Graduate Students

Max Abner

Graduate Student

B.S. in Performance Studies, Northwestern University

Max's work lies at the intersection of Indigenous studies, thing theory, and literary Frontier studies. His project begins with the belief that the canon of American naturalist literature can be viewed as the curated archive and script for an ongoing series of "back to nature" cultural performances, and these performances often feature things in an active, dialogic relationship with human subjects. Drawing on aesthetic theory, theories of Ideology, and the posthumanities, Max's research aims to examine the limits of these things's...

Lena Chen

Graduate Student

B.A. in Sociology, Harvard University; M.F.A. in Art, Carnegie Mellon University

Lena Chen is an artist and Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. Her scholarship proposes a theory of Asian American womanhood through uniting narratives of the sex worker and the Tiger Mother. Awarded grants from Mozilla Foundation, Sundance Institute, and the Center for Cultural Power, she is currently hosting community workshops on AAPI sexuality and devising a collective performance as part of her practice-based research...

Leia Devadason

Graduate Student

B.A. (Hons) in Music, University of Cambridge; M.St. in Musicology, University of Oxford

Leia is a writer, composer, and dance-learner from Singapore. Her research interests span music/sound philosophy, queer theory and performance, aesthetics under 24/7 capitalism—and whatever will catch her fancy tomorrow! She is fascinated by the intersection of creative and academic writing, and is working to refine a writing idiom (drawn from literary, argumentative, and musical styles) best suited to the performing art traditions she takes as subjects of research. She finds...

Talia Dixon

Graduate Student

B.F.A. in Modern Dance, minor in Native American Studies, University of Utah

Talia is an enrolled member of the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians. She aspires to research and document the performance of her peoples' culture and identity within both historic and contemporary contexts. Her research interests are informed by her years of practice as a movement artist, as well as the connection to place her family has maintained for millennia in the coastal mountain region of San Diego County California. She graduated cum laude with an Honors B.F.A. in Modern Dance and minor in Native...

Laila Guadalupe Espinoza

Graduate Student

B.F.A. in Community Arts, minor in Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, California College of the Arts; M.A. in Performance Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Laila Guadalupe is the daughter of a Roma mother and Mexican father and raised by her grandmother and aunties in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Her research is informed largely by her life experience as a border crosser and the consequences of the U.S.-Mexico National border such as the feminicide, narco-state, poverty and the maquiladora systems of terror and oppression. She is interested in how border communities...

Juliana Fadil-Luchkiw

Graduate Student

B.A. Eugene Lang College, The New School; B.F.A. Parsons School of Design, The New School; M.A. Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University

Juliana Fadil-Luchkiw is an artist, performer, and PhD student in Performance Studies. Their work deals with how dreams and fantasy are embodied in sociocultural life, focusing on South-South exchanges, imperialist constructions of otherness and colonial fantasies, transferable racialized aesthetics, and the relationship between dance, sex, and labor. Juliana's dissertation project deals with how SWANA cultural practices...

Patricia Gomes

Graduate Student

B.A. in Art History, Global Gender Studies, University at Buffalo; M.A. in Performance Studies, NYU

Patricia is a first-generation American from a Brazilian family who largely grew-up in upstate New York. Her research explores cultural geographies and performance theory for the interrelationship between identity and place, something she considers a “geo-corporeality.” In order to do this, she turns to the artistic practice of black and brown women of the Americas, primarily in Brazil. Their use of performance, place-making, and relationship to everyday geographies of racial and...

Cati Kalinoski

Graduate Student

B.F.A. in Drama, M.A. in Performance Studies, New York University

Cati Kalinoski is an academic and theater maker whose work examines the ways in which we theatricalize nature, particularly plants and extinction, and how we co-navigate survival, existence, and presence. With particular attention to museum exhibitions of plants and wildlife displays, she utilizes theories of futurity and blends her view alongside her interdisciplinary history in theater and the arts world. Cati has received her BFA cum laude in Drama and her MA in Performance Studies at NYU, and was the recipient of...

Zihan Loo

Graduate Student

M.F.A. in Studio Practice, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; M.A. in Performance Studies, New York University

Zihan is a queer artist from Singapore with a research focus on distended and pragmatic gestures of resistance under illiberal regimes. His work strives to reconcile the tension between the flesh of the body and the bone of the archive, while interrogating the fetish of materiality in our orientation towards a post-human world. He emphasizes the malleability of memory through various representational strategies that includes performance re-enactments and essay films....

Fernando Martinez

Graduate Student

B.A. and M.A. in Communication Studies, California State University Northridge

Self-proclaimed L.A. trash, Fernando is a performer and spoken-word artist whose research is centered in areas of Chicano and Central-American issues informed by Racial-Cultural Geographies, Ritual, Spatial Politics, and Abject Performance from L.A. to the Bay Area.