Riley, Shannon Rose

Riley, Shannon Rose

Associate Professor, Humanities
Coordinator, Creative Arts Program





Preferred: (408) 924-1365

Alternate: (408) 924-4481

Office Hours

SPRING 2015: Tues. & Wed. 12:30-2:30 pm. Contact the Program Student Assistant at to schedule an appointment.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, University of California, Davis, 2006
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Studio Art and Critical Theory, School of The Museum of Fine Arts & Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, 1998
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Sculpture, with a minor in Art History, Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine, 1995


Shannon Rose Riley is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar. She is Associate Professor of Humanities and Coordinator of the Creative Arts Program at San José State University where she teaches courses in Humanities, Creative Arts, and American Studies. She also serves as a dissertation and individual study advisor at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. She has a PhD in Performance Studies and Critical Theory from the University of California, Davis (2006), an MFA in Studio Art (Performance, Video, Installation) from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1998), and a BFA in Sculpture and Art History from Maine College of Art (1995). She also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1978-82), the University of Colorado, Boulder (1976-78), and the University of Notre Dame (1974-75). Before coming to SJSU in 2008, Prof. Riley completed a two-year-long postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Women's InterCultural Leadership at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, where she had joint appointment to the Department of Communication and Performance Studies and the Intercultural Studies Program.

Shannon Rose Riley’s essays have been published in Theatre Topics, English Language Notes, Performing Arts Resources, and Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance as well as in the edited collections Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances (Palgrave, 2013), Kathy Acker and Transnationalism (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), and Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research: Scholarly Acts and Creative Cartographies (Palgrave, 2009), which she co-edited with Lynette Hunter. Her review of Marial Utset's A Cultural History of Cuba During the US Occupation, 1898-1902 (U North Carolina Press, 2011) appears in The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Forthcoming in the summer 2015 issue of The Drama Review (TDR) is her combined review of Laurie A. Frederik's Trumpets in the Mountains: Theater and the Politics of National Culture in Cuba (Duke UP 2012) and Yael Prizant's Cuba Inside Out: Revolution and Contemporary Theatre (Southern Illinois UP, 2014).

Professor Riley’s visual and performance works have been exhibited/staged internationally at numerous venues, including the ICA (Portland ME), Mobius (Boston), Randolph Street Gallery and Artemisia Gallery (Chicago), the Cushwa-Leighton Library (Notre Dame IN), Performance Studies International (PSi) in Mainz Germany (2001) and Stanford (2013), the Festival Nacional de Pequeño Formato (Santa Clara Cuba, 2006) and Month of Performance Art-Berlin (2013). She also continues to perform and record with the Chicago-based noise/performance group, ONO. Most recent ONO works include original soundtrack material for the 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland, by James Fotopoulos and the albums, Albino, (Moniker Records, 2012), Diegesis, (Moniker Records, 2014), and Spooks (Moniker Records, forthcoming 2015). Diegesis was ranked #9 of the top ten albums of 2014 by Tiny Grooves, "Best of the best of XX14!!" and was listed in the "Best of 2014" by Decoder Magazine.

She is currently completing a manuscript titled Performing Race and Erasure: Cuba and Haiti in US Culture, 1898-1940, which examines the ways that Cuba and Haiti--both as signs and as sites--were crucial to the imaginative rethinking of race and nationhood in the US at the turn of the 20th century. She has presented on this project at numerous conferences, most recently at the 2012 American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR) conference. Riley has also begun research for a second book project, titled Crossing the Windward Passage: Race, Geography, Performance, and Resistance. She has presented papers on this work at the 2008 UC Berkeley conference on African and Afro-Caribbean Performance, the 2008 ASTR conference, the Black Geographies Panel at the 2010 Association of American Geographers (AAG) conference, the 2010 American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) conference, the 32nd Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba (July 2012), and most recently as part of the roundtable, "Imaginative Ethnography" at the 2014 American Anthropological Association conference. Dr. Riley was awarded a San José State University RSCA Summer Pair Grant for 2012 and a sabbatical in spring 2014 to further develop this project.