CWPS announces 2020-21 faculty fellows awards


The Center for World Performance Studies has awarded six grants to U-M faculty conducting innovative performance studies research across the globe.

Grant awards of $5,000 are available annually to individual faculty members to pursue research projects, both domestic and international, that employ performance studies research methods, including ethnography, performance as research, archival research, and performance analysis.

The 2020 faculty fellows grants were awarded to the following faculty projects:

  • Kwasi Ampene, associate professor of Afroamerican and African studies — “Musical Expressions and Traditions in the Borderlands: Collaborative Field Research at Aflao-Ghana”
    Collaborative field research with Kofi Kudonu of the University of Ghana, to study the impact of ambience and soundscape on Yeve religious rites at Aflao in Ghana.
  • Larry La Fountain-Stokes, professor of American culture, of romance languages and literatures, and of women’s studies — “Performing an Archipelago: Contemporary Performance Arts in Puerto Rico”
    To research contemporary alternative, black, queer, and women’s performance in Puerto Rico.
  • Joseph Lam, professor of musicology — “Kunqu performance and reception in Japan (2000-2020)”
    To conduct interviews with Japanese kunqu practitioners, and examine documents in theatre archives.
  • Alaina Lemon, professor of anthropology — “Tremors: Stanislavsky Rests”
    To complete “Tremors: Stanislavsky Rests,” a documentary/art film set in an international theatrical academy in Moscow.
  • Katherine Mendeloff, lecturer in the Residential College — “Collaborative development of ‘Wangari”s Prayer'”
    To support the collaboration of Kenyan playwright Rogers (Aroji) Otieno and Kate Mendeloff on environmental staging of a play about Nobel prize winning eco-activist Wangari Maathai.
  • Tiffany Ng, assistant professor of music — “Activating Local Opportunities to Decolonize Carillons in Southern Africa”
    Research/performance and coalition-building work at post-colonial carillons in Cape Town (South Africa) and Réunion, followed by campus concert and panel at U-M.

The Center for World Performance Studies seeks to create intellectual and physical space for the study of performance. CWPS’s aim is to advocate for performance as a mode of research and as a means of public engagement, centering on underrepresented, non-Western, and diasporic voices, bodies, and acts.

CWPS connects — both locally and globally — students, faculty, artists, thinkers, and scholars in order to educate each other about performance studies and to promote interdisciplinary and intersectional insights and research methodologies.


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