Thanksgiving Holiday offers me a chance to reflect on values, principals and examine what it means to be human. I did not have the desire to be fed with a slaughtered bird ( although I had a wonderful meal with great friends), but -in a moment of solitude- I tried to think about those who made impacts on my life. Among many I would like to thank Lisa Schlesinger, Janet Afary and Mike Geither
Lisa Schlesinger, is an associate professor at Columbia College and Playwriting Coordinator. Her plays include Wal-martyrs, Celestial Bodies, Twenty One Positions (with Naomi Wallace and Abed Abu Srour), Same Egg, Manny and Chicken, Rock Ends Ahead, Bow Echo, The Bones of Danny Winston, The Go Back Land, and The Artist of Transparency. She is currently at work on the book for a new opera, Harmonicus Mundi. She has received commissions from the BBC, the Guthrie Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Portland Stage Company. She is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Playwrights Residency Award and winner of the BBC International Playwriting Award and received grants and awards from the NEA, CEC Artslink International, the Bush Foundation, the Iowa Arts Council, among others. Her work has been produced in the United States and Europe and translated into several languages. She received her MFAs from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Iowa Playwrights' Workshop and taught at the University of Iowa and Coe College before coming to Columbia College Chicago.
Janet Afary is a native of Iran and a historian of modern Iran. She has an MA in Linguistics from Tehran University and a PhD in History and Near East Studies from the University of Michigan, where her dissertation received the Distinguished Rackham Dissertation Award. Afary holds the Mellichamp Chair in Global Religion and Modernity at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is a Professor of Religious Studies and Feminist Studies. Previously she taught at the Department of History and the Program in Women’s Studies at Purdue University, where she was appointed a University Faculty Scholar. Her books include: Sexual Politics in Modern Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2009, winner of the British Society for Middle East Studies Annual Book Prize); The Iranian Constitutional Revolution: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy, and the Origins of Feminism (Columbia University Press, 1996, winner of Dehkhoda Institute Book Award; and (with Kevin B. Anderson) Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism (University of Chicago Press, 2005, winner of the Latifeh Yarshater Book Award for Iranian Women’s Studies).
Mike Geither is an Associate Professor teaching playwriting at Cleveland State University, and has served as Playwright-in-Residence at Cleveland Public Theatre and Co-Director of CPT's Playwrights Collective. His plays and solo performances have been performed widely in Ohio and across the country and his work has been recognized by the Ohio Arts Council and Theatre Communications Group.Mike Geither is the director of NEOMFA.