Jasmine Mahmoud is Assistant Professor of Arts Leadership in the Department of Performing Arts and Arts Leadership at Seattle University. Her interdisciplinary work draws upon the fields and methodologies of Theater and Performance Studies; Art History, Black Aesthetics, and Theories of the Avant-Garde; Critical Race Studies and Feminist/Queer of Color Critique; Urban Ethnography; Political Economies of Performance; and Cultural Policy.
Jasmine Mahmoud’s research examines how artistic practice, aesthetics, race, and policy influence geographies, particularly processes of neighborhood change such as displacement, dispossession, and gentrification, and models for equitable and decolonial urbanism. Her research also investigates contemporary black aesthetics in dialogue with genealogies of U.S. spatial racism.
Her first book project, Avant-Garde Geographies: Race, Policy, and Experimentation in the Urban Frontier, investigates the trend of experimental art practices (including avant-garde theater, performance art, and social practice works) that take place in urban margins in early 21st century New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle. Drawing upon policy analysis and ethnographic research with artists, venue owners, and policymakers, this book project centers narratives of minoritarian community members often excluded from gentrification scholarship. Her second book project, Acts of Black Citizenship: Art, Performance, and Politics in St. Louis in the Era of Black Lives Matter, chronicles early 21st century black aesthetics in the mid-South city marked by centuries of race-based dispossession. She is currently co-editing Makeshift Chicago Stages: A Century of Theatre and Performance with Megan Geigner (US Naval Academy) and Stuart Hecht (Boston College) under contract with Northwestern University Press.
An assistant editor of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Jasmine Mahmoud’s scholarship has been published in Modern Drama, Performance Research, TDR: The Drama Review, Women & Performance, and the 2017 anthology Theater and Cultural Politics for a New World. In 2009, Mahmoud co-founded and edited The Arts Politic, an independent magazine dedicated to solving problems at the intersection of arts and politics with attention to cultural policy, the creative economy, arts activism, and political art.
Informed by Performance Studies pedagogies, Jasmine Mahmoud’s teaching practice is dedicated to developing civic and empathetic engagements committed to centering the arts and aesthetics as a means to study leadership, urbanism, and culture. While Postdoctoral Fellow in Inequality and Identity in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, she designed and instructed “Black Lives Matter: Art, Theory, and Practice,” “Performing Race in American Culture,” and “Urban Ethnography in St. Louis,” where students produced a final performance ethnography and research project about a site of culture in the St. Louis region. This teaching has been recognized with an Unsung Hero Award from Washington University and the Dwight Conquergood for Excellence in Teaching from the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.
Jasmine Mahmoud has curated, produced, and performed in projects with an attention to aesthetics, race, and politics. These include “Black Arts, Black Lives” in 2017 at Washington University in St. Louis, as well “Vital Memories” in 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, and “Spectacular Labor” in 2016 in Evanston and Chicago, IL, two pre-conferences (or mini-conferences) for the Performance Studies Focus Group at the annual Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference. Previously, she worked as a journalist, writing for Williamsburg Greenpoint News + Arts (2007-2011). In 2009, she co-founded and edited The Arts Politic (2009-2010). She has worked in public policy, at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law (2005-2007), and with Arts Corps (2010), an arts education non-profit organization in Seattle. She served on the board of Arts Corps from 2014 to 2016, led planning efforts for Festa, the annual Arts Corps fundraiser, in 2015 and 2016.
Jasmine Mahmoud received her PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, MA in Arts Politics from the Department of Art and Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and BA in Government from Harvard University, where in 2003, she served as Associate Editorial Chair of The Harvard Crimson.