Leslie Roman


Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Different Eyes, Ears, and Bodies: Pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii and the Education of the Sensorium Through Musical Performance (2016)

My dissertation explores the educative possibilities and limits of musical performance as a medium through which musicians and audiences reimagine sensory, affective, bodily, and cognitive experiences of music. The dissertation's focal point is a 2013 recital at the University of British Columbia by pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, as part of Beyond the Screen: disAbility and the Arts, a series that raised questions about the reception of musicians with disabilities, the inclusion of disabled bodies in music pedagogy, and the meritocratic ethos that underpins competitive practices in music, education, and society.The polemical reception of Tsujii's shared gold medal with Haochen Zhang at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas serves as the larger context for the present study. Speculation as to the role that Tsujii's blindness played in his favorable evaluation by the competition jury (Ivry, 2009) was countered by denial of any such influence (Kaplinsky, quoted in Wise, 2009), throwing into sharp relief a profound discomfort among musicians, critics and the general public with the disabled body in music. Tsujii himself declared shortly after the competition that he would like to be received as "simply a pianist" (Oda, 2009, para. 6) and has continued to resist the category of "blind pianist" (Ikenberg, 2014b, para. 8).Interviews with Tsujii and a purposive sample of eleven individual audience members following his 2013 UBC recital, combined with textual analysis of newspapers, magazines, and films documenting the pianist's career since 2009 locate Tsujii's reception in an educative gap between performer and audience, akin to that between teacher and student, a philosophical stance which emphasizes education as an interaction between the one who teaches and the one who learns (Biesta, 2004, p. 13). Showing how different levels of familiarity with the conventions of musical performance lead performers, critics, and audiences to interact with Tsujii as pianist and blind pianist in multiple and sometimes contradictory ways, this dissertation contributes to scholarship on the aesthetic and pedagogical significance of "person-first" versus "disability-first" language, the educative capacities of musical performance, and on the place of disabled bodies in music pedagogy.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Descriptions and prescriptions: healthcare professionals consider care for people with Parkinson's (2010)

Healthcare professionals are at the frontline intersection of the nation’s healthcare system and the healthcare of people with Parkinson’s. With increasing numbers of people with Parkinson’s, and finite healthcare dollars, what are the work experiences of care of healthcare professionals working with people with Parkinson’s? In this participatory inquiry, narratives of work experiences of care of six healthcare professionals of people with Parkinson’s were elicited. The healthcare professionals included a general practitioner, a Parkinson’s specialist neurologist, a gastroenterologist, a nurse, a social worker, and a physiotherapist. The objective of the inquiry was to describe and understand the work experiences of these healthcare professionals through their descriptions of work experiences of care and their prescriptions for ideal work experiences of care. The interviews with the healthcare professionals were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed. The theoretical framing of the empirical material outlined medicalization and medical frameworks, a ‘whole person’ approach, and theories of care. Three overlapping primary themes emerged from the interviews which were verified by both the literature review and personal reflections. Firstly, Parkinson’s is a difficult, complex and multifaceted disorder; secondly, due to the complexity of this disorder, a multidisciplinary team approach by healthcare professionals is needed; and thirdly, more funding or a change in organization of funding, is needed in order to support this model of healthcare. In describing multidisciplinary care, these healthcare professionals questioned the current funding approach of the healthcare system. This was a noteworthy finding of this inquiry. Metaphors for present and ideal work experiences of care as given by the healthcare professionals worked to bridge the stated quantitative present healthcare situation of increasing numbers of people with Parkinson’s and finite healthcare dollars, and the qualitative descriptions of present and ideal work experiences of care of healthcare professionals of people with Parkinson’s. Implications for further inquiry included determining effectiveness and costs of multidisciplinary care for people with Parkinson’s, and investigating models of care for people with Parkinson’s as suggested by the healthcare professionals in the inquiry.

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