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ASTR Field Conversations 2020
All listed times are Eastern.  


Careers Beyond the Professoriate

October 23 • 12 - 1:15 p.m.

The skills accumulated in a graduate program are transferrable to a wide variety of careers beyond the professoriate. Panelists will speak to transitioning to careers in academic administration, the professional theatre industry, library and archival work, and the various ways that research institutions are trying to support alt-ac career paths for their PhDs, including "badging" or credentialing opportunities in various skills, internships, and the creation of alumni networks.


Eric Colleary, University of Texas Ransom Center
Noe Montez, Tufts University (Moderator)
Ciara Murphy, Director of Strategic Research and Planning, The Public Theatre
Alex Ripp, Director of Five College Dance
Mackenzie Sullivan, University of Minnesota



Progressive Mentoring Strategies

October 28th • 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Mentoring is needed at all career stages, but especially as we make our way in new and unfamiliar circumstances. Panelists will speak to innovative programs in career and leadership development, networking, and wayfinding in academia and artistic professions. Meeting mentees’ needs—especially across various identity positions and intersectionalities—will be addressed, along with structural and administrative challenges faced within the programs.


Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University (Moderator)
Jeremy Kisling, Southeastern Theatre Conference
Heather Nathans, Tufts University
Monica Ndounou, Dartmouth College
Melinda Pfundstein, Statera Arts
Kirsten Pullen, University of Illinois


Season Selection with an Anti-Racist Approach

October 29 • 2 - 3:15 p.m.

Many departments of theatre and performance studies are striving to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This session addresses key components of that mission: how do we create seasons that focus on reduction, prevention, and repair in order to overcome previous harms on BIPOC students? What does it mean to decenter whiteness in season selection and how does one achieve that at predominantly white institutions? Panelists will focus on strategies for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as on possible pitfalls despite best intentions. The place of theatre and performance departments within larger campus and local communities, strategies for advocacy within one’s home department, and the place of academic theatre in campus dialogue may also be discussed


Khalid Yaya Long, Columbia College, Chicago
Aviva Neff, The Ohio State University
Jimmy A. Noriega, College of Wooster
Daphnie Sicre, Loyola Marymount (Moderator)
Dani Snyder-Young, Northeastern University


What Happens to Theatre and Performance Departments Post-Covid?

November 12 • 12 - 1:15 p.m.

We have spent the last months improvising and scrambling to adapt to reconfigured classes, unstable enrolments, and slashed budgets. But what comes next? What are the longer-term impacts of the pandemic likely to be on our institutions and our discipline? How can we respond strategically to budget cuts and policy changes? How can we “build back better” with principles of equity, accessibility, and racial justice squarely in our sights?”


Vivian Appler, College of Charleston
Sarah Bay-Cheng, York University (Moderator)
Lynn Deboeck, University of Utah
Kashi Johnson, Lehigh University
Daphne Lei, University of California, Irvine
Karl O’Brian Williams, Borough of Manhattan Community College


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