Laurel Hart holds a doctorate of philosophy in art education from Concordia University; during her graduate studies she was awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC
doctoral scholarship and the Michael Smith Foreign Studies award. During her doctorate, she was also an active member of the Participatory Cultures Lab, under Dr. Claudia Mitchell at McGill University. Her doctoral dissertation incorporated community action research, arts-based research and photographic analysis in her investigation of the development and activities of an online and on-the-ground social media photography community for women. The study involved exploring collaboration, creativity, network development, and women’s experiences of their urban environments. As a result of this study, multiple exhibitions were held. At the same time, she continued to advance her artistic practice through collaborations with other artists, academics, and student teachers in generating projects such as City Alive, for Montreal’s annual Nuit Blanche cultural celebration. Recent artistic projects can be found here: www.participatorycreation.com
In recent years, she has been a visiting researcher at Tokyo University. Laurel Hart has also served as a professor in Policy Science at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, she was employed by Tokyo University of Technology as a program developer; and has (over time) been a professor, research assistant and teaching assistant (including practicum observation) at Concordia University in Montreal. As a practitioner and educator, Hart had served as the Digital Projects Coordinator at Concordia’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS), providing workshops to the community and the Canadian Historical Association on Creating Map Mashups, Mediascapes, and Web 2.0. She has also taught at the Surrey Art Gallery in BC, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the McCord Museum. Prior to this, as a certified high school teacher in British Columbia, where she taught all levels from elementary to secondary as a teacher of the Surrey School board. Laurel Hart is also a practicing artist, her work frequently involving photography, local history and storytelling, participatory and performance elements and collaboration. She participates in and develops creative arts alongside others in her communities both online and offline. To learn more visit www.laurelhart.net or http://laurelhart.academia.edu/LaurelMarieHart.