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Performing Grinnell Past: Songs of the Scarlet & Wayback

March 7-10 Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies will debut a new play with music inspired by local college and community archives. Songs of the Scarlet & Wayback is a collaboration of several classes' research into Grinnell stories, especially of the parties and pageants of past Grinnellians. This lecture provides a glimpse behind the curtain into the play's creation, as well as connecting the process to larger conversations about cultural memory and commemoration through performance studies methods. Come to the lecture to prepare to see the performance (live or livestreamed), and/or to contribute the the ongoing conversation about performing Grinnell!

Faculty Member: Jen Shook, Assistant Professor, Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Digital Studies
Discussion Date: Thursday, February 22, 2 p.m. CT

Meet Jen Shook

Jen Shook

Jen Shook is an Assistant Professor of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies, whose practice lives at the intersections of dramaturgy, directing, literature, cultural memory, Indigenous studies. community engagement, and digital liberal arts. She previously taught at Grinnell as a Fellow in the Mellon-funded Digital Bridges in Humanistic Inquiry (2016-2018), and has also taught at institutions including Columbia College Chicago, The Theatre School at DePaul University, Penn State, Oklahoma State, and the University of Iowa. 

She worked as a dramaturg, director, and theatre producer in Chicago, where she founded Caffeine Theatre—a company that mined the poetic tradition to explore social questions (2002-2012). Her in-process book manuscript, Unghosting Tribalographies: Performing Oklahoma-as-Indian-Territory examines transcultural collaborations and Native American performers’ reworkings of historical commemorations in the microcosm of her home state. She serves on the steering committee of the American Studies Association's Digital Humanities Caucus, and has been a fellow with WikiEdu, Imagining America, NEH's Digital Native American Indigenous Studies pedagogy cohort, and Penn State's Center for Humanities and Information. She also makes art with large rocks and small shadow puppets. 

Education and Degrees

  • PhD, Literary & Cultural Studies, University of Iowa
  • Graduate Certificate, Center for the Book, University of Iowa
  • MA, Interdisciplinary Humanities, University of Chicago
  • BA, English, Religion, & Women's Studies, Swarthmore College

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Thursday February 22
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Please register below.
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Virtual Alumni College - Performing Grinnell Past: Songs of the Scarlet & Wayback:
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