Anita Gonzalez comes to the University of Michigan after serving as a professor and provost fellow at the State University of New York – New Paltz. Her research and publication interests are in the fields of intercultural performance and ethnic studies, particularly the way in which performance reveals histories and identities in the Americas and in transnational contexts.
Her books include a co-edited anthology with Tommy DeFrantz (Black Performance Theory, Duke University Press, 2014) that theorizes black performance in the new millennium. Her monograph Afro-Mexico: Dancing Between Myth and Reality (2010) is published by the University of Texas Press and is the result of a 2007 post-doctoral research fellowship in “Race, Politics, and Performance” at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (University of Texas at Austin). Other publications include articles about cruise ship culture (“Maritime Scenography and the Spectacle of Cruising,” Performance Research International, 2013), utopia in urban bush women performance (Modern Drama, 2004), archetypes of African identity in Central America (“Mambo and the Maya,” Dance Research Journal, 2004), and the pedagogy of teaching African American drama (Theatre Topics, 2009).
Gonzalez is also a director who has staged more than 52 productions during the course of her career. She views theatrical practice as a laboratory for artists and audiences to explore new ways of interacting and considering world issues at a personal level. Her work has appeared on PBS national television and at Dixon Place, The Workshop Theatre, HereArts, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Ballet Hispanico, and other venues. She has been awarded a residency at Rockefeller’s Bellagio Center (2003) and has completed three Senior Scholar Fulbright grants. Gonzalez earned her PhD in theater/performance studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1997). She is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, a member of The Dramatists Guild, the National Theatre Conference, and the Player’s Club, as well as the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the American Society for Theatre Research, and the Society of Dance History Scholars. Dr. Gonzalez enjoys serving as a destination lecturer for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines.