Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

A Keen Observer of Global Influences

The global and local aspects of immigration, and the impacts of both, have long intrigued Timothy Raphael.  So has the power of media and performance.  All of those passions have come into play over the course of his career as a professor, scholar, director and producer.

As director of Rutgers’ Center for Migration and the Global City, he oversees an incubator for multidisciplinary scholarship, teaching, and civic engagement whose mission is understanding the local and global dimensions and consequences of immigration. Raphael and the center promote research initiatives, educational programs and seminars, and partnerships with community and civic organizations.

Raphael and the center have recently embarked on a multiyear project called “Newest Americans: Stories From the Global City,” a multimedia and multidisciplinary collaboration between journalists, artists, research faculty and students that is documenting unique stories from RU-N, which for nearly two decades has been hailed by U.S. News & World Report as the most diverse campus among those at national universities.

The first piece in the debut issue of "Newest Americans", titled "We Came and Stayed," is an eight-minute documentary that juxtaposes an interview with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka with sound bytes from an interview with his grandfather, Coyt Jones.

Prior to his role at the center, Raphael was a director, producer, dramaturge, and adapter who has developed more than 50 new American plays, including two which helped to publicly launch his work on immigration. Something to Declare: Tales of Immigration explored the immigrant experience, while Time Without Number focused on the immigrant detention system.  Both works were developed from oral histories and ethnographies conducted by his students at Rutgers-Newark.  His work as a playwright includes Robeson in Space, a Cold War fantasia co-written with composer/performer Guillermo E. Brown, and Wisconsin Deathtrip, a folk opera co-written with composer Jeffrey Berkson.

Raphael’s book, The President Electric: Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2009), demonstrated how Reagan's background in broadcasting, the movies, television,  public relations and advertising --- contributed to Reagan's rise to power and defined his style of governance.

Raphael holds a doctorate in performance studies from Northwestern University, and has taught theater, performance studies, and American studies at Rutgers, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Wesleyan University, Ursinus College, Georgetown University, and the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon, Portugal. His articles have appeared in journals that include The Drama Review, Theatre Journal, and Theater Topics.

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