What are dynamic institutional models that support performance practice inside and outside of higher education? How can the arts and creative practice be a catalyst for social change?
Join The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation as we converse with two of the country’s top practitioners and scholars, Professor E. Patrick Johnson, Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor at Northwestern University, and Shannon Jackson, the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor of Rhetoric of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and outgoing Associate Vice Chancellor for Arts and Design of the University of California Berkeley.
Moderated by Deborah Thomas and Sharon Hayes, Penn Professors and Co-Chairs of The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation Advisory Board, the panel will explore how universities can more effectively connect communities of scholars, arts practitioners, and activists through research, pedagogy, and engaged practice. If taken as a given that the arts should be central to student learning and the educational experiences across the curriculum, what examples might we draw from to ensure that they constitute a core dimension of life at Penn?
Monday, November 8, 5:00 PM Eastern
This is a virtual conversation taking place on Zoom. Registration is required in order to receive the Zoom program link, which will be shared via email prior to the event.
E. Patrick Johnson is Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor at Northwestern University. A member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Johnson’s work has greatly impacted African American Studies, Performance Studies, and Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He is the author of several books, including Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (2003); Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History (2008); Black. Queer. Southern. Women. —An Oral History (2018); Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women (2019), in addition to a number of edited and co-edited collections, essays, and plays.
Shannon Jackson is Hadidi Professor of Rhetoric & of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley with Faculty Appointments in Art Practice, History of Art, Berkeley Center for New Media, and BAMPFA. She served as the UC Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor for Arts and Design from 2015-2021. Jackson’s books include Back Stages: Essays Across Art, Performance, and Public Life (Northeastern University Press, 2022), Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good, co-edited with Johanna Burton and Dominic Willsdon (M.I.T. Press 2016), and Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge 2011). Jackson’s writing has also appeared in dozens of museum catalogues, journals, blogs, and edited collections, and she has received numerous awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2015). She serves on the boards of several museums and arts organizations and is a founding board member and program director for the Kramlich Art Foundation.
Deborah A. Thomas is the R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology, and the Director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania. She co-chairs the Board of The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. She is the author of Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation, Exceptional Violence, and Modern Blackness. Thomas co-directed the documentary films Bad Friday and Four Days in May, and she is the co-curator of a multi-media installation titled Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston. Prior to her life in the academy, she was a professional dancer with the New York-based Urban Bush Women.
Sharon Hayes is Professor of Fine Arts in the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She co-chairs the Board of The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. She is an artist who uses video, performance, sound and public sculpture to expose specific intersections between history, politics and speech. Hayes has had solo exhibitions at Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York), Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and is a recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship (2021), Pew Fellowship (2016), Guggenheim Fellowship (2014), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2013), and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2013) among other awards.
This program is presented by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation provides grants and other forms of strategic support to artists, faculty, cultural centers, students, and other arts advocates at Penn. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation’s mission is to support and inspire creative practice and practitioners across the university – in all twelve schools, in the university’s artistic and cultural centers, and through the many partnerships and collaborations that connect Penn to the world at large.