Cynthia Ling Lee performs in Post Natyam Collective’s “rapture/rupture” during the 2017 EXPLODE! queer dance festival at JACK. Photo by Al Evangelista.
Philip J. Deloria is Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies and American Studies at Harvard University, and the author of Playing Indian (1998), Indians in Unexpected Places (2004) and American Studies: A User’s Guide (2017, with Alexander Olson). He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1994, and has taught at the University of Colorado and the University of Michigan, where he served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Program in American Culture. Deloria is a former president of the American Studies Association, a trustee of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
PHILIP J. DELORIA
Jennifer Harge is a Detroit based educator and movement artist. Her physical syntax embodies an ever-changing relationship to gravity, blackness, and the teetering between surviving and thriving. Her creative work moves through methods of resistance and reconciliation, and she looks to futurism as a way of creating strategies for longevity. In 2014 she founded Harge Dance Stories to create a platform for black bodies and contemporary movement investigations. Her choreographic work, with Harge Dance Stories and as a solo artist, has been presented at Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, Detroit Institute of Arts, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, JACK, Duke University, and Allied Media Conference, among others. She holds a MFA from University of Iowa as a Dean’s Graduate Fellow and a BFA from University of Michigan.
Jim Leija currently serves as the Director of Education & Community Engagement for UMS, the 138-year-old nonprofit performing arts presenter affiliated with the University of Michigan and 2014 recipient of the National Medal of Arts. He began at UMS in the marketing department, serving first as Public Relations Manager and later as the Manager of New Media & Online Initiatives (a position created for him). Jim was promoted to the position of Director of Education & Community Engagement in June 2011 following a national search. In his current role, he provides the strategic direction for UMS's community, university, and K-12/youth engagement and education programs, and leads the team that produces over 125 free or low-cost education events and a range of educational materials each season. In addition to his role at UMS, Leija was publicly elected, in 2014, to a four-year term as a trustee of the Ann Arbor District Library. He currently serves as Treasurer, and plays a vital role in stewarding this beloved community institution. Jim is an occasional filmmaker and performer, and recently took top prize in the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design Alumni Exhibition. His non-fiction performance essay “dance or die” is published in the anthology "Queer and Catholic" (Routledge). He holds three degrees from the University of Michigan: a Master of Fine Arts in Art & Design, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. Jim lives in Ann Arbor, MI, with his husband, Aric Knuth, and their two rescue dogs, Maisie and Olive.
Leyya Mona Tawil, also known as Lime Rickey International, is an artist working with dance, sound and performance practices. Tawil is a Syrian, Palestinian, American; her articulation of Arab Experimentalism embeds political sub-narratives and cultural confusions into the performance fabric. She is the director of ELIXIR / TAC – an organization supporting transdisciplinary arts locally and internationally. Her work has toured the US, Europe and the Arab world; and is discussed in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and PAJ-Journal of Performance and Art. Tawil has published work in SFMOMA’s Open Space, Detroit Research Journal and MR’s Critical Correspondence.
LEYYA MONA TAWIL