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.