E. Patrick Johnson, Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, will be performing his most recent piece “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Stories” for the Department of Communication spring colloquium.
“Sweet Tea” is a compilation of personal narratives collected from over 70 men over the course of several years. Johnson uses his performance studies expertise to bring personality to his interpretation of their stories.
Catherine Waggoner, Professor of Communication, and Rick Incorvati, Associate Professor of English, know Johnson personally and have combined their efforts to allow Johnson the opportunity to perform on Wittenberg’s campus.
“He’s very entertaining, he’s very good as a performer and the stories he tells are fascinating,” said Waggoner, “and he’s taking this show across the country, so he’s in demand.”
Johnson’s work in performance studies is a branch of communication studies.
“One doesn’t have to be a performance artists himself or herself to be interested in performance studies,” explained Waggoner, “There are performative dimensions to our everyday actions.”
Johnson will be exploring theory of performance and the ethical implications for conducting interviews during a visit to Waggoner’s Gender and Communication class on Feb. 8. Gender and Communication students will be doing a microcosm of Johnson’s work by interviewing Springfield residents and telling their stories at a reception for Johnson on Feb. 9.
To receive credit, students may attend either Dr. Catherine Waggoner’s Gender and Communication class from 2:10-3:40 p.m. on Feb. 8 in Ness Auditorium or see Johnson’s theatrical performance that evening at 7 p.m. at the Springfield Museum of Art. Johnson’s evening performance will be open to the Springfield community.
Shelly Gregory, Class of 2013