Gianina K.L. Strother

FacultyAfrican American and African Studies

Research Associate


Gianina K.L. Strother has an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago and a B.S. in Chemistry from Howard University. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and holds professional certificates in Women’s Studies, Diversity and Inclusion, Nonprofit Executive Leadership, and Project Leadership from the University of Maryland, Cornell University, and Indiana University-Purdue University. Her research interests include Black Feminism, Black Studies, Performance Studies, Critical Race Theory, Dance Studies, and Contemporary African American Theatre.

Since fall 2019, she has served as an Instructor in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland where she has taught “Black Theatre & Performance,” “Theory and Performance: Black Women Playwrights,” “Introduction to Dance: Dances of the African Diaspora,” and “Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies.”

She has made several professional presentations including with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education; the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance in Durham, North Carolina; Dance Studies Association in Evanston, Illinois; and Pop Culture Association in Washington, D.C. Her scholarly publications have appeared in Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and the Dance Research Journal.

She is experienced in developing community and international partnerships and is a two-time grant recipient of the International Program for Creative Collaboration and Research. Strother has led projects focused on social justice at the University of Ghana, Accra, and the University of Maryland. She has experience serving as an Educational Adviser for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in Leesburg, Virginia, and has worked as a Museum Educator and Docent at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.

As an artist, Strother also has experience working as a Dramaturg and Voice Actor. She was a Playwright/Performer for The Kennedy Center 15th Annual Stage-to-Play New Play Festival held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and performed as a dancer with the Kankouran West African Dance Community class in Washington, D.C., and with the Coyaba Theatre Repertory also in Washington, D.C. Her work has been exhibited and performed at Chicago’s Raw Gallery and Links Hall in Chicago, Illinois.

In fall 2020, she founded Jasiri Consulting, which offers online tutoring, college planning, life coaching, and online courses focused on race and popular culture. She is a native of Detroit and a proud graduate of Cass Technical High School.

University News

Growing an Innovative Curriculum: New and Updated AAAS Courses for Fall
Published August 17, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Four pictures of AAAS faculty.
Michigan State University’s Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) continues its upward trajectory with the addition of five new or revised courses for the Fall 2022…Read now »
Sonic Introductions Reflect Love of Self, Community, and AAAS
Published February 4, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
The Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) faculty wish to motivate and inspire others by sharing, through personally created Sonic Introductions, what inspires them in their work…Read now »
AAAS Department to Offer Several New Classes in Spring 2022
Published December 1, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Six portraits of AAAS faculty members.
The Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) is offering several new or revised undergraduate courses during the Spring 2022 semester that each, in their own way, highlight and…Read now »
Scholar, Performer, Educator Joins AAAS Faculty
Published October 27, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
A scholar, performer, and educator, Gianina K. Lockley joined MSU’s Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) on August 16, 2021, as a Research…Read now »