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Black Performance Theory 2006:
Crossroads in Global Performance


Confirmed Participants:

Awam Amkpa is Former Senior Lecturer of Drama and Television at King Alfred’s University College, Winchester, England, and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Mount Holyoke College. Author of Theatre and Postcolonial Desires, London:Routledge, 2003 and forthcoming Archetypes, Stereotypes and Polytypes: Theatres of the Black Atlantic. Director of film documentaries such as Winds Against Our Souls, Its All About Downtown, National Images and Transnational Desires, and feature film Wazobia! Author of several articles in books and journals on Modernisms in Theatre, Postcolonial theatre, Black Atlantic Issues, and Film studies. WORKING WITH ANANYA CHATTERJEA AND ANITA GONZALEZ FOR BPT2006.
Annemarie Bean's academic focus has been primarily on performance studies and inter-cultural performance, with a particular concentration on performances of race and gender. She is the co-editor, along with James V. Hatch and Brooks McNamara, of Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy, published by Wesleyan University Press in 1996 and winner of the 1997 Errol Hill Award, given for outstanding scholarship in African American theatre studies by the American Society for Theatre Research. Bean is also the editor of A Sourcebook on African-American Performance: Plays, People, Movements, published by Routledge in 1999. In addition, she has published articles and book reviews in numerous theatre and performance studies journals. WORKING WITH E. PATRICK JOHNSON FOR BPT2006.
Jennifer Devere Brody's (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania) first book, Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (Duke,1998), reads intersections among race, class, gender and sexuality. Her forthcoming project, The Style of Elements: Politically Performing Punctuation (under contract with Duke) looks at similar concerns in art, dance and theater. She has published work on a wide range of topics from African American literature, to cultural studies as well as black feminism and film. She is President Elect of the Women and Theatre Program. WORKING WITH WENDY WALTERS FOR BPT2006.
Pamela Booker is at the Parsons School of Design. Pamela S. Booker, MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts candidate, Goddard College (2007), M.A. NYU (2003) Dramatic Writing and Performance Studies. Working in the tradition of artist as scholar, she creates performance/dramatic works, non-fiction and essays, and is also advisor to BFA/MFA students at Parsons The New School for Design. This March 2006, she presented a lecture/draft of her newest work, ADRIAN PIPER/JESSYE NORMAN and the GERMAN PHILOSOPHER WHO SEDUCED THEM! A multimedia-based project that examines the aesthetic intellectualism and impulses that inspire these two extraordinary artists grounded in the writings of Immanuel Kant, this project was part of the conference Crossovers: African Americans and Germany and hosted by Universität Münster and CAAR. Last fall 2005, SEENS FROM THE UNEXPECTEDNESS OF LOVE, a performance-play with movement and music, was produced by the Artists of Tomorrow Festival/Six Figures Theatre Company at The West End Theatre and directed by longtime collaborator Anita Gonzalez. Other works have been produced by or received directed readings at the Naked Angels Theatre Lab, HEREarts, Voices from the Edge Festival and Dixon Place. Scholarly articles have been presented internationally at Oxford University, Universidad de Málaga and Université de Rennes, and in the United States at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University, Rutgers University, Florida State University, NYU, ATHE and MLA. Her essay Staging black/female/body in the Age of Global Terror, will be published by Routledge this spring in the Women and Performance journal. WORKING WITH RICHARD C. GREEN at BPT 2006.
Jayna J. Brown attended San Francisco State and Yale. Her dissertation :Babylon Girls: African American Women Performers and the Making of the Modern" was advised by Paul Gilroy, Hazel Carby, Michael Denning and Joseph Roach. She teaches in the Ethnic Studies department at UCR.

Nicole Castor is currently holding the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowship, Williams College 2005 – 2006, while ABD at the University of Chicago in Anthropology. Her dissertation “Invoking the Spirit: Public Culture and the Politics of Nationhood in Trinidad” explores the cultural production of identity in public space through festival and ritual events. Through a close study of Orisha public rituals, Emancipation celebrations and Carnival fetes she investigates public culture(s) in Trinidad as sites for the negotiation and (re) production of the contested identities of race and class. Through ethnographic methods (including photography and video) she illuminates the cultural politics of nation-building to explore the tensions between identity as a basis for social equality versus identity as an ordering principle for social hierarchies. Her research interests include: post-colonialism, the African diaspora, Anglophone Caribbean, popular/public culture, Afro-Atlantic religions, citizenship and the nation, race and ethnicity, identity, visual anthropology and multi-media ethnographic methods. In 2005 she presented papers at the 104th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting (Washington D.C.); Department of Performance Studies, Northwestern University, (Chicago, Il); Association for the Study of the World African Diaspora, Third Biennial Conference (Rio de Janiero, Brazil); and the Department of English, University of Miami (Miami, Fl). Currently she holds a Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowship at Williams College. WORKING WITH ANNA SCOTT FOR BPT 2006.

Ananya Chatterjea is an artist and activist, Artistic Director of Women in Motion, and also Assistant Professor of Dance at University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Ananya came to the US in 1989 in her search for more innovative ways to conceptualize the dancing body. She also completed a Master's Degree in Dance from Teacher's College, Columbia University, as the recipient of an International Scholarship.She earned her doctorate in 1996 With Distinction along with Certification in Women's Studies. Ananya is also the Artistic Director of Women In Motion, a company of South Asian women doing political theatre, and creates pieces about issues in the lives of women of color, particularly women of South Asian origin. Ananya is the proud recipient of grants from prestigious organizations such as the New York Foundation on the Arts, Asian Arts Initiative, Mcknight Foundation and Bush Foundation. Ananya's artistic work continues to be embedded in activist concerns and she creates pieces that raise questions about the lives of South Asian women. Ananya has taught in the Dance Departments of the Boston Conservatory of Dance, Wellesley College, Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, and in the Women's Studies Program of Temple University. Ananya is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, UMN and teaches courses on Dance History and Philosophy & Aesthetics. WORKING WITH AWAM AMPKA FOR BPT2006.
Thomas F. DeFrantz earned degrees from Yale, City University of New York, and NYU, and has taught at NYU, Stanford, and MIT where he is Associate Professor of Music and Theater Arts. His research centers on African American performance. As a performer: Morton Gould Tap Concerto with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart; Duke Ellington Tap Concerto with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra led by Mark Harvey. As a director and writer: affiliations with the Drama League of New York, the Theater Offensive of Boston, and the performance research group Slippage: Performance Interventions in Culture and Technology, in residence at MIT. Recent original plays: Queer Theory! A Musical Travesty, an NPN project slated for production in Boston in 2006; The Downright Sexy Adventures of Drew Durango, written with composer Michael Wartofsky for New York cabaret star Darius de Haas; Ennobling Nonna, produced at MIT in 2004; and Monk’s Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk. Publications include Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002) and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004). Served on the boards for the Society of Dance History Scholars and as Book Editor for the Dance Critics Association. For many years he organized the dance history program at the Alvin Ailey School in New York. Core faculty, American Dance Festival/Hollins University MFA Program. Current Research: Black Beauty: Concert Dance in the Africanist Grain. Current Performance Project: House Music Project, to premiere at UT Dallas February, 2006. WORKING WITH TAVIA NYONG'O FOR BPT2006
  NADINE GRAVES-GEORGE (PhD, Northwestern). PhD Faculty UCSD. Nadine's work is situated at the intersection of African American studies, feminist 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 (New York: St. Martinís, 2000) and is already well into her second book, Urban Bush Women and Postmodern Black Performance. In addition to her impressive scholarship, Nadine has written four plays and a screenplay. She also has extensive experience and training as an actor, director, dancer, and choreographer.
Richard C. Green BA, Drama & Italian, Stanford, M.A. NYU Perf Stud, ABD. Dancer w/choreographers such as Marlies Yearby, Diane Frank & Remy Charlip, Reggie Wilson, etc. in NYC, San Francisco and Paris. Essays on Pearl Primus in DANCING MANY DRUMS and "Asadata Dafora and Charles Moore" in Theatre Insight 8-9 and Pearl Primus in Dance Ethnology Journal Spring 1995. Scholarship at Merce Cunningham Studio 91-92 and receipient of Dance Critic's Scholarship Los Anegles Pacific Rim Arts Festival 1989. Former member of Black Theater Network, ATHE, Internat'l Assoc of Blacks in Dance, and Dance Critics Assoc. Taught dance in Italy and `California. Performed with contemp dance company space Ritmique in Florence and Paris. WORKING WITH PAMELA BOOKER At BPT 2006
Anita Gonzalez is an Associate Professor the Theater at the State University of New York – New Paltz where she teaches directing, movement, and theater history courses. Her research interests are in African American theater, Latin American and Caribbean theater, and popular culture. She has lectured in Europe, Latin America, and throughout the United States at universities, arts centers, community centers, and in the public schools. Gonzalez earned her Ph.D. in Theater/Performance Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1997). She has written book reviews and articles about multi-cultural performance for Modern Drama, the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and Dance Research Journal. Her book Jarocho’s Soul is about nationalism and Afro-Mexican dance. Gonzalez is also a director and choreographer whose work has appeared on PBS national television and at Lincoln Center Out-of Doors, Dance Theater Workshop, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and other national and international venues. Recent projects include participation in the Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab, directing the play Dust at Here/Arts, and directing the play Heat at the Bloomington Playwright’s Project. Gonzalez has choreographed for Ballet Hispanico, taught theater in Central America, given professional and educational workshops in Caribbean and African American dance and lectured about the process of developing new plays. The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mid Atlantic Arts Association, and the FIDEOCOMISO for United States/ Mexico Arts exchange have all funded her work. For her individual scholarship and teaching, she has been awarded a residency at Rockefeller’s Bellagio Center (2003) and three Senior Scholar Fulbright grants, one for research in Mexico (1987), one for teaching in Honduras (1992), and one for Modern Dance pedagogy in Guatemala (2004). WORKING WITH AWAM AMPKA FOR BPT2006.
E. Patrick Johnson is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Performance Studies. He received his BA and MA degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his PhD from Louisiana State University. His research interests include black gay vernacular traditions, performance ethnography, queer performance, and sexuality studies. As a scholar/artist, Johnson has toured his one-man show, "Strange Fruit", around the country since 1999. The performance is an autobiographical meditation on race, gender, sexuality, regionalism. The script will be published in a forthcoming issue of TDR. In addition to publications in Text and Performance Quarterly, Obsidian II, Callaloo, and Journal of Homosexuality, Johnson's forthcoming book, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity and co-edited volume (with Mae G. Henderson), Black Queer Theory: A Critical Introduction, will be published by Duke University Press in the Summer of 2003. His next projects include an oral history of black gay men in the South and a collection of autoethnographic essays. WORKING WITH ANNEMARIE BEAN FOR BPT2006.
  Tavia Nyong'o Ph.D. 2003; M.A. 2002; American Studies, Yale University B.A. 1995; College of Social Studies, Wesleyan University
Biography Major Interests: Performance in the black diaspora, cultural studies, queer and feminist theory, the nineteenth-century, history and memory. Affiliations: ASA, ASTR, MLA, OAH Fellowships/Honors: Marshall Scholarship; Jacob K. Javits Fellowship; Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship; Graduate Fellow, Center for Humanities, Wesleyan; Graduate Fellow, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University. WORKING WITH THOMA S DEFRANTZ FOR BPT2006
Carl Paris Carl Paris was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He holds a Masters Degree in Dance and Dance Education (NYU). He has served on the faculty in the Dance Education Program at NYU. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Dance and Cultural Studies at Temple University, and has taught various courses in the Dance Department. Mr. Paris has performed major roles with the dance companies of Olatunji African Dance, Eleo Pomare, Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey. He has also taught and choreographed throughout Europe and Spain, where he maintained his own company. He has participated in various panels and gave lectures on dance pedagogy, dance history; and he received national recognition from Dance Association of Madrid Award in 1995. Carl has also been guest teacher and choreographer at the California Institute of the Arts, the Alvin Ailey Repertory Company, the Fiorella La Guardia High School of the Performing Arts, and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. He has served on panels at American Dance Guild and CORD conferences. As well, his critical writings and essays on contemporary African- American dance history have appeared in various publications like Attitude, Magazine-ART, The Drama Review and CORD Conference Proceedings.
Anna Beatrice Scott Anna Beatrice Scott is assistant professor in the Department of Dance at University of California, Riverside and founding Convener of the Center for Body, Performance & Dance. She specializes in the study, analysis, and performance of dance practices in the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on the performance of epidermal realities as they intersect transnational entertainment industries and local spiritual/ philosophical practices. Anna has performed professionally with Fua dia Congo, Ceedo Senegalese DanceCompany, Abiogenesis (a Chicago based performance art troupe) and Chama Compania de Dança. She is completing an e-book investigation of Carnival, Completamente Pirado: O Carnaval Depois o Novo Linguagem do Pé (Flipped-out Tongues/Wagging Heads), a multimediated, user-driven experience of the ‘Grand Folly’ and race in Bahia, Brazil with Ritsu Katsumata and the dark2digital.com collective. Anna leads the De/Cipherin' Practices Colloquium, a national gathering of scholars working in/on/through/ with the
Arts of Africa and Its Diaspora. She served as Provost's Fellow in Theatre, Film and Dance at Cornell University in 2003 to 2005. Her one-woman show, Fish Tales, Rivers and Other Female Parts has been presented at UC San Diego, RISD, Brown University, and MIT.
She contributed the entry of "Performance Art" to the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture, Art & History," and "Flip Flop," an essay on the object of Carnival to the forthcoming edition of Vectors On- Line Journal. Her current performance project, BORRACHA:BOUNCE, based in part on "Flip Flop," will be presented at University of Indiana this spring. Fish Tales and other collected works can be found, in part, here. WORKING WITH NICOLE CASTOR FOR BPT 2006.
Wendy S. Walters Digital Media, English , BA, University of Michigan, MA, Cornell University, MFA, Cornell University, PhD, Cornell. Wendy S. Walters is Assistant Professor of English at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Recent scholarly works include "Turning the Neighborhood Inside Out: Imagining a New Detroit in Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project" in TDR, "Detroit in Present-Future Tense: Broadside Press, Motown and Detroit Techno" forthcoming in New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement (Rutgers) and "After the Death of the Last: Reviving Identity in Native and Black Performances of History" forthcoming in Crossing Waters, Crossing Borders (Duke).Her poetry has been published in a number of journals including Callaloo, The Seneca Review, Sou'wester, Natural Bridge and Nocturnes (Re)view. Birds of Los Angeles, a chapbook, was released from Palm Press (CA) in 2005. Her work as a lyricist with composer Derek Bermel has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, The Copland House, the Huddersfield Music Festival, Gaudeamus, Banff Center for the Arts, the University of Michigan, Juilliard and the Miller Theatre among others. Faber Music (UK) and Peer Classical publish these songs. Current projects include Loving Family, an original opera/musical with composer Derek Bermel, which will be directed by Kelly Robinson and is in development with the Music Theatre Group (NY). WORKING WITH JENNIFER BRODY FOR BPT 2006.
Harvey Young is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University, with appointments in Performance Studies, African American Studies, and Radio/Tv/Film. He received his BA in Film Studies from Yale and his PhD in Theatre from Cornell. In additional to publications in Theatre Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly, Film Quarterly, Journal of Film and Video, Film & History, and a/b:Autobiography, Young has several forthcoming articles/book chapters on museum ethics and lynching exhibits, the dramaturgy of Suzan-Lori Parks, and the challenges of interdisciplinary teaching. Currently, he is revising the manuscript for his first book, which investigates how select African American artists and athletes use performance to access the embodied experiences of passed/past black bodies, and is researching, with NEH support, his second book on the explosive growth of regional theatres in Chicago in the 1970s. He is the Director of the Center for Global Culture’s 2006 Summer Institute on Performance at Northwestern University. WORKING WITH HERSHINI BHANA YOUNG FOR BPT 2006.
Hershini Bhana Young Hershini Bhana Young is currently an Assistant Professor in English at SUNY at Buffalo where she teaches classes on black diasporic gender and sexuality. Her book "Haunting Capital: Memory, Text and the Black Diasporic Body", published by Dartmouth College Press (UPNE) uses the historically injured bodies of black women, as represented in novels and art by black women, to talk about colonialism, gender, race, memory and haunting. Her second book, in progress, is entitled "Coercive Performances". In it she looks at the intersections between coercion, consent and performance in the lives of historical and fictional black women such as Sarah Baartman and Joanna Stedman. Her most recent article on black criminality in Gayl Jones' Eva's Man appears in African American Review, Fall 2005. WORKING WITH HARVEY YOUNG FOR BPT 2006.

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