"...It is a time that calls for artists, students, and scholars to investigate, question, bear witness and reflect on the power shifts that are occurring."
Announcing Jacqueline E. Lawton as new co-director of Southern Futures
Jacqueline E. Lawton, an Associate Professor in the Department of Dramatic Art, is a playwright, dramaturg, producer, and advocate for access, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the American Theatre. She is now also co-director of the Southern Futures initiative.
“As a Black Southern theatre artist, I have long been interested in the relationship between time, place, and identity. We are so often defined by where we came from. Our values are shaped by the foods, music, sights, sounds, smells, and rhythms that either embraced or rejected us in our youth. To be from the South is to understand both the toll and jubilation that a social and political reckoning can take on one’s way of being. And we are most certainly in a time of reckoning. Our campus is a powerful tempest for change. We are wrestling with long-held beliefs and overturning assumptions that are shaking us to our core. It is an unprecedented time. It is a time that calls for artists, students, and scholars to investigate, question, bear witness and reflect on the power shifts that are occurring. By centering the research and creative work of faculty, students, and community partners, Southern Futures remains a vital force for healing, growth, and knowledge building at the university, in the state, and throughout the region. Southern Futures works to disrupt stereotypes of the American South and create a bold, new radically inclusive vision for who we are and who we can be. In doing so, we will be better equipped to face the truths of our past and the consequences of our actions and inactions, however painful, and bring about the much-needed change for our future.”