Sima Belmar: B.A. Russian and History, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. Russian Literature, Stanford University; M.F.A. Dance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Western concert dance training, choreography, and performance; the intersection of alternative body modalities and theories of embodiment and habitus; phenomenology of gesture and kinesthesia; disability studies; the relationship of kinesthetic experience to scopic and linguistic regimes.
Marc Boucai: B.A. Theatre and English, Swarthmore College; graduate studies with L’Ecole Internationale de Jacque le Coq: performer, movement specialist, director, and critic. His research interests include American Studies, Arab American diasporas and subjectivities in experimental performance and popular culture, transnational feminist and queer theory, theories of genre (musicals, sitcoms, melodrama, and comedy), and theories of globalization and affect.
Naomi Elizabeth Bragin: B.A. Dance, Wesleyan University, M.A. Folklore, University of California, Berkeley. Naomi currently researches the roots of hip-hop dance in the Bay Area’s Oakland, Richmond and Fillmore neighborhoods, during the Funk and Black Power movements of the late 1960s through early 1980s. Her master’s work analyzes a group of dances known popularly as poppin,’ considering how dance technique and aesthetic style construct and circulate communities’ knowledge making practices. Her dance style is informed by hip-hop, house, waaking, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin dance. Scholarly interests: black performance theory, hip-hop studies, gender and sexuality studies, collaborative ethnography, dance pedagogy.
Ashley Ferro-Murray: B.A. Critical Performance Theory in the College Scholar Program and Dance, Cornell University: A choreographer and dancer, Ashley’s pursuits include practical and theoretical explorations of motion capture programming, interactive wearable sensors and digital animation software. She considers experiences with these technologies in the context of dance history and studies. More broadly, Ashley considers digitality and movement from a philosophical and theoretical perspective. Designated emphasis in New Media.
Thea Gold: B.A. Music and Electrical Engineering, UC-Berkeley; M.A. Interdisciplinary Arts, Tel Aviv University; Graduate work, Near Eastern Studies, UC-Berkeley. Most of you already know Thea as a participant in many P.S. courses and with ongoing interests in the fields of religion, queer studies, music, and disability studies.
Megan Hoetger, B.F.A. Drawing and Painting, B.A. Art History, M.A. Art History, California State University, Long Beach. Hoetger’s work looks at performance after fascism in Central Europe. Her research interests include feminist and queer theories of sexuality and identity; experimental cinema, sexploitation, and pornography; vision and visuality; kinesthetic knowledge; collective memory and cultural amnesia; nationalism and national identity; trauma studies; and performance art exhibition histories.
Jennifer Johnson Zermeño: B.A. Women’s and Gender Studies, Amherst College; M.A. Drama, San Francisco State University. A professional clown, scholar, and circus arts educator, Johnson Zermeño is interested in the raced, classed, and gendered subject in a range of performative sites. Her research includes Native American museum display, the mixed-race figure in American drama, and ritual clown performance in the face of global capitalism.
Paige Johnson: B.A. Theatre and Cultural Anthropology, Columbia University; Mellon-Mays Fellow; Fulbright Fellow. Currently working in Indonesia, Johnson brings a cross-disciplinary intelligence as both a scholar and performer. In addition to varied pursuits in South and Southeast asia and in transnational feminism, her primary research will develop from ongoing work on the cultural and economic politics of trans-communities in India.
Caitlin Marshall: Caitlin Marshall: B.A. Theater Arts, Brown University; graduate M.M.program in voice at Roosevelt University, Designated Emphasis in New Media: Marshall applies her practice-based and pedagogical knowledge of voice towards the study of what it meant to ‘sound American’ during the nation’s first independent century. Interests include the politics of voice, the aesthetics of expression, and ‘Othered’ American vernaculars at the intersections of race, disability, gender, and ethnicity. New Media and Theater history, voice pedagogy and oratorical culture, Disability and Sound Studies, and theories of melodrama and performance. Working Dissertation Title: “Prosthesis and Synthesis: Voice Science and Sounding America”
Kate Mattingly: B.A. Architecture, Princeton University; M.F.A. Dance, New York University. As a dance critic and evaluator for New York Times, the Village Voice, the N.E.A. and myriad other publications and honorary committees, Mattingly brings a wealth of experience in the analysis of contemporary dance. Her cross-disciplinary approach to movement includes an ongoing interest in architecture, in flash mobs, and in the social effects of new technologies.
Seán McKeithan: B.A Rhetoric and Journalism, UNC-Chapel Hill. As both a theatre-maker and a researcher, Seán is interested in the everyday, in the various quotidian performances that make us, agential and otherwise. His work focuses primarily on queer ruralities and urbanities; cultures of consumption (of food, drink, media, bodies); the aesthetics of the outdoors; normativity and deviance; and the various workings of privilege.
Ivan A. Ramos: B.A. Critical Gender Studies/Film Studies, UCSD. Ivan grew up on the Mexican side of the busiest border crossing in the world, where he developed, in his words, a “strange bicultural identity.” His research interests include racial performativity and representation in queer contexts, particularly online sex sites and pornography; queer affective practices; US immigration law and the social/legal performance of nation; choreographies, dance, and the relationship between performer/audience on youtube videos; film criticism, art cinema, and popular culture.
Heather Rastovac: B.A. University of Washington, Major: Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (with a focus on Persian Literature), Minors: Anthropology and Dance. Dancer, dance teacher, choreographer, and PhD candidate in Performance Studies. Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexualities. Her research focuses on dance and movement-based performance by contemporary Iranian artists (dis)located in diaspora. She further focuses on issues pertaining to transnational reconfigurations and circulations of Orientalism in “World Dance” markets in the post-9/11 era. Scholarly interests include: Dance Studies, Performance Studies, Transnational Feminist Theory, Postcoloniality, Iranian/Middle Eastern Studies, and Diaspora Studies.
Omar Ricks: B.A. History, Johnson C. Smith University; M.A. U.S. History, University of Illinois; M.F.A. Drama, University of California, Irvine: Interests linked to performance studies include race, gender, sexuality, subject formation, metanarrative, performance theory, political theory, psychoanalysis, political ontology, film studies, new media, policing, prison-industrial complex.
Takeo Rivera: Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, M.A. Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University. As a scholar, community organizer, and performer, Rivera explores the relationship between performance and movements for social justice. His research includes an ongoing specialization in Spoken Word and wide-ranging involvement in the role of the arts and performance in projects addressing youth in under-resourced communities.
Chia-Yi (Jessie) Seetoo: B.A. Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University; M.A. Theatre, Northwestern University.
Seetoo is a scholar and an artist whose research interests include contemporary dance, transnational performances, problems and prospects of translation, corporealities and affect, and modern Chinese cultural performance. Her dissertation proposes to rethink the notion of “contemporary dance” in light of its temporal implication of “contemporaneity” in a transnational framework, staging counterpoints of contemporary dance phenomena rooted in Taiwan and the related conditions of transnational performing arts (Chinese diaspora, “East and West,” inter-Asian relations) to consider meanings from differing and often contradictory vantage points. She has presented in Society of Dance History Scholars, American Society for Theatre Research, International Federal Theatre Research, Performance Studies international, among others, and was a participant of the inaugural Dance Studies in/and the Humanities summer seminar funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her performance-as-research projects include intermedial choreography between video and dance, tweaks and recycles of Western postmodern literature and images of Taipei city Mass Rapid Transit, punctuation and the multilingual being, and auto-ethnographic mash-up via self-styled dance theater.
Karin Shankar: B.A. International Studies and Spanish, Minor: Theater and Dance, Colby College; M.P.A., Cornell University. A vocalist and actor, her research interests include Marxism(s), feminist aesthetics, postcoloniality, performance and visual cultures in South Asia and Latin America, social movements.
Stephanie A. Sherman: Vassar College, B.A. in Hispanic Studies; Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, M.F.A. in Dance; Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Ecuador, Dance. Stephanie is interested in studying the intersections of politics, social activism, ritual, street performance and theater through modern dance in Latin America. She is also a dance-theater choreographer and a published bilingual poet.
April Sizemore-Barber: B.A. English, Oberlin College: comes with a range of experiences as a performer, director, producer, and critic in the field of theater and social change, with a focus on queer performance. Her primary research interest, however, is in South African theater, museums and visual art as they relate to changing national identities, traumas, and conceptions of justice.
Scott Wallin: B.A. in Dramatic Arts and Cultural Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara; M.S.W in Social Welfare, UC Berkeley; M.A. Performance Studies, New York University. Research interests include disability and performance; affect and the politics of empathy; theories and practice of directing and acting for the stage. Dissertation title: “Madness in the Making: Psychosocial Disability and Performance.”
Joshua Williams: A.B. Comparative Literature, with Certificates in African Studies and Creative Writing, Princeton; M.A. Comparative Literature, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Josh is a teacher, writer, and occasional actor/director originally from outside Boston, Massachusetts. His research interests include leftist theatre and agitprop in the Third World; transnational arts-for-social-justice methodologies like Theatre of the Oppressed and Drama Therapy; postcolonial theory and the Cold War; the many literatures of HIV/AIDS; adaptation and appropriation; and questions of surrogacy and embodiment on stage and on film.
Brandon Woolf: B.A. Philosophy and English, Columbia University: Modern and Contemporary European Theatre & Performance, Brecht, Theatre for Social Change, Off(-Off)-Broadway Directing/Producing, Aesthetic Theory, Institutional Critique, and Cultural Policy. Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.
Hentyle Yapp: B.A., Brown University, French Literature & Premedical Studies; J.D., UCLA School of Law, Critical Race Theory & Public Interest Law. Hentyle danced professionally with modern/contemporary companies in Taipei, Taiwan and New York. Yapp’s dissertation focuses on contemporary Chinese performance art and the global art market. Other interests include contemporary dance; disability studies; critical race and queer theories; and law and performance.