culture, Ranch Ehrlo, O’Neill High School, Bert Fox High School, Sask Music, and Girls Rock Regina). Dr Marsh has also developed the IMP Labs' Community Hours and Workshops Program, where she and her IMP Labs’ research team members facilitate knowledge sharing and mentoring around popular music, popular culture, sound/audio cultures, and their associated media technologies.
Above: Charity performing with her band, Abrupt Dystopia
Below: Charity DJing at T & A
Dr Marsh has hosted the Girls Rock Regina (GRR) youth since its inaugural camp held in 2017, and GRR adult camps as part of her IMP Labs community arts programming. To date there have been three youth camps, and two adult camps, along with a number of additional events developed to support the engagement of girls, women, and non-binary people in the creative practices associated with popular music. Dr Marsh has been recognized for innovation and excellence in teaching and learning. In 2009, she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Arts and Learning, for her collaborative work on curriculum development and the creation of the Scott Collegiate/IMP Labs Hip Hop Project, which continued for 6 years. In 2009, she was part of the President’s Teaching and Learning Scholars cohort. And in 2018, along with four of her community-research partners, she was awarded a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for her ongoing work with Girls Rock Regina.
Dr Marsh has published extensively in the areas of Hip Hop Cultures in Canada, women in popular music, gender and technology, queer musicking, interactive media and performance, digital technologies, and community arts-based education and program development.
As part of her CRC research program on interactive media, performance, and popular music in western and northern Canada, Dr Marsh focused on music and identity, music technologies, and local and global performance. In 2013 she completed her SSHRC-funded project, “Negotiating Traditional and Contemporary Experience in Canadian Aboriginal Hip Hop,” in which she demonstrates there has been a dramatic shift in the way that Indigenous youth are telling their stories, and it is through hip hop arts practices that young people are articulating complex lived experiences and engaging in a globalized world. In 2014 Dr Marsh was awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant for a project entitled, “Hip Hop Indigenized: Imagined Communities, Diasporic Identities, and Global Youth Empowerment.” This ongoing research (extended for three years due to two maternity leaves, and Covid-19 research restrictions) further addresses the overall significance of how Indigenous youth in Canada are contributing to a global hip hop politics. As part of this research Dr Marsh has published a number of scholarly articles, book chapters, engaged in multiple presentations, invited lectures, a TedX talk, public interviews, and festivals. During this time, Dr Marsh has collaborated on and produced multiple hip hop recordings with youth, and co-edited the first collection of scholarly articles on hip hop in Canada, We Still Here: Hip Hop North of the 49th Parallel, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (2020). This collection is co-edited with Dr Mark Campbell, who Dr Marsh supervised as a Banting Post-Doctoral scholar from 2014-2016.
Along with the Global Indigenous Hip Hop project, Dr Marsh’s current program of research focuses on Girls Rock Regina and the impacts of community arts-based initiatives on expanding possibilities for women, trans, and non-binary people within the popular music industries. Dr Marsh hosts the Girls Rock Regina camps (adult and youth) in the IMP Labs, and engage in multiple kinds of dissemination for both academic and non-academic community, including panel discussions, podcasts, artist in residencies, community programming, songwriting, performing, and production of special events. She has published on Girls Rock Regina in the Journal of Popular Music (2019), and in Summer 2020, released a 36-mins documentary that she also wrote, directed and produced, I’m Gonna Play Loud: Girls Rock Regina and the Ripple Effect, which focuses on the musical experiences and impacts of Girls Rock on the organizers, musicians, and volunteer women, including trans women, and non-binary folks involved. Over the past year Dr Marsh has also produced a series of short videos focusing on themes that arose from her research on the youth camps called When she plays, We hear the Revolution. In Fall 2020, along with collaborators Evie Ruddy and Elian Mikkola, Dr Marsh is producing and directing a documentary about the coming together of 5 women during the second GRRown up camp and the formation of their band Sister Stranger. This work will be released in Winter 2021.
From her collaboration with Girls Rock Regina, and her participation in the inaugural GRRown Up camp in March 2019, Dr Marsh began song writing, playing bass, and recording with the band Abrupt Dystopia, a five-piece, all-women rock band. Abrupt Dystopia engages in a highly collaborative creative process, with all members contributing themes, stories, lyrics, and instrumentals. As is evident from the discussion in the documentary directed and produced by Dr Marsh, as a band comprised of five women in their late 30s and 40s, with diverse identities - three mothers, two women of colour, and three queer women - Abrupt Dystopia challenges the status quo and conventional representations found within the local Regina music scene. The band has recently completed writing songs for their first EP, which was supported by a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant.
Other current research projects that Dr Marsh is engaged in now are: the co-editing of a special edition on Queer Musicking for the scholarly journal Musicultures; the completion of two manuscripts: one is dedicated to thinking through “the abject” in relation to the music, performance, reception, and ageing of musicians Tanya Tagaq and Peaches; the other is exploring the impact of the improvisatory practices, creative innovation, and interdisciplinary engagement that is necessary for musicians living in Saskatchewan, including the artists Natural Sympathies, Eekwol and T-Rhyme, HomoMonstrous, Forced Femme, Megan Nash, Belle Plaine, and GRR adult bands, Team Player and Abrupt Dystopia. Since the lockdown related to Covid-19 began in March 2020, Dr Marsh is also co-producing (with Evie Ruddy), and co-hosting with her 4 and 6 year old children, a weekly radio show called Imagine This Music! for 91.3FM CJTR. In June 2020 Dr Marsh presented on this research as part of the HRI co-sponsored Living Heritage series, entitled, Imagine This!: Reflections on 91.3FM CJTR Regina’s Community Radio Programming for Kids During the Covid-19 Pandemic. This talk has been reworked into a journal article and will be submitted to the Journal for Critical Improvisation Studies. From the radio program and research, Dr Marsh in collaboration with Evie Ruddy, created the video art piece, We are a Family, as part of the augmented reality exhibition for Pride called Queering the Creek.