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Carl Awarded Fellowship to Work on Memoir

P. Carl, Emerson College Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, will spend the Fall 2018 semester in Germany on a Berlin Prize fellowship, where he will work on his forthcoming book, Becoming a White Man.

Carl, former co-artistic director of ArtsEmerson and a 2017 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, is one of just 24 scholars, writers, and artists awarded the 2018–2019 prize from the American Academy of Berlin, which admitted the first fellows in 1998. They will live and work at the American Academy’s Hans Arnhold Center in Berlin’s Wannsee district.

“Like their predecessors, these new fellows will work on projects at once innovative in their fields and of significant interest to broad public issues and audiences,” Academy President Michael P. Steinberg said. “The personal connections they will make in Berlin with their peers, partner institutions, and the German public will foster transatlantic relations in lasting ways.”

Becoming a White Man, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster, explores Carl’s transition from being perceived as a queer white woman theater-maker to living fully as a white man. The memoir, which Carl said is “both a searing critique of, and a love letter to, white masculinity,”  turns Carl’s personal story into a broader exploration of American identity politics, transphobia, gender politics, and love.

The co-founder and past director of international theater knowledge commons HowlRound, Carl stands at the forefront of creating innovative knowledge platforms and cultural transformation models for arts organizations.

Prior to his Ford Fellowship, Carl was named Theater Person of the Year by the National Theater Conference in 2015 and an Alumni of Notable Distinction by the University of Minnesota. In addition to serving as co-artistic director of ArtsEmerson, he was director of artistic development at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and producing artistic director at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

Carl more recently served as dramaturg and producer on Claudia Rankine’s new play, The White Card; Melinda Lopez’s Mala (2017 Elliot Norton Award winner for Outstanding New Script); Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s How to Be a Rock Critic; and Suli Holum’s The Wholehearted.

He holds a BA in English and an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota.

The 2018–2019 Berlin Prize fellows were chosen by an independent selection committee. Other projects include studies of Afro-German Afrofuturism, the effects of intellectual property rights on economic growth, Putin’s Russia, and the cultural clash between China and the West.

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