Laura Edmondson

Academic Appointments

Professor of Theater
Affiliated with African and African American Studies

Laura Edmondson teaches courses on postcolonial African drama, human rights and performance, and transnational theater history. She has published widely on East and Central African theater and performance, including articles in Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, TDR, and the anthologies African Performance Arts (Routledge 2002) and Violence Performed (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Her books include Performance and Politics in Tanzania: The Nation on Stage (Indiana UP, 2007) and Performing Trauma in Central Africa: Shadows of Empire (Indiana UP, 2018). Her research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Association of University Women, and the Fulbright Program. As a playwright, she has collaborated in the creation of Forged in Fire with Ugandan performer Okello Kelo Sam and Tanzanian musician Robert Ajwang, which integrates music, dance, and text to explore Okello's experiences of the LRA conflict in northern Uganda. Forged in Fire was produced at the Voorhees Theatre (Brooklyn) in 2015; excerpts of the play have been published in Refugee Performance (Intellect Books and the University of Chicago Press, 2012). Prior to coming to Dartmouth, she held positions at the University of Georgia and Florida State University. She has also taught at the Bagamoyo College of Arts in Tanzania and in the Department of Literature at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

#105 Shakespeare Alley, Hopkins Center
HB 6204
African and African American Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
B.A. Indiana University at Bloomington
M.A. University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Selected Publications

“Faustin Linyekula and the Violence of Plague.” Theatre Journal (December 2020): 405-423.

"The Fabulous Pan-Africanism of Binyavanga Wainaina." GLQ 26.3 (June 2020): 529-560.

"Anti-Homosexual Acts on Trial: The Poetics of Justice in Uganda." TDR 63.2 (Summer 2019): 6-33.

Performing Trauma in Central Africa: Shadows of Empire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018.

Forged in Fire by Okello Kelo Sam, Laura Edmondson, and Robert Ajwang. Voorhees Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. 2015.

“Uganda Is Too Sexy: Reflections on Kony 2012.” TDR 56.3 (Fall 2012). 10-17.

Forged in Fire (play). By Okello Kelo Sam, Laura Edmondson, and Robert Ajwang. Excerpted in Refugee Performance: Practical Encounters. Ed. Michael Balfour. Bristol, UK and Chicago: Intellect Books and the University of Chicago Press, 2012. 61-66.

Eat Like a Bird (play). In Cultural Conversations: Works in Progress, Writers in the Making, ed. Susan B. Russell (Lemont, PA: Eifrig Publishing, 2011), 91-132. 

"Confessions of a Failed Theatre Activist: Intercultural Encounters in Uganda and Rwanda." In Avant-Garde Performance and Material Exchange: Vectors of the Radical, edited by Mike Sell.  Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 41-59.

“Genocide Unbound: Erik Ehn, Rwanda, and an Aesthetics of Discomfort,” Theatre Journal, 61:1 (March 2009): 65-83.

Review essay: "Performing Africa."  African Affairs 109 (2009): 151-160.

“The Poetics of Displacement and the Politics of Genocide in Three Plays about Rwanda,” in Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict, edited by Patrick Anderson and Jisha Menon.  Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.  54-78.

Performance and Politics in Tanzania: The Nation on Stage, Indiana University Press, 2007.

“Of Sugarcoating and Hope,” TDR, 51:2 (May 2007): 7-10.

“Marketing Trauma and the Theatre of War in Northern Uganda,” Theatre Journal, 57:3 (2005): 451-474.

“Love in the Time of Dissertations: An Ethnographic Tale,” with R O Ajwang, Qualitative Inquiry, 9:3 (June 2003): 466-480.

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Works in progress

Pathology, Performance, and the Comorbid State in Central Africa

Forged in Fire