Joana Craveiro

Price Institute Hosts Portuguese Theater Director as Fulbright Scholar This Spring

This spring, the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience will host Fulbright Scholar Joana Craveiro, a performer, playwright, anthropologist, teacher and artistic director of Teatro do Vestido, a theatre company founded in 2001 in Lisbon, Portugal.  

Craveiro, who holds a PhD from Roehampton University, will be in residence at the Price Institute March–July 2022, observing, participating, recording and developing performative modes of addressing the work of Price Director Jack Tchen. 

Shortly arriving at RU-N in 2018, Tchen established the New York Newark Public History Project to challenge dominant accounts of history and highlight the stories of marginalized people in the U.S. Part of his work has focused on retrieving and bringing to light the history of the Indigenous Munsee Lunaape people from the Tri-state area, on how their history of dispossession is related to enslavement and massive extractivism, and on related issues of ecological devastation and climate change as part of the legacy effects of European colonialism. 

Craveiro will use her time at RU-N to work closely with the Ramapough Culture and Land Foundation. Looking at the Ramapough Munsee’s intimate relationship with the land, she’ll address the theory and practice of new ecologies as well as land and food sovereignty, and will investigate new and imagined possibilities within Indigenous, African and North American methodologies.  

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to engage the campus of Rutgers University–Newark and work under the supervision of Dr. Jack Tchen and amongst the fellow colleagues at the Clement Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience,” said Craveiro. “The work being developed within this institute is extremely important and urgent, addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time from a decolonial perspective.” 

The work being developed within this institute is extremely important and urgent, addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time from a decolonial perspective.

At the Price Institute, Craveiro will also focus on matters closer to her native Portugal: namely, an oral history project with 8 U.S. activists who participated in the Portuguese revolution of 1974-75 and witnessed first-hand another kind of intimacy with the large estates of southern Portugal being created: that of the agrarian reform which, at the time, enabled a redistribution of the land and a reinvention of agricultural practices.  

“That cause, like many stemming from manifestations of popular power within that revolutionary process, is now a lost one, and can only be recovered through memories to be collected and retold,” said Craveiro. 

This second project aligns with issues Craveiro’s been working on since her doctoral thesis, which examined the transmission of political memory of the Portuguese Dictatorship (1926-1974) and Revolution (1974-75) through performance. Craveiro’s methods are strongly rooted in ethnographic practices and oral history; typically she presents her research on memory and her oral history projects as performance-lectures, which she has been delivering worldwide since 2012. 

The Price Institute is about engaging with the state of emergency big issues of our time. We want to work for social eco-justice and deep historical reckonings in our beloved Newark and our geo-region--realizing what an engaged 21st public, research university needs to be "learning by doing." 

Craveiro, who holds a Master in Theatre Directing and a B.A. Honors in Anthropology, as well as a B.A. in Acting, has been teaching at the Drama and Theatre Department of Escola Superior de Artes e Design (ESAD.CR), in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, since 2007, and is associated researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History (IHC/NOVA), in Portugal. She also is part of the European playwrighting network Fabula Mundi, developing a creative pedagogical praxis aimed at addressing and creating a world that is free from totalitarianism, xenophobia, misogyny and structural racism. 

Tchen is excited to begin this latest collaboration. 

“I’m looking forward to our communities of students, organizers, artists, poets, storytellers and engaged scholars getting a chance to meet this extraordinary person, Joana,” said Tchen, “and seeing her engage with the Price Institute's work on climate change and how today's injustices are intertwined with the deep, ongoing impacts of Indigenous dispossession and African enslavement associated with settler colonialism.”