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American Ethnic Post-Show Speakers

Audio of post-show dicussions hosted by Chicago Public Radio's Chicago Amplified.


March 12, 2010: E. Patrick Johnson

Headshot: E. Patrick JohnsonE. Patrick Johnson is a widely published author on the subjects of race, class, gender and performance. His award-winning first book, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (Duke University Press, 2003), dealt with cultural, social and political battles over origin, ownership, circulation and performance. Johnson is also a performing artist. He toured with his one-man show, Strange Fruit, around the country between 1999 and 2004. He is currently performing staged readings of his book Sweet Tea, which is based on the oral histories of black gay men of the South. He is working on an anthology of black queer performance texts and researching queer sexuality and performance in the black church.

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March 13, 2010: Dr. David Stovall

Headshot: David StovallDr. David Stovall studies the influence of race in urban education, community development and housing. His work investigates the significance of race in the quality of schools located in communities that are changing both racially and economically. His research is both practical and theoretical, drawing on critical race theory, educational policy analysis, sociology, urban planning, political science, community organizing and youth culture. Dr. Stovall is an associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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March 14, 2010: Alka Nayyar and Samuel Park

Alka Nayyar is a communications manager for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. At the IDCMS and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Nayyar works with minority members of the media about issues pertinent to the South Asian community. Prior to joining the State of Illinois, Nayyar managed public relations and global recruitment at MicroStrategy, Inc., a software company specializing in business intelligence, data warehousing and data analysis applications. Nayyar is also Lead Choreographer of the Chitrahar Cultural Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting cultural awareness and diversity through the performing arts. By choreographing, teaching and performing South Asian folk, modern, classical and fusion dances, she aims to promote an accurate understanding of South Asian culture and its global impact. Nayyar has collaborated with many Chicago Theater companies, including Rasaka Theatre Company, PROP THTR Group, Lifeline Theatre, Halcyon Theatre, and Peoples Theater, Silk Road Theatre Project, Vitalist Theatre and Porchlight Music Theatre.


Headshot: Samuel ParkSamuel Park is a full-time faculty member in the Department of English at Columbia College. He teaches introductions to drama, Shakespeare, American drama an literature. Park earned his B.A. and M.A. with honors at Stanford University and his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California, where he wrote a dissertation entitled “The Performance of Race in Asian American Drama.” His fields of interest include drama as genre, performance theory and Asian American literature. Park’s forthcoming publications include reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin and Theatre Journal, as well as a scholarly article entitled “Racial Melancholia in Ira Sachs’ The Delta,” which will be part of an anthology of critical essays published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Park is also the author of the novel Shakespeare's Sonnets, recently published by Alyson Books. He is the director of a short film of the same name, which played at numerous international film festivals. Park is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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March 15, 2010: Jacqueline Stewart

Headshot: Jaqueline StewartJacqueline Stewart is an associate professor of radio/television/film at Northwestern University, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She specializes in film history and was on the faculty of the University of Chicago. Her research interests include early African American film, histories and theories of spectatorship, and how the urban migration of African Americans influenced, and was influenced by, the emergence and development of cinema as both a representational medium and a social space.

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March 19, 2010: Harvey Young

Headshot: Harvey Young Harvey Young is an assistant professor at Northwestern University. He studies the development of regional theatre in Chicago between 1960 and 1980, and spectacles of racial violence (such as lynching) as performance. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend in support of the former project. Forthcoming publications include his first book Embodying Black Experience (under contract with The University of Michigan Press) and articles on the theatre of Anna Deavere Smith, the influence of Emmett Till and the complicated identity of the Black Cherokee.

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March 20, 2010: Henry Godinez

Headshot: Henry GodinezHenry Godinez is the Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Director of the Goodman’s Latino Theatre Festival. He's also the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Vista. He has directed at Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Yale Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre (NYC), Portland Center Stage, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre and Apple Tree Theatre. He is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and the Artistic Director of the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University.

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March 21, 2010: Idris Goodwin and Kelly Zen-Yei Tsai

Idris Goodwin is an award-winning cross disciplinary performance artist out to engage, inspire, and incite. The National Endowment for the Arts and The Ford Foundation have supported Idris' pursuit to explore and experiment with the blending of hip hop, spoken word, and theatrical aesthetics. Idris' numerous stage plays and solo performances have premiered across the country. Idris' break beat poetry was featured on season six of Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry and published in the Spoken Word Revolution Redux Anthology. Idris frequently teaches, performs, and lectures at institutions on themes of arts, culture, and activism.


Headshot: Kelly Zen-Yie TsaiKelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based, Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist who has given over 300 performances worldwide in notable venues like the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, House of Blues, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and three seasons on HBO's Def Poetry. A frequent collaborator with filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, and theater artists, Tsai has released three chapbooks: Inside Outside Outside Inside (2004), Thought Crimes (2005), No Sugar Please (2008), and the CD Infinity Breaks (2006). She has shared stages with Mos Def, KRS-One, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Amiri Baraka, and many more.



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March 22, 2010: Michaela Purdue

Prior to her work with Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Michaela Purdue was a field organizer for Amnesty International, USA, where she mobilized activists and communities on local and global human-rights issues. Through the project United to End Racism (UER), she was a delegate to the national White Privilege Conference for three consecutive years, and led the UER delegation to this conference in 2006. Also through UER, she was a delegate to the United Nation's World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa in August 2001 and has since participated on several delegations to various countries in Africa to train community members in peer counseling and leadership development. She is an executive board member for Beyondmedia Education, a media arts and advocacy organization that collaborates with underserved and underrepresented women, youth and communities to organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of alternative media and arts. She received a bachelor's degree in psychological services and human development and a certificate in learning and organizational change from Northwestern University in 1999.

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March 26, 2010: Walter Podrazik

Headshot: Wally PodrazikWalter Podrazik is co-author of ten books on media that focus on television history. He’s a graduate of Northwestern University. He has taught media history and journalism courses at the Communications Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has been a consultant on numerous media history projects. He has helped media news organizations plan their coverage of important events such as national political conventions. He saw up close President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last summer, and was there for Obama's swearing in this January.

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March 27, 2010: Beau Basel Beaudoin

Headshot: Beau Basel BeaudoinBeau Basel Beaudoin was recently named the 2008 U.S. Professor of the Year for the State of Illinois by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She is a "border crosser" -- racially, culturally and artistically. She is a media analyst, a specialist in multicultural learning, and a professor in the Television Department of Columbia College Chicago. She created and coordinates Culture, Race and Media, a course that examines the concept of ethical responsibility for media-makers regarding race, class, gender and culture. With degrees in psychology, music, television production and education, Beau's philosophy is that media making in any form influences everyone and must be examined.

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March 28, 2010: Cast

Headshot: Usman Ally, Idris Goodman, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai Usman Ally is a Pakistani national who was born and raised in Southern and Eastern Africa for 18 years. Usman made his Chicago theatre debut in Tranquility Woods at Steppenwolf Theater Company. His one man show Public Enemy was featured in Remy Bumppo's 2008/09 thinkTank. He has appeared in productions at Victory Gardens Theater, Lookingglass Theatre, American Theatre Company, and A Red Orchid Theatre. He is founder of One Nation, the first Hip Hop Theatre troupe at University of Florida. He was named one of New City's top 5 actors of 2008.


Idris Goodwin is an award-winning cross disciplinary performance artist out to engage, inspire, and incite. The National Endowment for the Arts and The Ford Foundation have supported Idris' pursuit to explore and experiment with the blending of hip hop, spoken word, and theatrical aesthetics. Idris' numerous stage plays and solo performances have premiered across the country. Idris' break beat poetry was featured on season six of Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry and published in the Spoken Word Revolution Redux Anthology. Idris frequently teaches, performs, and lectures at institutions on themes of arts, culture, and activism.


Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based, Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist who has given over 300 performances worldwide in notable venues like the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, House of Blues, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and three seasons on HBO's Def Poetry. A frequent collaborator with filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, and theater artists, Tsai has released three chapbooks: Inside Outside Outside Inside (2004), Thought Crimes (2005), No Sugar Please (2008), and the CD Infinity Breaks (2006). She has shared stages with Mos Def, KRS-One, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Amiri Baraka, and many more.


Listen to the post-show discussion >


March 29, 2010: Karla Rae Fuller

Karla Rae Fuller has taught history and screenwriting at Northwestern University, Dominican University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also worked as a story editor for Vestron Inc., and has lectured on African-American, Asian and gender representation in Hollywood films. Her research interests include ethnic representation in films, acting, performance and Japanese cinema.

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