Nicole Hodges Persley is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas. She teaches courses on hip-hop, acting, African American theater, race and performance and improvisation theory. Her research interests include African-America drama, performance, and culture, hip-hop, women's and gender studies, solo performance and transnationalism.
Her research and performance works address the impact of racial, ethnic and national identity on performance practices in theatre, television and film. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Her current book project, Sampling and Remixing Blackness in Hip-hop Theater and Performance, examines the impact of African American expressions of blackness In Hip-hop on the artistic practices of non-African American artists in theater, conceptual art and dance in the United States and England. A Francophile, she has lived and conducted research on Hip-hop’s influence on the arts in Dakar, Sénégal and Paris, France. She is one of the founding program directors of the Hip-hop Archive at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Dubois Institute.
An actress and director, Hodges Persley is a member of SAG and AFTRA and has credits in regional theater, television and film. Her performance and directing work have been featured at the Kansas City Fringe Festival, the California Hip-hop Theater Festival, the Hudson Theater, and Highways Performance Space. She has published articles on Jay-Z and Suzan-Lori Parks with forthcoming work on Nikki S. Lee and Jean Genet.