Bronwen Low

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Education Room 339
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 09613

Email address: 
bronwen.low [at]
Department of Integrated Studies in Education
Area of expertise: 
  • Cultural studies
  • Curriculum theory
  • Arts integration
  • Hip-hop studies
  • Language and literacy studies
  • Informal education
  • Participatory media cultures
  • Youth cultures
Current research: 

Bronwen Low's research interests include the implications and challenges of popular youth culture for curriculum theory, literacy studies, and pedagogy; community-media projects and pedagogies; translanguaging and the multilingual Montreal hip-hop scene; and  the pedagogical implications of the lifestories of Montrealers who have  survived genocide and other human rights violations. Funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, she is currently collaborating with local arts organizations to support the development of an “urban arts” high school in Montreal, facilitating co-teaching processes between artists and teachers.  

Research Projects:

Grants (P.I. and co-investigator)

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

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. (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


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)


2015 — Monika Barbe (Joint MA, Education and Anthropology, co-supervision with Kristen Norget)

2014 — Gordon Braithwaite (MA, Education and Society)

2014 —Alysha Bains (MA, Education and Society)

Graduated Students


(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) 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