Omi Jones

Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas at Austin

Omi Osun Joni L. Jones is an artist/scholar and Professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin.  Her work focuses on performance ethnography, theatrical jazz, Yoruba-based aesthetics, Black Feminisms, and activist theatre.  Her original performances include sista docta—a critique of the academy, and Searching for Osun—a performance ethnography around Yoruba-based spirituality and identity. She has conducted theatre for social change workshops for the Forum on Governance and Democracy in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, for Educafro in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and for the Austin Project which she founded as a collaboration of women of color artists, scholars, activists and allies who use art for re-imagining society. The work of the Austin Project is documented in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia and the Austin Project, co-edited by Jones, Sharon Bridgforth and Lisa Moore (University of Texas Press, 2010).  Jones’s print scholarship can be found in TDR, TPQ, Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics.  She is a member of the Urban Futures Network Think Tank at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and serves as Artist-in-Residence (with her partner Sharon Bridgforth) for Thousand Currents in Oakland.  Her collaborative ethnography, Theatrical Jazz:  Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power of the Present Moment, was released through the Ohio State University Press in 2015.