About the Contributors
Violette Bule studied at the Active School of Photography in Mexico and holds a Diploma in General Studies of Photography from the National Center of Photography of Venezuela. Her work has been exhibited internationally at art centers and museums, including Centre of Contemporary Art Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Caracas, Venezuela; NEGPOS Gallery and University Paris VII France; and Gallery EspacioMAD in Venezuela. Bule has participated in several art fairs including Iberoamerican Art Fair, Venezuela; PINTA Latin American Art Fair; Gallery Studio 8 in the UK; Artfair Hong Kong PSH Project; October Salon Art Young, Venezuela; Life in Photography PIP, China; and Context International Contemporary—Modern Art Fair Miami—ArtBasel, 2013. In 2013 Bule’s Odalisque in Red Trousers became part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Caracas, Venezuela, and in 2014 was the winner of the grant awarded by the Cisneros Foundation and winner of the first prize XVIII edition of Iberoamerican Art Faire Jovenes ConFIA 2015.
Nick Fesette is a theatre artist and doctoral student in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. His research examines the connections between embodied performance and radical politics in and around the American penitentiary, and he currently helps facilitate The Phoenix Players Theatre Group, a performance ensemble of incarcerated men in Auburn Prison. He recently published an article on hunger strikes, neoliberalism, and zombies in the online journal Etudes. In New York City he directed and performed at spaces like Dixon Place, HERE Arts, Theater for the New City, Walkerspace, Horse Trade, and Incubator Arts. He earned a B.A. magna cum laude in Theatre from Hamilton College. nickfesette.net
Dana Greene, Ph.D., is an activist-scholar who came to the study of punishment from a history of street activism. She is deeply committed to applying her work beyond the academy. Dana holds a doctorate in criminal justice from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and spent many years as an Associate Professor at New Mexico State University. She is currently working with an image archive compiled when photo-documenting every adult prison in New Mexico. Her ongoing creative and intellectual drive is to demonstrate that the United States’ persistent penal reform rut can be interrupted, advance theory as to how it may be redirected, while generating projects that disrupt penal ignorance and its accompanying racism to foster a just compassionate society. Recent publications include ‘La Frontera: A View from New Mexico’s Carceral Borderland’ published in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Annual and a chapter in U.S. Criminal Justice Policy Reader that explores the relationship between immigration and crime control policy.
Ron Jenkins, Professor of Theater at Wesleyan University, has served as a Visiting Professor of Religion & Literature at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music. A former Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow he has facilitated Dante workshops in prisons in Italy, Indonesia, and America. He has translated and/or directed the plays of the Italian Nobel Laureate, Dario Fo, at the Yale Repertory Theater, the American Repertory Theater at Harvard, and other theaters. In Indonesia he has studied the theatrical performance of sacred Hindu texts and is the author most recently of Saraswati in Bali: A Temple, A Museum and a Mask.
Bruce Levitt is a Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. He served as Chair of the Department of Theatre, Film & Dance from l986 to l995 and oversaw the final phases of construction of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Dr. Levitt is a former chair of the New York State Council on the Arts Theatre Panel. He was elected to The National Theatre Conference in 2009. He has directed over 100 university and professional productions. For six years he served as Producing Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, a free outdoor event that also provided educational programs to children throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. At Cornell Levitt has collaborated in community-based projects with the Lehman Alternative Community School, the Ithaca City School District, and members of the American Festival coalition. He co-teaches a course in community engagement with Scott Peters, Co-Director of Imagining America and Cornell faculty member in Development Sociology, Shorna Allred, faculty member in Natural Resources, and Richard Kiely, Director of Cornell’s Center for Engaged Learning and Research. Levitt has been a facilitator with PPTG for five years. He has coordinated the group’s training and the devising of three performance pieces. His documentary about the group is in post-production.
Courtney Polidori teaches writing at The College of New Jersey and Rowan University, where she was the 2015 recipient of the Writing Arts First-Year Writing Program Adjunct Award for Excellence in Teaching. Since 2013, she has taught memoir-writing, college-credit literature, and writing workshops in a New Jersey maximum-security women’s prison. In November 2015 and October 2014, she had the honor of participating in college graduation ceremonies inside the prison. Since first teaching in the prison, Polidori has advocated for prison education and reforms at 10 conferences, including Society for the Study of American Women Writers in Philadelphia, New Perspectives on the Women in Prison Genre Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism Conference at Rutgers University, American Literature Association in Washington, DC and Boston, South Atlantic Modern Language Association in Atlanta, and The New Jim Crow READ-OUT in Princeton. Her creative non-fiction about prison teaching has appeared in Four Quarters. Polidori graduated from The College of New Jersey’s M.A. in English program in 2013.
Treacy Ziegler began creating exhibitions of her art in maximum-security prisons after having spent 20 years of exhibiting in commercial galleries— seeking a different audience. She conducts ongoing prison art workshops in various states. In addition, with the Prisoner Express project in the Center For Transformative Action affiliated with Cornell University, she develops through-the-mail art projects for a network of 3500 prisoners throughout US. www.prisonerexpress.org and www.anopenwindowproject.org
Samantha Zimbler is a poet and activist. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a B.A. in English. She received a Phi Kappa Phi Student-Faculty Research Award for teaching at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women. Zimbler currently works as a marketing associate at Oxford University Press.