Alberto Guevara

BA (Concordia), MA (York), PhD (Concordia)
Assistant Professor: Performance studies
Department of Theatre, York University

Originally from Nicaragua, Professor Guevara has harbored a lifelong interest in the intersections of theatre, performance and politics. During the Nicaraguan Sandinista government he participated in a cultural brigade, received training at the National Theatre School and was a member of Alan Bolt’s Nyxtayoleros Theatre. He received an interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre, Social Anthropology and Communications from Concordia University. Professor Guevara’s work focuses on a number of interconnected areas, including the theatricality of power, performance and nationalism – with a focus on the contestation of dominant narratives, art and revolution, theatre for social change, Indigenous art and performance, the aesthetics of violence and affliction, the body in performance, and ethnographic methods. A unique strength of his scholarship and teaching is his combination of contemporary performance theory and ethnographic methodologies. Thus, while field research forms the backbone of his performance studies scholarship in Nepal and Nicaragua, the measurable outcomes of this research are diverse and include: documentary films, exhibitions, performances, and an interdisciplinary open-access online journal, as well as traditional print publications.

He has collaborated in a number of inter-cultural theatre organizations including Teatro Sin Fronteras (Toronto), Mise au Jeu (Montreal), Théâtre autochtone Ondinnok (Montreal), Dalit Theatre Group (Nepal), Act!vision (Lethbridge) and Chocolate Woman Collective (Toronto). Professor Guevara has published in Visual Anthropology Review, The Applied Theatre Researcher/IDEA, 452F: Journal of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, and Intensions among others. His film work has been shown internationally at venues such as DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Planet in Focus Environmental, International Film and Video Festival, The RAI: Royal Anthropological Institute International Festival of Ethnographic Films, and ASPEKTY among others.

Professor Guevara is part of a major initiative funded by SSHRCC’s Partnership Development Program. This project, a partnership between Toronto Arts Foundation (TAF), Art Starts, OCAD University and York University, is about the Impact of Arts on Quality of Life at the Neighborhood Level. The project will be a longitudinal study, broken into two Phases, which will examine the ways in which Toronto residents interact and engage with the arts at a local level. Five neighborhoods will be targeted over a four-year period to explore how arts are defined, how and where residents engage with arts, and the impact arts engagement has on individuals and communities.

Alberto is presently an Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre at York University.