Skip to main content
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
I steward and assess initiatives that nurture each student’s ability to build a life immersed in the arts, sciences, and practices of human communication. As a scholar/arts practitioner, I explore how members of diverse and often marginalized communities deploy aspects of material and expressive culture to negotiate their relationships with multiple traditions, places and identities.

Area(s) of Expertise

Art Theory and Practice, Black studies, Communication Skills, Entertainment Industry, Performance Ethnography, Performing Arts
Lori D. Barcliff Baptista

Lori D. Barcliff Baptista (she/her) is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Advising and Professor of Instruction in the Department of Performance Studies in Northwestern’s School of Communication. She teaches, researches, and publishes about global media and creative industries, social art practices, storytelling, ethnography, food, and experience driven learning. Lori builds upon collaborative relationships with visual and performing artists, museums, cultural centers, theatre companies and formerly incarcerated women to mount community-curated exhibitions, documentary film and arts education projects, performances, and programs that explore how people attempt to make sense of and navigate their places in the world. Her administrative portfolio includes the Office of Undergraduate Programs and Advising and the Office of External Programs, Internships and Career Services (EPICS), both of which support student development and learning through curricular and co-curricular initiatives.




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

Selected Creative Work

  • Executive Producer, Bayard Rustin: Love Out Loud, a digital video documentary that explores Chicago connections of Bayard Rustin’s legacy of activism. Candice Eloby, Director, Producer & Editor. Featuring Lerone Bennett Jr., Timuel Black, Megan Carney and John D’Emilio. 2013
  • 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

  • “Codfish as a Portuguese Diaspora Identity” Invited submission for Argos – Journal of the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo (Portugal) 9th edition Cod: food, society and culture. Oct 2021
  • “African-American Artists in Europe 1840’s – 1950’s” Arts Education Materials for Lady in Denmark The Goodman Theatre, Arts Education Department. November 2018
  • “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


  • CMN 350: Global Media and Communications Seminar
  • CMN 398: Senior Seminar - Performing Arts
  • PERF_ST 216: Theories & Methods in Performance Studies - Food & Performance
  • PERF_ST 103: Analysis & Performance of Literature
  • PERF_ST 203: Performance, Culture & Communication
  • PERF_ST 322: Museums & Cultural Connections
  • PERF_ST 516: Performance Ethnography