School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Patricia Madson

    Patricia Madson

    Senior Lecturer in Drama

    BioPatricia Ryan Madson is the author of IMPROV WISDOM: DON’T PREPARE, JUST
    SHOW UP (Random House, 2005) and a professor Emerita from Stanford University where
    she taught from 1977-2005. In the Drama Department she served as the head of the
    undergraduate acting program and developed the improvisation program. In 1998 she was
    the winner of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Innovation in
    Undergraduate Education at Stanford. She founded and coached the Stanford Improvisors
    and taught beginning and advanced level courses in Improvisation for undergraduate as
    well as adults in Stanford's Continuing Studies Program. In 1996 she founded the
    Creativity Initiative at Stanford, an interdisciplinary alliance of faculty who share the
    belief that creativity can be taught. Patricia has taught Design Improv for the School of
    Engineering, and was a guest lecturer for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and
    for the Mayfield Fellows program.
    She taught regularly for the Esalen Institute, and has given workshops for the California
    Institute for Integral Studies, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, the National
    Association of Drama Therapists, the Western Psychological Association, Duke
    University East Asian Studies Center, Wellness in the Workplace for BC University and
    the Meaningful Life Therapy Association in Japan.

    Her corporate clients have included: IDEO, Google, Gap Inc.'s Executive Leadership
    Team, The Lucille and David Packard Foundation, the Banff Centre for Leadership, the
    National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), Hewlett Packard, Digital
    Impact, The Woods Institute for the Environment, the International Society for
    Performance Improvement (ISPI), the Santa Fe Leadership Center, the Association for
    YMCA rofessionals, Sun Microsystems Japan Division, Extempo Systems,
    Apple Computers, Adobe Systems, the Piedmont School District, and Price Waterhouse.

    Batchelor of Arts in Philosophy, Westhampton College of the U. of Richmond,
    1963 Masters of Arts in Theater, Wayne State University, 1965
    Web pages:www.improvwisdom.com
    Linked In: Patricia Ryan Madson
    FACEBOOK: patricia.ryan.madson TWITTER: patryanmadson
    patryan@stanford.edu or improvwisdom@gmail.com

  • Jisha Menon

    Jisha Menon

    Associate Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

    BioJisha Menon teaches courses at the intersection of postcolonial theory and performance studies. She received her M.A. in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and her Ph.D in Drama from Stanford University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of law and performance; race and the carceral state; affect theory, cities, and capitalism; gender and sexuality; cosmopolitanism and nationalism. She is the author of The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan and the Memory of Partition (Cambridge UP, 2013), which considers the affective and performative dimensions of nation-making. The book recuperates the idea of "mimesis" to think about political history and the crisis of its aesthetic representation, while also paying attention to the mimetic relationality that undergirds the encounter between India and Pakistan. Her second book, Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in the Indian City (Northwestern UP, 2021) considers the city and the self as aesthetic projects that are renovated in the wake of neoliberal economic reforms in India. Sketching out scenes of urban aspiration and its dark underbelly, the book delineates the creative and destructive potential of India’s lurch into contemporary capitalism. She is also co-editor of two volumes: Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict (with Patrick Anderson) (Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2009) and Performing the Secular: Religion, Representation, and Politics (with Milija Gluhovic) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.) She has published essays on the Indian partition, diasporic feminist theatre, political violence and performance, transnational queer theory, and neoliberal urbanism. She previously served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.