Soyica Diggs Colbert Georgetown University African American Studies Theater and Performance Studies

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Soyica Diggs Colbert

Georgetown University

African American Studies

Theater and Performance Studies

108A Davis Center

(202) 687-1721

Ph.D., Literatures in English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2006

Certificate in Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2006

M.A. Literatures in English Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2004

B.A. with honors, Georgetown University, 2001

Academic Appointments
Georgetown University, Associate Professor, Department of Theater and Performing Arts

and African American Studies, 2013-present

Dartmouth College, Associate Professor, Department of English, 2013-present

Dartmouth College, Assistant Professor, Department of English, 2007-2013

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Affiliate, Literature Division, 2011-2012

Brown University, Visiting Scholar, Africana Studies, 2011-2012

Stanford University, Postdoctoral Fellow, Drama Department, 2007-2006

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Lecturer, Department of English, 2002-2006

The College of New Jersey, Lecturer, Department of African American Studies, 2004
Fellowships and Awards
Karen E. Wetterhan Memorial Award for Distinguished Creative or Scholarly Achievement,

Dartmouth College, 2013

Faculty Fellowship, Dartmouth College, 2011

Brooks McNamara Publishing Subvention, American Society of Theater Research, 2011

Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, 2010-2011

Mellon Fall Fellowship for Dissertation Writers, Rutgers University, 2005

Mellon Summer Research Grant, Rutgers University, 2005

Robert W. Woodruff Library Fellowship, Emory University, 2005

English Department Dissertation Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2004-2005

English Department Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2001-2002

Research Fellowship, Georgetown University, 2000-2001

Ronald McNair Summer Research Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2000

The African American Theatrical Body: Reception, Performance, and the Stage. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 2011.

“Black Movements: Flying Africans in Spaceships.” In Anita Gonzalez and Thomas F.

DeFrantz, eds. Black Performance Theory. Durham: Duke University Press, April 2014.

“Black Leadership at the Crossroads: Unfixing Martin Luther King, Jr. in Katori Hall’s the Mountaintop.” South Atlantic Quarterly. 112.2 (March 2013): 261-283.
Reprinted in Contemporary Women Playwrights: Into the Twenty-First Century. New York: Palgrave, Dec. 2013.
“Drama in the Harlem Renaissance.” In Harvey Young, ed. The Cambridge Companion to African American Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Dec. 2012. 85-102.
“‘When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead’: the Future of the Human in Suzan-Lori Parks’ The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World.” Boundary 2. 39.3 (Fall 2012): 191-220. (peer reviewed).
“On Tradition: Response to Kenneth Warren’s What Was African American Literature.” African American Review. 44.4 (June 2012): 575-578. (peer reviewed).
“‘If We Must Die’: Violence as History Lesson in Seven Guitars and King Hedley II.” In Alan

Nadel, ed. August Wilson: Completing the Cycle. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2010. 97-

“A Pedagogical Approach to Understanding Rioting as Revolutionary Action in Alice

Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness.” Theatre Topics 19.1. (2009): 77-85. (peer reviewed).
“Reparations: Repairing the Damages Suffered During the Middle Passage in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” New England Theater Journal—Special Issue “August Wilson.” 19.1 (2008): 45-60. (peer reviewed).

“Dialectical Dialogues: Performing Blackness in the Drama of Alice Childress.” In Philip

Kolin, ed. Contemporary African American Women Playwrights: A Casebook. New York: Routledge,

2007. 28-46.
“The Sound of a Ghastly Sight: James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie, a Neo-Lynching

Narrative.” In Sylvia Mieszkowski, Joy Smith, and Marijke de Valck, eds. Sonic Interventions.

Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi Press, 2007. 193-210.
Edited Volumes:
Editor of special issue on Performance for the peer-reviewed journal African American Review,

45.3 (Fall 2012).

Work in Progress:
Black Movements: Performance, Politics, and Migration [book]
Fame: Harlem Renaissance Celebrity [book]
Don’t You Want to be Well?”: Trauma, Healing, and Black Subjectivity [book]
“Baldwin’s Sermons.” In Michele Elam. The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Changing Optics: Harlem Renaissance Theater and Performance.” In Cherene Sherrard-Johnson. A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
“Black Feminist Collectivity in Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide

when the rainbow is enuf.” S&F Online. (Fall 2013). Forthcoming.
Theater and Book Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries:
Book Review: The Problem of the Color[blind], Modern Drama, (Summer 2013), forthcoming.
Book Review: The Scene of Harlem Cabaret / The Amalgamation Waltz, TDR, T213 (Spring 2012), 158-160.
“A New Branch of the United States’ Miscegenated Family Tree: Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.” The Feminist Wire (April 29, 2011), np.
“Ti-Jean and His Brothers.” SX Salon: a Small Axe Literary Platform, 4 (April 2011), np.
“The Book of Grace.” Theater Journal, 62.3 (2010): 666-668.
“Lorraine Hansberry.” North American Women’s Drama Collection, Alexander Street Press, 2004,

“Suzan-Lori Parks.” North American Women’s Drama Collection, Alexander Street Press, 2004,

“The Utopia Players.” In Cary D. Wintz and Paul Finkelman, eds. Encyclopedia of the Harlem

Renaissance, New York: Routledge, 2004.
Invited Lectures

“Black Feminist Collectivity in Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.” Barnard College. Feb. 2013.

“For Colored Girls.” Barnard College. Nov. 2012.

“Looking Forward as Looking Back: the Prophetic in Octavia Butler’s Parable Series.” The Futures of American Studies Institute. Dartmouth College. June 2012.

“Race: an American Hustle.” Georgetown University. March 2012.

“The History, Literature, and Theater of the Great Migration.” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Feb. 2012.

“After the Rapture: Doing Black Studies in the 21st Century.” Panel: Africana Studies and

the Fate of the Humanities. Brown University. Dec. 2011.
“Life After Death: African American Studies in the 21st Century.” The Futures of American

Studies Institute. Dartmouth College. June 2011.
“Black Movements.” Duke University. April 2011.
“Performing Empire: Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, and Marcus Garvey.” International

Conference on Narrative. St. Louis, MO. April 2011.
“Ocular Acts: Paul Robeson’s The Emperor Jones.” Dartmouth College. April 2011.
“Black Movements: Flying Africans in Spaceships.” Northeastern University. April 2010.
“Sounding Civil Rights: James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie.” The Futures of American Studies Institute. Dartmouth College. June 2009.
“Nina Simone’s ‘Mississippi Goddam.’” Black Performance Theory Group. Yale University. May 2009.
“Let Freedom Ring': Art and Democracy in the King Years, 1954-1968,” moderator. Lannan Symposium. Georgetown University. April 2008.
“Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A.” Looking Through Colored Glasses: Writings by Women of Color. Stanford University. May 2007.
“Looking for the (W)holes: Suzan Lori-Parks’ Getting Mother’s Body.” Black Performance Theory Group. Northwestern University. May 2007.
Conference Presentations and Participation
“The Democratic in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop.” College Language Association

Conference. Lexington, KY, April 2013.
“ASTR Plenary: A Web of Traditions: Black Performance and Politics in George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum.” Nashville, TN. Nov. 2012.

“Spotlight on New Works: The African American Theatrical Body.” Association of Theater in Higher Education Conference. Washington, DC. Aug. 2012.

“Response to What Was African American Literature.” Modern Language Association. Seattle,

WA. Jan. 2012.
“Rituals of Repair.” American Studies Association. Baltimore, MD. Oct. 2011.
“What Happens to Desire Deferred?: Tarell Alvin McCraney’s In the Read and Brown

Water.” Celebrating African American Literature. Pennsylvania State University. Sept. 2011.

“Lorraine Hansberry’s Political Movements.” Association of Theater in Higher Education.

Chicago, IL. Aug. 2011.
“Unchaining the Body from the Place.” American Studies Association. San Antonio, TX. Nov. 2010.
“Spectacular Spectacles: Beyoncé, Coco Fusco, and Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus.” Black Theatricality Conference. Dartmouth College. April 2010.
Black Theatricality Conference. Conference Co-organizer. Dartmouth College. April 2010.
“New Millennial Primitivisms: Coco Fusco, Suzan Lori Parks, Kara Walker, and Beyoncé.”

Modern Language Association. Philadelphia, PA. Dec. 2009.
“Rites that Render Repairing.” American Society for Theater Research. San Juan, Puerto

Rico. Nov. 2009.
“Black Theatricality: Rendering Repair.” Association for Theater in Higher Education. New

York, NY. Aug. 2009.
“Translating the Freedom Cries in Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest.” Modern Language Association. San Francisco, CA. Dec. 2008
“In-Between Spaces in A Tempest and A Grain of Wheat.American Society for Theater Research. Boston, MA. Nov. 2008.

“Spiritual and Ideological Revolution in Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest.Black Theater Network. Orlando, FL. Aug. 2008.
‘Ease on Down the Road’: Movement in The Wiz.” Association for Theater in Higher

Education. Denver, CO. July 2008.
“‘If We Must Die’: History, Family, and Violence in August Wilson’s King Hedley II.” August

Wilson: The Second Half of the Cycle. University of Kentucky. April 2008.
“Performing Race/ Performing America,” co-convener. American Society for Theater Research. Phoenix, AZ. Nov. 2007.
“‘Can I Get an Amen?’: The African American Female Preacher in Langston Hughes’s

Tambourines to Glory.” Modern Language Association. Philadelphia, PA. Dec. 2006.
“Loss, Mourning, and Historical Production: Performing Reparation in August Wilson’s Joe

Turner’s Come and Gone.” American Society for Theater Research. Chicago, IL. Nov. 2006.
“Out with the Old and in with the New: Performativity and the New Negro in Zora Neale Hurston’s Color Struck.” Women and Society Seminar. Columbia University. Nov. 2005.
“Imagining the Sound of a Ghastly Sight: James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie.” Sonic Interventions: Pushing the Boundaries of Cultural Analysis. Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Universiteit van Amsterdam. March 2005.
“Sounding a Response, Evoking a Sight/Site Unseen: Black Drama as Racial Performance.” Thirteenth Annual Central New York Conference on Language and Literature. Cortland State University. Oct. 2003.
“Imagining New Possibilities for Reading Across Disciplinary Boundaries: Negotiating

Psychic Plenitude in Jean Toomer’s Cane.” Why We Write: the Politics and History of

Writing for Social Change. Columbia University, March 2003.
Classes Taught
African American Literature: From the Colonial Period to 1930

American Drama

Black Drama

Black Movements

Black Women Writers

Contemporary Playwrights of Color

The Drama of August Wilson and Suzan-Lori Parks

Expository Writing

Fame: The Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance: Black Paris

Introduction to African American Studies

Performing Black Citizenship

Principles of Literary Study: Representations of Community in American Literature

Race and Performance

Spoken Word Poetry
Media Appearances
“Talk Back: Lynn Nottage’s Ruined,” the Huntington Theater, Boston MA. PBS/NPR Forum Network. Season 2011, Episode 02.23.11.

“Talk Back: August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottomthe Huntington Theater, Boston MA. 03.25.12.
Professional Activities
African American Review

2009-present Reviewer
American Society of Theater Research

2006-present Member
2009-2011 Awards Committee
2011-2014 Executive Committee
American Studies Association

2009-present Member
Association for Theater in Higher Education

2002-present Member
Black Performance Theory Group

2006-present Member
Black Theater Association

2006-present Member

2008-2010 Conference Planner
2010-2012 President
Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism

2008-present Reviewer

2008-present Reviewer
Modern Language Association

2001-present Member
New England Black Scholars Collective

2008-present Founder and Member
Small Axe

2009-present Reviewer
Dartmouth Service
African and African American Studies Personnel Committee

Spring 2008-Spring 2010
African and African American Studies Job Search Committee

Spring 2010
Black Theatricality Conference, Conference Organizer

September 2009-April 9-10, 2010
English Department Curriculum Committee

Fall 2008-Spring 2009
English Department Honors Co-Chair

Fall 2008-present
English Department Job Search Committee

Fall 2009-Winter 2010
English Department Major Advising

Fall 2007-Spring 2009
English Department Graduate School Advising Committee

Fall 2007-Spring 2009 and Fall 2009-Spring 2010
Presidential Fellow Advisor

Fall 2008-Spring 2010
Senior Fellow Advisor

Fall 2008-Spring 2010
Women and Gender Studies Steering Committee

Fall 2007-Spring 2010

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