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Northwestern School of Communication

Lori D. Barcliff Baptista

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Advising; Professor of Instruction
70 Arts Circle Drive
5th Floor
Evanston, IL 60208
Lori D. Barcliff Baptista

Lori D. Barcliff Baptista is the associate dean for Undergraduate Programs and Advising and senior lecturer in the Department of Performance Studies. As associate dean, she oversees the School of Communication’s Office of Undergraduate Programs Student Resource Center and its Academic Advisors. In her scholarly work, Lori researches how members of marginalized communities attempt to make sense of and negotiate their places in the world through seemingly mundane everyday objects. She teaches a variety of courses, including the analysis and performance of literature, performance theory, performance ethnography, participatory action research methods, pedagogy, social art practices, curation and spectatorship, and ways in which to explore food as a performance medium.

Her most recent project, Afro-Geographies, is the product of a number of academic and creative collaborations that show and tell how Black cultural identity is constantly formed and reformed by individuals who attempt to reconcile their encounters with often conflicting histories, sources, experiences, traditions, allusions, and desires. Upcoming projects include: Being Useful: Participatory Action Research, Placemaking and Social Practice, which offers an assessment of several Chicago-area community-curated arts projects, and Pedagogy Fails, a collaborative project that explores the pedagogical value of moments of embodied tension, conflict, and revolt in the Theatre and Performance Studies classroom.


  • PhD, Performance Studies, Northwestern University
  • MA, Liberal Studies, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  • BA, Sociology, University of California – Berkeley

Selected Creative Work

  • The Worms Did Not Die on the Street, Performance ethnography adapted for MPAACT’s “100 Acts of Resistance” Chicago, IL Feb 2018
  • it ain’t where you’re from/it’s where you’re at solo exhibit featuring photographs and mixed-media representations of black diaspora travels and intersections. UIC African-American Cultural Center Gallery Jun – Sept 2018
  • Member of Chicago Cultural Alliance project curatorial team for Rites of Passage: Chinese-American and Ethiopian-American traditions around Birth, Marriage, Longevity, and Death, Chinese American Museum of Chicago, May-Sept 2015; African-American Cultural Center Gallery Oct-Dec 2015
  • The Reason Why the Colored American is NOT in the World’s Columbian Exposition, Exhibition co-curated with Kay McCrimon; exhibit designed by Pam Rice, African-American Cultural Center Gallery Jun–Dec 2013; Bronzeville Visitors Center, Chicago. IL, June 2014-15

Selected Publications

  • “Locked Away But Not Defeated: African-American Women Performing Resilience,” in The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance, Kathy A. Perkins, Sandra L. Richards, Renee Alexander Craft and Thomas F. DeFrantz eds., 2018
  • “Reflections on UrBs in Horto: A Community Curated Exhibition,” In Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Color. SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology. Duke University, Durham, NC, August 2016
  • “Images of the Virgin in Portuguese Art at the Newark Museum.” In Fashioning Ethnic Culture: Portuguese -American Communities Along the Eastern Seaboard. Massachusetts: UMass, Dartmouth June 2009
  • Peixe, Patria e Possibilidades Portuguesas: Fish, Homeland and Portuguese Possibilities” Text and Performance Quarterly special issue on food and performance, January 2009
  • “Eating Out.” Review of Beriss, David; Sutton, David E., ed., The Restaurants Book: Ethnographies of Where We Eat. H-Travel, H-Net Reviews. October 2008.

Selected Working Papers and Reports