Stephanie Leigh Batiste is an Associate Professor in the Departments of English and Black Studies at The University of California at Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in American Studies from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her A.B in Sociology from Princeton University. Dr. Batiste’s research and teaching focus on the ways in which cultural texts and forms, from literature and theater to the lived performance of individual bodies, act as imaginative systems that help to create identity, cultural values, and possibilities of justice. Her primary research areas include Black Performance, African American and American History and Culture, African American Literature, and Cultural Theory. Her book Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression Era African American Performance (Duke University Press, 2011) received the Modern Language Association William Sanders Scarborough Prize and Honorable Mention for the Association for Theater in Higher Education Outstanding Book Award. Her current research project focuses on black performance, violence, and death in millennial Los Angeles. It engages concepts of affect, urban experience, and creativity. Dr. Batiste’s interest in performance is reflected in both scholarship and practice. She writes, performs in, and, on occasion, directs dramatic works. Dr. Batiste had performed her play/solo-show, Stacks of Obits (Women and Performance, 2005) in Pittsburgh, PA; New Haven, CT; Santa Barbara, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Pamplona, Spain; Izmir ,Turkey; and Essen, Germany. This play transforms organic and public practices of archiving into enlivened story about violence and death in Los Angeles. It deploys notions of persistence to explore the nature of black affect and of proximity to consider the possibilities of political and interpersonal responsibility.