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Dr. Patricia  Herrera
Dr. Patricia Herrera
Associate Professor of Theatre
Affiliate faculty in the American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Programs
Profile

Dr. Herrera is committed to creating a more just world by using the visual and performing arts as powerful instruments for documenting history, building community, and igniting social change. Her teaching, research, and community-based projects explore/ the social inequities experienced by underrepresented communities, specifically as it relates to Latinx and African American diasporic communities as well as LGBTQ+ people of color. 

She is the author of Nuyorican Feminist Performances: From the Café to Hip Hop Theater (University of Michigan Press, May 2020), which critically examines the work of female performance artists inspired by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe between 1973-2010. Her writings also appear in Theatre Topics, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, African American Review, Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of MALCS, Public: A Journal of Imagining America, Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, and Café Onda: The Journal of the Latinx Theatre Commons

Since 2011 Dr. Herrera has engaged with the greater Richmond community on a public humanities project entitled “Civil Rights and Education in Richmond, Virginia: A Documentary Theater Project,” which has led to the creation of a digital archive—The Fight for Knowledge, as well as three community exhibitions at The Valentine Museum—Made in Church Hill (2015), Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond (2017) and Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic (2019-2020) and a series of seven docudramas about gentrification, educational disparities, HIV/AIDS, segregation and Latinos in Richmond. 

In 2000 she co-founded and co-directed Rubí Theater Company, an intergenerational ensemble that produced original plays and conducted performance workshops in New York City. She has appeared with the group as a lyricist and rapper on Dan Zanes’s Nueva York (2008), Catch That Train (2006 Grammy Award Winning CD for Best Children’s Musical Album), House Party (2003), and Night Time (2002). As dramaturg, she has assisted with the development of the dance piece “We Must Say Her Name,” choreography by Alicia Díaz as part of In/Motion (February 28-March 3 2019) as well as original plays such as How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (2019), Threshold (2014), My Life is a Telenovela (2004) and Through My Eyes (1999). Her plays A Woman Who Outshone the Sun (2003), Embrace Me with Your Shawl (1997), and the musical Remnants (2014) co-written with José Joaquín Garcia, deal with growing up in New York City, environmental justice, and urban youth experiences. Her work has appeared at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, International Fringe Festival, Rubicon Theatre Company, University of Richmond, and Culver Center of the Arts.

Grants and Fellowships

Selected Grants and Fellowships

Virginia Humanities Foundation, Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic, The Valentine, Exhibition Sponsor, June 2019. 

Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic, The Valentine, Exhibition Sponsor, June 2019. 

New York Public Library Short Term Fellowship Program, May 2017. 

Yale Mellon Mid-Career Fellowship, Whitney Humanities Center, Alternate, February 2016. 

National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, Latino Americans: 500 Years of History! June 2015-May 2016.

UR School of Arts and Science, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, Community-Engaged Research and Practice Initiative Fellowship, March 2014.

Awards

Collaborative Research Award, American Society for Theatre Research, November 2019. 

Collaboration for Change Award, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, September 2018. 

University of Richmond Distinguished Educator, August 2018. 

Faculty Award for Outstanding Citizenship with International Education, School of International Education, April 2017. 

National Center for Institutional Diversity Exemplary Scholar, University of Michigan, 2009.

Presentations

“Healing Offerings: The Work of Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez in Cuba,” Gender-Based Violence: Community-Building and Resistance Through Feminist Pedagogical and Artistic Practices, National Women's Studies Association, San Francisco, CA, November 2019.

“A Latinx Testimonio of Motherhood in Academia,” Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance, National Women's Studies Association, San Francisco, CA, November 2019.

“Performando un activism feminist: El trabajo de Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez en La Marca,” with Mariela Méndez, Mujeres ambiente en la historia y la cultura latinoamericanas y caribeñas, Coloquio internacional de mujeres, Casas de las Américas, Habana, Cuba, February 2019.

“Listening to Sonic Subalterity: Sonic Labor in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s In the Heights,” Emergent Auralities: Subaltern Sounds in Latinx Cultural Production and Performance, American Studies Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2018.

“Productive Failures: Lessons with Community Based Projects,” Radical Inclusion Two: A Continuing Discussion Offering Tactics for Creative Learning Spaces for Engaging with Race, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Boston, Massachusetts, August 2018.

“Sonic Treatise of Race in America: The Case of Universes and Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, Sound and Performance, Modern Language Association, New York City, January 2018.

“Sounding Out Radicalism,” The Transtemporalities of Minoritarian Performance, American Society for Theatre Research, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2017.

“Listening to Sonic Coalition: Virginia Repertory’s In the Heights, Staging Latinx Musicals in the Post-Hamilton Era, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Las Vegas, Nevada, August 2017.

“Sounding Out the Radical Past in Universes’ Party People, The Transtemporalities of Minoritarian Performance, Indiana University, May 2017.

“Listening Critically to In the Heights Pan-Latinidad,” Sounding Latinidades: Race, Cultural Citizenship, and In the Heights, The 3rd Biennial U.S. Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference, Latinx Lives, Matters, and Imaginaries: Theorizing Race in the 21st Century, John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, New York City, April 2017.

“Sonic Utopias & Dystopias: The Unraveling of the Racial Past, Present, and Future in Hamilton,” American Society for Theatre Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2017.

“Sonic Hauntings of Blackness and Latinidad in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, Hamilton: The Development, Casting, and Performance of a New American Musical, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Chicago, Illinois, August 2016.

“Sonic Latinidades: Carefully Listening to Latina/o Theatre,” Sonic (In)Civilities in Latin@ Theater and Performance, Latina/o Studies Association, Pasadena, California, July 2016.

“Staging Nuyorican Belonging: From Feminist Cultural Productions to Hip Hop Theatre,” Beyond the Logic of Debt, Toward an Ethic of Collective Dissent, American Studies Association, Washington, D.C., November 2013.

“Performing Belonging: Culture Clash’s Nuyorican Stories,” (Re)Positioning the Latina/o Americas: Theatrical Histories and Cartographies of Power, American Society for Theatre Research, Dallas, Texas, November 2013.

“Performing the Archives: A 1968 Laboratory,” with Laura Browder and Benjamin Thorp, A Call to Action, Imagining America National Conference, Syracuse, New York, October 2013.

“Jamming Against Institutional Violence: The Works of Sandra Maria Esteves and Migdalia Cruz,” Aesthetic Dimensions of the Puerto Rican Diaspora: Institutional Violence, Sexuality, and Public Culture, American Studies Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 2012.

“Aural Imaginary and Genealogy of Performances: Creating Oral Histories of the Founding Mothers of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe,” “Hear/Say”: Aural and Oral Histories of Theatre and Performance, American Society for Theatre Research, Nashville, Tennessee, November 2012.

2012 Re-mix, Re-use, Re-frame: Strategies for Teaching Hip Hop Theatre and Teaching Theatre with Hip Hop, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Washington, D.C., August.

2012 Panel Discussant, “Global Hip Hop,” Digital Scholarship and Transnational American Studies, Tocqueville Conference, University of Richmond, May.

“Divisions and Intersections: Rethinking Latina/o and Latin American Theatre,” Power and Performance: Staging Politics in the Latina/o Americas, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Latina/o Focus Group Pre-Conference, Washington, D.C., August 2012.

Respondent for the book Neoliberalism and Global Theatres: Performance Permutations, Spotlight on New Works in American Theatre, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Washington, D.C., August 2012.

“Creating a Semester Plan,” Striking a Balance Between Work and Life, 2012 Virginia Network Conference 4th Women of Color Conference, Richmond, Virginia, June 2012.

Designations
Co-chair, Institutional Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, Office of the President, July 2019-Present
Vice President for Awards, American Society for Theatre Research, November 2017-November 2020
Advisory Board Member of Chicana/Latina Studies: the Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras Cambio Social (MALCS)
Selected Publications
Books

Nuyorican Feminist Performance: From the Café to Hip Hop Theater, University of Michigan Press, May 2020.

Articles

“Performando un Activismo Feminista: El trabajo de Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez en La Marca,” Casas de la Américas: Revista Conjunto 192-193 (julio-diciembre 2019): 53-57.

“¡Oye, Oye!: A Manifesto for Listening to Chicanx/Latinx Theater,” Co-authored with Marci McMahon, Dossier on Chicanx/Latinx Teatro, ed. Brian Herrera, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicana/o Studies 44.1: 239-248.

“Building Latinidad, Silencing Queerness: Culture,” Theatre Topic 27.1, Special Issue of Latino Theatre & Performance, March 2017.

Herrera, Patricia. "Hamilton, Democracy, and Theatre in America." HowlRound: A Knowledge Commons by and for the Theatre Community (Pedagogy Notebook Blog). May 16, 2016.

"An Archive, Public Participation, and a Performance: Five Perspectives,” Public: A Journal of Imagining America, October 2013.

Civil Rights and Education in Richmond, Virginia: A Documentary Theater Project,” The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, 23.1 (Summer 2012), 15-35.

"Performance Review: Power to the Panza!: Feminist Body Politics in the Panza Monologues,” Chicana/Latino Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social 10.2 (June 2011), 206-211.

Chapters

“A Latinx Testimonio of Motherhood in Academia,” eds. M. C. Whitaker & E. A. Grollman, Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance, New York: Routledge, 137-45, 2018.

“Waking up from Utopia: Reckoning with America’s Racial Past, Present, and Future in Hamilton,” Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America’s Past, eds. Renee C. Romano & Claire Bond Potters, Rutgers University, 2018.

“Listening to Afrolatinidad: The Sonic Archives of Olú Clemente,” book chapter, Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Herrera, Patricia. "Listening to Afro-Latinidad: The Sonic Archive of Olú Clemente." In Afro-Latin@s in movement : critical approaches to blackness and transnationalism in the Americas, by Petra R Rivera-Rideau, Jennifer A Jones, and Tianna S Paschel. 171-94. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.

"Guambra, Fiera, Karichina: The Pedagogy of Redefining Latina Health," An Anthology in Chicana/Latina Epistemology, eds. Dolores Delgado Bernal, C. Alejandra Elenes, Francisca E Godinez, and Sofia Villenas, State University of New York Press, 2006. The book was awarded the AESA Critics' Choice Award 2006. 

Selected Community-Engaged Scholarship

Museum Exhibit
Co-curator and Oral Historian, Voices from Richmond’s Epidemic, The Valentine Museum, January 2020-May 2021. 

Co-curator, Hope, Faith, and Courage: Early Civil Rights Leaders in Richmond, University of Richmond Downtown, February-July 2019. 

Oral Historian, Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond, Valentine Museum, July 27-April 15 2017. 

Oral Historian, Made in Church Hill, in collaboration with Laura Browder, Michael Lease, Traci Garland, Vaughn Garland, and our students at UR and VCU, Valentine Museum, January 22-June 28 2015. 

Devised Performances
Dramaturg & Co-director, “Knowledge of This Cannot be Hidden”: Westham Burying Ground Commemorative Act at the University of Richmond,” video project, produce by DoubleTake, May 2020. 

Co-organizer & Co-producer, Feminist Flash Mob at the University of Richmond, adapted from LasTesis’s performance-based protest “Un violador en su camino,” and performed by students in “Gender, Race and Performance Across the Americas” co-taught with Mariela Méndez along with five other classes, March 4, 2020. 

Dramaturg & Co-director, Performance of Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic with Laura Browder, written by students in “The AIDS Epidemic in Richmond,” Richmond Triangle Players, Richmond, Virginia, November 24, 2019. 

Dramaturg & Co-director, Performance of Civil Rights Richmond: Then and Now with Laura Browder, written by students in “Growing Up Civil Rights Richmond: Documentary Theater Project,” Modlin Center for the Arts, Harnett Museum of Art, April 9, 2019. 

Dramaturg & Co-director, Performance of RVAIDS with Laura Browder, written by students in “The AIDS Epidemic in Richmond,” Richmond Triangle Players, Richmond, Virginia, December 1, 2018. 

Dramaturg & Co-director, Encore Performance of The Spirit of Armstrong with Laura Browder, written by students in “Documenting a Black Historic High School: A Richmond Community Project” in collaboration with students from the Armstrong Leadership Program and Armstrong Alums, Armstrong High School, Richmond, Virginia, April 19, 2017. 

Dramaturg & Co-director, The Spirit of Armstrong with Laura Browder, written by students in “Documenting a Black Historic High School: A Richmond Community Project” in collaboration with students from the Armstrong Leadership Program and Armstrong Alums, Armstrong High School, Richmond, Virginia, December 4, 2017. 

Dramaturg & Co-director, Church Hill: A Changing Neighborhood with Laura Browder, written by students in “Documenting A Changing Neighborhood: A Richmond Community Project” in collaboration with students from the Armstrong Leadership Program, Armstrong High School, Richmond, Virginia, April 12, 2016.

In the News

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Would Have Been the First Bilingual Play at UR
Fri., Apr. 17, 2020

Feminist Flash Mobs See to Protest, Encourage Discussion
Thu., Mar. 19, 2020

Association for Theatre in Higher Education Election Results

Roundtable Event Aims to Explore African Diaspora Through Song and Dance
Thu., Mar. 19, 2020

Hundreds Gather for Community Meeting to Speak about Racism on Campus
Fri., Jan. 31, 2020

The Valentine's Newest Exhibition Reveals Untold Stories From Richmond's AIDS Epidemic
Wed., Jan. 29, 2020

Personality: Dr. Patricia Herrera
Fri., Jan. 24, 2020

Voices from Richmond's Hidden Epidemic
Thu., Jan. 23, 2020

Voices from Richmond's Hidden Epidemic Opens
Thu., Jan. 23, 2020

Voices from Richmond's Hidden Epidemic Exhibition Puts Faces and Stories to HIV/AIDS Crisis
Tue., Jan. 21, 2020

Love at Work: How a Church, Two Professors and HIV and AIDS Survivors Came Together to Form the Valentine's Upcoming Exhibit
Mon., Jan. 20, 2020

Voices Carry: A New Exhibition Offers Perspective on HIV/AIDS in Richmond
Mon., Jan. 20, 2020

UR Professor Wins National Award for Theatre Research
Wed., Jan. 1, 2020

Collaborative Arts Lab Course Engages with Institutional History
Tue., Nov. 19, 2019

Hamilton Leads the List of Must-Sees on the Autumn Stage
Mon., Sep. 23, 2019

HIV in Richmond
Tue., Jul. 16, 2019

Harvey on Romano and Potter, 'Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America's Past
Sun., Jul. 1, 2018

Social Activism, Hamilton and Puerto Rico
Tue., Jun. 5, 2018

The Issue on the Table: Is "Hamilton" Good for History?
Wed., May. 30, 2018

Historians on Hamilton: How a Blockbuster Musical is Restaging America┬┐s Past
Thu., May. 24, 2018

OAH Dispatch: Historians on "Hamilton"
Sat., Apr. 14, 2018

Armstrong Isn't What It's Made Out to Be': Docudrama to Tell the Story of Richmond's Oldest Predominantly Black High School
Wed., Apr. 18, 2018

Documenting a Historic Black High School UR Students wrote and performed a documentary drama about history of Armstrong High
Wed., Apr. 18, 2018

The Valentine Explores the Diversity of the Latino Experience in Richmond
Tue., Aug. 1, 2017

The Spirit of Armstrong
Fri., Dec. 1, 2017

Road Trip in Search of America
Sun., Jan. 8, 2017

Church Hill Meeting an Open Door to Dialogue
Thu., Apr. 14, 2016

Students Explore Gentrification Through Documentary Drama
Thu., Apr. 7, 2016

We Are Here
Sun., Mar. 13, 2016

Latino Project Seeks to Move Richmond Beyond Black and White
Thu., Feb. 25, 2016

Made in Church Hill: Curated by Community
Thu., Feb. 12, 2015

Made in Church Hill Opens Thursday at The Valentine
Thu., Feb. 12, 2015

Made in Church Hill Opens Thursday at The Valentine
Wed., Jan. 21, 2015

Remnants Play Premieres at Modlin Center
Fri., Nov. 21, 2014

Learning Curve: Four Years in the Making, a Hip-Hop Musical Surfaces at the University of Richmond
Tue., Nov. 18, 2014

blu Highlights Cultural Commentary in Weekend Show
Thu., Oct. 11, 2012

Documentary Theatre: Community-based Learning Course Focuses on Massive Resistance
Thu., Jul. 28, 2011

Panelists Show How Art Brings Change
Thu., Sep. 9, 2010

Education
Ph.D., Graduate Center, City University of New York 2007
Theatre Studies
B.A., Dartmouth College 1996
Spanish and Theatre, with a concentration in Latino Studies
Contact Information
220 Booker Hall of Music
(804) 287-6352
(804) 287-1841 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Theatre as Social Change
20th and 21st Century American Theatre and Performance
Latina/o Cultural Productions
Solo Performance
Documentary Theatre
Gender and Performance
Hip Hop Performances