Omi Osun Joni L. Jones (Ph.D. New York University) is a professor of performance studies in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She is an artist/scholar whose work focuses on performance ethnography, theatrical jazz, Yoruba-based aesthetics, Black Feminisms and activist theatre. Her performances include sista docta—a critique of the academy, and Searching for Osun—a performance ethnography around Yoruba-based spirituality and identity. She has conducted theatre for social change workshops for the Forum on Governance and Democracy in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, for Educafro in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) annual conference, and for the Austin Project which she founded as a collaboration of women of color artists, scholars, activists and allies who use art for re-imagining society. The work of the Austin Project is documented in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia and the Austin Project, co-edited by Jones, Sharon Bridgforth and Lisa Moore (University of Texas Press, 2010). Jones’s scholarship can be found in TDR, TPQ, Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics. She is an Artist in Residence for IDEX (International Development Exchange), and serves on the editorial board for Odu: A Journal of West African Studies. In addition, she is a member of the Urban Futures Network Think Tank and the Body Politic Think Tank at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and has begun a series of improvised explorations with 3 Jazz Collective in Austin, Texas. Her collaborative ethnography, Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Ase, and the Power of the Present Moment, is now available through the Ohio State University Press.
University of Texas College of Liberal Arts Bio