Performance, education, and collaborative research for health, justice, and community-building.

Research Overview


Creative Advocacy and Oral History in Issues of Health, Cancers, and Coal Ash Disposal.” U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Federal docket submission on behalf of UNC IRB 15-2371, Breast Cancer Action, NAACP NC. May 2016

 “Drilling Down Deep: Pink Ribbons, Fracking, and Silencing Women’s Voices.Breast Cancer Action: The Source (refereed, circ. 60k), Winter 2014

"It is In You and the Expansion of Global Storytelling." Storytelling, Self, Society. Global Storytelling Special Issue. 8.3: 138–166 (refereed journal), Fall 2012

Research in Media


"Breast Cancer Action Takes On Pinktober." That Cancer Show: WPTF 680 US East Coast Radio, interview feature, Fall 2015

"The State of Things: The Process Series" NPR WUNC 91.5 FM, interview feature with Frank Stasio, Fall 2008


"Patient Advocacy Network Spotlight." USA Patient Network, National Center for Health Research, June 2017

"Patient Advocates on FDA Nominee." BCAction, co-written with Linda Radach, Winter 2016

Consultation to Film, Television

With EPA Rule Change, Worries Linger for Those Near Coal Ash.” CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, consultant to producer Nadia Kounang with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, feat. Danielle Bailey Lash (6 min), Summer 2018

Climate Listening Project: The Story We Want.”  Consultant to film team and director Dayna Reggero, feat. Tracey Brown Edwards, Caroline Rutledge Armijo (7 min), Fall 2017

America Divided: Private Money in Public Policy.” Consultant to DP and research team on health effects, environmental justice, civil rights contexts of coal ash advocacy, Working Films with EPIX (60 min), Fall 2016

Faultlines: Healthcare Access and ‘The Coverage Gap’ in America.” Interviewee and consultant to Al-Jazeera America with host Josh Rushing, Medicaid Expansion Coalition of NC NAACP (25 min), Summer 2014  

Local Research Partnerships

"Cancer Cultures: Performing the Politics of Health Justice" -- IRB study (UNC 15-2371) with persons who become health justice activists as a result of facing serious illness and cancers, linked to unequal toxic exposures, or to unequal access to healthcare. Explores performance-centered communication linking health, racial, and environmental justice at events regarding affordable healthcare, coal ash waste, and fracking, with NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement. 2015-ongoing

 "Lifestyle Behavior Change for Cancer Patients: Narrative and Gain Frame Communication" -- IRB study (UNC 13-1040) with community-generated, culturally contextual messaging from patients, caregivers, health providers who deal with stages III and IV cancers; based in message-generating and intercept interviews, focus groups. 2013-ongoing

Cultures of Cancer Response -- Cancer Patients, Caregivers, Health Providers at Cancer Centers of NC, Duke, Rex Hospitals, UNC for ongoing interviews; facilitation of stress reduction, health communication, and performance workshops on cultures of response to life-threatening (advanced, metastatic) cancers; participant ethnography. 2012-ongoing

Environmental Racism and Performing Water Politics in the Black Diaspora -- ethnographic interviews and student service-learning coordination with leaders in Rogers Rd. / Eubanks Neighborhood of Chapel Hill, NC, regarding community organizing and a toxic landfill, 2014

UNC Center for AIDS Research -- Liaison for Health, Faith, and Arts Initiatives, projects such as "What is a CFAR?" Documentary with CFAR Research Core Directors, National Black Church Week of Prayer to Heal HIV/AIDS, Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS, the Voicing Wisdom Project. 2009-2010


Global Research Partnerships

Dialogic Audience-Performer Relations and Holistic Social Change in Nautanki Performance, with Dr. Devendra Sharma; Delhi, Vrindivan and Mumbai, India, Summer 2012

Oral History, Performance and Culture: Land Displacement and Titanium Mining on South Coast Kenya, a partnership between UNC Chapel Hill and University of Nairobi (funded by Burch Honors program and Dept of Communication, UNC Chapel Hill), with Dr. Della Pollock, Nairobi, Diani and Kwale District, Kenya, Summer 2011

Research collaboration with health justice, community development, and performance leaders, at University of Dar es Salaam and White Orange Youth Center, Moshi (funded by Boyatt Fellowship), Winter/Spring 2007; and with Dr. Eunice Sahle in UDSM and UNC-CH partnership (funded by UNC Chapel Hill Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, Office of Global Health and several community-based grants), Dar es Salaam and Moshi, Tanzania, 2009


Select Conference Presentations

2017 -- "Performance and Dismantling Racism in University Pedagogy," accepted to Changing the Race Dance, Bethlehem, PA, with Sonny Kelly

2016 -- Gender, Bodies, Technology Symposium, Virginia Tech, Roanoke, VA, "Toxicity and Technologies of Bodies on the Line: Performing the Politics of Health Justice Activism." Panel co-presenter with Pavithra Vasudevan, competitively selected

2015 -- NC Environmental Justice Network Summit (scholars, activists, lawyers, community leaders), Whitakers, NC, "Our Bodies, Our Stories: Performance for Intergenerational Movement Building." Research-based and participatory workshop, co-presenter with Pavithra Vasudevan, competitively selected

2014 -- National Communication Association/NCA, Chicago, IL, “(Cultural) Economies of Disease: Pink Ribbon Campaigns’ Global Circulation, A Transnational Feminist Reading", competitively selected

2014 -- Global Africana Conference: Water, Health and Environment, UNC-CH. “Re-presenting Transnational Cancer Philanthropy: Pink Ribbon Citizenship in Kenya”, respondent Dr. Kenneth Janken, invited panel presentation

2013 -- National Communication Association/NCA, Washington, DC, “Embodying Toxicity” Panel Co-Chair, “Performing Cancer Communication” presenter, competitively selected

2013 -- National Communication Association/NCA, Washington, DC, “Holistic Community Performance Towards Social Change: Nautanki in India”, co-presenter with Dr. Devendra Sharma, competitively selected

2013 -- East Africa at 50 Symposium + Global Conference, UNC Chapel Hill. “Mining and Displacement in South Coast Kenya: Oral performance towards restorative justice.” Panel Chair, Dr. Eunice Njeri Sahle

2013 -- Performance Studies International 19/PSi, Stanford University, “Unstuck Time: Performing Cancer Communication” Co-Chair, competitively selected

2013 -- State Legislative Conference, NC AIDS Action Network, “Creative Health Communication Strategies” Panel Chair/Respondent for Center for AIDS Research, Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS colleagues; presenter, competitively selected

2012 -- Association for Theatre in Higher Education/ATHE, “Interactive Theater and Health Communication”, co-presenter with Dr. Ben Saypol, pre-conference training

2012 -- Performance Studies International 18/PSi, Leeds University, UK, “Economies of Dis/ease”, 1.5 hour performance panel/shift, competitively selected 

2010 -- Communication for Development + Social Change, Global Conference, Ohio University, “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania”, conference’s invited evening performance

2009 -- Oral History Association National Conference, Louisville, KY, “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania”, conference’s invited evening performance

2009 -- National Communication Association/NCA, Chicago, IL, “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania” presenter, Chair Dr. Della Pollock, Respondent Dr. E. Patrick Johnson, competitively selected

2009 -- Global Health + Human Rights Conference at Alliance Francaise, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania” featured performance, co-presenter with UDSM partners, respondent Dr. Eunice Sahle 

2009 -- Pedagogy + Theatre of the Oppressed Global Conference, Minneapolis, “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania” co-presenter with Minneapolis diasporic community artists, competitively selected

2008 -- Doris Duke Foundation + Creative Campus National Initiative, Washington, DC, presenter as UNC “CCC” Artist in Residence, invited performance and presentation


Major Projects

Garlock, Marie. Mining and Displacement in South Coast Kenya: Oral Performance toward Restorative Justice. Forthcoming in “East Africa at 50” ed. Sahle, Ntalaja, (collaborative research program, Kenya)

Sharma, Devendra and Garlock, Marie. Indigenous Folk Performance and Social Change in Nautanki (collaborative research program, India)

Garlock, M. Limitless Trajectories: Life, Death, and Cultures of Cancer Care (doctoral research)

Garlock, M. Gain Frame + Narrative Communication, Lifestyle Behavior Change + Advanced Cancer (doctoral research)

Garlock, M. (Cultural) Economies of Dis/ease: Breast Cancer and Transnational Feminisms (doctoral research)

Garlock, M. Commons of Witnessing to Witnessing: Cross-cultural Oral History Performance (masters research)


Other Publication

2007 -- Garlock, Marie. Africanist Policy and US Presidential Race. Mwanainchi/The Citizen Daily: Political Special, circ.500k, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

2011 -- Garlock, Marie.  Performance and Health AdvocacyUNC Center for AIDS Research: Connect, Educate, Inspire, irc. 1k