Soyica Colbert Appointed Interim Dean of Georgetown College

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Georgetown College is delighted to announce that Soyica Colbert (C’01), vice dean of faculty and an Idol Family Professor of African American Studies and Theater and Performance Studies, has been appointed interim dean. Her term will start in January of 2021.

Making Positive Change

Colbert has already had a profound impact on the College since she was chosen to serve as vice dean earlier this year. In her time at this position, she hosted the series “Such a Time As This: Racial Justice and the University” that explored how research by Georgetown faculty advances racial justice. This series is part of the Racial Justice Initiative created by Colbert and Robert Patterson that will formally launch in the spring of 2021. 

The professor will continue to teach courses in the performing arts and African American studies departments. This spring, she will co-instruct “Combating Anti-Black Racism: History and Ideology, Justice and Resistance” alongside Patterson. She was also recently named as an associate director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in addition to her accolades at Georgetown. 

Chris Celenza, current Dean of Georgetown College and Professor of History and Classics, will be stepping down from his position in January of 2021 to accept a deanship at the Krieger School at Johns Hopkins University. He says that Colbert’s vision, clarity and ability to inspire students and faculty make her the perfect candidate for the job. 

“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate and thank my colleague, Soyica Colbert, on accepting the role,” says Celenza. “Professor Colbert is an excellent scholar, teacher, public intellectual and academic leader. I am confident that she will lead with dignity and passion for our students, faculty and staff while maintaining the highest standards for academic excellence.” 

More About Colbert

Colbert is the author of The African American Theatrical Body: Reception, Performance and the Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Black Movements: Performance and Cultural Politics (Rutgers University Press, 2017). Colbert edited the Black Performance special issue of African American Review (2012) and co-edited The Psychic Hold of Slavery (Rutgers University Press, 2016).

Earlier this year, she co-edited Race and Performance After Repetition through Duke University Press. Her next book, Becoming Free: An Intellectual Biography of Lorraine Hansberry, will be released in 2021. 

Colbert has published articles in American Theatre, African American Review, Theatre Survey, Modern Drama, Boundary 2, South Atlantic Quarterly, Scholar and Feminist Online, and Theatre Topics and in the collections: Black Performance Theory, Contemporary African American Women Playwrights, and August Wilson: Completing the Cycle.

She is the recipient of the Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mellon Summer Research Grant, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library Fellowship. Her research interests span the 19th-21st centuries, from Harriet Tubman to Beyoncé, and from poetics to performance.

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