Rebanks Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Decorative Arts
Area: World Cultures, Canada
Interests: Canadian folk culture, informal expressive culture, oral history and material culture
Heather Read joined the ROM in January 2017 as the Rebanks Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Decorative Arts.
Before coming to the ROM, Heather was the Postdoctoral Fellow for the Landscapes of Injustice Project (www.landscapesofinjustice.com), a national SSHRC Partnership Project that explores the forced sale of Japanese Canadian property during the Second World War. She worked with the Oral History cluster. Heather’s research interests lie in the intersections between material culture, place, and identity. One of her primary methodologies in the study of material culture is oral history: in that capacity, she has worked with ceramic artists, teachers, refugees and immigrants from various countries, urban youth and elderly individuals. Heather became captivated with heritage and culture work during her Folklore master’s degree. Since that time, she has worked and volunteered in culture and heritage across Canada, from Newfoundland and Labrador, to Yukon. Unabashedly passionate about the diversity and beauty of Canada, Heather’s research explores what it means to live and make things throughout this country. Her doctorate is in Adult Education and Community Development; she believes strongly in the powerful learning opportunities that exist in museums and through the study of culture.
At the ROM, she will be working to broaden the known stories about the Canadian Decorative Arts Collection, and explore ways in which Canadian diversity – both geographic and cultural – can be represented and understood through objects.
She has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the Canadian Federation for University Women and the Helen Creighton Folklore Society for her work.