Puppets Know Best

An Arts-Based Exploration of Scholarly Identity, Liminality and Soulful Research


  • Lauren Michelle Levesque
  • Cecile Rozuel Saint Paul University




imagination, Jungian psychology, liminality, soulful scholarship, voice


This article addresses the struggle of crafting a recognized professional scholarly identity, and reflects on the significance of puppets to interrupt this struggle, assert one’s voice, and creatively occupy one’s space. Our interdisciplinary contribution aims to extend conversations on the realities of academic life that are often muted or diluted such as anxiety, self-doubt, weariness and failure, with implications for creative research practices. We engage the aforementioned realities through a mix of creative and whimsical writing styles (e.g., human-puppet dialogues; poetry; reflection), leveraging insights from the Jungian psychological approach to archetypal symbol and the imagination as well as transformative arts-based approaches involving storytelling, voice, and liminal space. After exploring our own experiences carving out space as creative and reflective scholar-practitioners, we discuss two examples where puppets disrupted the status quo of particular academic settings and provided opportunities for different, more spontaneous forms of engagement with the self and with others. 

Author Biographies

Lauren Michelle Levesque

Lauren Michelle Levesque is Assistant Professor in the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. Her current research interests include engaged scholarship, spatial approaches to local peacebuilding, and nonviolent social change. She is co-founder of the Research Group on Imagination, Storytelling, and Spaces (https://imaginestories.space). Lauren Michelle regularly contributes to community-facing projects using arts for social change as well as to scholarly conferences and peer reviewed publications on music, practice, and peace.

Cecile Rozuel, Saint Paul University

Cécile Rozuel  is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. Grounded in Jungian psychology, she explores the conscious and unconscious psychodynamics of individuals and organizations in relation to business ethics and moral behaviour, psychosocial transformation, and well-being. Her current research considers how imaginative storytelling can help us identify and mobilize available resources to respond more creatively to life’s tensions and unexpected happenings. Cécile is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion and a co-founder of the Research Group on Imagination, Storytelling and Spaces (https://imaginestories.space).   



How to Cite

Levesque, L. M., & Rozuel, C. (2022). Puppets Know Best: An Arts-Based Exploration of Scholarly Identity, Liminality and Soulful Research. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 7(1), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29626