Prof. Tony Perucci interviewed for “Peace & Change” journal


Peace&Change logo (Jan2015)

Peace&Change cover (Jan2015)


Communication Studies Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Tony Perucci, was interviewed in May 2014 by Andrew Barbero.  This interview was published in the January 2015 issue of the journal Peace & Change.



“On May 2, 2014, I (Barbero) conducted a wide-ranging interview with Tony Perucci, who delivered the keynote presentation, “The Complex and the Rupture: Paul Robeson and Cold War Performance Culture,” at the Peace History Society’s 2013 conference. Our conversation went well beyond recapping Perucci’s intriguing analysis of Robeson’s theatrical “performances”, to taking an in-depth look at Robeson as an agent of peace- and justice-making within the “Cold War Performance Complex.” In addition, Perucci describes how political theater interrupts systems of hegemonic power, and he offers reflections from his own experiences as a performer, director, writer, and academic on the transformational potential of strategically rendered activist art and rigorous, engaged scholarship.”


read the interview here (website format) or here (PDF)

Gharpure – Honors Thesis Performance (Jan 30 & 31)

Gharpure Thesis (poster)(Jan2015)


An Honors Thesis Performance will take place in Bingham 203 on January 30th (7 p.m.) and January 31st (4 p.m.).  Admission is free.


TO STRIKE ROOTS, directed by Comm Studies major Renu Gharpure

Inspired by Jhumpa Lahiri’s short stories about the Indian immigrant, this short performance piece follows the cultural struggle of the children of Indian immigrants in the U.S., as they try to find a place of belonging between two cultures–the one of their ancestors and the one of their country of birth.



Reviews are in for FREIGHT (Dir. Joseph Megel)

FREIGHT alphonse-howard-joseph (Jan2015)

Actor, playwright, director: J. Alphonse Nicholson, Howard L. Craft, Joseph Megel, on the set of FREIGHT. Photo: Nick Graetz.



Five Points Star “Nine days into the new year and I have to tell you that the production is likely at the end of the year to be on the short list of year’s best, such is its momentum.”

News & Observer “Even those who’ve witnessed the impressive trajectories of playwright Howard L. Craft and actor J. Alphonse Nicholson over the years will likely be unprepared for their stunning convergence in ‘Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green’.”

Frank Stasio, host of NPR’s The State of Things, talks with playwright Howard L. Craft and performer J. Alphonse Nicholson about the show Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green

Indy Week “Director Joseph Megel has achieved exceptional results in previous outings with this actor and playwright. Here, he unsurprisingly pulls the best out of both, in a show that makes us wonder what the next stop is on our culture’s mystery train.”


WSS Info Session Thurs. Jan 22


WSS info session hook



You are invited to attend an informational meeting about the

Minor in Writing for the Screen and Stage (WSS)


Thursday, January 22nd, 6PM, Bingham, Rm. 203


Application dates are FEBRUARY 1st – MARCH 1st, 2015


This program offers students an opportunity to study at UNC with professional, award winning writer/producers.


Director Dana Coen, Professor Scott Myers and student representatives from the current Writing for the Screen and Stage (WSS) program will be on hand to discuss the application process, the program’s curriculum and advantages, including the annual One-Act Festival.


Graduates have already earned these professional credits:

  • Staff writer on Sci Fy Channel’s series “Haven”

  • Production of Off Broadway play

  • Screenplay sold to major Hollywood producer

 Interested students must be of sophomore or junior standing by Fall, 2015






Prof. Joseph Megel directs new one-person show (Jan 8 -24)

FREIGHT promo poster


Freight: The Five Incarnations Of Abel Green (by Howard Craft, featuring Alphonse Nicholson)


Swain Hall
UNC Campus
101 E. Cameron Ave.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

For ticket information visit the Piedmont Performance Factory Website




This full-length play tells the story of Abel Green, an African American male who exists in five different dimensions of the same universe at different points in American history.


The audience first encounters him as minstrel in the early 1900s, then as a cult leader in the 1930s and 1940s.  In the 1960s he is an FBI informant.  The 1980s finds him struggling to make ends meet as an actor.  In the 2010s he’s an out of work mortgage broker on the verge of suicide.


In each incarnation Abel finds himself stuck somewhere between the American dream and the American nightmare and as he navigates some very gray areas the audience witnesses the trials of a simple man not necessarily trying to choose between right and wrong, but rather trying to make the decisions that will allow him to survive in what the great African American poet Claude McKay referred to as “ This cultured hell, that test my youth.”


FREIGHT promo poster (full info)



Thursday, January 8, 8 pm – Pay-What-You-Can Preview

Friday, January 9, 8 pm – Opening Night (Reception Follows)

Saturday, January 10, 8 pm

Sunday, January 11, 3 pm

Thursday, January 15, 8 pm

Friday, January 16, 8 pm

Saturday, January 17, 8 pm

Sunday, January 18, 3 pm

Wednesday, January 21, 8 pm

Thursday, January 22, 8 pm

Friday, January 23, 8 pm

Saturday, January 24, 3 pm

Opening Night Tickets: $25.00

Wed/Thurs performances: $10.00

Fri/Sat/Sun performances: $20.00

For Students, Faculty, Veterans, and Seniors: $10.00 for all performances.

For group rates, please enquire:

Swain Hall
UNC Campus
101 E. Cameron Ave.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Prof. Cori Dauber speaks to the Council on Foreign Relations


Communication Studies Professor Cori Dauber was asked to speak to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on November 12th, 2014 regarding her work on ISIS’ videos, and their use of the visual in Social Media.


For more on the Council, visit their website.CouncilonForeignRelations logo

Reviews for Prof. Francesca Talenti’s “The Uncanny Valley”

Uncanny Valley promo shot

Professor Francesca Talenti’s show The Uncanny Valley headed north to play in Brooklyn this October — check out the reviews !











The Uncanny Valley is technically impressive and intellectually haunting, forcing the audience to face the growing role of technology in our world. – Sarah Lucie, Show Business Weekly


An inventive cybernetic fairy tale… staged with poetic grace, both touching and ominous. – Rachel Kerry, New York Theater Review


The show had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. – Rachel Weinberg,

Uncanny Valley taglineTHE UNCANNY VALLEY


New collage piece Thorns vs. Roses by Professor Ed Rankus


Edward Rankus‘ latest video Thorns vs. Roses is now being distributed by the Video Data Bank.

 rankus_thorns poster 1

Thorns vs. Roses (A video by Edward Rankus 13.5 minutes 2014)

A collage piece. Oppositions of agony & ecstasy are explored. Morticia trims yet another rose stem, while Bugs Bunny takes up Zen. Guilt-wracked, a nun tries furtively to cleanse herself of imagined sin. Or attain spiritual release. Various divas flail to no avail. Lips, lipstick, frozen lips. Shakuhachi music by Chris Moran sets the mood, when there isn’t a thunderstorm raging.







vdb_logoVideo Data Bank

Founded at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1976 at the inception of the media arts movement, the Video Data Bank (VDB) is a leading resource in the United States for video by and about contemporary artists.

Professor Sarah Sharma’s book wins NCA book award

NCA logo (2014)

Sarah Sharma









Professor Sarah Sharma’s In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics has been awarded BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Critical and Cultural Studies Division of the National Communication Association (NCA).


To learn more about In the Meantime, check out Tim Ballingall’s review.

NCA sign

For more about the National Communication Association, visit their webpage.



New book on hate speech from Professor Mike Waltman

Hate on the Right (Waltman)

Professor Michael Waltman continues his exploration of hate speech in his new book Hate on the Right: Right-Wing Political Groups and Hate Speech (Peter Lang Publishers)









This book examines the ways that hatred comes alive in language and discourse. It asks whether much of the discourse on the political right – that which attacks their enemies – is hate speech. Extending Michael Waltman’s previous work on hate speech, this book examines the discourse and language produced by a variety of right-wing groups and attempts to determine the homology that exists among their discourses. These groups, which include the racist right wing, the political right wing, the Christian right wing, and the paramilitary right wing, are examined respectively through the lenses of the film White Apocalypse, the book Atlas Shrugged, the Left Behind trilogy of movies, and the web pages maintained by the Republic of the United States of America and the National Rifle Association. The author looks at the discourses of hate produced in these seminal texts in order to identify a homology of exclusion that unites the forms of right-wing extremism, giving them a common frame of reference when confronting social and political challenges. (from book synopsis)