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News & Press: Announcements

2019 Election Slate

Monday, March 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Submitted to the EC by the ASTR Nominating Committee
Nicole Hodges Persley (Chair), Nominating Committee Chair, Katelyn Hale Wood
Elizabeth Cizmar, Patrick Anderson, Susan Bennett

Vice President for Publications (vote for 1)

Dorothy ChanskyDorothy Chansky
Texas Tech

Biography: Dorothy Chansky is Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University, where she is a President’s Research Professor. She is the author of Kitchen Sink Realisms: Domestic Labor, Dining, and Drama in American Theatre (Iowa, 2015) and Composing Ourselves: The Little Theatre Movement and the American Audience (Southern Illinois, 2004) and co-editor of Food and Theatre on the World Stage (Routledge, 2015). Dorothy’s work has been published in Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, TDR, Theatre History Studies,The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Text and Performance Quarterly, and The Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. She has been a member of ASTR since 1996.

Statement of Service: I served ASTR as Director of Fellowships and Awards prior to the position being converted to a Vice Presidency; I also served on the E.C. Other service to the field includes six years as Editor of Theatre Annual, three years as Book Review Editor for Theatre Journal, and a stint as co-planner of the Theatre History track of the Mid-America Theatre conference in the early 2000s. I am in my final year as President of the American Theatre and Drama Society. I am committed to excellence and accountability in editing, publishing, and contractual agreements and am, accordingly, both humbled and excited by the prospect of serving as Vice President for Publications. Work that appears in Theatre Survey enlightens and brings together its readers as a scholarly community and helps shape the careers of those whose work is published.


Ryan CLaycombRyan Claycomb
West Virginia University

Biography: Ryan Claycomb is Professor of English and Theatre at West Virginia University, where he is also founding director of the Humanities Center and Acting Dean of the Honors College, and associate faculty in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. He is author of Lives in Play: AutoBiography: and Biography: on the Feminist Stage (Michigan, 2012), and editor (with Randi Gray Kristensen) of Writing Against the Curriculum: Antidisciplinarity in the Writing and Cultural Studies Classroom. Additionally, he has published articles in Modern Drama, JDTC, Narrative, and other anthologies and journals, and was book review editor for Theatre Journal from 2014-2016.

Statement of Service: ASTR has been crucial to my scholarly formation over the past decade, and has become not just an intellectual home but a disciplinary lifeline. I have participated in working groups since 2008, and after a stint on the ATHE Research and Publications committee, I have served on the Publications Committee for ASTR for the past three years, as well as currently serving a third year on ASTR's Oscar Brockett Essay Prize committee, chairing it this year. In the role of Vice President for Publications, I would be invested first in sustaining the momentum of our current leadership, bringing talented and established editors and authors to Theatre Survey, and continuing to maintain an excellent relationship with Cambridge University Press. I am also looking forward to building upon the opportunities of the journal’s move into digital formats and spaces—in terms of aesthetics, accessibility, and new modes of conceptualizing and presenting our scholarly work.


Valleri RobinsonValleri Robinson
University of Illinois

Biography: Valleri (Hohman) Robinson, Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Illinois, is author of the book, Russian Culture and Theatrical Performance in America, 1891-1933 (Palgrave 2011). She received a Fulbright Award to work with Nikolai Kolyada at the Kolyada Theatre in Ekaterinburg, Russia in 2014. Her current book project, Cold War Stages: Performing Peace and Friendship in the Public Sphere, 1942-1965, has been supported by the American Theatre and Drama Society Faculty Research Award and the University of Illinois Research Board Award. She has been invited to be a Spring 2020 Resident Fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Valleri has published articles and book chapters on translating and adapting Anton Chekhov, adaptation as creative practice, the legacy of Yiddish playwright Jacob Gordin in America, and Arthur Miller in the 1940s. Valleri also works as a professional dramaturg and teaches courses on dramaturgy, adaptation, theatre historiography, and contemporary performance theory. From 2013-2018, she served as Director of Graduate Studies and Head of Theatre Studies. She received the College of Applied and Fine Arts Award for Service in 2017. In 2018, Dr. Robinson was selected for the Chancellor’s Leadership Series on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Illinois. She received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, where Thomas Postlewait served as her dissertation advisor, in 2001.

Statement of Service: I have served four terms on the Barnard Hewitt Book Award Committee. As a long-term member of the committee, I have gained exceptional familiarity with the diversity of research methods and approaches to historical analysis by leading and emerging scholars in the fields of theatre and performance studies. I previously served two terms as co-director of the New Paradigms in Graduate Education Committee. In this role, I worked to familiarize ASTR members with the work of individuals applying their doctoral education in theatre to non-profit, governmental, and arts organizations. I will work to ensure that the excellent scholarship of ASTR members continues to make an impact on the future of academic theatre and performance studies as well as across the academy and in the public through increasing accessibility and visibilty.

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Members at Large Committee on Conferences (vote for 1)

Katelyn Hale WoodKatelyn Hale Wood
University of Virginia

Biography: Katelyn Hale Wood is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History at the University of Virginia. Wood’s research engages the intersections of critical race and queer theory, gender studies, and 20th/21st-century comedic performance. Her first book project argues how the work of Black feminist stand-up comedians have played vital roles in queer, feminist, and anti-racist community building and performance histories. Wood’s work has been published in Theatre Topics, QED: A Journal in GLTBQ Worldmaking, and Departures in Critical Qualitative Research. Wood received her Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism with an emphasis in African American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches courses in theatre historiography, performance theory, performing race and citizenship, comedy as protest.

Statement of Service: I see ASTR as a vital incubator for nurturing arts and performance scholarship. I have been attending ASTR since 2014, and have served on the nominating committee for the past two election cycles. I look forward to the possibility of working with the Committee on Conferences to help shape the future of ASTR, namely conference accessibility for a diverse range of people at varying career stages, and collaboration with other national groups such as ATHE.


Yumi PakYumi Pak
California State University, San Bernardino

Biography: Yumi Pak is assistant professor of African American and Black Diasporic Literatures in the Department of English at California State University, San Bernardino, a public teaching HSI. Her book project, Black Cities, Black Nations: Mapping the Traveling Body, is a comparative, transnational analysis of African American and Black Scottish literatures and performances that investigates the limitations of nationalism, and the liberatory possibilities afforded through a centering of Black queerness, Black feminism and Black internationalism. She has published on the performance of text and the text of performance, broadly speaking, including on Jean Toomer’s Cane, and is currently at work on an article on Frederick Douglass’ “Send Back the Money” Campaign of 1846.

Statement of Service: ASTR offers a site of gathering for those of us who work at the nexus of text, performance, performativity and social justice. Having been a member since 2014, I have seen first hand the kinds of possibilities that emerge when the concerns that shape these respective fields are brought together so as to re-imagine scholarship, activism and the disciplines of theatre and performance studies writ large. As part of my commitment to creating and supporting spaces for scholars – and particularly adjunct faculty, junior faculty and graduate students and those who have been historically underrepresented in academia – to pursue these lines of inquiry, I served as part of the 2015-2016 ASTR Organizing Committee where we worked to hold access and equity at the heart of our ongoing discussions. If elected to serve on the Committee on Conferences, I would like to continue this work, as well as the labor of current and former leadership in thinking expansively of the performances and literatures outside of the United States, and in particular those in the spaces of partitions, borders, the borderlands, the gaps, the in-betweens.


Jade Power-SotomayorJade Power-Sotomayor
University of California, San Diego

Biography: Jade Power-Sotomayor is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UC San Diego. She is a Cali-Rican performance scholar and a bomba cultural worker and dancer. Research interests include: Latinx theatre and performance, dance studies, epistemologies of the body, feminist of color critique, race and bilingualism, and intercultural performance in the Caribbean diaspora. Her current book project, ¡Habla!:Speaking Bodies in Latinx Dance and Performance, theorizes Latinidad and Latinx communities of belonging as constituted through doing versus being. She has a master’s degree in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Theatre and Dance from UC San Diego, and was a UC Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow in Critical Dance Studies in the Dance Department at UC Riverside. Her publications can be found in Gestos, Latin American Theatre Review, The Oxford Handbook of Theatre and Dance, Latino Studies Journal and Centro Journal for Puerto Rican Studies. She has been attending and presenting at ASTR since 2009. In 2017 she gave a plenary presentation on women of color and Zumba dance and in 2018 she helped to organize the ASTR forum at UC San Diego following the successful hotel workers’ strike while also helping to facilitate conversations between union organizers and ASTR leadership.

Statement of Service: I am currently enjoying my second year on the ASTR Sally Banes/Selma Jean Cohen Award committee and am invested in seeing ASTR continue to attend to the performance imperatives of people of color, working-class people, women, queer and trans folks, the undocumented and the displaced. I see ASTR, and the many brilliant and critically attuned scholars that comprise it, as a productive site for engaging these world-making theatre and performance practices in order to both destabilize the neoliberal academy while also acknowledging their material import beyond the reach of “minority inclusion.”

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Executive Committee Representative to the Committee on Conferences (vote for 1)

Sara Bay-ChengSara Bay-Cheng
Bowdoin College

Biography: Sarah Bay-Cheng is Chair and Professor of Theater and Dance at Bowdoin College, where she teaches theater history and theory, dramatic literature, and digital media performance. Her research focuses on intersections among performance and media including histories of cinema, avant-garde theatre, and computer technology in contemporary performance. Recent publications include Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field (2015) and Mapping Intermediality in Performance (2010). In 2015, she was a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Since 2016, Bay-Cheng can be heard monthly as a co-host for the podcast, On TAP (www.ontappod.com). She has been appointed Dean of Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University in Toronto, Canada and will assume the position in July 2019.

Statement of Service: As a member of ASTR, I currently serve on the Executive Committee. I previously chaired the Awards Committee for Excellence in Digital Scholarship and administered the member group for Digital Research and Scholarship. I continue to prioritize institutional support for new methods, collaborative scholarship, and mentorship in the discipline.


Baron KellyBaron Kelly
University of Louisville

Biography: Baron Kelly is the author of An Actor’s Task: Engaging the Senses (Hackett, 2015). He has the distinction of being a four-time Fulbright Scholar. He has published, lectured, and taught on the theatre in Portugal, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Taiwan, Denmark, Nigeria, Taiwan, China, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Colombia among others. As an actor, he has performed on and off Broadway including appearances on television and film. Publications include the recently published “Bring It All You F---king Animals” (Cambridge Scholars, 2018); “Early to Modern to Postmodern Shakespeares: Three Approaches to the Staging of Romeo and Juliet” (SDC, 2017); Landscape, Seascape, and the Eco-Spatial Imagination (Routledge, 2016). Forthcoming publications include “Earle Hyman: Scandinavian Successes” for Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance (Routledge, 2018), “Othello in the Age of the Alt-Right” (Peter Lang, 2018), and “Fences” in How to Teach a Play: Exercises for the Classroom (Bloomsbury, 2019). He is co-editor with Nicole Hodges Persley of the forthcoming De Gruyter Open Cultural Studies: Special Issue on B(l)ack Futures – Flat Time in Black Performance (2018). He holds a diploma from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Statement of Service: My leadership positions have included serving as the Head of Graduate Acting at the University of Louisville. In addition, I serve on the Editorial Board of the Comparative Drama Conference. I currently serve on the Fulbright Review Panel and have previously served a term on the NEA Review Panel for Theatre. Currently, I serve on ATHE’s Conference Planning Committee (2012-2018) and have been a Member-at-Large for ATHE’s Black Theatre Association Focus Group (BTA). I joined ASTR in 2009 and have participated in a few working sessions over the last decade. I am willing and able to answer President Carlson’s call to the organization to continue making it an inclusive and diverse community. My desire is to become more engaged in ASTR’s organization with the aim of addressing the lack of minoritized representation in leadership and networking activities.

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Executive Committee (vote for 3)

Megan LewisMegan Lewis
UMass Amherst

Biography: Dr. Megan Lewis is a South African-American theatre historian, performance scholar, and white ally activist concerned with the staging of national identity, gender, and race in a variety of performance media. Lewis is the author of a monograph about the intersections of whiteness, masculinity, national identity, and performance in South Africa, Performing Whitely in the Postcolony (2016, University of Iowa Press) and Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space (2016, Intellect Books and UNISA Press), a collection of essays and interviews about Cape Town-based Magnet Theatre, co-edited with Anton Krueger at Rhodes University. Magnet Theatre recently won the 2018 Hiddingh-Currie book award in South Africa. Lewis has published on South African performance in Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Text & Performance, Theatre Topics, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Lewis taught theatre, media, and film courses at the University of Minnesota (2006-2011) before joining the faculty at UMass Amherst in 2011. Lewis received the 2015 Distinguished Teacher Award at UMass for her passionate work and politics in the classroom. Her summer intensive study abroad program, Arts & Culture in South Africa, focuses around the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown). From 2015-2017 she was Graduate Program Director for the Department of Theater, and she earned tenure at UMass in 2017.

Statement of Service: I have been a member of ASTR since 1996, have had the honor of presenting several plenary and working session papers at the annual conference, and have been passionate about the Performance in/from the Global South working session. I also served on the Marshall and Keller Travel Award Committees and was awarded an ASTR Targeted Research Areas Grant in 2012 that helped me complete work on my book, Performing Whitely in the Postcolony. I am a fierce advocate for the inclusion of voices from the Global South at ASTR and believe my position as an international scholar could be of value on the Executive Committee as ASTR continues to strive towards a future as a multicultural, globally-aware, and more inclusive organization. I am also concerned with the financial impacts and constraints of our field and issues of inclusivity, diversity, and equity in our teaching and scholarship. I am putting forth my name for consideration for a 3-year position on the Executive Committee because I believe in giving back to the organization that has supported and nurtured my research, scholarship, teaching and professional life so profoundly. Thank you for considering me for this important service.


Paige McGinleyPaige A. McGinley
Washington University

Biography: Paige McGinley is Associate Professor of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches courses in theater history and theory, contemporary theater, and black art and performance of the twentieth century. She directs the Master’s program in Theater and Performance Studies and holds an affiliate appointment with the program of American Culture Studies. McGinley is the author of Staging the Blues: From Tent Shows to Tourism (Duke UP, 2014), which was recognized with the Errol Hill Award from ASTR and the John W. Frick Book Prize from ATDS. Her current research examines rehearsals for nonviolent direct action and self-determination in the mid-century black freedom struggle, a project that has been supported by an NEH Fellowship. With Dominika Laster, she served as Book Review editor for TDR (2013-2017) and, with Gad Guterman, as the Field Conversations coordinator for ASTR (2015-2018).

Statement of Service: The intellectual and professional relationships I have forged at ASTR annual meetings have nurtured and challenged me throughout my career. During my three years as Co-Convenor of the ASTR Field Conversations with Gad Guterman, I worked to curate opportunities for others to build similarly rewarding connections with colleagues. With the support of the Executive Committee, we strengthened the career development sessions that are of perennial interest to graduate students and junior faculty, while also extending our offerings to include and expand sessions on pedagogy, equity and inclusion, mid-career faculty development, and contingent labor. While the Field Conversations are now in new hands, I look forward to continuing to advocate for a nimble, receptive ASTR, one that can respond quickly to intellectual and professional challenges facing our membership in a rapidly changing world.


Claudia OrensteinClaudia Orenstein
Hunter College, CUNY

Biography: Claudia Orenstein is Professor of Theatre at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. She received her PhD in Directing and Criticism from Stanford University. Orenstein has dedicated more than a decade to invigorating puppetry scholarship through her writing, teaching, and organizing of conferences, panels, and working sessions on puppetry. She writes on traditional puppetry in Asia (you can hear her speak about Indian shadow puppetry on Theatre History Podcast #57 at HowlRound) as well as on contemporary mixed media forms worldwide. Her other areas of specialty are Asian theatre and politically engaged theatre. Her books include The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (co-edited with Dassia Posner and John Bell); The World of Theatre: Tradition and Innovation (co-authored with Mira Felner), Festive Revolutions: The Politics of Popular Theatre and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Women and Puppetry: Critical and Historical Investigations (co-edited with Alissa Mello and Cariad Astles) forthcoming from Routledge in April 2019. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Asian Theatre Journal, Theatre, TDR, Theatre Symposium, Animated Encounters, Puppetry International, Puck, and Mime Journal. She has also worked as a dramaturg for mixed-media productions involving puppetry, including Shank’s Mare (LaMaMa; Iida International Puppetry Festival) and Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (King’s Theatre, Edinburgh; Singapore International Arts Festival) and is currently creating her own performances with her company, Trade Winds Theatre.

Statement of Service: I have been involved in many academic organizations over the years, and in the past few years found a welcoming home with ASTR. I have co-organized all four meetings of ASTR’s Puppetry and Material Performance Working Session and in 2017 worked with Dassia Posner to create the ASTR conference field trip to the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. Beyond ASTR, I am Associate Editor of Asian Theatre Journal and have been a Board Member of the Association for Asian Performance, where, as Vice-President of Conferences, I twice organized AAP’s annual conference. I served six years as Board Member of the puppetry organization UNIMA-USA, where I ran the publications committee, and was recently re-elected to the Board. I have thrice co-organized the newly created Critical Exchange programs for the Puppeteers of America and co-organized the Stages in Transition: South Asia and the Diaspora Symposium at Hunter College. In the past, I took leadership roles in various ATHE Focus Groups, including serving as Focus Group Representative for Theatre and Social Change. I look forward to bringing my experience to ASTR to help continue its strong work and to fostering further cross-pollination between different organizations and research fields.


Analola SantanaAnalola Santana
Darmouth College

Biography: Analola Santana is Associate Professor of theatre and performance in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Teatro y Cultura de Masas: Encuentros y Debates (México: Editorial Escenología, 2010) and Freak Performances: Dissidence in Latin American Theatre (University of Michigan Press, 2018), which considers the significance of theatrical practices that use the “freak” as a medium to explore the continuing effects of colonialism on Latin American identity. She is also the co-editor of Theatre and Cartographies of Power: Repositioning the Latina/o Americas (Southern Illinois UP, 2018). She has published articles in several journals, including GESTOS, Latin American Theatre Review, Letras Femeninas, Paso de gato, Chasquí, Theatre Topics, and Cuadernos de literatura. She works as a professional dramaturg and is a company member of Mexico’s famed Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes.

Statement of Service: I’ve been an active member of ASTR for 10 years and see the organization as my intellectual community. I most recently co-chaired the 2017 Atlanta conference with Jimmy Noriega and Jen-Scott Mobley. I’ve also co-organized four working sessions. My previous Executive Committee experience includes working on the subcommittee tasked with drafting the language for the José Esteban Muñoz Targeted Research Working Sessions. Membership in the Executive Committee would allow me to keep working on expanding ASTR’s commitment to diversity.


Mike SellMike Sell
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Biography: I am a Professor of English, member of the graduate faculty in the Program for Literature & Criticism, Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Digital Humanities and Culture, and Director of the Literature & Criticism Mentoring Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a teaching-focused mid-sized public university located near Pittsburgh. I research and teach modern and contemporary drama, theater, and performance; Black American literature and culture (with special focus on the Black Arts Movement and contemporary cross-media work by Black women); critical avant-garde studies; and videogames, videogame players, and videogame culture.

Statement of Service: I’ve been a member of ASTR since 1999 and have served the organization as a member of the Nominations, Centennial Fundraising, Committee on Conferences, and Conference Program committees; as Chair of the Barnard Hewitt and Fundraising committees; and as member of the Executive Committee. Additionally, I was the creator and editor of the “Critical Stages” column for Theatre Survey, which provided a forum for the discussion of topical issues affecting the profession.

Among the issues that I would advocate as a member of the Executive Committee are sustaining ASTR’s efforts to diversify our membership, to provide outreach and support to scholars and practitioners who are not academically affiliated or who work at teaching-intensive colleges and universities, to strengthen the organization’s commitment to mentoring younger scholars, and to making our annual conference an event that is welcoming, stimulating, challenging and fun.


Margaret WerryMargaret L. Werry
University of Minnesota

Biography: Margaret Werry is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Minnesota, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, where she is also affiliate faculty in Anthropology, Asian Languages and Literatures, Public History and Heritage Studies, and American Indian and Indigenous Studies. She is the author of The Tourist State: Performing Leisure, Liberalism, and Race in New Zealand (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), and essays in a number of anthologies and journals, including Public Culture, Cultural Studies, Theatre Journal, Performance Research, TPQ, Theatre Topics, and Review of Cultural Studies, Education and Pedagogy. She is currently working on Theatre & Tourism (for the Palgrave Macmillan series), and The Performing Dead: Public Culture at the Borders of the Human, concerning the way we treat, trade, and display human remains in museums and popular culture, and what this can tell us about contested and politicized understandings of liveness and rights. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Wenner Gren Anthropological Foundation, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, American Association of University Women, and the Interweaving Performance Cultures project at the International Research Centre, Berlin.

Statement of Service: ASTR has been a constant in my academic career. Since my first ASTR meeting in 1995, I have given plenaries, contributed to numerous working groups, mentored graduate students, and presented in brown-bag sessions. I have twice served on the conference committee, and I directed the 2014 conference, “What Performs?” I value the collegiality and intellectual generosity of this organization, the transparency of its governance, and the support it offers to emerging scholars. As an Executive Committee member, I would work to make sure that international perspectives are centered in the organization, and to find opportunities to deepen ASTR’s interdisciplinary engagements, which I believe are vital to the discipline’s ongoing dynamism. I would support and build on the excellent work already underway on graduate training and career pathways, in and outside the academy, and look for ways to increase the diversity of institutional contexts for theatre research represented in our organization. Clearly, this means keeping affordability, accessibility, and racial and ethnic diversity at the front and center of all discussions. Most importantly, I would try to create space for robust and risk-taking conversations about the future of our field among our membership, giving us the tools to be effective and strategic advocates for theatre studies, wherever we may be working.

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Graduate Student Caucus President and Representative to the Executive Committee (vote for 1)

Ahmed AsiAhmed Asi
University of California, Santa Barbara

Biography: Ahmed Asi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theater and Dance, and a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds an MA in Theater Studies from UC Santa Barbara, a BA in Theater and Dance from Colby College (ME), and a diploma in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (UK).

Ahmed’s research considers role-playing games as community-based performance; role-playing games across material, digital and hybrid spaces; and the formal and cultural continuities and disruptions between theatre, performance, and video games.

Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, Ahmed has worked since 2015 with The Odyssey Project, a collaborative theatre process between youth from a juvenile detention facility in Santa Barbara county and undergraduate students from UCSB. He serves on the Planning Committee for UCSB’s Annual Theater and Dance Graduate Student Symposium; and has served as the graduate representative on an Academic Search Committee for a tenure track position. He is a Literary Associate for Launch Pad, a UCSB-based artist residency and new play development program. Beyond UCSB, Ahmed has served as a peer-reviewer for Press Start, a middle-state game studies publication. He has shared research at ASTR, and has presented papers and talks at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference; at the Mechademia Conferences on Asian Popular Cultures; and at the National Academy of Sciences.

Statement of Service: As a member of ASTR, I currently serve on the Annual Conference Committee for the 2019 conference in Arlington, VA; and as a VP/Representative to the Annual Conference Committee in ASTR’s Graduate Student Caucus (GSC) Cabinet. I have attended ASTR since 2017, and see it as a natural fit for my investment in historically-contextualized interdisciplinary work. I have previously shared my research through working groups, and have taken part in GSE-organized initiates such as a mentorship breakfast and graduate student gatherings. Now, as a member of the GSC Events Planning Committee, I am building on that direct experience to both maintain and expand such initiates. My vision for the position of GSC President is to further multi-year initiates focused on graduate student mentorship; to support interdisciplinary work at ASTR; and to advocate for pedagogical workshops that balance practical work in theatre and performance with research practice.


Joseph D'AmbrosiJoseph D’Ambrosi
Indiana University, Bloomington

Biography: Joseph D'Ambrosi is a Ph.D. student (almost candidate!) in Theatre History, Theory, and Literature at Indiana University. He is the recipient of ASTR’s 2016 Thomas Marshall Graduate Student Award. Joe’s dissertation, “Good News: Evangelicalism and Theatre in Antebellum America” interrogates how nineteenth-century evangelical Christians and “secular” theatre makers appropriated tactics from one another in order to boost their membership/audience and find relevance in each other’s circles. Joe’s scholarship has been published (or is forthcoming) in notable journals and edited collections, such as the Harold Pinter Review, Theatre History Studies, and Ecumenica. Joe currently serves as Vice President/Representative to the Committee on Conference of ASTR’s Graduate Student Caucus, as Conference Planner for ATHE’s Religion and Theatre Focus Group, and as President of the Association for Research in Theatre at Indiana University (ART@IU).

Statement of Service: I became a member of ASTR and the GSC in 2016, my first year as a doctoral student. Back then a young and timid scholar, the ASTR conference in Minneapolis informed me that my scholarship, my voice, mattered in our field. Since then I have dedicated myself to the betterment of this organization in several ways: first, as Secretary and Historian of the 2016-2017 GSC and currently, as GSC Vice President/Representative to the Committee on Conference. I am proud to call ASTR my academic home, its membership a family of mentors.

To serve the graduate student members of this organization has been the highlight of my graduate career. If elected President of the GSC, I would like to continue the important work begun by previous student-leaders: I would advocate for underrepresented students and fight to improve ASTR’s diversity and inclusion; I would seek from the Executive Committee an increase of funding opportunities for conference participants; I would spearhead the development of student-led conference programming, including curated panels and field-related roundtables; and I would work closely with ASTR administration to emphasize the importance of our field in the humanities, in academia, and in the world at large.

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