Dr. Anita Gonzalez believes the art of storytelling connects people to their cultures. This Georgetown University faculty member extends the reach of her scholarship through public engagement. Her massive open online courses Storytelling for Social Change and Black Performance as Social Protest have reached over 50,000 learners to date. As a co-Founder/Leader of Georgetown’s Racial Justice Institute, Gonzalez contributes to projects which foreground experiences and histories of the under-represented. Her essays advocate for informed cultural exchange across domestic and international settings.
Gonzalez, a scholar of Performing Arts and African American Studies, has published articles about performance histories and cultures in the Radical History Review, Modern Drama, Theatre Research International, and Dance Research Journal. She has edited and authored four books: Performance, Dance and Political Economy (Bloomsbury), Black Performance Theory (Duke), Afro-Mexico: Dancing Between Myth and Reality (U-Texas Press), and Jarocho’s Soul (Rowman Littlefield). Additional essays about intercultural performance appear in the edited collections African Performance Arts and Political Acts, Black Acting Methods, Narratives in Black British Dance, The Community Performance Reader, and the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theatre.
Gonzalez was previously an Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and a Professor of Theatre at the University of Michigan where she promoted interdisciplinary performance initiatives including Conjuring the Caribbean, a research/residency/installation, and the Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange, a storytelling incubator for Native American artists. Her theatre practice includes developing theatrical works focused on telling women’s stories and histories. She is a producer/director/librettist who encourages artists to develop beautiful art crafted for social activism and consciousness raising. Recent works include the libretto Courthouse Bells about voting rights to be produced by Boston Opera Collaborative, Zora on My Mind about Black women’s empowerment and Ybor City the Musical about Afro-Cuban cigar rollers in Tampa, Fl. Dr. Gonzalez (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin) is a member of the National Theatre Conference, the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, the American Society for Theatre Research and co-series editor of the Dance in Dialogue series at Bloomsbury Press.