La Donna L. Forsgren

Forsgren Photo 2019

Dr. La Donna L. Forsgren is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. Dr. Forsgren’s research aim is to help fill in the gaps and silences of theatre history so that artists have a better understanding of the past and more purpose for the future. She has received numerous awards and competitive grants for her research on African American theatre, including ISLA’s Large Grant for Research and Creative work (2018), Robert A. Schanke Theatre Research Award (2016), University of Oregon Humanities and Creative Arts Grant (2014), and Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges Dissertation Fellowship (2011).

Her first book, In Search of Our Warrior Mothers: Women Dramatists of the Black Arts Movement (Northwestern University Press 2018)investigates the works and careers of Martie Evans-Charles, J.e. Franklin, Sonia Sanchez, and Barbara Ann Teer. She is completing the final stages of her second book manuscript, Sistuhs in the Struggle: An Oral History of the Black Arts Movement Theatre and Performance. She has published articles in Theatre Survey, Theatre TopicsTheatre History StudiesFrontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesCallaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and New England Theatre Journal. She currently serves as Associate Conference Planner for the Mid-America Theatre Conference.

As both a teacher and scholar, Dr. Forsgren encourages intellectual curiosity, social activism, and reclamation. Her pedagogical aim is to inspire students to actively participate in social change beyond the life of a fifteen-week course. Influenced by the pedagogical theories of bell hooks, Dr. Forsgren views the classroom as a transgressive space wherein actual life change can occur. She values both “edutainment” (i.e., education through entertainment) and holistic approaches to student learning.

Areas of Specialization: African American theatre and performance, dramaturgy, black feminist theories, Black nationalism

Select courses: Performing Blackness; World Stages; Collaboration: Introduction to Theatre; African American Musicals in Theatre, Film, and Television

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Department of Film, Television, and Theatre bio     574/631.7171


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