Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae (Na-ee-la Ka-lee-ta May) is an award-winning Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Waterloo where she researches gender, race and performance. She holds a PhD in Theatre Studies (York University), an MFA in Theatre (York University) and a BA in Journalism (Concordia University).
Her research expertise are in black culture, which she has discussed in her appearances on the British Broadcast Corporation, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, the Business News Network and in articles she has written for the Vice network, The Fader and Huffington Post. She is also the leading scholar in Canada on the work of Beyoncé Knowles Carter. Dr. Keleta-Mae’s research on Beyoncé garnered extensive media coverage when it was announced that Dr. Keleta-Mae would teach an undergraduate course entitled Gender and Performance that focused on Beyoncé’s self-titled album.
Dr. Keleta-Mae has received numerous scholarships and awards for her research on female black performance, namely: a Mary McEwan Award for Feminist Scholarship (York University), an Abella Scholarship for Studies in Equity (York University) and a Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC). Dr. Keleta-Mae’s academic writing appears in publications including the journals Theatre Research in Canada and Canadian Review of American Studies (forthcoming), the magazine Canadian Theatre Review and the book In Defense of Theatre (Eds. Kathleen Gallagher and Barry Freeman). Dr. Keleta-Mae’s regularly accepts invitations for public appearances to deliver keynote addresses and guest speeches on topics ranging from women, leadership, education, lgbtq and mental health.