Current Course Offerings

Faculty Associate, Department of English
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Creative Writing & Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies

2016 OMAI/First Wave Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award recipient
2016 & 2018 University Housing Honored Instructor

Spring 2021 Courses
ENGL 173: Introduction to Ethnic and Multicultural Li­­terature
Performing Women and Work

From Lorraine Hansberry to contemporary superstars Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe, this course will examine the diverse ways race frames women and the work that they perform. We will study plays and playwrights, stand-up comedians, musicians, filmmakers, and ordinary people who all use the language of theatre to tell stories about women and work. The course will also give attention to the expansiveness of gender beyond the binary and how then to create more inclusive narratives about work, race, and gender in the United States. Besides those mentioned previously, writers and artists studied may include: Anna Deavere-Smith, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, and Lena Waithe.

Check out a course trailer from my 2016 ENGL 173 course “Performing Race”:


ENGL 174: Literature and Social Justice
Staging Environmental Justice

From toxic drinking water and floods to rising temperatures and raging wildfires, environmental risks rarely come with a choice to opt out. This course will focus on how theatre and performance are used as tools in the struggle for environmental justice. What can we learn from Shakespeare and Lin-Manuel Miranda when we examine how their work relates to the natural world? Can a play about Hurricane Katrina do anything to protect those vulnerable to flooding in the future? Can theatre help us prevent the slow violence of the Flint, Michigan water crisis from happening elsewhere? Course texts will include plays and recorded/filmed productions, multi-media performances, and environmental criticism, supplemented by guest artists and individual explorations.


NOTE: ENGL 410 Playwriting will next be offered in the fall of 2021.
Please contact Jen directly at plants@wisc.edu if you’re seeking
instructor supervision for an independent study to write a full-length play.

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