By Michelle Smith
Dr. Deanna Shoemaker invited her students to perform World on Fire, Climate Change Poetry. Dr. Shoemaker shared her thoughts on what this performance means to the Monmouth Community and what her students were able to convey about the importance of Climate Change and Environmental Justice.
Dr. Shoemaker states:
This collaborative student and faculty performance video features contemporary, published poetry that explores Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice through multiple perspectives, heightened language, and diverse voices and bodies. Inspired by the Fall 2020 MU Climate Crisis Teach-in call for submissions, Prof. Shoemaker, Associate Professor of Communication and Performance Studies, started collecting powerful poetry and research about climate change. As a professor who teaches courses in public communication that explore performance of literature and originally devised student performances for social change, she was excited to collaborate with celebrated Communication alumna Sophia Parola, students from her Fall 2020 “Voice & Diction” class, and members of “CommWorks: Students Committed to Performance,” a student club and practicum that she advises.
In this group performance, we engage performance as a means of protest and consciousness-raising to provoke an emotional response and inspire resistance to the human destruction of both human and nonhuman life forms. Ecopoetry moves us in affective and activist ways to better understand and respond to complex intersections between climate collapse, capitalism, poverty, racism, and white supremacy. This work also imagines forms of radical love and grief as a possible way forward in a “world on fire.” As a work-in-progress, Prof. Shoemaker hopes to continue developing this performance in Spring 2021 to incorporate research, original student writing, more poetry, and more student performers. This work will also be submitted to the annual Patti Pace National Virtual Performance Festival called “Meeting the Movement,” which will take place online in late February 2021: https://www.csun.edu/mike-curb-arts-media-communication/communication-studies/events/meeting-movement-virtual-performance
This performance was adapted and directed by Dr. Deanna Shoemaker, Associate Professor of Communication and Performance Studies, in collaboration with Sophia Parola, an outstanding Communication alum who graduated from Monmouth University in 2018. Featured current students and Communication majors include Jeff Dicken, Penelope Elliott (President of CommWorks), A’liah Moore, and Nick Sewell. This work is co-sponsored by CommWorks: Students Committed to Performance, an active student club that meets every Wed. at 2:45 either online or in JP 235. Contact Dr. Shoemaker if you’re interested in getting involved or taking a performance-based Communication course: email@example.com.
To watch the video, follow this link!