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Northwestern School of Communication

D. Soyini Madison

Professor Emeritus
D. Soyini Madison

D. Soyini Madison (PhD 1989, Northwestern University) is professor emeritus. Professor Madison lived and worked in Ghana, as a Senior Fulbright Scholar conducting field research on the interconnections between traditional religion, political economy, and indigenous performance tactics.

Recent Publications

  • Madison, D. Soyini. Acts of Activism: Human Rights as Radical Performance (Cambridge University Press 2010)
  • Madison, D. Soyini. Critical Ethnography: Methods, Ethics, and Performance. (Sage 2005)
  • Madison, D. Soyini and Judith Hamera (eds.). The Sage Handbook of Performance Studies. (Sage 2006). Co-edited with Judith Hamera.
  • Madison, D. Soyini (ed.). The Woman That I Am: The Literature and Culture of Contemporary Women of Color. (St. Martin’s 1995)

Recent Grants and Funding

  • Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in Belagio, Italy (2003) for current book project, Acts of Activism: Human Rights and Radical Performance, based on fieldwork in Ghana.

Awards and Honors

  • Numerous teaching awards, including the Tanner University Award at Chapel Hill for “Outstanding and Inspirational Teaching.”

Performance Projects

Adaptation and direction of ethnographic work for performance:

  • I Have My Story to Tell, a performance reflecting the oral histories of University of Carolina laborers and service workers.
  • Mandela, the Land, and the People, a performance based on the life and work of Nelson Mandela.
  • Is It a Human Being or A Girl?, a performance ethnography on traditional religion, modernity, and political economy in Ghana.
  • Water Rites, a multi-media performance on the struggle for clean and accessible water as a human right.


  • PERF_ST 327-0 Field Methods in Performance Studies
  • PERF_ST 330-0 Topics: Radical Performance and Human Rights
  • PERF_ST 330-0 Topics: Literature and Performance of Women of Color
  • PERF_ST 410-0 Studies in Performance
  • PERF_ST 515-0 Seminar: Performance and Pedagogy
  • PERF_ST 515-0 Seminar: Postcolonial Theory
  • PERF_ST 515-0 Seminar: Critical/Performance Ethnography