Graduate Course offerings, Fall 2015

Click here for a listing of Grad-level courses being offered, Fall 2015

Old Well in autumn




ANNOUNCING: Our Speaker for COMM STUDIES Graduation 2015!

Tom Goldstein (headshot) {Tom Goldstein}


We are excited to announce that Tom Goldstein will be our speaker for the Communication Studies Graduation Ceremony, to be held on Saturday, May 9th, 2015.



–          GQ named Tom Goldstein “one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington, D.C.”, and the National Law Journal (2010) ranked him as “one of the nation’s 40 most influential lawyers of the decade”

–          Tom Goldstein is one of the nation’s most experienced Supreme Court practitioners, serving as counsel in roughly 100 of the Court’s merits cases in the past 15 years

–          Goldstein’s representations span virtually all of federal law – cases on bankruptcy, immigration, free speech, & the list goes on!

–          A practicing lawyer, Goldstein has also had occasion to teach Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard & Stanford Law Schools

–          Goldstein is co-founder and publisher of the Peabody-Award-winning SCOTUSblog – the place to go for Supreme Court coverage




For more on Tom visit Goldstein & Russell, P.C.

For more on Graduation, check in with our Facebook Event Page

Summer 2015 COMM STUDIES course offerings

old well (spring)Check out the interesting variety of courses on offer from the Comm Studies Department this summer!

MAYMESTER  { 5/13 – 5/29 }

2015 Maymester


FIRST SUMMER SESSION  { 5/13 – 6/18 }

2015 Summer 1


SECOND SUMMER SESSION  { 6/22 – 7/28 }

2015 Summer 2

“The devils in the details” — Prof. Alexander Craft featured in the University Gazette

AlexanderCraft (Gazette, 2015)


“It’s a small town that’s rich in culture and history. It’s a small town that also has been consistently touched by global trade and tourism,” said Alexander Craft, assistant professor in the Department of Communications Studies and Curriculum in Global Studies. “The history is just so thick and interesting. I’m never at a loss for questions or great people to ask.”

Her research on Portobelo has resulted in a new ethnographic monograph on the Congo tradition, a digital home for hundreds of excerpts from her interviews and a collaboration that will lead to a multimedia performance on campus March 20–21 featuring local and Portobelo artists. 

{excerpt taken from the University Gazette’s “The devils in the details” by Susan Hudson}

To read the full article, go here.

To access the digital archives visit Digital Portobelo

Prof. Hillis co-edits the new collection, “Networked Affect”, published by The MIT Press

Networked Affect (Hillis)

 MIT Press logo







available through the MIT Press and











Networked Affect -- summary(Hillis)

(excerpted from the official MIT Press book page)

4/2 @ 4:00 pm: A Visit from Norman Steinberg

{ rescheduled from the original date of 3/17 }


Norman Steinberg visit (UPDATEDflier)

New collection of original essays, co-edited by Prof. Kumi Silva, published Jan 2015

Feminist Erasures (2015)


Feminist Erasures presents a collection of original essays that examines the state of feminism in North America and Western Europe.

It focuses on a range of cultural and political contexts to interrogate the apathy toward, erasure of, and interventions in feminist discourse and analysis from popular and political culture. In providing a scholarly critique of feminism’s erasure from various social and political contexts, including news media, popular culture, labor, motherhood, and feminist activism, this collection makes visible the systematic marginalization of women and women’s rights in contemporary culture. (from the back cover synopsis)


available through IndieBound and Amazon Books



“When the Devil Knocks”, a new book from Prof. Alexander Craft

author photo (RAC - When the Devil Knocks)When the Devil Knocks (book cover with $)











New book, When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in Twentieth-Century Panama , from Renée Alexander Craft, professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Curriculum in Global Studies at UNC.


Despite its long history of encounters with colonialism, slavery, and neocolonialism, Panama continues to be an under-researched site of African Diaspora identity, culture, and performance. To address this void, Renée Alexander Craft examines an Afro-Latin Carnival performance tradition called Congoas it is enacted in the town of Portobelo, Panamathe nexus of trade in the Spanish colonial world. In When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in Twentieth-Century Panama, Alexander Craft draws on over a decade of critical ethnographic research to argue that Congo traditions tell the story of cimarronaje, charting self-liberated Africanstriumph over enslavement, their parody of the Spanish Crown and Catholic Church, their central values of communalism and self-determination, and their hard-won victories toward national inclusion and belonging.
When the Devil Knocks analyzes the Congo tradition as a dynamic cultural, ritual, and identity performance that tells an important story about a Black cultural past while continuing to create itself in a Black cultural present. This book examines Congowithin the history of twentieth-century Panamanian etnia negra culture, politics, and representation, including its circulation within the political economy of contemporary tourism.


PRAISE FOR When the Devil Knocks:

“This beautifully written book focuses on contemporary Panamanian Congo performance in the town of Portobelo and the community‘s negotiations across local, national, and transnational scales of political, economic, social, and cultural interests and pressures.  In attending to these contemporary negotiations, Alexander Craft relates the history of the Portobelo Congo community to the broader history and politics of blackness in Panama. It is this balance between the macro-level history of race in Panama and the
micro-level stories of training, rehearsing, and performing Congo that makes When the Devil Knocks exemplary of the very best that performance studies scholarship can achieve.”
—Ramon H. Rivera-Servera, Northwestern University
“With When the Devil Knocks, Renée Alexander Craft focuses her keenly crafted ethnographic eye on how various kinds of circulation—geopolitical, intra-regional, and continental—have shaped the ways Afro-Panamanians have imagined and represented themselves over time. Hers is a model of engaged and collaborative ethnography, of performative witnessing that is sensitive to historical depth and the generational shifts catalyzed by contemporary neoliberalism. Craft shows us a politics of scholarly practice that truly makes a difference in the world.”
—Deborah A. Thomas, University of Pennsylvania
When the Devil Knocks traces genealogies of Congo performance traditions in Panamanian culture and folklore during 1903–2003.  The author argues that the complexity of black identity in Panama is marked through polyvalent contexts of the Congo ancestral culture, the descendants of the cimarrones (runaway slaves who fiercely fought for their freedom during the Spanish colonial period). Alexander Craft‘s When the Devil Knocks is an original and compelling study that should appeal to those interested in performance studies, critical race studies, anthropology, and Latin American, US Latina/o, and Caribbean studies.”
—Alicia Arrizon, University of California-Riverside

3/13 thru 3/22: REDBIRD One-Act Play Festival

Redbird One-Act Festival (logo)Redbird One-Act Festival (buy tickets)

The Arts Center’s REDBIRD play festival, featuring plays written by North Carolina-based playwrights, opens mid-March and runs through the 22nd.

The plays of Writing for the Screen and Stage Director DANA COEN (“Property”) and HOWARD L. CRAFT (“Fire of Freedom”) share a schedule.

Please check below for dates and times.  {for full schedule, ticket prices and theater information, scroll all the way down, visit here or here }

Want more?  Click here for the Daily Tar Heel’s interview with REDBIRD organizer, Jeri Lynn Schulke.


Redbird One-Act Festival (schedule)

Redbird One-Act Festival (crew)


Arts Center logoRedbird One-Act Festival (Part III)






3/20&21: The Process Series presents ARTVSM

ProcessSeries_ARTVSM FLYER