African Studies Workshop | Harvard University
Time & Location
About the Event
Jesse Weaver Shipley is a writer, ethnographer, and artist whose work explores the links between aesthetics and politics. He focuses on how performance genres are shaped by political-economic regimes while at the same time providing tools for people to create new relationships to power. His work explores music, theatre, film, and media technologies, urban space, labor, race, gender, mobility, and sovereignty. He writes articles and books and makes films and multimedia art. His first book Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music explores how the rise of African hip-hop. His second book Trickster Theatre: Poetics of Freedom in Urban Africa examines how modern pan-African theatre is crucial to the struggle for decolonization and independence. He experiments with forms of storytelling, portraiture, and theory to tie mundane details and spectacular events to broader principles of power, aesthetics, desire, and trauma. Shipley has held positions at Bard College, where he was the founding Director of the Chinua Achebe Institute for Global Africana Arts, and Haverford College and is currently the John D. Willard Professor of African and African American Studies and Oratory at Dartmouth College. He is currently the McMillan-Stewart Fellow at Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University writing a book on political and cultural revolutions of the 1970s entitled, Practical Guide to Coup d'Etat.