Maisha S. Akbar, Ph.D.

  • College: College of Arts and Sciences
  • Department: Visual and Performing Arts and Media Studies Academic Department
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Associated Majors and Graduate Programs: Visual and Performing Arts
  • (478) 825-6989

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Faculty Member Dr. Maisha Akbar Publishes Book on Single Motherhood


Fort Valley State University
Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Mass Communications
1005 State University Drive
Fort Valley, GA 31030
Phone: (478) 825-6989


Ph.D., Communications Studies (Emphasis: Performance Studies)
University of Texas, Austin – Austin, Texas

M.A., Folklore
University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley California

B.A., History
Southern University and A&M College – Baton Rouge, LA


Faculty Advisor/Producing Director, Joseph Adkins Players, Fort Valley State University, Fall 2009- Present

  • “We Go High: A Tribute to President Barack and Michelle Obama,“ February 13, 2017
  • “T.E.A.M. Lab Experiments,” including “Temptation in the Valley,” October 24 – November 1, 2016
  • “Be Free: A FVSU Black History Month Celebration,” February 18, 2016
  • Steel Magnolias, by Robert Harding, November 16-18, 2015
  • “A Celebration of Performance Scholarship and Activism,” March 4, 5, 2015
  • “Selfies: Performance, Media and Identity, November 19-20, 2014
  • Your Blues Aint Like Mine: A Drama Suite for Social Justice, March 3-5, 2014
  • Ti-Jean and His Brothers, April 8-9, 2013
  • “A.P. Unchained: A Critical Examination of Slavery, February 7, 2013
  • “Saving White Face,” April 12, 2012
  • Crowns: A Gospel Play, March 1-4, 2012 (co-producer)
  • For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, Fall 2011
  • “Opening Act” Taste of Soul Macon: “Let the Good Times Roll.” April, 2011
  • The Colored Museum, April 13-15, 2011
  • “Saving the Drama for the Stage Spring Variety Show”
  • Zooman and the Sign, October 10-14, 2010
  • The Vagina Monologues, Spring 2010
  • “God Bless the Child That’s Got Her Own,” October 21-23, 2009

Keynote Poet/Performer, “4th Annual Small Business Expo: Business Strategies for the New Economy.” Fort Valley State University Rural Business Outreach Institute, Fort Valley, GA.  March 24, 2011

Lead Actress/”Angel”, Blues For An Alabama Sky, Warner Robins (GA) Community Theater, February 2010

Choreographer/Dancer, Dido and Aeneus, Albany State University, March 28-20, 2009

Director, 365 Days/Plays, Albany State University, Week of October 8-14, 2007

Contributor, “The Book of Daniel,” Austin Latino/Latina Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization (ALLGO), Austin, Texas, April 24-27, 2005

Director, Reader’s Theater-“Salute to African and African American Writer’s Celebration and Tea Event,” Writer’s League of Texas, Austin, Texas-February, 2003

Assistant Director – “Hospice” and “The Late Bus to Mecca” by Pearl Cleage.   Pro Arts Theater Collective, Austin, Texas – October, 2002

Performance Ethnographer – “It’s All Over But the Shoutin.'” University of Texas at Austin, Department of Communications Studies, Spring 1999



Authors and maintains a blog site which seeks to re-vision “black play” as cultural production that counters gender, race and class based oppression.  As such BlackPlayBook performs within a womanist/black feminist tradition on a “play-ground” of black performance, scholarship and activism. BlackPlayBook references a special issue of Theatre Journal v57, n4 (December 2005) that asks, “What is Black Play?”

Digital Media Studios, On Air Talent,, June 2013 – present

  • “How to Make Cheap Opera Masks”
  • “How to Paint My Face Like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’”
  • “What Materials for Stage Outfits?”
  • “School Play Outfit Ideas for ‘Grease’”
  • “How to Make A Brick Wall Backdrop for a Children’s Play”
  • “Three Types of Medieval Plays”
  • “How to Hide a Hairline of a Wig with Stage Makeup”
  • “How to Cast a Guitarist”
  • “Grants for Drama Costumes”
  • “How to Do Stage Makeup to Look Like a Hag”


Associate Professor, Fort Valley State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Mass Communications – February, 2015 – present.

Theatre and Performance Studies Concentration Coordinator-  August, 2015 – Present

  • COMM 1110: Public Speaking
  • THEA 1203: Oral Interpretation
  • THEA 2424: Survey of Theatre History
  • THEA 3373: Intermediate Acting
  • THEA 3700: Dramatic Literature, Theory and Criticism
  • THEA 4103: Performance, Media and Communication
  • THEA 4374: Theatre Practicum
  • DRAM 4375: Play Production II

Assistant Professor (tenured), Fort Valley State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, Humanities and Mass Communications Department- August, 2009- February, 2015.

  • COMM 1110: Public Speaking
  • DRAM 4374: Play Production I
  • DRAM 4375: Play Production II

Assistant Professor, Albany State University, College of Arts and Humanities, Fine Arts Department- Fall, 2006-Summer, 2009

  • COMM 1100: Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • COMM 2200: Small Group Dynamics
  • COMM 2060: Advanced Public Speaking
  • COMM 3150: Introduction to Forensics
  • COMM 3340: Speech for Elementary/Middle School Teachers
  • COMM 4000: Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 4100: Parliamentary Procedure
  • THEA 2905: Production and Performance
  • THEA 4760: Theater Seminar (Introduction to Critical Lynching Studies)

Post Doctoral Associate, St. Edward’s University, School of Humanities, Communication Department- 2005-2006

  • COMM 1306: Public Speaking
  • COMM 1317: Introduction to Communication


Fort Valley State University Research Day Planning Committee “Outstanding Service Award,” April 15, 2014

Fort Valley State University Center for Enhancing Critical Thinking “Commendation for Outstanding Contributions as Chair of Campus Engagement Subcommittee,” April 11, 2013

Fort Valley State University Student Government Association “Outstanding Service Award,” Joseph Adkins Players Student Drama Group (faculty adviser), 2012-2013

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Leadership Institute Class of 2012, Washington D.C., July 31-August 2, 2012

Travel Award Grantee, STEM Women of Color Conclave, Washington D.C., June 9-11, 2012

“Commendation,” Center for Enhancing Critical Thinking, “Critical Thinking Day,” April 26, 2012

“Georgia’s Most Influential Women of 2011” The Informer v. 3, Issue 2 (March 2011)

Northwestern University Center for Global Culture and Communication 2007 Summer Institute Fellow, “Performance and Excess,” Chicago, Illinois, June 25-29, 2007

City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, 2007 Cultural Arts Funding Fellow, Economic

Growth and Redevelopment Services Office, Austin Texas, 2006-2007 (declined).

Lloyd C. and Lillian G. Kerley Scholarship, Inc. Recipient, Austin, Texas, Fall 2005

Marjorie Davisson Parker Fellowship – University of Texas at Austin, 2003-2004

Marjorie Davisson Parker Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2001-2002


Manuscript Reviewer, Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

Member, Fort Valley State University Academic Taskforce Committee, Fall 2016 – present

Presenter/Director, “A Mother’s Despair,” A Healthy Heart and Mental Health Wine Taste, Fort Valley and Warner Robins Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. April 9, 2016.

Member, Fort Valley State University Honors Convocation Committee, Spring 2016 – present.

Member, Fort Valley State University Comprehensive Program Review Committee 2015-2017.

Faculty Senator, Fort Valley State University Faculty Senate, Fall 2014- present.

Assistant Chair, National Alliance of Artists at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (NAAHBU) 15th Annual Conference, “Afrofutuirsm Rising: Black Arts Across the Spectrum,” October 8-10, 2015.

Member, Instruction and Research Librarian Search Committee, Fort Valley State University, Spring 2015.

Faculty Advisor, Joseph Adkins Players Student Drama Group, Fort Valley State University, Fall 2009 – Present

Theater/Performance/Media Workshops

 “Black Acting Methods,“ Dr. Sharrell Luckett, February 27, 2017

“Solo Performance/Acting Workshop,” Jade Lambert-Smith, October 19-November 13, 2014

“Indie Film Production Bootcamp,” Greg Galloway (2G Films, Inc), October 10-11, 2014

“Acting On Screen and Off” Karen Kendrick and Associates, Fall 2011

Member-At-Large, Black Theatre Association, Association of Theater in Higher Education (ATHE), August 2012 – July 2014

Co-Chair, Fort Valley State University Research Day Committee, Fort Valley State University, 2011-2012

Member, Curriculum Committee, Fort Valley State University Department of Fine Arts, Humanities and Mass Communications Department , Fall 2010-present

Division Director, Theater and Dance, Fort Valley State University Fine Arts and Music Experience (F.A.M.E) Summer Camp, 2010- 2013

Adjudicator, Georgia Theatre Conference (GTC) Secondary Division, Savannah, GA.  October 13-17, 2010

Founding Chair, Gender Studies Committee, Albany State University, Albany, Georgia, Fall 2008 – Spring 2009

Member, Faculty Senate Committee, Albany State University, Albany, Georgia, Fall 2008 – Spring 2009

Founding Member, Civil Rights Studies Development Board, Albany State University, Fall 2008 – Spring 2009

Member, Albany Civil Rights Museum Opening Gala Planning Committee, Albany, Georgia, July, 2008 – October 2008

Member, Hospitality Committee, Fine Arts Department, Albany State University, Fall, 2006 – Spring, 2009


National Communications Association

Association of Theatre in Higher Education

Black Theatre Network

National Women’s Studies Association


Preaching the Blues: Black Womens Return to American Lynching Culture (book proposal) Routledge (under exclusive editor review)

“A Blueswoman Matters: Black Women’s Feminisms in Contemporary Lynching Plays” Text and Performance Quarterly (under review)                                            


“How to Avoid the Service Trap” (e book)

“Genre and Method: Lynching Plays as Acting Technique”


“A Blueswoman Matters: Black Women’s Representational Practices in Lynching Plays,” College of Arts and Sciences, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA. February 26, 2015.

“(Re) Examining Race and Gender in Lynching Plays,” Center for Southern Studies and African American Studies Department (Joint Invitation), Mercer University, Macon, GA. January 23, 2014.

“It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop: African-American Performance Practices in the United States,” St. Edwards University School of Humanities Guest Lecture, March 30, 2006


Workshop Facilitator, “How to Avoid the Service Trap,“ Fifth Annual Faculty Women of Color in the Academy National Conference, Blackburg, Virginia, April 2-3, 2017

Respondent, “Booby Hatch” and “Young, Gifted & Fat: Auto/biographical Plays as Civic Discourse,” National Communication Association 102nd Annual Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 12, 2016.

Presenter, “Precarity, Performance and Protest in Lynching Plays,” Black Women, Precarity and Social Change: Expanding the Boundaries of the Political. National Women’s Studies Association 36th Annual Conference, November 13, 2015.

Presenter, “Renewing A Tradition: Lynching Dramas, Adaptation and Resistance” Journeys of Renewal: Revising Novels for the Stage, Dream Acts: Performance as Refuge, Resistance and Renewal: Association of Theatre in Higher Education Conference, July 26, 2014 (in absentia).

Presenter, “Enhancing Critical Thinking Through Black Drama, An HBCU Initiative,” Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) P(L)AY, August 2, 2013.

Presenter, “Off the Chain: Blacks, Social Media and D’Jango Unchained,” Blacks in Tech, SXSW 2013, March 9, 2013.

Chair and Presenter, “Building ‘Communiversity’ through Performance,” Black Theater By Design: Black Theatre Network 26th Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA. July 27-30, 2012.

Chair and Respondent, “Examining Emmitt Till Through Performance,” Fort Valley State University 2nd Annual Research Day: Scholarship in Action, Fort Valley, Georgia.  April 12, 2012

Presenter, “Women’s Performances of Citizenship,” 2012 Women’s Pre-Research Day Conference, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA. March 6, 2012

Presenter, “Who Can Count the Number of Apples in a Seed? ‘Passing’ and

Transformational Leadership in Academia,” Building Bridges: National Communication Association 96th Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA.  November 17, 2010

Presenter, “Representing the Unspeakable: ‘Unintelligibilities’ in Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.” Toni Morrison and Circuits of the Imagination: The Sixth Biennial Conference of the Toni Morrison Society, Paris, France.  November 4, 2010

Chair/Adapter, “God Bless the Child That’s Got Her Own: A Chamber Theater

Adaptation of Suzan Lori Parks’ Getting Mother’s Body (2004), National Communication Association (NCA) Conference, November 11-14, 2009

Panelist, “Playing with Fire: Pedagogy, Performance and the Politics of Adapting Black Women’s Literature into Visual Media, Association of Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference, August 11, 2009

Presenter, “Counter Hegemonic Performance: Black Dramatists Re-Vision Lynching,” Association of Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference, August 9, 2009

Moderator, “Theatrical Magic in the Black Diaspora,” Black Theater Network Conference, Orlando, Florida, August 5, 2008

Presenter, “Insurgent Acts: Staging Counter-Hegemonic Lynching Performances,” Northwestern University Center for Global Culture and Communication 2007 Summer Institute, “Performance and Excess,” June 25-29, 2007