Terry Loftis

Terry Loftis is the president and executive director of The Arts Community Alliance, a nonprofit supporting the arts in North Texas through grant making, capacity building and thought leadership. He can provide insight on the struggles cultural institutions are facing during the pandemic as well as what the future holds.

Before joining TACA, Loftis was vice president of the Broadway Strategic Return Fund in New York, which co-produced the Tony Award-winning productions Once on This Island and Hadestown. He also produced the 2017 Broadway run of Bandstand, which won the Tony for Best Choreography and Orchestration.

A Dallas native, Loftis graduated from the city’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. He has a 25-year career in marketing and advertising.

Outside of TACA, he serves on the boards of directors for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Black Tie Dinner, Arts District Dallas, and the president’s council of the advisory board of Booker T. Washington High School.

Location: Dallas, TX

Expertise Field: Arts and culture, arts and culture funding, theater, music, museums, nonprofits

Contact information:

Email: Brett@BrettGrayPR.com (media contact)

Phone: 214-557-6233 (media contact)

Twitter: @TerryDLoftis

Listen to Terry Loftis on WFAA:

Last updated September 2, 2020

An Xiao Mina

An Xiao Mina works on program strategy and operations at Meedan, a technology non-profit that builds software for newsrooms and NGOs to improve the quality of information online. She’s an expert on digital creative culture and how memes influence protest movements and politics.

Internet memes have gone from silly image macros to salvos in cultural and political struggles. And that trend continues with the ongoing movement for racial justice following George Floyd’s death — see the memeification of arresting the cops who killed Breonna Taylor or the widespread use of Karen as a negative term for a privileged and racist white woman.

As the author of the 2019 book Memes to Movements: How the World’s Most Viral Media is Changing Social Protest and Power, Mina can provide context on the ways internet memes are shaping pop culture, politics, protest and propaganda.

Before joining Meedan, Mina was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a 2016 Knight Visiting Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She’s the co-author of the upcoming Hanmoji Handbook, which uses emojis to teach Mandarin Chinese, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and Hyperallergenic.

Mina has worked with The Civic Beat and China Residencies to create workshops and art exhibitions in spaces including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania.

Credit Jan Chipchase/Studio D Radiodurans (©)

Expertise: Digital creative culture, how memes influence protest movements and politics

Contact information:

Email: anxiaomina-berkman@protonmail.com 

Listen to An Xiao Mina speaking at the Data & Society Research Institute:

Last updated July 14, 2020

Karen Tongson

Karen Tongson is an associate professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of “Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries.” She is an expert in queer theory, women and pop music and queer and racial representations and stereotyping in popular culture. Tongson is currently the series editor for the Postmillennial Pop series at NYU Press and an associate editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies.

Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information:

Phone: (323) 687-2574

Email: Tongson@usc.edu

Twitter: @inlandemperor

Hear her on All Things Considered:

Zareena Grewal

Zareena Grewal is an Associate professor of American, Religious, Middle East, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration at Yale University. Her research and teaching interests include political and cultural developments in the Middle East and South Asia, the refugee crisis and the reform of Islam.

Grewal is also a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy, where she formerly worked as the research director. A published author and filmmaker, her upcoming book, “Is the Quran a Good Book?” examines U.S. citizens’ views of the Quran and how it factors into ideas of islamophobia and tolerance in America. In 2005, her film “By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam” was nationally broadcast in the United States and again more recently on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. She is the recipient of a number of writing awards, including, most recently, the Society for Humanistic Anthropology’s Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing.

Grewal

Associate professor of American, Religious, Middle East, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration, Yale University

Areas of Expertise: Islam, gender studies, race and ethnicity, religious studies, international film, anthropology, ethnographic writing

Location: New Haven, CT
Contact Information:
E-mail: zareena.grewal@yale.edu
Phone: (917) 974-6142
Twitter: @ZareenaGrewal

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Henry Godinez

Henry Godinez is a professor in the department of theatre at Northwestern University and the resident artistic associate at the Goodman Theatre, where he also served as the director of the Latino Theatre Festival. His Goodman directing credits are expansive and include titles like José Rivera’s Boleros for the Disenchanted and The Sins of Sor Juana by Karen Zacarías.

Godinez is the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista and has directed at Yale Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre Company in New York, Portland Center Stage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. As an actor, his credits include Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The Old Globe Theatre and the Kennedy Center. He’s also appeared in film and television programs including The Fugitive and Chicago Fire. Godinez was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2010 to the Illinois Arts Council, where he serves on its executive committee.

Professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University and the Artistic Associate at the Goodman Theatre

Location: Chicago, IL

Areas of Expertise: Film, Theatre, Latino film, Drama, Performing Arts

Contact Information:

E-mail: hgodinez@northwestern.edu
Phone: Cell (847) 502-8132 | Office (847) 491-3157
Twitter: @HenryDGodinez

Vamsee Juluri

Vamsee Juluri is a professor of Media Studies and Asian Studies at the University of San Francisco. His research interests include the expansion of media audiences, particularly as it relates to Indian cinema, mythology and Ghandian philosophy. He is the author of four books on the subjects of Hinduism, Indian identity and the Indian entertainment industry. His commentary has been featured in BBC World Service, Al Jazeera Televeision and India-Abroad.

One of Juluri’s most recent books is Rearming Hinduism: Nature, Hinduphobia and the Return of Indian Intelligence. It has been referred to as a “handbook for intellectual resistance” and aims to critique society’s views of the culture and practice of Hindusim.


Professor of Media Studies and Asian Studies, University of San Francisco

Location: San Francscio, CA

Areas of Expertise: Hinduism, Asian cinema, cultural politics, Ghandism, media violence, media representation

Contact Information:
E-mail: juluri@usfca.edu
Phone: (510) 387-6518
Twitter: @VamseeJuluri

Travis Gosa

Dr. Travis L. Gosa is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University and faculty associate at Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality. He serves on the advisory board of Cornell’s Hip-Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip-hop culture in the United States. Gosa is an expert on race, new politics, hip-hop culture, and education. He is also the co-editor of The Hip-Hop & Obama Reader, the first hip-hop anthology to center on contemporary politics, activism, and social change, and is finishing his manuscript School of Hard Knocks: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Equal Education  a book that explores how schools fail black students and why hip-hop can help fix education in America.  He can speak about the role of youth voters and race in national politics and the 2016 presidential election.

Travis Gosa

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University

Areas of expertise: Race, new politics, hip-hop culture, education, popular culture.

Location: Ithaca, NY

Contact Information:

Email: tlg72@cornell.edu

Twitter: @basedprof

Linda Glaser, Cornell University Writer/Publicist

Email: lbg37@cornell.edu

607-255-8942 (office)

973-650-8172 (cell)

Heard on NPR

Heard on 88.9FM, WEAA Public Radio: “Obama’s Relationship With the Hip-Hop Community.” First Edition with Sean Yoes.

Added October 2015

Last Verified: October 2015

Bakari Kitwana

Bakari Kitwana is the Editorial Director of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop, which conducts townhall meetings across the US on difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop generation, and the Senior Media Fellow at the Harvard Law based Think Tank, The Jamestown Project. Kitwana wrote the bestselling book The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture, which is used as a coursebook in over 100 colleges and universities.

Kitwana was former executive editor of The Source: The magazine of hip-hop music, culture and politics and editorial director of Third World Press. He also taught political science at University of Chicago and was a visiting scholar at Columbia College. Kitwana is the author of the forthcoming book Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era set to publish later this fall.

Bakari Kitwana

Editorial Director of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop

Senior Media Fellow at the The Jamestown Project

Areas of Expertise: Hip-hop activism, youth culture and young voter political participation

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Contact Information:

Email: Bakari.kitwana@gmail.com

Twitter: @therealbakari

Phone: 440-779-9893 (Office)

Heard on NPR

Heard on On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Hip-Hop and Politics

Added October 2015

Last Verified: October 2015

Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl’s story collection Filter House co-won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, given annually to works of speculative fiction which explore and expand our understanding of gender roles. She edits reviews for the literary quarterly Cascadia Subduction Zone. In 2014 Shawl coedited Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler. Her Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is forthcoming from Tor in 2016.

She serves on the boards of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit dedicated to improving minority representation in fantastic fiction.

Nisi Shawl
Author and Editor

Areas of Expertise: Diversity of Representation in Writing and Editing in Speculative Genres (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Magic Realism, etc.), Octavia E. Butler, Practice of West African Religious Traditions in North America

Location: Seattle, WA

Contact Information:
Email: nisis@aol.com
Phone: 269-599-0611

Heard on NPR Source of the Week: Shawl Discusses The Diversity Landscape of Publishing Today