Daniel B. Coleman, PhD (he & they)

Artist-Scholar-Activist. Cultural Worker. Educator.  Black Transfeminist. 

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

I am a transnational artist-scholar-activist, cultural worker, and educator. I currently work as an Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses. I believe in radical decolonization of  intellectual labor and paths  that gift us the insights of a life of the mind and grounds the  pedagogical prerogative of naming our world as it is. I honor the ancestors that were not allowed to read or write. I think with my body and I move with my mind, treating all of my work as embodied practice. The work you will see on this site reflects my knowing of  the body as a sacred channel and the primary site from which I think. 

 I am a mixed-Black, transmasculine non-binary, queer and tender radical. I center Blackness and the Afro-diaspora in everything that I do. Alongside this love/freedom praxis, I also center Indigenous people  and people of color. Additionally, I  pour love into all that is queer, in its many cosmologies. Within this vision, I  regularly collaborate  on various artistic projects for Black, trans* and BIPOC people, primarily in the U.S. South. Of my primary partnerships for collaborative work are structures of freedom and creative projects like The Well and the platform Strategies for Freedom  coming out of  Black Love Convergence and Acorn Center for Restoration and Freedom in Covington, Georgia, all founded and  stewarded  by  Emanuel Highlander Brown.  I believe in work by and for BIPOC people. 


Scholarly Praxis

I have a PhD in Performance Studies from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2017). 

I received my MA in Theatre Arts from San José State University in 2011 and my BA in Latin American Studies from California State University, East Bay in 2008. 

My scholarship engages the methodological-theoretical matrices of: oral history performance, trans*, Black, and decolonial feminisms, Performance as Research, decolonial pedagogies, critical/performance ethnography, and critical geographies. My  work is grounded in community-engaged commitments, thinking with voices, embodiments, and artistic practices as epistemological and world-making projects. I am particularly taken with projects that require stillness, silence, affective resonance and deep forms of embodied listening praxis, in-relation. 

My current book project develops a Performance as Research ecology for tracing layers of corporeal somatic witnessing  embodied by transness through understanding the complex layers of cultural and and spatial geographies in the contexts of the U.S. South and in the Mexican South. More on this under Scholarship


Artist Praxis

I am a performance artist, installation artist,  mover and choreographer. I articulate my body as a physical medium for story sharing, transfer, and as a container for larger social bodies. Through physical movement and intentional stillness, I use embodiment practices as a form of artistic mediumship to both channel and transform energies surrounding the social-political landscapes in which I traverse. I create experiences of ritual that require rigorous engagement with the performer and with fellow witnesses, inviting audiences to leave with traces and hauntings that welcome other modes of being in the world and in relation to one another.  I am deeply invested in caring for my  body and those of his audiences through all of my work. 

Previously, I was  a core troupe member of La Pocha Nostra (2014-2016), a street artivist-organizer with Arte Acción en Chiapas (2013-2015) and was the co-founder of the duet performance project Proyecto Inmiscuir (2015-2017). As a performer and artistic pedagogue, I have taught and performed in various institutional and autonomous spaces throughout México, the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Costa Rica, Brasil, Colombia, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Poland, and Estonia. 



Justice Praxis

My justice work is centered in accompanying processes aligned with abolition, transfeminism, anti-racism, freedom of movement, and anti-colonial legacies situated in global justice struggles in each of the places I have called home, in local-global synergy. I have collaborated with multiple feminist organizers and organizations in the context of Chiapas, México to stage public interventions to denounce feminicide and transfeminicide violence met with impunity. The work involved designing rituals for public mourning that simultaneously held the state accountable. I  helped to begin the first major coalition among lesbian and trans feminists in the state of Chiapas and in México,  functioning as one of the leaders of the first Jornadas Lesbo Trans Feministas. In the U.S. South, I have organized as a member of Southerners on New Ground – a intergenerational and multiracial regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South. 

The lessons of organizing and all work with a heart for social justice run throughout the veins of my work and life projects. 


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