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Faculty Fellows

The Center for World Performance Studies provides summer funding to individual faculty members to pursue research projects which involve traveling to various sites for field work, both domestically and internationally. We encourage inventive ideas, especially those that involve thematic support for CWPS mission, including ethnography and performance as research. Fellows are invited to share their research with the CWPS community through our Faculty Lecture Series and as mentors to graduate students in the Certificate in World Performance Studies. Applications to the Faculty Fellows Program are accepted annually in March; for more info, visit our faculty funding page.

2023-2024 Fellows

Su'ad Abdul Khabeer
Associate Professor, American Culture and Arab and Muslim American Studies

Professor Abdul Khabeer will continue work on Umi’s Archive, an interdisciplinary research project that engages everyday Black women’s thought to investigate key questions of archives and power, particularly: What new knowledge arises from narrating stories that officially don’t matter? Drawing on a family archive dating from the late-1920s and spanning multiple continents, Umi’s Archive is a scholarly exploration into the life of one New York City-based activist, Amina Amatul Haqq (1950-2017), née Audrey Weeks, whom Abdul Khabeer calls umi (Arabic for mother). This research and writing will support an hour-long solo performance based on the archive. 

Ashley Lucas
Professor of Theatre & Drama, the Residential College, the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design, and English Language and Literature

Professor Lucas will travel to Manaus, Brazil to continue the next phase of research evolving from her book, Prison Theatre and the Global Crisis of Incarceration (Bloomsbury 2020). Lucas will be part of a working group about prison theatre at the I Congresso Internacional de Teatro do Amazonas, and will guest facilitate theatre workshops with incarcerated men and women in Parintins alongside a smaller gathering of prison theatre practitioners who have been working in Amazonas prisons for twenty years.

Charles Lwanga
Assistant Professor of Music, Musicology
The Promise of Freedom: Bobi Wine and the Sonic Contours of Participation in Uganda

Professor Lwanga will collect data for his book project, which seeks to examine how music – and the multiple spaces through which it is produced, circulated, and consumed has since the 1990s transformed Uganda into a participatory arena – by mediating the social aspirations of publics. “Publics,” referring to groups of people who exchange information, debate opinions, and advocate for social change in physical and virtual spaces. The book project centers on the rise of the “people power” public of youth led by Afropop musician and politician, Robert Kyagulanyi (a.k.a Bobi Wine).

Stephen Rush
Professor of Music, Performing Arts Technology

Professor Rush will continue long-standing work in Mysore, India, through a student-centered program focusing on the guru-shishya parampara (one-to-one, master-disciple) system of learning. Students also study Yoga each morning with a Yogi from the world-famous Mysore School of Yoga. At least ten exclusive lecture/discussions by guest faculty from The University of Mysore and esteemed non-traditional teachers from Mysore are provided for the group to cover the influence of Indian music on contemporary music, Kannada and Hindi languages, social/cultural issues in India with a focus on caste and gender, history of yoga; meditation, religion and epic stories of India, non-governmental organizations and development issues. Students perform a final concert for Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement students and staff at the end of the program.

Henry Stoll
Assistant Professor of Music, Musicology
Reconstructing Haiti’s First Opera

Professor Stoll will pursue the creation of a new performative work: a reconstruction of the earliest Haitian opera, L’Éntrée du Roi, en sa capitale ("The Entrance of the King in His Capital”). Published in 1818 by Juste Chanlatte (1766-1828), a prominent Haitian poet and man of letters, the opera was composed by retexting French songs and opera excerpts from the 18th and 19th centuries with original Haitian lyrics—an “opéra vaudeville,” as it is known to musicologists. Though largely unknown, even among scholars of Haiti, this opera has tremendous implications for the understanding of early Haiti and the Black Atlantic, featuring depictions of the Haitian monarchy, demonstrations of African dance, and an entire scene in Haitian Creole. It is also the earliest opera to have been composed specifically for Black audiences, and its reconstruction will help address the pressing, contemporary demand for opera by diverse and underrepresented composers.