October 01, 2014

Holman Jones brings storytelling to campus

by Andrea Hahn

Karen Holman JonesCARBONDALE, Ill. -- Stacy Holman Jones visits Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week, beginning Monday, Oct. 6, to tell stories and to teach students to tell their own stories. 

Holman Jones is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge, where she is also co-director of the CSUN Performance Ensemble. Her weeklong residency at SIU highlights Holman Jones’ work in queer theory and the type of performance storytelling known as “autoethnography.” Autoethnography is self-reflective writing and performance that relates personal stories within a broader cultural or political context. She will present a public lecture, “Always Strange: The Transformative Power of Queer Storytelling,” at 8 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the Kleinau Theater in the Communications Building. 

Holman Jones begins her week at SIU with “Theory into Story/Story into Theory,” an introductory workshop for students. She will help them explore personal experiences as a way to comment on and critique cultural practices, and to engage audiences in performance art as further communication. She will meet with students individually and small groups throughout the week to assist students in developing their own performances or readings incorporating the theories she teaches. 

Her public lecture emphasizes specific aspects of queer storytelling. She will discuss queer theory in communication and gender identity scholarship, and will explain it as something real and personal. 

The Student Fine Arts Activity Fee contributed funding to Holman Jones’ visit.