Vershawn Young

Associate Professor

vershawn.young@uwaterloo.ca
(519)888-4567, ext 31596
Location: ML 232A

COMMUNICATION. EDUCATION. ENGLISH. THEATRE.  VERSHAWN ASHANTI YOUNG (dr. vay) is a trans-disciplinary scholar and teacher. He often integrates his training in multiple areas of arts and humanities into his published work and instruction. He has been writing about his sociolinguistic concept code-meshing, about African American English, about intercultural communication, about performances of masculinity, and about representations of race in art, film, and literature. He frequently collaborates with his colleagues and students, and has authored or co-authored seven books. 

He has served as a high school drama/English/speech teacher, an elementary school principal, a supervisor of itinerant theater teachers in Los Angeles, and a school board administrator.

He is a solo performance artist and actor. In 2010, he won “best performance in a play” in Cedar Rapids, IA, for his portrayal of the brain-damaged Gabriel in August Wilson’s Fences. He also regularly tours his one-man show, Your Average Nigga, based on his first book of the same name.

As an anti-racism consultant to schools and organizations, dr. vay works on issues related to diversity and cultural competency, and conducts trainings and workshops in these areas, often with his colleague, Frankie Condon.

Before joining the Department of Drama and Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo, he was most recently on faculty at the University of Kentucky.  

dr. vay describes himself as serious but friendly and welcomes opportunities to chat over coffee with new and old students, friends, and colleagues.

Recent Work

Recent Articles:

“Straight Black Queer: Obama, Code Switching, and the Gender Anxiety of African American Men,” PMLA, Vol. 129.3, May 2014

Recent Books:

From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help: Critical Perspectives of White Authored Narratives of Black Life. Palgrave McMillon, 2014. Eds, Claire Oberon Garcia, Vershawn Ashanti Young and Charise Pimental,

Other People's English: Code-meshing, Code-switching, and African American Literacy. Teachers College Press, 2014. Vershawn Ashanti, Young, Rusty Barrett, and Kim Brian Lovejoy, Y’shanda Rivera

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

Profiles by type

Employment Opportunity for Sessional Instructors

The Speech Communication program at the University of Waterloo is searching for several new sessional instructors to teach core communication courses.  Based in a liberal arts faculty with high national and international standards, the Speech Communication program currently serves approximately 150 majors, 50 minors, and delivers many sections of communication courses to four Faculties from across the University.

Sessional instructors could teach up to three sections per academic term of the following courses: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Science Communication, or Communication in the Engineering Professions. Each of these courses include emphases on foundational communication competencies and are designed to align with the Speech Communication program objectives. More information on the Speech Communication program can be found here:

www.speechcommunication.uwaterloo.ca

Interested instructors should have a PhD or be working toward completing a PhD, and should send a CV and a brief letter of interest that addresses qualifications and teaching philosophy to:

Dr. Robert Danisch

Chair, Department of Drama and Speech Communication

University of Waterloo

200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

rdanisch@uwaterloo.ca