Jasmine Mahmoud is Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Performance Studies at the University of Washington, with an affiliate appointment in the Division of Art History. She received her PhD in Performance Studies with a Certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies from Northwestern University. A performance and art historian, Mahmoud engages avant-garde theater, performance art, visual culture, Black aesthetics, critical race studies, feminist and queer of color critique, cultural and public policy, arts management, and geography. She joins the School of Drama faculty in 2021 after teaching at Seattle University and Washington University in St. Louis. She regularly publishes in academic journals and public venues, and presents at conferences including AAAE, AAG, ASA, ASTR, ATHE, and PSi.
She is co-editor of Makeshift Chicago Stages: A Century of Theater and Performance (Northwestern University Press 2021) with Megan Geigner and Stuart Hecht, which was awarded the 2020 ASTR Collaborative Research Award. This book historicizes makeshift practices (such as storefront, ensemble, and home theater) in Chicago, the racially hypersegregated “second city.” Her current book project is Avant-Garde Geographies: Race, Policy, and Experimentation in the Urban Frontier. This critical cultural history investigates the trend of experimental art practices taking space in urban margins (often called “frontiers”) in early 21st century New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle. It queries relationships among aesthetic practices, race, public policy, and geography. This project relies up on performance documentation, urban ethnography, and policy analysis methods, as well as performance, decolonial and critical race methodologies.
Committed to public scholarship to archive the work of minoritized artists, Mahmoud has essays, exhibition reviews, and interviews in Art Forum, ASAP/J Online, Canadian Art Review, Common Reader, Howlround, Hyperallergic, LitHub, and the South Seattle Emerald. In 2020, she curated Abstractions of Black Citizenship: African American Art from Saint Louis, a group exhibition of works by Dominic Chambers, Damon Davis, Jen Everett, De Nichols, and Katherine Simóne Reynolds, five Black Saint Louis, MO-based artists that centered questions of aesthetics, materiality, race, geography, and citizenship.
An arts advocate, she founded the Seattle Arts Voter Guide, currently serves as a Gov. Inslee-appointed Washington State Arts Commissioner and Vice President of the Board of On the Boards, and has served on the boards of Intiman Theatre and Arts Corps.
- Megan E. Geigner, Stuart J. Hecht, and Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud, co-editors. Makeshift Chicago Stages: A Century of Theater and Performance. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2021.
- “Space: Postdramatic Geography in Post-Collapse Seattle,” in Postdramatic Theatre and Form, edited by Michael Shane Boyle, Matt Cornish, and Brandon Woolf. London: Methuen Drama Bloomsbury, 2019: 48-65.
- “An uncharted persistence: Alternative minoritarian theater in austere Chicago,” in Theater and Cultural Politics for a New World, edited by Chinua Thelwell. London: Routledge, 2017: 205-229.
- “Right to the Artistic City: Performing Engagements Beyond Austerity in Post-Collapse Chicago” Revue Française d’Etudes Américaines (French Review of American Studies) 148 (2016): 84-97.
- "Brooklyn’s Experimental Frontiers: A Performance Geography” TDR: The Drama Review 58:3 (August 2014): 97-123.
- “Black love? Black love!: All Aboard the presence of punk in Seattle’s NighTraiN” Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory 22: 2-3 (November 2012): 315-323.