Division of Expressive Therapies
Professional Title: Assistant Professor of Drama Therapy; Coordinator for the Dramatherapy Program
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Drama Therapy, Psychodrama
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Orientation to Expressive TherapiesTheories of Drama Therapy/PsychodramaResearch and Evaluation
Education: M.A., Drama Therapy, Concordia University; Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Concordia University; Certificate in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery, Harvard Program in refugee Trauma and La Sapienza University (Rome, Italy)
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: BooksSajnani, N., & Johnson, D.R. (Eds.) (forthcoming). Trauma-informed drama therapy: Transforming clinics, classrooms, and communities. IL: Charles C. Thomas Sajnani, N., Muhungi, W.M., Yee, J., Mercer, K., Butler, K., Jones, L., Neira, N.L., J, Matining, M. (2012). Decolonizing “social justice” work: Stories to support organizations, facilitators, and youth working against oppression. Montreal, QC: Girls Action FoundationChaptersSajnani, N., Linds, W., Wong, A., Ndejuru, L., Lu, L., Gareau, P., and Ward, D. (in press). The Living Histories Ensemble: Sharing authority through play, storytelling, and performance in the aftermath of violence, in D. Conrad and A. Sinner (eds.), Creating together: Participatory, community-based and collaborative arts practices and scholarship across Canada. Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier UniversitySajnani, N., Wong, A., Ndejuru, L., & Linds, W. (in press). Turning together: Playback theatre, oral history, and arts-based research in the Montreal life stories project. In E. Little, R. Duong, & S. High (Eds.), Remembering war, genocide and other human rights violations: New media and the arts. Toronto, ON: University of TorontoSajnani, N. (2011). Playback theatre and social change: Reflections from a Montreal workshop, in Neumark, D., and Chagnon, J.,Documenting collaboration: 69 community art projects in Québec and beyond. Montreal: LevierSajnani, N. (2010). Mind the gap: Facilitating transformative witnessing amongst audiences, in Jones, P., Drama as therapy: Clinical work and research into practice. London: RoutledgeSajnani, N.,(2009). Theatre of the oppressed: Drama therapy as cultural dialogue, in Johnson, D.R, & Emunah, R., Current approaches in drama therapy. IL: Charles C. ThomasPeer-Reviewed ArticlesSajnani, N. (2012). Improvisation and art-based research, Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 3 (1), 79-87Sajnani, N. (2012). The implicated witness: Towards a relational aesthetic in dramatherapy. Dramatherapy: The Journal of the British Association of Dramatherapists, 34 (1), 6-21Sajnani, N. (2011). Coming into presence: Discovering the ethics and aesthetics of performing oral histories in the Montreal life stories project, Alt. Theatre: Cultural Diversity and the Stage, 9 (1), 40-49Sajnani, N. (2011). The bridge: Towards relational aesthetic inquiry in the Montreal life stories project, Canadian Theatre Review, 148 (1), 18-24Sajnani, N. (2011). Response/ability: Imagining a critical race feminist paradigm for the creative arts therapies, The Arts in Psychotherapy, Available online 23 December 2011, ISSN 0197-4556, 10.1016/j.aip.2011.12.009.Sajnani,, N., & Mendell, M. (2007). La recherche partenariale : le cas de l’ARUC en economie sociale. Organisations et Territories: Reflexion sur la Gestion, Innovation, et le Développment, 16 (1)Academic ManuscriptsSajnani, N. (2010) Permeable boundaries: Toward a critical, collaborative performance pedagogy, Doctoral Thesis, Montreal: Concordia University
Fun Facts: Nisha has thrown stones into the Atlantic from Cape Spear, the easternmost point in Canada, and has gathered them up again in Durban, South Africa. She has immersed herself in the busy markets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has found solace on the grassy slopes and sandy beaches of Cape Cod.
Dr. Nisha Sajnani, RDT, is the Drama Therapy Coordinator in the Expressive Therapy M.A. program. She joined the Lesley faculty in 2012. Formerly, Nisha was director of Drama Therapy and Community Health at the Post Traumatic Stress Center (New Haven) and has also held faculty positions at Yale, NYU, and Concordia (Montreal). Nisha is the President of the North American Drama Therapy Association. Nisha has provided training in multiple forms of applied theater and drama therapy including Developmental Transformations, Playback Theatre, and the Theatre of the Oppressed in the US, Canada, England, and France. She is interested in how embodied, action methods may be understood as operating along a continuum of intervention facilitating positive psychological, interpersonal, and social change. Dr. Sajnani’s research interests also include the intersection of trauma-informed practice, the arts therapies, arts-based inquiry, and education. She is also interested the role of the arts therapies in facilitating wellness amongst marginalized and exploited communities and locates her work within a critical race feminist paradigm. Dr. Sajnani recently guest edited a special edition on the Creative Arts Therapies and Social Justice for the Arts in Psychotherapy with eminent art therapist, Frances Kaplan, PhD.
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