Campus Life

University of Lethbridge welcomes Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch as dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts

The University of Lethbridge welcomes respected theatre scholar Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch as the incoming dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Davis-Fisch is the founding director of the School of Creative Arts at the University of the Fraser Valley. Prior to taking on the role of school director in 2019, she was head of the theatre department and chair of UFV’s Bachelor of Media Arts program.

Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch, new dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

“I am delighted to be joining the University of Lethbridge to lead its Faculty of Fine Arts as the new dean and am excited about the opportunity to advocate for and champion the creative and scholarly accomplishments of its students, faculty and staff,” says Davis-Fisch.

Davis-Fisch received a PhD in literary and theatre studies, as well as her MA in drama from the University of Guelph. Prior to that, she earned an undergraduate degree in theatre studies and history from Dalhousie University.

Her research interests include performance historiography and Indigenous and intercultural performance, particularly in historical paradigms. Davis-Fisch is the author of Loss and Cultural Remains in Performance: The Ghosts of the Franklin Expedition, which was the recipient of the Ann Saddlemyer Award for outstanding monograph from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.

Her scholarly work has appeared in Theatre Research in Canada, Performing Arts Resources, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies and Canadian Theatre Review, as well as several edited collections. Her current SSHRC-funded research project investigates the role of performances in the establishment of settler-colonialism in nineteenth-century Canada and how performance documents and objects can be re-integrated into galleries, archives and museums.

“Dr. Davis-Fisch has shown at every stage of her career that she is a leader who forges ahead and sets new standards, whether it be as a professor, researcher or administrator,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, ULethbridge provost and vice-president (academic). “The Faculty of Fine Arts plays such a crucial role in developing and supporting the rich artistic culture we enjoy here in southern Alberta and beyond, and I see her addition as a major boost to the outstanding activities led by our faculty and staff.”

Davis-Fisch has a clear and demonstrated commitment to collaboration, community engagement and Indigenization in her academic and administrative work. Additionally, her experience in curriculum development and fostering positive workplace cultures exemplify her preparedness for the role.

“Appreciating the deep and long-standing relationships between the Faculty and the communities the University serves, I look forward to working closely with community partners to further the cultural and artistic life of Lethbridge and the University’s work in relation to decolonization and reconciliation,” says Davis-Fisch.

This announcement is one of four new dean appointments that will be filled this year, in addition to the recent announcements of Dr. Digvir Jayas as president and vice-chancellor and alumnus Terry Whitehead as chancellor.

Davis-Fisch will officially begin her role as dean on July 1, 2023.