As part of a commitment to expand the breadth of faculty expertise, introduce new perspectives, and increase interdisciplinary opportunities across the college, the LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts has recently brought on four tenure-track faculty members and initiated a visiting professorship. Each of these distinguished scholars will be developing new courses for the college, and evidence a commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism practices through embodied lived experience, scholarly and creative activity, pedagogical practice, and civic engagement.
The new faculty include Divine Kwasi Gbagbo, Ph.D., assistant professor of music (ethnomusicology), Sergio Juarez, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication studies (intercultural communication), Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas, MFA, assistant professor of studio arts (printmaking) and Bernard Brown, MFA, assistant professor of dance. Janessa Clark, MA has also joined CFA as a visiting assistant professor of dance for Fall 2022.
“Each of these educators are innovative teacher-scholar-artists, who will build relationships across interdisciplinary barriers to create social platforms allowing communication and the arts at LMU to always be a form of safe and creative expression for all,” said Bryant Keith Alexander, Ph.D, dean of the LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts. “With these new tenure-track and visiting professor hires in the departments of music, dance, art, and communication studies, CFA has also added to the diversification and richness of curriculum across the college and the university at large.”
Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas, MFA, Assistant Professor, Studio Arts
Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas earned a B.A. in studio arts with distinction from Carleton College and an M.F.A. in print media from Rhode Island School of Design. Barhaugh-Bordas is an artist, activist, and educator who uses a connection-based approach to build community through their creative and scholarly practice. Their solo exhibition at the Handwerker Gallery in Ithaca, New York, explored the notion of becoming local by working with non-native and invasive plants using textiles, sculpture, print, and a 60-foot hand-knotted net. More
Bernard Brown, MFA, Assistant Professor, Dance
Bernard Brown is a performer, choreographer, and educator who prioritizes the intersection of Blackness, queerness, belonging, and memory. Brown serves as Artistic Director of Bernard Brown/bbmoves, a social justice dance theatre company, choreographing for stage, specific sites, film, and opera. In addition to presenting his scholarship on blackness, queerness, and inclusive pedagogy nationally, his choreographic and dance film commissions have been presented widely, including Seoul, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Scott Joplin’s opera, “Treemonisha,” for Skylark Opera. Current projects include “Processing Sugar Notes,” an evening length work and accompanying films that interrogate dehumanizing colonial legacies on People of Color through the lens of sugar, and the “Mason Project,” an in-depth look at Black women’s contribution to the construction of our nation’s major cities. He received his BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase College, and his MFA in Choreographic Inquiry from UCLA. More
Janessa Clark, MA, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dance
Janessa Clark is a BESSIE Award nominated choreographer, dance filmmaker, performer, and installation artist. Her practice combines dance, video, and language to create socially-engaged art for stage, screen, and site-specific environments. The work created nourishes a desire to challenge traditional modes of choreography and spectatorship through co-authorship. Janessa holds an MA in Performance Practices and Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and a BFA in Choreography from Arizona State University. She founded and directed the New York City-based dance collective, Janessa Clark/KILTERBOX, from 2001-2012 which she then dissolved to form nomadthenewcompany, which worked from Stockholm 2012-2018. She received her BFA in Choreography from Arizona State University and her MA in Performance Practices and Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. More
Divine Kwasi Gbagbo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Music
Divine Kwasi Gbagbo earned his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary arts with specialized focus in ethnomusicology and musicology from Ohio University. He earned a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Education in music and Ghanaian languages (Ewe) education at the University College of Education in Winneba, Ghana. Gbagbo’s varied levels of expertise in scholarship, research, teaching, and performance has given him more than two decades of teaching experience in world music cultures, African and African American music, music history, African studies, and interdisciplinary arts in different cultural contexts. His research interests include the postcolonial influence and its ramifications on musical traditions of the Ewe of Ghana and Togo. More
Sergio Juarez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Sergio Fernando Juárez earned his Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Denver. Prior to coming to LMU, he was a tenure-track faculty member at California State University, Fresno where he also served as graduate teaching coordinator. He works on developing equitable pedagogical practices within and outside classroom spaces. Juárez’s areas of research include critical pedagogies within the field of communication and development of equitable educational practices within institutions to better value multiple forms of intelligence and knowledge. Juárez is the author of “Chicana Feminist Ontologies and the Social Process of Constructing Knowledge” published in the journal Review of Communication (2019). More