Friday, March 2, 2012

Indiana University

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, I gave a lecture at Indiana University. My visit was arranged by Professor Amy Cook, whose research centers on theatre and cognitive science. Her interest in my work and willingness to read it so carefully—and engage me so rigorously—was nothing short of humbling.

Professor Cook arranged for me to meet with Theatre and Drama graduate students in an intimate setting long before the lecture. During this session, we discussed everything from my book's performance studies methodology to the various strategies that being a woman in the profession has required me to adopt. This is when it became clear how thoroughly Professor Cook had read my book. It was also clear that she is doing remarkable work with her graduate and undergraduate students. I say a bit about that here.

I have always felt that I do this work only with the help of the ancestors. I am grateful for this image, which captures that feeling. Ida B. Wells, I speak your name.

After the lecture, I got to chat with members of the Indiana University African American and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Society. Visiting professor Walton Muyumba is on the second row to the left. He brought his graduate class, and afterward, we talked about everything from James Baldwin to Black Girls RUN!

It was a thoroughly invigorating visit. I am inspired by Amy Cook's example and remain excited about the conversations this visit made possible.