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Barbara Brewster Lewis directed the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of African Diaspora History and Culture at UMass Boston from 2004 to 2019. Now retired, she is pursuing her interests in playwriting, poetry, performance, and memoir. Before coming to UMass Boston, she chaired the theatre department at the University of Kentucky, Lexington and taught at New York University and Lehman College. Born in the North, she grew up between New York, South Carolina, and Canada. Drawn to other languages, she has traveled across Europe, South and Central America, West Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Her doctorate is in theater history and literature. She also has a graduate degree in creative writing and translation, focused on French. In 2019, she was accepted into the Play Lab program at Company One, led by Kirsten Greenidge.  In 2020, she participated in a Company One acting workshop. Currently, she belongs to a playwriting collective run by the TC Squared Theatre Company in Cambridge and received a 2021 summer playwriting intensive with the Kennedy Center. Recently, she learned that her paternal great-great grandfather, Jeremiah Bradley, enlisted in Company B of the 54th Massachusetts, memorialized in sculpture across from the Massachusetts State House, Boston Common, Beacon Street.

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