Academic CV


B.A. (UVic), M.A. (UBC), Ph.D. (UBC)

Dr. Lynette Harper is an author, ethnographer and dancer based on Vancouver Island. Her academic and popular publications address cross-cultural education, Middle Eastern diaspora and dance, museology, life history, collaboration, and partnership. She currently teaches anthropology at Vancouver Island University.

Research Interests

Middle Eastern Diaspora and Dance, Museums and Social Justice, Action Research, Qualitative Methodology, Cross-Cultural Education, Collaboration, Partnership.

Academic Teaching

2002-2017   Instructor, Vancouver Island University

ANTH 112 Introductory Anthropology
ANTH 307 Cross-cultural Education
ANTH 362 Field School: North Island Museums and Communities

ANTH 367 Peoples and Cultures of the World – The Middle East
ANTH 370 Introduction to Anthropological Theory
ANTH 380 Introduction to Museum Anthropology

ANTH 390D  Arab Women in Middle East and Diaspora

CRIM 350 Qualitative Research Methods
GLST 210 Food and Globalization

LEAD 200 Action Research in Communities

2005-2006  Instructor/Facilitator Qualitative Inquiry sessions, Research and Scholarly Activity Office, Malaspina University-College.

1999 – 2001  Instructor, University of B.C.
EDST 425 Anthropology of Education

1991 – 1998  Contract course development and instruction
“Deconstructing Museum Work: Critical and Reflective Skills for the Workplace”, Cultural Resource Management Program, University of Victoria;
“Cultural Diversity: Initiatives for Museums”, BC Museums Association;
Docent Training for Langley District Museum and Nanaimo District Museum;
“Techniques of Adult Education”, International Institute of Conservation-Canadian Group

1980 – ongoing  Dance Educator  Arab, Turkish and belly dance (historical, folkloric and contemporary genres)

Academic Research

2009   Unveiled: Choreographing identities in the Arab diaspora

2007  “Practicing Tribal Bellydance”. Independent research.

2001  “Cartography of Adult Education”. Research assistant, University of B.C

1993 – 1995  “Collaboration: B.C. Museums work with communities.” Funded by Canadian Museums Association.

1992 – 1993  “Lives of change: An ethnographic evaluation of two learner centred literacy programs” Evaluation team member, National Literacy Secretariat & University of B.C.

Contract Research, Evaluation, Facilitation and Planning

2007-8  Alberni Valley Museum, Port Alberni “Museum-school participatory action research””

2004-2005    Program Assistant, Teaching and Learning Centre, Malaspina University-College.

1996 – 2008  Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College)

“Review of Undergraduate Research Survey” for Teaching and Learning Centre;

“Faculty Evaluation Process Facilitation”, Human Resources;

“Instructor Evaluation Tool for On-line Courses”, Human Resources;

“Evaluation of pilot learning support technologies for First Nations communities” (Associate evaluation consultant), Centre for Continuing Studies

“Action Research: Review of ABE intake processes”, Career and Academic Preparation

“Online evaluation report: Challenges” & ” Alternative Delivery/Learning Highways Project Evaluation.” (Evaluation team member)

2001  Community Works, Burnaby BC Qualitative analysis and report of interview data.

1994 -1998  Malaspina University-College Community Education, Nanaimo

Program Manager (1997-98), Project Worker (1994-97)

1990 – 1996  Facilitation, programming, and policy development projects

B.C. Cultural Services Branch; Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre; Surrey Art Gallery; UBC Museum of Anthropology.


2013  “Performing Identity / Diasporic Encounters”. B.Sellers-Young and C. MacDonald (Eds.), Belly dance around the world: new communities, performance and identity.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

2006  (with S. Butterwick) An ‘Inter-cultural’ view of community-academic partnerships: Tales from the field. Proceedings of the Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults, University of Leeds, Leeds.

2002-5  Book Review Editor, Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation

2002  “Anyone for parfait? Contradictions and discontinuities in participatory evaluation”. Proceedings of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, OISE, 141-146.

2001  “By My Own Eyes: A Story of Learning and Culture”. P.Sissel & V.Sheared (Eds.), Making Space: Reframing Practice in Adult Education. Westport, Ct: Greenwood.

1999  “Beyond the Beautiful Umbrella.” K.Roberts, A.Thakur, G.Tunnell (Eds.), Culture Shock: Experiencing the Other. Eletheria Press: Lantzville BC.

1997  (with Mira) “Beyond the Beautiful Umbrella”. H.Palmer (Ed.), “…but where are you really from?” (pp.113-123). Toronto: SisterVision Press.

1996  “Building Success: Collaborating With Our Communities”. Muse, 12(3), 22-29.

1995  “Newcomers to Canada”. Nobody’s Perfect Resource Manual for Facilitators. Vancouver: B.C. Council for the Family.1995 “Making Choices”. Museum Roundup, May/June, 11.“Making Choices – Part II”. Museum Roundup, July/August, 7.

1994  Seeing Things From Different Corners: A Story of Learning and Culture. Unpublished master’s thesis. University of B.C., Vancouver, B.C.

1994  “Defining Collaboration: How B.C. Museums Work With Communities”. Proceedings of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, Simon Fraser University, 203-208.

1993  “From Temple to Battlefield: Conflicting Ideologies in the Museum”. Muse, 11(3), 20-21.

1993  “Partnerships Studied”. Museum Round-up, Autumn (108), 3.

1993  (with J.Dawson, P.Dyer, M.Niks) “Who Knows? Who Says So? Who Decides? Issues in Collaborative Research”. Proceedings of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, University of Ottawa.

1992  “From Temple to Battlefield: Conflicting Ideologies in the Museum”. Proceedings of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, University of Saskatchewan, 157-162.

1992  “text, lies and videotape: The Use of Video in the Research Interview”. Proceedings of the Adult Education Research Conference, University of Saskatchewan, 281-282.

1988  (with S.Irving) “Not Another Fur Trade Exhibit? An Inside Look at Trapline Lifeline”. Muse, 6(3), 38-42.

1985  (with Robert R. Janes) “An enduring legacy”. Canadian Collector, 20 (5), 16-21.

1984  “The Role of the Producer”. in R.D.Watt (ed.), Museum on Stage (pp. 1-13). Vancouver: Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association.

1983  “Public Programmes”. In R.L.Barclay (ed.), Anatomy of an Exhibition: The Look of Music (pp.39-46). Ottawa: International Institute for Conservation.

Papers presented 

2014, September  Bellydance Fact and Fiction. Safar Conference of Middle Eastern Dance and Music  Vancouver BC

2010, April  Performing identities on Canada’s west coast. International Bellydance Conference of Canada Toronto ON

2009, June. An Arab dancer in Canada.  Canada Dance Festival: Dancing in, through and between cultures. Ottawa ON

2008, May  Education partnerships: Working in the boundary zone.  Community-University Partnerships: Connecting for Change (CU Expo 2008), Victoria, BC

2008, April   Performing identity: Transnational dimensions of bellydance; and panelist, Tribal bellydance: Origins and evolutions. International Bellydance Conference of Canada Toronto ON

2007, Sept.  Ethnography in the borderlands: Culture and power in educational partnerships. Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference, Oxford UK

2007, August   Bellydance in America: Transforming Middle Eastern Dance.  International Congress of Dance Research, Athens, Greece.

2007, April Tribal bellydance: Fusion or paradox? International Bellydance Conference of Canada Toronto ON

2006, March  Boundary crossing in the classroom. Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, B.C.

2006, February  A tangled tale of post-secondary partnerships. Educational Studies Seminar Series, University of B.C., Vancouver, BC

2004, May  Celebrate Middle Eastern dance. Adult Education Research Conference/Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education Women’s Preconference, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

2003, June  Power, politics and ethics – Rethinking formative evaluation. Canadian Evaluation Association, Vancouver, BC

2002, Nov.  What’s on the menu? Online learning for museum professionals. B.C. Museums Association, Vancouver, BC.

2002, May  (with Jerry Hinbest) Anyone for parfait? Contradictions and discontinuitiesin participatory evaluation. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, Toronto ON.

2002, May  (with Jill Rachel Baird). Power, voice and practice in collaborative museum education programs. Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Toronto, ON. & Canadian Museums Conference, Calgary Alberta.

2002, Feb. (with Jill Rachel Baird) Power, voice and practice in the museum. Pacific Sociological Association Conference, Vancouver B.C.

2001, November  All in the family: Imagining kinship for participatory evaluation.  American Evaluation Association Conference, St. Louis MI.

2001, May  (with Jerry Hinbest) Mixing oil and water: Contradiction, discontinuity and devolution in participatory evaluation. Canadian Evaluation Society Conference, Banff Alberta.

2000, June  Collaboration anxiety: What do we do about it? Adult Education Research Conference, Vancouver B.C.

1999, August  Beyond the beautiful umbrella: Culture shock and learning. Transformative Learning Conference, Dominican College, San Rafael CA.

1998, May  (with Doug Stetar) Listening for results: Effective evaluation for online education. Connections, Centre for Curriculum, Transfer and Technology, Vancouver B.C.

1997, May  A story of culture shock and learning. Beyond Culture Shock. Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, B.C.

1996, June  Improvising a collaboration. Canadian Museums Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

1995, March  (with Edward Taylor and Tom Whalley)Implications for Educational Interventions in Cultural Learning. SIETAR B.C. Symposium, Canadian International College, North Vancouver, B.C.

1994, Nov.  Intercultural research: You see things from different corners. SIETAR B.C. Chapter meeting, Vancouver, B.C.

1994, Oct.  Who communicates to the public? B.C. Museums Association Annual Conference, Victoria, B.C.

1994, May  Defining collaboration: How B.C. museums work with communities. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, Vancouver, B.C.

1993, Sept.  Defining collaboration: How B.C. museums work with communities. B.C. Museums Association Conference, Prince Rupert, B.C.

1993, June  Conflicting ideologies. Canadian Museums Association Curators Special Interest Group Meeting, Regina, Saskatchewan.And Educators in no-man’s land. Canadian Museum Educators Group, Canadian Museums Association, Regina, Saskatchewan.

1993, June  (with J.Dawson, P.Dyer, M.Niks) Who knows? Who says so? Who decides? Issues in collaborative research. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, Ottawa, Ontario.

1992, Nov.  P.O.V.: The use of video in the research interview.American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Anaheim, Calif.

1992 , May  From temple to battlefield: Conflicting ideologies in the museum. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

1992, May  text, lies, and videotape: The use of video in the research interview. Adult Education Research Conference, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

1991, Oct.  The educational exhibitionist: Collaborations between museums and community educators. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Montreal.

1988, April  Approaches to locality: The Northwest Territories. Western Canada Art Association, Banff, Alberta.

1987, May  Colliding expectations: Curators and educators look at exhibit planning (panel member). Canadian Museums Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Academic Awards

2002-03   Faculty of Education Graduate Student Research Grant, University of B.C.

1999-02   Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

1998        University Graduate Fellowship, University of B.C.

1993        Museum Studies Research Scholarship, Canadian Museums Association

1992        Coolie Verner Prize, University of B.C.

1991-2     University Graduate Fellowship, University of B.C.

1971        Charlesworth Memorial Award, B.C. Teacher’s Federation

Museum Work

1985 – 1990  Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, N.W.T. 

Assistant Director, Museum and Community Services (1989-90)

Acting Director (1986)

Curator of Education/Extension and Professional Programs (1985-88)

1976 – 1984  Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association, Vancouver 

Public Programmes Coordinator (1977-84)

Education Project Coordinator (1977)

Ethnology Research Assistant (1976)

1974, 1975 Summer student employee, B.C. Provincial Museum 

Archaeology Division (1975) Ethnology Division (1974)


Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife:

1989  Coordinator, Trapline lifeline – Sur la piste des trappeurs (travelling exhibition)

1988  Curator and Coordinator, Discovery (permanent exhibition)

1987  Coordinator, Paulatuk: Mythology and Sculpture (temporary exhibition)

1986  Treaty 11 (travelling exhibition)

1985  Consultant,  Northwest Territories Pavilion Expo 86, Vancouver

Vancouver Museum

1979-1984  Exhibit team member for Cabinets of Curiosities, The Look of Music, and other exhibitions.

1978  Curator, West Coast Baskets (temporary exhibition)

Recent volunteer activities:

Nanaimo District Museum: Collections Committee (2007 – ongoing)

Crimson Coast Dance Society (Board member 2009 -2011; President 2010-11; Curatorial Resource Committee 2022)

Book Review Editor, Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (2002-2005)

Board member, Nanaimo Art Gallery (1993 -1997) (President, 1996-7)

Organizing committee, Nanaimo Storytelling Festival (1994)

Board of Directors, The Dance Centre (1992-1993)

Current Affiliations:

Canadian Museums Association

Crimson Coast Dance Society

International Dance Council (UNESCO – CID)

Middle Eastern Dance Association

Nanaimo & District Museum Society

Nanaimo Art Gallery

The Dance Centre