Nicosia Shakes

Nicosia Shakes

Assistant Professor - Africana Studies

Office: Kauke 001
Phone: 330-263-2054


  • PhD., Africana Studies, Brown University, 2017
  • M.A., Africana Studies, Brown University, 2016
  • MSc., Government, University of the West Indies, Mona, 2003
  • BSc., Political Science, University of the West Indies, Mona, 2000

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Africana Studies
  • Feminism, Gender and Sexual Politics in the Caribbean
  • Africana Women's Theatre in the 21st Century
  • Africana Popular Culture

Selected Awards and Fellowships

  • The National Women’s Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize, 2017
  • The Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award, Brown University, 2017
  • Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize for an Outstanding Dissertation in the Area of Feminist Studies, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown University, 2017
  • The George Houston Bass Award for Academic and Artistic Excellence, Rites and Reason Theatre, Africana Studies, Brown University, 2016
  • Inter-American Foundation (IAF) Grassroots Development Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2014-2015

Research Interests

Africana gender and sexuality; activist theatre in West and Southern Africa, North America and the Caribbean with a current focus on women's theatre in Jamaica and South Africa; the Black radical tradition in the Americas; and popular culture.

Recent Publications

Gender, Race and Performance Space: Women’s Activism in Jamaican and South African Theatre.Book manuscript under contract with the University of Illinois Press.

Blackness, Birthright and the Battle for Harlem: Intra-Racial Conflict in Marvel’s Luke Cage Season Two.” The Black Scholar. Blog. August 2018.

The Radical Aesthetic of Sistren Theatre Collective.” In Caribbean Reasonings: Rupert Lewis and the Black Intellectual Tradition, Eds. Clinton Hutton, Jermaine McCalpin and Maziki Thame. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2018.

“History and Drama in C.L.R. James’ Toussaint L’Ouverture.” The C.L.R. James Journal 23rd Anniversary Issue, Nos. 1 & 2 (2014): 38-60.

“In Search of Garvey’s Genealogy: A Preliminary Analysis.” Jamaica Journal 33 No. 3 (2012): 30-59.

Recent Theatre Productions (2016-2018)

Writer, Afiba and Her Daughters, directed by Brian Heap. The Phillip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, Kingston, Jamaica. In pre-production for May 2018.

Writer, Afiba and Her Daughters, directed by John Emigh. Rites and Reason Theatre, Brown University, Providence, RI. May 2016.

Performer, Song for the Beloved, curated by Honor Ford-Smith, Anique J. Jordan, Kara Springer, Cammille Turner. Encuentro eXcéntrico: "Cuerpos, soberanías y disidencias." Tenth Annual Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Santiago, Chile, July 2016.

Professional Affiliations/Service

  • Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)
  • Caribbean Studies Association
  • Friends of Liberty Hall (Marcus Garvey) Foundation, Jamaica
  • National Women’s Studies Association