Dr. Shauna MacDonald, Associate Director


Dr. Shauna M. MacDonald is a storyteller, academic creative, and performer. She returned to Cape Breton University as an Associate Professor of Communication in July 2020. While she has spent 15 years at U.S. institutions of higher education, being from Cape Breton has always grounded her life and work, and she is thrilled to return to CBU, where she earned her B.A. in 2005. As of July 1, 2021, Dr. MacDonald stepped into the role of CSC Associate Director, following Dr. Sheila Christie’s three-year term.

Dr. MacDonald’s research projects and practices include studying performance and place, memory, and culture; experimenting with embodied movement; holding space for more-than-human stories through posthumanism; engaging with feminism and gender studies, and critically examining academic life itself. A student of culture, she is fascinated by communication and ritual in extraordinary places and by extraordinary beings, including coal mines and cyborgs. For over 5 years, she has been studying lighthouses as sites of cultural memory, with a focus on the gendered elements of those memories and how we share them. Her work has been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Women & Language, and Canadian Theatre Review, to name a few.

In the classroom, Dr. MacDonald uses creative pedagogical strategies to encourage students to find their own voices and stories. She teaches courses in performance studies, gender, public communication, and public memory while mentoring students outside of the classroom. She has taught abroad in Greece, advised several M.A. theses, and designed over a dozen unique courses.

Dr. MacDonald is dedicated to social justice, critical pedagogy, cultural education, cross-cultural collaboration, and learning through the lifespan. As an artist, scholar, performer, and educator whose mission is to unearth, keep, and share stories, she is honoured to serve as the new Associate Director of the Centre for Sound Communities.