A <dialogic> workshop will be presented by Professor Norman Cornett on June 8 and 9, 2022 at Toronto’s Propeller Art Gallery, as part of my exhibition “Familiar Places, Unfamiliar Times”.  The workshop will be held at the gallery from 6:00 to 8:00 pm each day.  Reservations are required as space is limited (see below).

About <Dialogic> workshops

The only wrong question is the unasked question.” – Professor Norman Cornett

The <dialogic> philosophy of education is difficult to describe to those who haven’t attended a workshop before.  It was created by Professor Cornett many years ago when he was a professor at McGill University in Montreal.

The participants are exposed to pieces of art/music/text.  The participants then write, under a pseudonym, in a Stream-of-Consciousness manner everything that comes to mind when they are exposed to a certain piece.

Professor Cornett collects the writing over the course of the evenings. You can see here some of the reflections from a previous series with the playwright and novelist Kent Stetson.

Professor Cornett will read the writings out loud (the writer remains anonymous throughout) and then the artist has a chance to respond to the writings. This starts a conversation with the artist where participants will be encouraged to ask further questions. Videos of a past dialogue with Kent Stetson can be seen here.

What do we get out of a <dialogic> workshop?

For the participants, it is an opportunity to explore art, to hone our critical skills.   

For the artist, it is an opportunity to receive strong feedback about our work.

And for the participants, and for the artist, it makes for a fascinating evening.

How to book your participation

It’s not essential, but we would like participants to book ahead of time. This will allow us to ensure there are enough chairs for everyone. Please book through email at [email protected]  State your name, the name of any other participation for which you may be booking.  While the workshop is more interesting for everyone if the participants attend both days, we understand that it may not always be possible.  In your confirming email, please specify – both days, or the date you plan to attend – June 8 or 9.

About Professor Norman Cornett

A graduate of UC Berkely, Professor Cornett is a specialist in theology and culture, notably theology and the arts.  He is also an art critic, an art curator, and a commentator on social and political issues. He has published in numerous Canadian and American magazines and been a guest professor in many North American and European universities.  He has published about Lionel Groulx, his PhD thesis subject. Professor Cornett’s translations have been featured in reference literary journals such as Canadian Literature, Windsor Review, Rampike, Literary Review of Canada, FreeFall and ARC.  He is the main translator of Naim Kattan’s novel Farida.

During his career, he has built a <dialogical> approach, which has become a research topic in Canadian, American, French, and German universities. This approach uniquely engages the participants’ creativity.

He directs jazz <dialogic> workshops with composers and musicians such as Branford Marsalis, Beverly Shaffer, Vijay Iyer, Tord Gustavsen, David Murray, Joelle Leandre, Toots Thielemans, Jane Bunnett, Co Hoedeman, David Amram, and Antibalas, among others. He also proposes artistic <dialogic> wokshops with artists such as Michel Goulet, Peter Greenaway, Dominique Blain, Martine Chartrand, Gabor Szilasi, Frederic Back, John Oswald, John Greer, Eruoma Awashish, Melvin Charney, and Ethan Hawke, among others.  

Professor Cornett’s innovative views on learning are portrayed in “Professor Norman Cornett”, a documentary by Alanis Obomsawin, one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers.  The National Film Board released the film in 2009, and it has been screened in universities throughout North America and Europe.  It is available through the NFB website.

In Toronto, Professor Cornett is a regular contributor to radio stations CHIN-FM (in English) and CHOQ-FM (in French), discussing topics from the arts to general culture to international events.

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