Research and Creative Endeavors

Check out a sampling of the research and creative endeavors that happen within the College of Fine Arts.

Faculty Research & Creative Scholarship

Dr. Melanee Harvey

Dr. Melanee C. Harvey is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art. Her research interests include architectural iconography in African American art, Black Arts Movement artists, religious art of Black liberation theology and ecowomanist art practices. Dr. Harvey’s latest publications include, “Becoming an Artist-Activist at Howard University,” Elizabeth Catlett: A Revolutionary Black Artist and All That It Implies (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, Fall 2025); and “‘Think and Pray’: Verbrycke Spiritual Church and Ella Watson’s Religious Worldview,” American Gothic: Gordon Parks and Ella Watson  (The Gordon Parks Foundation and Steidl, April 2024). 

Dr. Harvey’s latest grants and fellowships include a Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers, and a Gordon Parks Foundation & Howard University Genevieve Young Writing Fellowship. 


Denise J. Hart

Professor Denise Hart is a Professor of Playwriting, a Dramaturge, and a Director. Her scholarship focuses on Playwriting, TV Scriptwriting, Dramaturgy, African American Theatre, Contemporary Trends in Theatre, Aesthetics of Black Television Drama and Theatre Criticism. Her latest projects include: Guest TV Scriptwriting Instructor for Amazon Studios’ day long intensive in Stone Mountain Georgia for students in the Def Creative Lab program; the Ford's Theatre production’s “Written Then, Spoken Now: African American Letters to Lincoln,” where she was the Dramaturge, Scriptwriter, Director & Moderator. It aired on CSpan, 2/2/2024; She directed the Multimedia Institute’s production of ZORA and was the audience talk back Guest Dramaturge Scholar (2024); Professor Hart was also the Acting

Workshop Facilitator for Prince George’s County Film Festival; and the Production Dramaturge for the Howard University produced, Rhyme Deferred as well as the moderator for the "Never Thought it Would Last" dramaturgy talkback. Lastly, Professor Hart was the Dramaturge Symposium Coordinator for the Howard University Department of Theatre Arts’ production, “Black Nativity.”

Dr. Khalid Long

Dr. Khalid Y. Long is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre Arts. His research interests include African American/Black diasporic theatre, performance, and literature through the lenses of Black feminist/womanist thought, queer studies, and performance studies. His work addresses the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality within marginalized and oppressed communities. 

Dr. Long’s latest monograph is Contemporary Black Theatre and Performance: Acts of Rebellion, Activism, and Solidarity, Methuen Drama (Bloomsbury Press, 2023); His latest articles include, “Post-9/11 Theatre and Transnational Feminism: Glenda Dickerson’s Kitchen Prayer Series,” in Theater (February 2024); "Malcolm X, Two Trains running, and the August Wilson Archive" in "Forum: Encounters in the August Wilson Archive," Theater (February 2024); “Staging Black Lives Matter,” in The Cambridge Companion to African American Theatre (2nd edition) edited by Harvey Young (Cambridge University Press, 2023);and "Black Mecca and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival: An Interview with Toni Simmons Henson," in Essays on Psychogeography and the City as Performance: Drifting Through Wonderlands edited by John C. Green (February 2024).  

Dr. Matthew Franke

Dr. Matthew Franke is Master Instructor and Music Historian in the Department of Music. His research focuses on nineteenth-century French opera, especially the music of Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet. His latest publication is “Italian Style and National Stereotypes in Les Pêcheurs de perles,Opera Journal 56 no. 2 (2023): 1 - 25. The article posits that exoticism is an important concept for understanding depictions of foreign cultures in opera. However, the concept has been used too broadly to describe some music that is really a form of pastiche. Fundamentally, exoticism misrepresents other cultures, but pastiche (as Dr. Franke uses the term) provides an accurate, recognizable version of them. To prove this point, he explores Georges Bizet’s pastiche of Italian musical styles in Les Pêcheurs de perles, an opera whose critical afterlife in English has largely focused on its exoticism.

Brandye Lee

Professor Brandye Lee is a lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts in the Dance Concentration. Her scholarship focuses on Ballet technique and choreography. Professor Lee’s latest publication is an anthology chapter titled, “Creating New Spaces: Today's Black Choreographers” in Antiracism in Ballet Teaching, edited by Kate Mattingly and Iyun Ashani Harrison (Routledge, 2023).

Professor Lee’s chapter, “Creating New Spaces: Today's Black Choreographers” uses the groundbreaking event, Reframing the Narrative, as a backdrop to explore the work and experiences of today's African American ballet choreographers, as they navigate through the art form's efforts to diversify.

Reframing the Narrative was a week-long Kennedy Center celebration featuring performances in recognition of the fact that Black ballet dancers had been pillars of the field for decades.