Selena Couture, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - Drama Dept

Pronouns: (she / elle / ela) ;


Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - Drama Dept
3-118 Fine Arts Building
8807 - 112 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2C9


Area of Study / Keywords

Theatre Performance Cultural Performance Drama Indigenous Rights Indigenous Land Rights Indigenous Language Revitalization Climate Crisis Ecologies Interdisciplinary Research Historiography


An Associate Professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Drama — located on Treaty 6 land / Metis Region No. 4 — Selena Couture’s research deconstructs conceptions of settler colonial white possession while foregrounding the maintenance of Indigenous places through performance. A scholar with a settler background, her work aims to create responsible relations with Indigenous peoples, the land, the waters, and flora and fauna, particularly in the era of unprecedented anthropogenic climate change.

Couture studied at the University of British Columbia and received her PhD in theatre in 2015. She began her career at the U of A in 2016 as an assistant professor, before accepting her current position in 2021. She has penned numerous publications, such as Against the Current and Into the Light (2020) and On this Patch of Grass (2018). Her work has been recognized by many high-profile organizations and awards. She was a member of  the 2020 – 2023 cohort of  Kule Scholars at the U of A, focusing on climate resiliency in the 21st Century, and is a co-investigator with  the 2020 – 2027 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council partnership grant, Hemispheric Encounters: Developing Transborder Research-Creation Practices  where she co-directs the Ecologies Research Cluster with Sérgio Andrade (UFRJ, Brazil). This research cluster delves into legacies of transnational resource extraction and land politics focusing on  site-based performance strategies that address politics of land (and agencies of its more-than human inhabitants), as well as spatial politics of occupying public spaces.

Before her career in academia, Couture was an alternative school teacher in Vancouver for many years. Couture also has a passion for working in the community, having served on the board of directors with Vancouver’s PuSh International Performing Arts Festival since 2022 and on the board of directors for the Solid State Community Society since 2015. 



Against the Current and Into the Light: Performing History and Land in Coast Salish Territories and Vancouver’s Stanley Park. McGill-Queen’s Press: Native and Northern Series, 2020. Monograph.

On this Patch of Grass: City Parks and Occupied Land. Fernwood Publishing. Co-authors Matt Hern, Daisy Couture, Sadie Couture with contributions from Denise Ferreira da Silva, Glen Coulthard and Erick Villagomez. Co-authored Refereed Book. 2019.

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley. Pizarro. Broadview Press. Co-editor Alexander Dick. Refereed Book. 2017.

Articles (selected):

“Peaceful Weapons: The ‘Voices for the Wilderness’ Festivals and the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park ” PUBLIC: Art, Culture, Ideas 64, 2022. Special Issue: Unsettling Settler Canadian Nation Building. pp. 62-73, eds. Leah Decter and Carla Taunton. Peer Reviewed.

“Moving Together to Reclaim and Resist.” Performance Matters, vol 7, no.1-2, 2021, , pp. 16-28. Collaboratively authored audio and textPeer Reviewed.

“Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Inheritors: Whiteness, Settler Hunger, Debt and the Blackhawk Purchase Lands.” Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Race, edited by Tiziana Morosetti and Osita Okagbue. Palgrave MacMillan, 2021, pp. 391-405. Chapter in a Refereed Book.

“A Plenary of Acknowledgments.” Canadian Theatre Review 182, spec. iss. “On Extraction,” edited by Heather Davis-Fisch and Kimberly Richards, Spring 2020. Co-authors Merle Davis, Zoë Heyn-Jones and members of the Encuentro 2019 “From Relajo to Refusal: Resisting Extractivism, Performing Opposition” working group, pp. 39-44.

“Transformational Kinstellatory Relations and the Talking Stick Festival.” Theatre Research in Canada, vol. 40, no.1/2, 2019, pp. 10-26. Co-author Lindsay Lachance. Refereed Journal.

“Rethinking the Practice and Performance of Indigenous Land Acknowledgement.” Canadian Theatre Review 177, 2019, pp. 20-30. Co-authors: Dylan Robinson, Kanonhsyonne Janice C. Hill, Armand Garnet Ruffo, Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen.

“The Relentless Struggle for Commemoration.” Canadian Theatre Review 174, 2018, pp. 5-8. Co-author Heather Davis-Fisch.

“Siddons’s Ghost: Celebrity and Gender in Sheridan’s Pizarro.” Theatre Journal, vol. 65, no. 2, 2013, pp. 183-96. Refereed Journal.


DRAMA 101 - Introduction to Theatre Art

The origins and development of theatre art; introduction to theatre aesthetics. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar. Note: Not normally to be taken by BA Drama Majors or BA (Honors) Drama students.

DRAMA 203 - Performance Analysis

Analysis of theatrical performance through a range of live and recorded examples using theoretical and critical approaches. Prerequisites: one of Drama 101, 102, or 103, or consent of department. Note: Priority will be given to BA Drama Majors, BA (Honors) Drama students, BEd (Secondary) Drama Majors and Minors.

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