Artist residence program in a college environment

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Fredric Gary Comeau: author in residence at cégep de saint-laurent

Catherine Langlais

Between February and June 2020, Centre ARTENSO, in collaboration with Cégep de Saint-Laurent, hosted author Fredric Gary Comeau in residency.

This artistic and cultural residency, which linked the creation of a suite of poems and the performance of this literary creation, offers an opportunity for direct and indirect interactions between the author “at work” and the population of the college. As part of our current research, we are analyzing the terms and effects of this encounter with literature “under construction.”

In the absence of other studies on the presence of artists in residence conducted in the college context and on the reach of cultural mediation activities in a higher education environment, we wondered how to evaluate the effects of an artistic and cultural residency at the college.

A reflective approach was privileged, taking into account the processes of the author’s arrival in residency, the deployment of the residency, the connections that were created with the college community through creation and mediation activities (writing workshops, reading suggestions, literary performance), and the conclusion of the residency. The research was adapted to the migration to Facebook of the author’s residency, which became virtual following the closure of the college in mid-March due to COVID-19.

The study is based on observations of the encounters that took place and pays attention to the terms of virtual participation through analysis of the interactions, practices, and discourses of members of the college community who were members of the residency’s Facebook group, as well as analysis of questionnaires and individual and group interviews with students, professors, and the author. The research will clarify how times of contact with arts and culture are affected by the author residency, and how contact with the author and participation in the literary cultural mediation activities affected students’ interest in literature. It will also include the author’s impressions of his experience and document the good practices and pitfalls of the residency.

À lire :
Langlais, Catherine (2021). La résidence d’écrivain de Fredric Gary Comeau, Rapport de recherche – Document synthèse. Montréal. ARTENSO. 13 p.


Catherine Langlais, Project and Research Manager, Artenso


Mathieu Teasdale, professor of literature, Cégep de Saint-Laurent


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ARTENSO is a Centre collégial de transfert en pratiques sociales novatrices (College centre for transfer of innovative social practices) affiliated with Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montréal. Its mission is to promote the general interests and specific issues related to research and innovation in art and social engagement in the field of cultural mediation.

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