Meet our new Associate Professor of Theater!

The Theater Department proudly welcomes Dr. Monica White Ndounou to its faculty! 

Professor Ndounou will be joining us from Tufts University, where she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Drama and Dance and a faculty affiliate of American Studies, International Literary and Visual Studies, and Africana Studies. Her book, Shaping the Future of African American Film: Color-coded Economics and the Story Behind the Numbers (Rutgers University Press, 2014), identifies the intersection of race, culture and economics as the critical site for determining the future of African American film according to narrative, production, marketing and distribution patterns of nearly 2,000 original films and cinematic adaptations featuring African Americans since 1980. Shaping the Future won a Distinction Honor for the C. Calvin Smith Book Award from the Southern Conference on African American Studies. Other recent publications include, “The Paradox of Acting for an African American Actress” in Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts, “The Nice-Nasty Politics of Fragmenting August Wilson's Legacy” in the New England Theatre Journal, “Encountering Black Culture in Acting Classrooms and Beyond” in Theatre Topics, and “Early Black Americans on Broadway” in The Cambridge Companion to African American Theatre (Cambridge University Press). Her article “Drama for ‘Neglected People’: Recovering Anna Julia Cooper's Dramatic Theory and Criticism from the Shadows of W.E.B. Du Bois and Alain Locke” in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism was nominated for the American Theatre and Drama Society's 2013 Vera Mowry Roberts Research and Publication Award.

You can read an example of her work as a public intellectual here: https://newrepublic.com/article/134253/years-tony-awards-superficial-nod-diversity

Professor Ndounou is working on a second project consisting of a book, documentary film, and digital archive exploring black American contributions to developing acting theories and practices. More specifically, it examines the role of double consciousness and cultural traditions in training, performance and behind the scenes, as well as the significance of the symbiotic relationship between black performers and audiences.

Recent creative work includes directing Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf  in 2010 and August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean in 2016 for the Tufts Department of Drama and Dance. 

Professor Ndounou will be teaching THEA 1: Introduction to Theater (10A) and THEA 22: Black Theater USA (2A) this fall.