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Faculty Affiliation Type: Performance Studies Core

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz directs SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology; the group explores emerging technology in live performance applications. He believes in our shared capacity to do better and engage creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, proto-feminist, and queer affirming. Creative Projects include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and

Kent R. Brooks

Kent R. Brooks (he/his/him) has dual roles at Northwestern University as the director of Religious and Spiritual Life, where he works within a team dedicated to creating an inclusive space supporting the quest for meaning and purpose, and as an assistant professor of instruction in the Department of Performance Studies, where his work focuses on the

Dotun Ayobade

Dotun Ayobade (he, his, him) an assistant professor of performance studies and African American studies. His scholarship and teaching are in the areas of late twentieth century dance, performance, and popular music in West Africa. Ayobade attends to how, beyond the modalities of writing, West Africans activate aesthetic and everyday social performance to shape their lived

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,

Exal Iraheta

Exal Iraheta (he/his) advises undergraduate theatre and performance studies students. He is a Chicago-based Salvi-American playwright & screenwriter by way of Houston, Texas. Sometimes humorous and often uncomfortable, his work explores the intersections of belonging, family, queerness, violence, and sexuality. Exal is a 2020/2021 Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit member and a selected playwright in the

Bimbola Akinbola

Working at the intersection of performance, visual culture, and literature, Bimbola Akinbola’s scholarly and creative work is concerned with conceptions of belonging and queer worldmaking in African diasporic cultural production. Akinbola is currently working on her first book manuscript, which examines the creative work of contemporary Nigerian diasporic women artists whose work, she argues, strategically

Mary Zimmerman

Mary Zimmerman is a writer and director of theatre specializing in the adaptation of classic stories of world literature for the stage. Her work is known for its striking visual nature, vivid storytelling, and sensitivity to the original text. She has earned national and international recognition in the form of numerous awards, including the Tony,

Shayna Silverstein

Shayna Silverstein’s research examines the politics and aesthetics of sound and movement in the contemporary Middle East. She is currently completing a book manuscript about popular culture in prewar Syria that focuses on how the national performance tradition of dabke engenders belonging across class, religion, and ethnicity. By attending to both the historical trajectories and

E. Patrick Johnson

E. Patrick Johnson is the Dean of the School of Communication and the Annenberg University Professor. A scholar/artist, Johnson performs nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality and performance. Johnson is a prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African

Marcela A. Fuentes

Marcela A. Fuentes’s work focuses on tactical media and performance in contemporary protests and activisms. Her book Performance Constellations: Networks of Protest and Activism in Latin America/ Activismos tecnopolíticos: Constelaciones de performance (University of Michigan Press, 2019; Eterna Cadencia, 2020) maps the entanglement between on and off-line organizing and mobilization in movements such as neo-zapatismo,

Cristal Chanelle Truscott

Cristal Chanelle Truscott is a playwright, director, scholar, culture worker, facilitator, and founder of Progress Theatre (PT), a touring ensemble company using theatre as anti-racism engagement to encourage cross-community conversations, connections, and consciousness. As a playwright and director she creates “NeoSpirituals,” or acapella musicals using “SoulWork,” the generative method she developed from generations-old African American

Joshua Chambers-Letson

Joshua Chambers-Letson is a writer and performance theorist who researches and teaches courses in performance studies, critical race theory, and queer of color critique. His books and essays place performance studies in conversation with a diverse set of fields including black studies, Asian American studies, art history, and critical theory to theorize the role performance

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