School of Humanities and Sciences
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Sara Hart Kimball Professor of the Humanities
BioMy research is highly interdisciplinary. I find it very rewarding to study performance in the context of visual arts, film and digital media, literature and poetry, critical theory, as well as larger social and historical processes. Most recently, I have been focusing on climate change and environmental justice. Over the past year, I have co-edited with my colleagues from TAPS Diana Looser and Matt Smith a two-part special issue of TDR: The Drama Review on performance and climate change. This research and teaching interest comes from my more long-term engagement with performance and politics.
My most recent monograph in English is Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia 1945-1991 (University of Michigan Press, 2016) which received the Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theater for 2016-17 and Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Outstanding Book Award, 2017. It has been translated into Serbian (2019) and Slovenian (2021). I co-translated and edited Radomir Konstantinović’s book The Philosophy of Parochialism, a groundbreaking analysis of the relation of the national literature and the formation of totalitarian ideas and political practices in a small European nation during the first half of the 20th century (University Michigan Press, 2021). My most recent book project is Performance Apparatus: Impossible Communities, Unextractable Behaviors, in which I investigate the relationship between performance art and theories of ideological formations from the 1970s until the present.
I hail from Yugoslavia, the country that was located in central and western Balkans, in southeastern Europe. There, I attended Drama Schools at universities in Skopje and Belgrade (present-day Northern Macedonia and Serbia, respectively). I worked as Dramaturg in professional theaters during and immediately after the completion of my BFA studies.
Most of my views on politics, ethics, justice, and the arts were informed by the unraveling of Yugoslavia in a series of bloody civil wars in the 1990s. I was active in anti-war movements before I left the country and remained active in pro-democracy publications in Serbia and the region of the former Yugoslavia. Some of these writings have been collected in the book Frozen Donkey and Other Essays (Smrznuti magarac i drugi eseji, Komuna Links, Belgrade 2017). The second edition of this book is forthcoming.
Both my MA and PhD are from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. While pursuing my PhD, I was active in the New York downtown theater and alternative press scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the subsequent years, I served on the board of Performance Studies international (PSi) and chaired the 19th PSi conference held at Stanford in June of 2013.
Before joining Stanford in 2006, I taught at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and University of Minnesota. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in my home department, over the years I served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Chair (2015-2019). Some of the highlights from my tenure as Chair are: devising a strategic plan for the department that yielded the current structure of our undergraduate program, supervising the return of the department to the renovated Roble Gym, the establishment of Nitery Experimental Theater as the first fully student-run theater space on campus, working with the Dean’s office to set up Carl Weber graduate fellowships, and opening TAPS season-planning process to include all members of the department who are willing to participate (students, faculty, staff). As of the fall of 2021, I again assumed the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies. It is my hope that in this capacity I will be able to help TAPS transition back to its regular activities, which were disrupted by COVID closures.