Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

 Department of English

Arizona State University
Department of English
Box 870302
Tempe, AZ 85287-0302

Main Office Location:
G. Homer Durham Language and Literature Building - LL 542

ASU English Home > Special Features > Vernissage Gallery Opening Host:  Ayanna Thompson

Ayanna ThompsonAs the nameplate outside Ayanna Thompson’s office aptly indicates, she is a “Renaissance Woman.”  The author of Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage (Routledge, 2007) and the editor of Colorblind Shakespeare (Routledge, 2006), she has received fellowships from the Aspen Institute (2007) and Columbia Law School (2006) and was awarded ASU’s Patricia Gurin Scholar-Activist Award (2007).  Her scholarship has contributed to the fields of performance studies and race studies by examining texts ranging from Renaissance and Restoration drama to modern films and popular culture.  As host of the “Vernissage Gallery Opening,” Thompson will have a chance to showcase yet another facet of what makes her a “Renaissance Woman.”  Thompson is no stranger to Homecoming events.  Last year, the student organizers nominated her to judge the Homecoming floats, an experience she remembers fondly.  She was invited to host this year’s gallery opening after the organizers learned that she and her husband, Derek, had hosted a wine club for three years when she was a graduate student at Harvard.  She accepted the invitation because she thought that a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception “would be a nice way to highlight and celebrate art produced by members of the department.”

--Bradley D. Ryner

To meet Ayanna, please attend the Come Home to English, Vernissage Gallery Opening Tuesday, October 23, 2007.

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Updated: October 18, 2007