People

 

Sarah J. Adams is affiliated with the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University and the Humanities Section at Amsterdam University College, where she teaches Early Modern History. In 2020, she completed her PhD entitled “Repertoires of Slavery,” which charted the erratic ideological terrain of abolitionism through the lens of white-produced theatre in the Netherlands. As a part of her current research project, “Blackface Burlesques,” she will explore the modes, scenarios, tropes, and techniques used to design “blackness” on the 1800 comic stage of Paramaribo (Suriname) and investigate the socio-cultural functions of these productions. Sarah is co-editor of the yearbook of the Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and a member of the research groups THALIA, GEMS, and CEL19.
Charlotte Bentley is a Junior Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and an affiliate lecturer in the Faculty of Music, having formerly been a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She has had articles published in Cambridge Opera Journal and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, as well as several chapters in edited collections. Charlotte’s monograph about opera in nineteenth-century New Orleans is under contract with the University of Chicago Press, and she is developing a new research project, which explores operatic networks across the Americas. In particular, Charlotte is interested in the networks of performers and materials that developed through the Caribbean in the first half of the nineteenth century, focusing on exchanges between New Orleans and Cuba and on opera’s status as a commodity in these places.
Catherine Bisset is a Scottish actor of Jamaican and English heritage who started her training with Edinburgh Acting School (EAS) in 2019 where she achieved her a Diploma in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London (with distinction). Catherine is often cast against type: she played Mary Queen of Scots in Jen McGregor’s Eggshells and she also played the lead role in The Scottish Play.  She was recently the head artist leading a verbatim development project entitled Toxic Thrivers for Stellar Quines.  She is thrilled to be working with CECTON on a performance piece based on the Network’s research for the 2021 Being Human Festival.
Logan J. Connors is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami (FL), where he also co-directs the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Theatre and Performance Studies. He is the author of The Emergence of a theatrical science of man in France, 1660-1740 (2020), Dramatic battles in eighteenth-century France (2012), and a critical edition of the first play published in a French colony (Saint-Domingue, 1765), Pierre-Laurent de Belloy’s Le Siège de Calais (2014). Logan is currently working on a book project that traces the connections between theater and the military during the Age of Revolutions. He is particularly interested in crossovers between military and theatrical cultures in Saint-Domingue, French provincial cities, occupied territories, and in other highly militarized zones in Europe and the Caribbean.
Flavia D’Avila is a Latin American theatre director and researcher based in Edinburgh. A graduate in English and Drama, she is writing her PhD on devised syncretic theatre. Flavia has directed and produced original work with her company, Fronteiras Theatre Lab, both in the UK and internationally, including award-winning show La Niña Barro and Jen McGregor’s Italian Triptych, VolanteCanto X and Screech. Freelance directing credits include Jen McGregor’s Fragmental, Debbie Cannon’s Green Knight and The Remarkable Deliverances of Alice Thornton, Mara Menzies’s The Illusion of Truth, and Dave Robb’s The Devil in the Belfry. Flavia has been a Review Editor for the Scottish Journal of Performance and visiting tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Edinburgh Acting School. She is delighted to be part of CECTON and currently working towards a new theatre piece based on the Network’s research for the 2021 Being Human Festival.
Jenna M. Gibbs is Associate Professor of History at Florida International University, where she teaches Atlantic, Global, and American history.  She is the author of Performing the Temple of Liberty: Slavery, Theater, and Popular Culture in London and Philadelphia, 1760s–1850s, and related articles on the questions of race and performance.  Her forthcoming second mono­graph, The Global Latrobe Family:  Evangelicalism, Slavery and Empire 1750s–1850s traces the imperial and missionizing activities of three generations of one Moravian family, the Latrobes. as a lens into larger questions of the complex relationships between evangelicalism and imperialism in the Caribbean, continental North America, South Africa, and Australia.  She is broadly interested in the intersections among culture, pol­itics, religion and imperial expansion in the long eighteenth century. In the Caribbean context she is especially fascinated with the fluid interplay between Black vernacular performances – such as Jonkanoo, Carnival, and Gombay — and White formal theater productions.
Jill Lane is Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where she teaches courses on Latin American and Caribbean theatre, performance, and visual culture. She is the author of Blackface Cuba, 1840–1895 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) which explores performance and racialization in late colonial Cuba. She is presently researching gestural economies of race in nineteenth-century visual culture and theatre.
Jaïrus Obayomi is a director and dramaturg with a strong interest in new writing development and the experience of performance, in script editing and translation. A member of the Classical and Contemporary Text MA programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Jaïrus has an MLitt in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Glasgow, where her final dissertation, a recasting of The Bacchae, drew on ideas relating to West African diaspora, translation theory, postcolonialism and visibility, as well as her undergraduate Classics background. Jaïrus is interested in audio drama and recently directed HIDE/BOUND, an experimental piece based on the selkie myth and looking at the politics of metamorphosis through various lenses including womxnhood and queer identity, toxic masculinity, online radicalization and eco-sustainability. Jaïrus has facilitated spoken word and Science Communication projects with Edinburgh-based group, Illicit Ink, and worked as an arts administrator for the black-led touring opera company Pegasus Opera.
Dexnell Peters is the Bennett Boskey Fellow in Atlantic History at Exeter College, University of Oxford. He is broadly interested in the history of the Greater Caribbean and the Atlantic World during the Revolutionary era. His current research project, through the main themes of geography and the environment, inter-imperial transitions, migration, the plantation economy, politics and religion, makes a case for the rise of a Greater Southern Caribbean region (inclusive of Venezuela and the Guianas) in the late eighteenth century, showing evidence for a very polyglot, cross-imperial and interconnected world.
Julia Prest is Professor of French and Caribbean Studies at the University of St Andrews.  A graduate in French and Music, she wrote her PhD on Molière’s comedy-ballets.  Julia was formerly Assistant Professor of French and Honorary Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at Yale University (2002–2009) and Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford (1999–2002).  She has published widely on early-modern French and Creole theatre, and her current research is on theatre and society in the former French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). Julia is particularly interested in how French works were “creolized” in Saint-Domingue and in the emergence of new Creole works, as well as the role played by theatre in the revolutionary era.  Julia is founder of the Colonial-Era Caribbean Theatre and Opera Network (CECTON) and creator of the trilingual (English-French-Creole) website and performance database, Theatre in Saint-Domingue, 1764-1791: Plays, Ballets and Operas.
Susan Thomas is Professor of Musicology and Director of the American Music Research Center at the University of Colorado.  A researcher of Cuban and Latin American music, her interests include musical theatre in the Spanish Caribbean; performative and mediatized manifestations of and reactions to transnationalism, migration, and diaspora; as well as the musical intersections of gender, race, embodiment and performativity. Her book, Cuban Zarzuela: Performing Race and Gender on Havana’s Lyric Stage was awarded the Robert M. Stevenson Prize and the Pauline Alderman Book Award. The author of numerous articles and book contributions, she is currently completing her second book, The Musical Mangrove: The Transnationalization of Cuban Alternative Music, for Oxford University Press. She is particularly interested in musical theatre in 19th century colonial Cuba and in the ways that musicians served as cultural mediators between European and homegrown traditions.
Wayne Weaver is reading for a PhD in Music at the University of Cambridge. His thesis, loosely entitled “Space, Race and the Music of late Eighteenth-century Kingston”, focusses on the art and sound worlds of Anglo-Jamaican composer, Samuel Felsted (1743-1802). Wayne enjoys thinking about how histories of colonial-era music might be re-populated with details of the Africans (and their descendants), whose lives played out in and around the theatres, churches and other spaces where the music of the period was being heard and overheard. Wayne’s research also investigates how Jamaica’s residents used the island’s musical activity as a vehicle for expressions of racial ideologies. Formerly a secondary school music teacher, Wayne holds BMus (Hons), MMus and PGDE qualifications awarded by the University of Edinburgh. He also holds the Associate Diploma of the Royal College of Organists. Wayne’s research is supported by Wolfson College, Cambridge University Music Faculty, the Royal Musical Association and the Burke’s Peerage Foundation.