Gianina K. Lockley

Teaching Assistant

Gianina K. Lockley is a first year doctoral student in Theatre and Performance Studies and a Research Associate at the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of African Americans and the African Diaspora. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art and Media from Columbia College Chicago, BS in Chemistry from Howard University, certificates in Diversity and Inclusion, Project Leadership and Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Cornell University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University. She has also studied abroad at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya.  

Gianina's research and creative work is situated at the intersection of diaspora theory, dance, gender and performance studies, ethnography, and black feminism. Her current research explores the role of storytelling and the growing industry of West African dance in the United States.

She has performed her one woman play, Just how black? (2009), an ethnoautobiographical exploration into the performativity of blackness throughout the African Diaspora, at The Kennedy Center's 15th Annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival; Stage TWO Theater; Book and Paper Gallery at Columbia College Chicago; and the Raw Space Gallery in Chicago.  Her work has been featured in many publications including the United States International University Gazette Newspaper in Nairobi, Kenya--I am point five (0.5): half-African, half-American (2004), and The Columbia Chronicle (2003). 

A staunch advocate for educational equity, Gianina has won numerous awards for her work in promoting diversity in higher education including the Columbia College Chicago’s Graduate Opportunity Award (2008), Columbia College Chicago Diversity Award (2008), Getz Graduate Award (2007) and the Lya Dym Rosenblum travel grant (2007). 

She has worked as a museum educator and docent for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of African Art, and has held a work study position at The Dance Place in Northeast Washington, DC where she provided college planning workshops to their teen program.  Gianina has a  passion for West African dance and is a performing community member of Coyaba West African Dance Company under the leadership of Sylvia Soumah.

In her spare time, you can catch her at home binge watching reruns of "The Office" or peacefully asleep.