GCC communication professor Kirt Shineman Wins National Award

Glendale Community College communications professor Kirt Shineman has been awarded the 2019 Golden Anniversary Monograph award from the National Communication Association.

Shineman, along with co-author Clark Olson, received the award for his research-based stage performative project, “En/Gendering Dystopia: The Performance of Torture at Guantanamo Bay Prison,” a decade in the making.

the NCA announced the winner of the Award in late 2019. Created in 1964, the award is only “presented to the most outstanding scholarly monographs” according to the NCA website. The selection process takes a full year to complete, to which several others have to refer to the work of the nominees ranging from book chapters to journal articles.

Dealing with the interrogation of the alleged terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. military prison, was no easy topic to cover, Shineman said.

The research had Olson and Shineman working in close relation to the Department of Defense throughout the entire process.

The research required a lengthy process of analyzing the political climate in response to gender and foreign relations, Shineman said.

“The one thing that’s common between all of them [works] is their performance. In torture, it’s about performing torture. The acting of torture. So, it’s almost a theatrical thing,” he said.

What makes the performances important is how the actors convey a story, despite it being true or not, he said.

“Storytelling is a way to cure the ills of our society. To uncover the horrendous things that are happening,” Shineman said. “We have to write them, so they are down in culture for as long as that it lasts.”

While Shineman said he is immensely proud and humbled by his award, he is already working on quite a few upcoming projects. The next research article will cover Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was tried for posing with for a photo with an ISIS fighter. The research project will try to uncover Gallagher’s actions in light of how the dead are viewed symbolically.

Also coming up for its debut in March at the Phoenix Theatre Company is Shineman’s “The Mysterious Disappearance.” The play is a fictitious telling that will follow the famous mystery writer Agatha Christie towards the end of her life as she writes her last book while battling dementia.

Shineman said that the play will not only be dramatic but humorous as well, which seems to be a common trend in his works.

“We have to build up the great joy but we also have the dark stuff to talk about too,” Shineman said.