Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, PhD is an artist/scholar and Professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her original performance works include “sista docta”—a critique of the academy, and “Searching for Ọ̀ṣun”—a performance ethnography around Yoruba identity. She has conducted theatre for social change workshops for the Forum on Governance and Democracy in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, for Educafro in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) annual conference, and for the Austin Project which she founded as a collective of women of color artists, scholars, activists and allies who use art for re-imagining society.
Omi’s scholarship focuses on performance ethnography, theatrical jazz, Yoruba-based aesthetics, Black Feminisms, and activist theatre. She is a co-editor with Lisa Moore and Sharon Bridgforth of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project (University of Texas Press, 2010). Her collaborative ethnography, Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power of the Present Moment (Ohio State University Press, 2015) is now available in print and as CD. Omi is thrilled to be an Artist-in-Residence with IDEX/Thousand Currents where she can work with courageous visionaries to bring about social change.