Watson Institute for Internation and Public Affairs
Brown International Advanced Research Institutes

BIARI at Brown 2012

Theater and Civil Society: Politics, Public Space, and Performance

Convened by faculty from Brown University’s Department of Theater, Speech and Dance, this Institute explored the role of theater and new media in political and social movements, with a focus on the potential of diverse art forms to advance principles of non-violence and civic debate. The Institute responded to the political and social movements of the past year. What is new in these movements? What do they owe to different theories, traditions and practices of expressive freedom and participatory politics? The Institute addressed these questions through lectures, readings, performances and discussions around four interconnected themes: transgression, translation, transformation and transcendence. We invite scholars from the humanities and beyond, and 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.



Professor of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Brown University.
Erik conducts annual trips to Rwanda/Uganda, bringing teams to study the history there, and explore the ways art is participating in recovery from violence. He produces the Arts in the One World conference yearly, which engages themes of art and social change.


B.A., Columbia University, 1994, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2002. Associate Professor of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Brown University.
Patricia's area of specialization is theatre historiography of the Americas, with emphasis on the relationship between theatre, nationalism, and American identities in North America.