Speaker Bios

Dr. James Coons (The Man of Destiny, July 27)
Dr. Coons is a historian of early modern France, specializing in politics and culture in the 17th century. Having earned his PhD at UW-Madison, he teaches courses on European history at UW-Whitewater, with a focus on the ways in which abstract ideas and cultural forces affect everyday life. His interest in Napoleon comes from exactly this question: was the Corsican a product of the ideological churn of the French Revolution, was he simply the right man for the moment, or was he cynically able to convince France that he truly was a “child of the Revolution?”

Susan Brantley (A Doll's House, September 14)
Susan Brantly received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1987. Although she is a specialist in Swedish language and literature, her research interests have been diverse. Her books include The Life and Writings of Laura Marholm, Understanding Isak Dinesen and The Historical Novel, Transnationalism, and the Postmodern Era. Her work on Laura Marholm is the basis for her expertise on the lives of Nordic women in the 19th Century. Because of this background, she was asked to serve as a script consultant for the Tony-nominated play, A Doll's House, Part 2.  She has also published on August Strindberg and other nineteenth-century Nordic writers, and maintains a keen interest in modernist studies. She is currently the editor of the journal Scandinavian Studies.  In 2003, she was the recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award and in she received the U.W. System Alliant Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. During her career she has shown a strong interest in student-oriented activities. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for Nordic in the Dept. of German, Nordic, and Slavic and the Director of the Bradley Learning Community. 

About Khalid Yaya Long (August Wilson's Fences, August 31)
Khalid Yaya Long earned his PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Khalid’s interdisciplinary research interests include American and Black diasporic theatre, drama, and literature through the interdisciplinary lenses of critical race theory, queer theory, feminist/womanist thought, and performance theory. As such, Khalid’s work pays close attention to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality within marginalized and oppressed communities. Khalid has presented his research as several national conferences and has published scholarly essays in Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance as well as the forthcoming Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Khalid is a dramaturg and has worked as several major theatres in the Washington, D.C. metro area including Mosaic Theatre, RepStage, and Baltimore’s Center Stage.