Joel Bakan

University of British Columbia

Joel Bakan is a professor of law at the University of British Columbia, and an internationally renowned legal scholar and commentator. A former Rhodes Scholar and law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada, Bakan has law degrees from Oxford, Dalhousie, and Harvard. His critically acclaimed international hit, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004), electrified readers around the world (it was published in over 20 languages), and became a bestseller in several countries. The book inspired a feature documentary film, The Corporation, written by Bakan and co-created with Mark Achbar, which won numerous awards, including best foreign documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, and was a critical and box office success. Bakan’s highly regarded scholarly work includes Just Words: Constitutional Rights and Social Wrongs (University of Toronto Press, 1997), as well as textbooks, edited collections, and numerous articles in leading legal and social science journals. His new book, Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children (Free Press) was recently released in paperback and has been published in several translations. Bakan, who is also a professional jazz guitarist, grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and now lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife, Rebecca Jenkins, and their two children, Myim and Sadie.


Kevin McNeilly

Site Coordinator, University of British Columbia

Kevin McNeilly teaches Cultural Studies and contemporary literatures in English at the University of British Columbia. He was the UBC site manager as well as the coordinator for the Text and Media research group for the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice research His research focuses on the intersections of improvised music and poetry, on media aesthetics, and on concepts and practices of listening. He has published articles on the music of Charles Mingus, John Zorn, and Steve Lacy, on television programs including The Wire, Battlestar Galactica and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and on the work of a wide variety of contemporary poets, from Anne Carson to Robert Creeley. His book of poems, Embouchure, was published by Nightwood Editions in 2011. He maintains two blogs: Frank Styles (, which concentrates on poetry and music, and Flow, Fissure, Mesh (, which concerns improvisation, media and pedagogy. His website,, features audio, video, poetry and more.


David Metzer

University of British Columbia

Dr. Metzer writes about popular music, jazz, and new music.  He has explored a range of topics, including modernism, musical borrowing, emotional expression, and race.  He is the author of Quotation and Cultural Meaning in Twentieth-Century Music(2003) and Musical Modernism at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (2009).  His articles have appeared in a variety of journals, among them Popular MusicJournal of the American Musicological SocietyModernism/modernity, and Black Music Research Journal.  He is currently working on a book on the history of the ballad in American popular music from the 1950s to the present.  He earned a BA from Dickinson College and a PhD from Yale University.






Tom Scholte

University of British Columbia

As an actor and director, Tom has worked extensively with the application of improvisational methods to the development and performance/production of dramatic feature films. Works Tom has co-created and appeared in as an actor using a variety of these methods include DIRTY (Opening Film – Panorama Section – Berlin International Film Festival 1998), FATHERS&SONS (Winner of a Special Jury Citation for Masterful Use of Improvisational Methodology – Polar Lights Film Festival 2011 – Murmansk, Russia) and SISTERS&BROTHERS for which he received a Leo Award (Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of British Columbia) in 2012 for Best Supporting Actor. In 2008, Tom led an ensemble of actors through an improvisational screenplay development process before directing the resulting feature film CRIME. After premiering at the Vancouver International Film Festival the film was subsequently licensed for broadcast by Superchannel. Tom’s additional screen credits include a Genie nominated performance in the feature film LAST WEDDING and a Gemini winning appearance on the acclaimed CBC drama DA VINCI’S INQUEST. Since 2010, much of Tom’s research has focused upon the use of improvisation in the rehearsal of scripted plays with a particular emphasis on the “Later Legacies” of theatrical pioneer Konstantin Stanislavski. Tom’s article, The Stanislavski Game, outlining some of the outcomes of this research, was published in the Summer 2010 issue of Canadian Theatre Review. That same year, he also presented The Thermostatic Actor: Improvisation in Stanislavski’s “Cybernetic” System at ICASP’s Sound Lines: Improvisation, Text and Media Conference at UBC.