Artists join Glendon author for virtual book launch

books literacy
A stack of books
Gabriel Levine
Gabriel Levine

Gabriel Levine, an assistant professor of drama at York University’s Glendon College, is celebrating his new book, Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings (MIT Press, 2020), with a virtual launch on May 21 at 3 p.m.

Levine will be joined on Zoom by interdisciplinary artist and singer/songwriter Cheryl L’Hirondelle and will be complemented with visuals by shadow artist Annie Katsura Rollins.

The event, open to the public, will be moderated by Glendon Assistant Professor Elaine Coburn. Those who wish to attend can RSVP to

In Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings, Levine examines collective projects that reclaim and reinvent tradition in contemporary North America, both within and beyond the frames of art.

Levine shows how experimenting with practices that have been abandoned or suppressed can offer powerful resources for creation and struggle in the present. He describes the yearly Purim Extravaganza, which gathers queer, leftist and Yiddishist New Yorkers in a re-appropriation of the springtime Jewish festival; the Ottawa-based Indigenous DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, who integrate pow wow drumming and singing with electronic dance music; and the revival of home fermentation practices from microbiological, philosophical, aesthetic and political angles.

Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings
Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings

Levine is a co-editor of Practice in the Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press Documents of Contemporary Art book series, and has written for publications including the Journal of Curatorial Studies, Performance Research, PUBLIC: Art/Culture/Ideas, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies and Canadian Theatre Review. He has released recordings on Constellation Records and other labels, and his puppet and object-theatre projects have toured festivals in North America, Europe and the Middle East. He is currently program coordinator of Drama Studies at Glendon College and co-curator of the Concrete Cabaret performance series.

L’Hirondelle is an award-winning and community-engaged interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and critical thinker whose work investigates and articulates the intersections of nêhiyawin (Cree worldview) and contemporary time-place incorporating sound, Indigenous languages, music and technology old and new.

Rollins is a researcher, theatre and puppetry artist and practitioner of Chinese shadow puppetry who recently completed a PhD at Concordia University on the precariousness of safeguarding traditional puppet forms.

Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings is available for purchase from MIT Press.