Renée Alexander Craft

Associate Professor (Communication and Curriculum in Global Studies)

Performance and Cultural Studies

205 Bingham Hall
Curriculum Vitae
renee.alexander.craft@unc.edu

Biography

BA (English literature) and MA (Communication Studies), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

PhD (Performance Studies), Northwestern University

Postdoctoral Fellow (Communication Studies), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

For the past seventeen years, Alexander Craft’s research and creative projects have centered on an Afro-Latin community located in the small coastal town of Portobelo, Panama who call themselves and their carnival performance tradition “Congo.” She has completed both a manuscript and digital humanities project, which reflect this focus. The first is an ethnographic monograph titled When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in 20th Century Panama (The Ohio State University Press, January 2015). The second project, titled Digital Portobelo: Art + Scholarship + Cultural Preservation (digitalportobelo.org), is an interactive online collection of ethnographic interviews, photos, videos, artwork, and archival material that illuminate the rich culture and history of Portobelo, Panama. Digital Portobelo was initiated through an inaugural 2013-2014 UNC Digital Innovations Lab/Institute for the Arts and Humanities Fellowship and is currently supported by an inaugural 2016 Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship.

Research Interests

Like her broader research and teaching, each project engages the relationship among colorism, nationalism, nationality, language, gender, sexuality, class, history, religion, and region in discourses of black inclusion, exclusion, representation, and belonging.

Recent Honors

In addition to the Portobelo-focused projects, Alexander Craft received a Durham Arts Council Ella Pratt Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2013 for I Will Love You Everywhere Always, a children’s book dedicated to helping children cope with death and loss.

Recent Publications