La Marr Bruce, IPSY Postdoctoral Associate, Lecturer in Theater and African American Studies

La Marr Jurelle Bruce has left IPSY to take a position as Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. An interdisciplinary humanities scholar, critical theorist, Afromanticist, he studies and teaches black expressive culture (especially literature and performance), critical race theory, queer theory, (pop) cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and their various intersections and combinations. Before arriving at Maryland, he earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University in 2013 and remained there for an additional year as IPSY Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr. Bruce’s budding book project, “How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness, Blackness, and Radical Creativity,” considers a cohort of twentieth- and twenty-first-century black artists who have instrumentalized “madness” for radical self-making, art-making, and world-making. His second project will generate a history and theory of joy! as depicted and manifested in black expressive cultures since the nineteenth century. Traversing literature, theater, music, sports, religiosity, and the quotidian, this project will explore the liberatory potentials of black joy and the existential perils that threaten and exploit it.

Additionally, Dr. Bruce’s work is featured in the “Black Performance” special issue of African American Review (for which he received the 2014 Joe Weixlmann Award) and forthcoming in Black Queer Studies 2.0 and TDR: The Drama Review. He has received grants and honors from the Beinecke Library at Yale University; the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia; the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale; the Social Science Research Council; and the Mellon Foundation.

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