Monica White Ndounou

Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Affiliated with the Department of African and African American Studies
Affiliated with the Department of Film & Media Studies
2017-2018 Dartmouth College Sony Music Fellow

Dr. Monica White Ndounou is an Associate Professor of Theater and the 2017-2018 Sony Music Fellow at Dartmouth College. She is the President of the Black Theatre Association (BTA), a focus group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the founder of the Pay-It-Forward All-Career Level Mentorship Program.  Her interdisciplinary research projects span a broad range of topics. Dr. Ndounou’s award-winning book, Shaping the Future of African American Film: Color-coded Economics and the Story Behind the Numbers (Rutgers University Press, 2014), received the 2016 Distinction Honor from the Southern Conference on African American Studies, Inc. (SCAASI).  The project 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.  Professor Ndounou is currently working on several projects including but not limited to a book, documentary film and digital archive exploring black American contributions to developing acting theories and practices. Recognizing the significance of the symbiotic relationship between black performers and audiences, the project examines the role of double consciousness and various black perspectives and experiences, as well as cultural traditions in training, performance and behind the scenes.  Dr. Ndounou is working with various organizations to spearhead the charge for an overhaul of theatre training programs throughout the United States and abroad in an effort to ensure theatre training curricula more accurately reflects the demographics of the nation and the larger world.  

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Some of her publications include: “Being Black on Stage and Screen: Black Actor Training Before the Rise of Stanislavski’s System” forthcoming in the Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance (Routledge); “Slavery and the African American Cinematic and Cultural Imagination since the 1970s,” in African American Literature in Transition, 1970-1980 (Cambridge University Press); "The Paradox of Acting for an African American Actress" in Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts (Cambridge Scholars Press), "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” 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. Dr. Ndounou has also served as a Faculty Fellow for the Tisch College of Public Citizenship at Tufts University while developing her drama program for a Massachusetts Correctional Facility and a Faculty Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts.  She was also a Jacob K. Javits Fellow (2004 - 2007) and an OSU Presidential Fellow (2006). Dr. Ndounou has presented the findings of her work at the following national and international conferences: The Comparative Drama Conference, the African Literature Association Conference, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, the American Society for Theatre Research Conference, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Black Theatre Network conference, the August Wilson Conference at the University of Maryland, and the Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts in the United Kingdom and the London Film and Media Conference.Dr. Ndounou is also an actor and director who has appeared in a range of roles from William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, Suzan-Lori Parks’ The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, various roles in August Wilson’s ten-play cycle including Fences, Seven Guitars, and Two Trains Running. Her directing credits include new works as well as August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Gem of the Ocean, along with Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.Dr. Ndounou teaches courses in theatre, film, and cultural studies. She is also affiliate faculty for African and African American Studies (AAAS) and Film and Media Studies (FMS).  Throughout her career she has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate level courses including: Modern and Postmodern Theatre; Introduction to Film Studies; Performing America, Exploring Identity; African American Theatre and Film; The Theoretical & Historical Development of African American Theatre; Adaptation: The Cultural Politics of Storytelling.

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106 Shakespeare Alley, Hopkins Center
HB 6204
Ph.D. in Theatre History, Literature, and Criticism; Ohio State University, 2007
M.A. in English; University of Florida, 2003
B.A. University of North Florida, 2000