March 25, 2008

Speech communication hosts visiting lecturer

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The speech communication department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this week welcomes visiting lecturer/artist Shannon Jackson from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jackson presents a free and open-to-the-public pro-seminar and lecture addressing the relevance of art. The lecture begins at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in the Kleinau Theatre, on the second floor of the Communications Building.

Jackson's address is titled, "What is the 'Social' in Social Practice? Experiments across the Visual Arts and Performance." Social practice is a new form of art that seeks to communicate directly to communities and social networks, typically as a form of social interaction or performance art. Social practice can include art strategies such as urban interventions, utopian proposals, social sculpture and street performance, for example. Jackson addresses not only what social practice is, but for whom.

Jackson is an associate professor of rhetoric and of theatre, dance and performance studies at UC-Berkeley. Her book, "Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, Hull-House Domesticity" won the John Hope Franklin Prize at the American Studies Association. She is also the author of "Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity," which won Best Book awards from both the National Communications Association and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. In 2007, she was the Comparative Drama Association's Author of the Year and she is the principal investigator for a community oral history and arts installation project in Richmond and Berkeley, Calif.

Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, an associate professor of performance studies in the speech communication department of the College of Liberal Arts, said Jackson is "one of the major players in the field."

"(This lecture) is for anyone who wants to know how the arts can better serve the community," he said.

Jackson will keep office hours during her stay here from March 26 through March 29. Contact Gingrich-Philbrook at 618/453-1883 or for more information or for office hour availability.