Bronwen Low

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor

Bronwen Low
Contact Information
Email address: 
bronwen.low [at]
Areas of expertise: 
  • Cultural studies
  • Curriculum theory
  • Arts integration
  • Hip-hop studies
  • Language and literacy studies
  • Informal education
  • Participatory media cultures
  • Youth cultures
Tenure-Track Professors
Current research: 

I have been leading and participating in research, knowledge dissemination, and program and curriculum development projects with a primary focus on how to best support socially marginalized young people underserved by traditional schooling models and practices. My research interests include the implications and challenges of popular youth culture, “urban arts,” and Hip-Hop culture for curriculum theory, literacy studies, pedagogy, and school transformation; community and digital media projects and pedagogies; translanguaging and the multilingual Montreal hip-hop scene; life stories and human rights education; connected learning and informal education; and, community-school-university partnerships.  

Research Projects:

Grants (P.I. and co-investigator)

2018 SSHRC Connections Grant: Special Call: “Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation”. $39,762

Building Capacity in Indigenous Research: Exploring Relational Research Strategies in a Canadian University

Principal Investigator: Janine Metallic

Co-Applicants: Bronwen Low, Mindy Carter, Mela Sarkar, Jessica Coon

2018 SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant. $24,893

Supporting and Measuring Well-Being in a Community Music Program

Principal Investigator: Bronwen Low

Co-Applicant: Samuel Vessière


2018 McGill Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant. $5000

Developing Video Game Writing Pedagogies in Informal and Formal Educational Settings


2017 SSHRC Connections Grant. $24,940

"Off the Record": Hip-Hop Cultural Workers in Canada

Principal Investigator: Bronwen Low

Co-Applicants: Audrey Hudson (OCAD), Awad Ibrahim (Ottawa U), Michael Macdonald (Grant McEwan)


2015 - 2018  SSHRC Partnership Development Grant. $199,887

The urban arts as tool for transforming a disadvantaged high-school: Building partnership synergy between school, university, and community artists

Principal Investigator: Bronwen Low

Co-Investigators: Elizabeth Wood, Mindy Carter, Claudia Mitchell


2009 - 2012  SSHRC Standard Research Grant. $101, 238.00

Community-based media pedagogy and production in a globalized world: Documenting transnational and transitional subjects, self-representations, and spaces

Principal Investigator: Bronwen Low

Co-Applicants: Paula Salvio (UNH) and Chloe Brushwood Rose (York)


2007 - 2009  SSHRC Standard Research Grant. $87,270.00

A comparative case study of Canadian hip-hop: Language mixing, identity and Caribbean connections in Montreal and Toronto

Principal Investigator: Mela Sarkar

Co-Applicants: Bronwen Low and Lise Winer


2006 - 2009   FQRSC Établissement de Nouveaux Professeurs-Chercheurs. $39,070.00

Apprendre par la culture hip-hop : de la communauté à l'école

Principal Investigator: Bronwen Low

Selected publications: 


Low, B. Brushwood Rose, C., and Salvio, P. (2016). Community-based media pedagogies: Relational listening in the commons. NY: Routledge.

Low, B. (2011). Slam school:  Learning through conflict in the hip-hop and spoken word classroom. Stanford University Press.

Hoechsmann, M., & Low, B. (2008). Reading youth writing: “New” literacy, cultural studies, and education. NY: Peter Lang.

Refereed Journal Articles

Gage, Nathan, Reyes, Francisco, Low, B. (Forthcoming). “Listen to the tastemakers: Building an urban arts high-school music curriculum”. Research Studies in Music Education.

Low, Bronwen. (2015). Nous Sommes Ici/ We Are Here: Enriching Quebec's Cultural Memory through the Life Stories of Refugees and Immigrants. In Potvin et al (Eds.). Equity, Inclusion and Culturally Responsible Pedagogy: Training and Experience of Professional Educators in Ontario and Quebec, Canadian Diversity/Diversité Canadienne (Summer), 108-112.

Maryse Potvin, Corina Borri-Anadon, Bronwen Low, Jeff Kuegler, Julie Larochelle-Audet, Saskia Stille. (2014). Introduction. Canadian Diversity/Diversité Canadienne (Summer), 5-11.

Brushwood-Rose, C. and Low, B. (2014). Visual narrative and the craftedness of texts: Interpretation and research in community-based media production. Visual Studies 29(1), 30-39.

Low, B. and Sonntag, E. (2013). Towards a pedagogy of listening: Teaching and learning from life stories of human rights violations. Journal of Curriculum Studies 45(6), 768-789.

Low, B. and Sonntag, E. (2013). Towards a pedagogy of listening: Teaching and learning from life stories of human rights violations. Journal of Curriculum Studies 45(6),  768-789.

Low, B. and Sarkar, M.  (2012). “On va vivre on va die et tout ca: Un regard sociolinguistique sur l’état du rap plurilingue à Montreal. Kinephanos3(1), 20-47.

Low, B. (2011). At the edge of writing and speech: New oralities and curriculum. Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies 8(2),50-75.

Low, B. (2010). The tale of the talent night rap: Black popular culture in schools and the challenge of interpretation. Urban Education 45: 194-220.


Book Chapters

Low, B., Proietti, Melissa, Lipset, Mike. (2018). Learning through resistance in an urban arts high school transformation project. Handbook of Cultural Studies in Education (Routledge, Editors Peter Trifonas and Susan Jagger.)

Low, B. (2016). Le hip-hop et le slam: Pratiques novatrices pour inclure la culture des jeunes dans l’apprentissage. In Maryse Potvin et al. La diversité ethnoculturelle, religieuse et linguistique en éducation au Québec (pp. 472-482).  Québec: Fidès Education.

Low, B. and Sontag, E. (2015). Listening in human rights education: Learning from life stories of survivors of atrocities. In Leonard Waks (Ed.), Listening to teach. NY: SUNY Press.

Low, B. and Sontag, E. (2015). Oral history and a pedagogy of listening: Teaching and learning from life stories of human rights violations. In Kristina Llewellyn et al. (Eds.), Canadian oral history reader (pp. 266-284). Montreal:  McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Low, B., and Golden, R. (2014). Slamming School. In Julie Hall (Ed.) Underprivileged School Children and the assault on dignity: Policy challenges and resistance (pp. 173-191). New York: Routledge.

Low, B. and Sarkar, M. (2014). Translanguaging in the multilingual Montreal hip-hop community: Everyday poetics as counter to the myths of the monolingual classroom. In Angela Creese & Adrian Blackledg (Eds.), Heteroglossia as practice and pedagogy (pp. 99-118). Springer

Low, B. and Sarkar, M. (2013). Translanguaging in the multilingual Montreal hip-hop community: Everyday poetics as counter to the myths of the monolingual classroom. In Angela Creese & Adrian Blackledg (Eds.), Heteroglossia as practice and pedagogy (pp. 99-118). Springer.

Low, B. (2013). Slammin' School: Performance poetry and the urban school. (pp. 76-98). In Colin Lankshear & Michele Knobel (Eds.), A New Literacies Reader: Educational Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang.

Low, B., Tan, E., & Celemencki, J. (2013).  "Keepin’ it Real” in the classroom: The discourse of authenticity and challenges for critical Hip-Hop pedagogies. In Marc Lamont Hill & Emery Petchauer (Eds.), Schooling Hip-Hop: New approaches to Hip-Hop based education (pp. 187-216). New York: Teachers College Press.

Low, B. (2012). What do hip-hop, spoken word, and slam poetry have in common and how might they be used in a high-school English classroom? In K. James, T. M. Dobson & C. Leggo, (Eds.) English in middle and secondary classrooms: Creative and critical advice from Canada's teacher educators. Toronto, ON: Pearson Press. 

Low, B. Brushwood Rose, C., Salvio, P., and Palacios, L. (2012). (Re)framing the scholarship on participatory video production and distribution: From celebration to critical engagement. In EJ Milne, Claudia Mitchell and Naydene de Lange (Eds.),Theorising participatory video: Critical issues and challenges (pp. 49-64). AltaMira/Rowman and Littlefield.

Sarkar, M., and Low, B. (2012). Multilingualism and popular culture. In Marilyn Martin-Jones, Adrian Blackledge, & Angela Creese (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism (pp. 403-418). New York: Routledge.

Graduate supervision: 

Current Supervision


2017 — Lea Ehret (PhD Educational Studies)

2016 — Michael Lipset (PhD Educational Studies). FQRSC DS.

2015 — Francisco Reyes Peguero (PhD, Music Education, co-supervision with Lisa Lorenzino. Organization of American States scholarship.

2015 — Francisco Reyes Peguero (PhD, Music Education, co-supervision with Lisa Lorenzino

2014 — Alejandro Sepulvede (PhD Educational Studies, co-supervision with Shirley Steinberg)

2014 - Marcia Malcolm (PhD Educational Studies)

2014 — Rodney Handelsmann (PhD Educational Studies, co-supervision with Michael Macdonald)

2014 - Melissa Proietti (PhD, Educational Studies)

2013 - Zachary Parker (PhD, Educational Studies, co-supervision Marta Kobiela)

2011 — Brad Evans (PhD , Educational Studies, co-supervision with Mela Sarkar)


2018 — Marcelle Partouche (MA, Education and Society, co-supervision with Samuel Veissière)

2017 — Édouard Laniel Tremblay (MA, Education and Society).

2014 —Alysha Bains (MA, Education and Society)

Graduated Students


(2015 - 2016) Alejandro Sepulveda (PhD Educational Studies, co-supervision with Shirley Steinberg). Life stories of a Montreal hip hop group: Culture, community, and critical pedagogy

(2016) Megan Webster (PhD Educational Studies, co-supervision with Kara Jackson). A decomposition of the practices of high quality professional development facilitation for teachers

(2015) Maria Korpijaakko (PhD, Educational Studies, co-supervision with Michael Hoechsmann) Consuming facebook, presuming the self: The socio-cultural implications of Facebook use for members of the Cusp generation

(2013) David Lewkowich (PhD, Educational Studies) Teacher identity, adolescence, and reading: The cultural and psychic uses of young adult literature

(2010) David Ross (PD, Educational Studies): Improvisation as a theory of curriculum

(2010) Miranda Campbell ( PhD, AdHoc): Towards a creative ecology: Youth cultural production in practice and in policy

(2009) Eloise Tan (PhD, AdHoc): Participatory and critical out-of-school learning for urban youth: Building community through popular culture


(2015 - 2017) Debora Friedmann. (MA, Education and Society). Embodied hip hop: Gender, race and street dance in an urban arts school. SSHRC

(2015 - 2017) Monika Barbe (Joint MA, Education and Anthropology, co-supervision with Kristin Norget). Towards a household grammar: a gendered reading of labour, care, and domesticity in Peruvian households

(2014 - 2016) Alysha Bains (MA, Education and Society). A Community Perspective on Literacy Education in the Inner City

(2015) Patrick Ohslund Rivers of Identity and Cultural Landscapes: A Journey of Creating Culturally Relevant and Sustainable Pedagogy Based on Identity Constructions Depicted in Student Written Spoken Word Poetry

(2015) Sonia Egron Pedagogical rationale for «Raising the Bar 5»: using research and best practice methods to inform textbook features

(2014) Natasha Mills Tackling student disengagement: Examining the perspectives and philosophies of Black educators in a Canadian context

(2013) Lajos Incze (co-supervision with Lisa Lorenzino).Popular guitar pedagogy: Fostering traditional musicianship in the culturally relevant classroom.

(2012) Haidee Lefebvre B-boy (dance) cipher: an innovative knowledge community's shared activity

(2009) Lee Airton What do we mean by ‘gender’ and how should it be addressed? Exploring the inclusion of gender in a teacher education curriculum

(2009) Kim Havard The teacher’s knowledge community as a third space

(2008) Jacqueline Celemencki Getting skooled: The impact of hip-hop culture on youth identity


Professional activities: 
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