Ph.D. candidate in Performance as Public Practice Alexis Riley was recently selected as a 2021 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow, the largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.
Riley is among 22 Fellows selected nationwide from such departments as African American studies, anthropology, history, politics and philosophy whose dissertation research explores topics of religion and ethics. Awarded by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, this fellowship helps promising scholars generate momentum, providing a 12-month award of $27,500 to support the final year of dissertation writing.
Riley's dissertation, entitled Patient Acts: Performance, Disability, and the Making of Mad Memory, explores representations of historical trauma created by artists, patients and clinicians at Oregon State Hospital. In her studies at The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance, she explores intersections between theatre and performance studies and disability and mad studies. This fellowship will provide her with invaluable support as she completes her dissertation, propelling her scholarly career forward and landing her among past Newcombe Fellows who have gone on to be noted faculty at domestic and foreign institutions, leaders in their fields of study, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows and more.
A well-established scholar already, Riley has previously presented her research at the Mid-America Theatre Conference, the Comparative Drama Conference and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, where she recently presented on the 2018 Theatre and Social Change Working Group Debut Panel. She has written reviews for Theatre History Studies and the fall 2018 issue of Theatre Research International, with forthcoming reviews in Contemporary Theatre Review and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre. Her article "Contesting the Clinic: Shifting Performatives on the Bipolar Spectrum" was published in the 2019 issue of The International Review of Qualitative Research. Riley is a member of the American Theatre and Drama Society and the American Society for Theatre Research.
Riley holds a B.A. in Theatre from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and an M.A. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University. Her graduate thesis, An Unfriendly Spirit: Bipolar Disorder in/as Performance, received the department’s Outstanding Graduate Thesis and Dissertation Award for 2013. When not in the library, Riley enjoys participating in the improv community as a teacher, player and audience member.
View the full list of 2021 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows: https://woodrow.org/news/2021-newcombe-fellows-named/