About Dr. Nicola Marae Allain

Nicola Marae Allain, Ph. D. is an associate professor in arts, media, cultural studies and learning and emerging technologies.

  • Doctor of Philosophy, European Graduate School, Switzerland.
  • Master of Arts, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Ottawa / Université d’Ottawa, Canada

Topics: Asia/Pacific, Dance, Design and Digital Arts,  Ethnomusicology, Learning and Emerging Technologies, Media, Oceania and Polynesia, Philosophy, Poetry and Translation.

Formerly the director of curriculum and instructional design for the Center for Distance Learning, and dancer/choreographer specializing in Asia/Pacific traditions. I combine expertise in performing and digital arts and technologies with research in learning design, emerging media and technologies, and immersive environments.  I translate French poetry and philosophy, including the work of Philippe Beck.

I also research Ancient Tahitian history, mythology, performance traditions, and ways of knowing to honor the memory of my ancestors. This research focuses on Asia/Pacific and Oceanic philosophy, culture, and performance traditions. My theoretical research interests include power dynamics within the context of taboo and transgression, in relation to individual autonomy and human agency, as well as the artist’s exemption from societal restrictions. These studies are founded upon a primary source analysis and phenomenological exploration of the related Polynesian concepts of Mana (power), Tapu (the tapu system), and Hara (guilt/transgression), and the Ancient Tahitian Ario’i society of performing artists.

I am active in college governance leadership, and serve as an external evaluator/advisor for the Tertiary Accord of New Zealand (for the development of their eCampus across the consortium). I also serve on the Steering Committee of the Open SUNY Innovative Instruction Research Council, and the Editorial Board of the Online Learning Journal.

In my free time, I am a NYS licensed wildlife rehabilitator and care for orphaned or injured wildlife before releasing them on the nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary that is my home.