Student Spotlight: Madeleine Leisk

Hometown: Barrie/Kingston
Research Interests: The production and reception of “erotic art” in the nineteenth century, nineteenth century Decadent prints, Sexual fetishization of “foreign cultures,” and cross-cultural interactions between the Netherlands, China and Japan during the seventeenth century.


1. What do you do outside of class/academic work?
I work at the Royal Conservatory of Music and I volunteer at the AGO (gallery guide) and the ROM (where I get to dig up dinosaurs with kids). I also dance (hip hop).

2. How did you get started with this activity?
I was enrolled in dance classes at age 3, tried most styles (hip hop, ballet, contemporary, modern, tap, musical theater, jazz, etc.), but danced contemporary and hip-hop competitively and as part of my school’s company for several years.

3. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your CV/resume alone?
I was invited to meet the Queen (she was very small, but kind) because of my involvement with Guides Canada.

4. What’s next for you?
A year off to focus on new research interests and visit some fantastic primary sources in European secret collections. I will also be working on PhD applications.

5. What is your favourite thing about Toronto?
Large amenities and a great arts scene with a strong community feel, as well as, Weekends at BMV on Bloor West.

6. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Falu Red (barn red), it’s vibrant without being too cheerful. It also reminds me of the beautiful Turkish carpets in Dutch paintings.

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