Former Faculty, Undergraduate Studies

Personal Statement

Choreographer Twyla Tharp reminds us that “Gathering chaos into a satisfying order is a daunting challenge. You have to train for this struggle.” I value deeply her observation as an affirming call to action. Like many of our students, I also completed my undergraduate studies as an adult learner. Over the course of my journeying as learner and educator, I’ve discovered that our relationship to the pursuit of knowledge is often based on the fear of what we lack, need, mislaid. It excites me to support my students in naming their fears and mining the “chaos” through practices and stages of learning that are adaptable and carefully considered. When inspired to read/see/hear/migrate across disciplines, boundaries and taboos, we move closer to mapping and perhaps finding solutions for addressing the ethical and moral dilemmas that drive human nature. When asked to name myself I respond: Artist/Scholar; Trans-disciplinary Writer and Knowledge Worker. My passions as an artist and scholar are worn as theoretical undergarments and concerned with how we really “wear” our most compelling ideas. As a trans-disciplinary writer, my fiction, essays, and performance-based works have been published and staged in the United States and internationally at universities: Oxford, Rennes, Málaga and Mὕnster. Recent writer fellowships and residencies include: (VCCA) Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, (FAWC) Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony and group art shows in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore. My creative and intellectual practices synthesize the arts and sacred-ethics/rationalism, human sustainability, and literary, social, and cultural theories. Theories that explore race, gender identities, class and community-building, when partnered with creative sites, are powerful tools. When examined as hybrid/integrative narratives, we see them in performance and literary texts, sound design, technology and social media, architectures/design and visual arts. In storytelling they might be called: (auto)ethnography, fiction/novel, orality/spoken-word/poetics, memoir/truth-telling and reconciliation. The point is – they transform us – challenge myths, dilute assumptions, insist upon justice, and encourage (out)rage and laughter. When wedded to critical thought, trans-disciplinary practices remain vital ways of exploring structures of consciousness and human potential. Critical thought, compassion and reasoning are more vital now, during a particularly heightened time in the world when nearly any thinking that instigates questioning beyond the obvious or relies on intuited gifts, is seemingly less valued. It requires daring and courage to be curious. How do you practice, imagine and write change? Usually it requires dissatisfaction or betrayal to finally ask an effective question. What colors your voice, your wisdom? How do you unpack complex and difficult thoughts without losing the joy in which the experience or resistance might be contained? How do you respond to and demystify power and dominance? How do you shape tools of expression? How are you grounded? Where’s your tree? Currently I’m pursuing the Ph.D. in Leadership & Change at Antioch University, and Writing Faculty in Arts & Science at New York University. My studies focus on issues of sacred intellectualism, creative practice and ethics for navigating the post-modern eras. Websites: AfroBeat journal Barnes & Noble Book Blog