Adjunct Professor-CCE of Fine Arts Analia Segal and Visiting Professor of Art and Design Education Theodora Skipitares have received Fulbright Specialist Program Awards for this fall. The prestigious US Department of State program selects highly accomplished faculty members and professionals to serve as expert consultants at academic institutions abroad for two-to-six weeks, teaching workshops, exchanging research, and building relationships for future institutional cooperation.
Segal’s workshop at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, exploring the relationship between language, culture, and identity in art, is part of her first Fulbright award. The “cuerpo@cuerpo, trazados, senderos y surcos” workshop continues Segal’s ongoing research into “language as a bridge, diasporic cultural production, and ideas around identity and citizenship.” She is collaborating with Guillermo García-Badell, director of the Superior Center of Fashion Design (CSDMM) at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. While in Madrid, she is also collaborating with the flamenco scholar Maria Cabrera Fructuoso on a performance.
Segal first joined Pratt’s faculty in 2007 and has since become the Sculpture and Integrated Practices Coordinator in the Fine Arts BFA program. She has received awards and grants for her creative work from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts and has participated in exhibitions at the Gallery Kobo Chika in Tokyo, PS1 MoMA in New York, and the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, along with many other venues worldwide.
“I have always believed in a threefold articulation of my professional practice of teaching, research, and service that are intertwined and interwoven into a highly individualized and personal fabric,” she said. “Their synthesis is essential and a guiding force behind all of my work because, as an artist, being true to oneself is one of the cornerstones of artistic creation and one of my abiding principles, whether in the studio or in the classroom teaching.”
This is Skipitares’ fourth Fulbright Fellowship; her first and third awards in 1999 and 2015 were five-month fellowships in India. In 2012, a three-week Specialist Fellowship enabled her to lead performance workshops in India that merged traditional concepts with contemporary arts, as well as write an article for PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Arts about an International Puppetry Festival. For her latest project, she is traveling to Bethlehem where she will meet with a local theater company and teach a workshop at Dar al-Kalima University, a school that aims to train educators and creative leaders to support Palestinian communities. The “Finding a Body of Languages” workshop uses small-scale storytelling techniques such as shadow performance, performance with digital lights, and paper theater to investigate “questions of image, energy, tension, and story.”
Skipitares is continuing Pratt’s engagement with Dar al-Kalima University. In 2022, Art and Design Education Chair and Professor Aileen Wilson received a Fulbright Specialist Award to lead a workshop at the university.
“I’m excited to bring small-scale performance objects, including miniature shadow theaters along with me on this trip,” Skipitares said. “I want to share flexible, portable storytelling forms that will communicate across cultural boundaries.
Skipitares, who specializes in puppetry and performance, was a Professor in the Art and Design Education Department for over 15 years. She retired from her full-time position and joined the Department as a Visiting Professor in 2023. She has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the International Puppetry Association, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, and her plays have twice been named among the 10 best of the year by The New York Times. She often develops social justice projects to support local communities. In 2019, she developed a permanent installation at Gibb Mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a housing facility for homeless and chronically ill people that is managed by Pratt Area Community Council.
The Fulbright Specialist Program, part of the larger Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Recipients of Fulbright Specialist awards are US citizens selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the US and abroad. Each year more than 400 award recipients share their expertise with host institutions abroad through the program.
Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development advises for the Fulbright US Student Program, with the Institute becoming a top Fulbright producer in cultural exchange programs.
Applications for the US Student Fulbright Program open each year in March and close at the time of the national deadline in October. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.