Organizing for health and justice through performance and community collaboration.

Courses designed and taught at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

 

COMM 318 Cultural Diversity (Cultural Difference)

Fall 2016 (26 students) -- A focus on cultural difference through dialogue-centered study of -isms and -phobias, and key approaches to understanding race, gender, sexuality, health status and ability, ethnicity and nation, religious difference, and economic class. Students' research projects, presented to a public audience, profile and propose specific cultural interventions to shift the ways "cultural diversity" can be used to keep status quo inequalities in place, or as an excuse to enact violence.

 

AAAD 290 Performing Water Politics in the Local/Global Black Diaspora

Spring 2014 (20 students, service learning course) -- A focus on ethnography, interview techniques, and service-learning with community members in Rogers Rd. neighborhood who experience environmental racism, zoning inequalities, and water contaminated by municipal waste in Chapel Hill, NC. Students' resulting performance production for the University-hosted Global Africana conference (with interviewees and global water scholars in audience) was devised from original research in NC and study of water rights performances and activism in Ghana, South Africa, and Afro-Columbia. (Co-taught with Professor Joseph Megel).

 

COMM 262 Performance Ethnography (Performance and Culture)

Spring 2014, Spring 2013 (10-20 student seminar) -- A focus on ethnography and interview techniques alongside performance practices focused on peacebuilding/conflict transformation initiatives, and on community-led pursuits of health and justice in global and local contexts. Students' interview projects have included various "peoples' assemblies" at the NC Legislature, and final pubic performances have included interviewees in the audience, and have been hosted by the Jackson Center for Making and Saving History.

 

COMM 260 Performance and Social Change

Spring 2015, Fall 2013, Spring 2012 (18-22 student seminar) -- A focus on everyday and extraordinary performance as it responds to, creates, and envisions social change. "Profiles in courage" of global and local practitioners and researchers doing performance and social change work, with final research projects presented as live performance interventions in and around UNC campus and town of Chapel Hill (streets/sidewalks, bank and hospital lobbies, cafeterias, historic monuments). Organizing themes for the course have included Desmond Tutu's body of work in dismantling apartheid, and a tour of U.S. arts and social change projects in "A Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Arts".

 

COMM 160 Introduction to Performance

Spring 2017 (large lecture course, 90 students), Fall 2015, Summer 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011 (all 18-22 student seminars) -- A focus on performance in its social, cultural, and political contexts; with the opportunity to develop performance projects based on adaptation of literature, oral history performance, and exploration of social roles and critical theory (e.g. topics like race, gender, education and citizenship). Anthologies used have included: "Resisting Arrest: poems to stretch the sky"--poems by writers of color responding to U.S. police violence; "When Bullets Begin to Flower"--liberation and anti-imperialism poetry from Mozambique and Angola; and "Hafiz" a 14th century Sufi Islamic poet focusing on principles and practices of curiosity.