Theater and Civil Society

Convened by faculty from Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, this Institute will explore the role of theater, new media and public performance in political and social movements, with a focus on the potential of diverse art forms to advance principles of non-violence, economic and political justice and civic debate. The Institute responds to the political and social movements of the past years and current geopolitical events. What is new in these movements? What do they owe to different theories, traditions and practices of expressive freedom and participatory politics? The Institute will address these questions through lectures, readings, performances and discussions. We invite scholars from the humanities, and critically engaged artists and performers working in different genres, to contribute to an interdisciplinary exploration of the ways in which creative production expands the civic imagination and conjures new understandings of public space.

Convening Faculty 

Erik Ehn
Head of Playwriting and Professor of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

Patricia Ybarra
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

Visiting Faculty

Benjamin Arditi
Political Theorist, National University of Mexico

Daphne Brooks
Professor of English and African American Studies, Princeton University

Boris Diop
Novelist, Screenwriter, and Professor of Literature and Philosophy, Universite Gaston Berger

John Emigh
Professor Emeritus of Theater Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University

Regina Jose Galindo
Performance Artist, Guatemala

Eng-Beng Lim
Professor of Theater Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University

Christopher Merrill
Poet, Journalist, Writer, University of Iowa

Shayoni Mitra
Professor of Theater, Barnard College