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Northwestern School of Communication

Nadine George-Graves

Department Chair, Performance Studies; Naomi Willie Pollard Professor of Theatre and Performance
70 Arts Circle Dr, 5th Floor
Evanston, IL 60208
Nadine George-Graves

Nadine George-Graves is the Naomi Willie Pollard Professor at Northwestern University where she chairs the Department of Performance Studies and has a joint appointment in the Department of Theatre. She also serves as Executive Co-editor of Dance Research Journal.

Her work is situated at the intersections of African American studies, critical gender studies, performance studies, theatre history, and dance history. She is the author of The Royalty of Negro Vaudeville: The Whitman Sisters and the Negotiation of Race, Gender, and Class in African American Theater, 1900-1940 and Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of Dance Theater, Community Engagement and Working it Out as well as numerous articles on African American performance. She is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater, a collection of border-crossing scholarship on embodiment and theatricality. She has also written on primitivity, ragtime dance, tap dance legend Jeni LeGon, identity politics and performance, competition, social change, early African American theatre, and the future of performance in the academy. She has given talks, led community engagement projects, and has served on many boards and committees. She is a past-president of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD).

George-Graves is also an artist, and her creative work is part and parcel of her research. She is an adapter, director and dance theatre maker. Her recent creative projects include Architectura, a dance theatre piece about the ways we build our lives; Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A and Topdog/ Underdog; Anansi The Story King, an original adaptation of Anansi stories using college students, professionals, and 4th graders; and Sugar, a digital humanities project at the nexus of creativity and scholarship.

Previous Institutions

  • Yale University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • The Ohio State University