School of Humanities and Sciences


Showing 1-20 of 30 Results

  • Samer Al-Saber

    Samer Al-Saber

    Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

    BioSamer is Assistant Professor of Theatre And Performance Studies, and a member of the faculty at the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. Before coming to Stanford, he has taught at various institutions (Davidson College, Florida State University) on a wide range of topics, including Conflict and Theatre, Arab Theatre and Culture, Palestinian Theatre, Staging Islam and American Politics, and Orientalism and the Victorians. At Stanford, he teaches courses concerned with identity, race, and ethnicity at the intersection of Islam and the Arts His international research is focused on the cultural dimensions of the Arab World, the Middle East, and Islamicate regions. He has taught widely on topics of Western and non-Western theater as well as American, Middle Eastern, and Global performance. As artist/scholar, his fieldwork intersects with theatre practice as a director and writer. His work appeared in Theatre Research International, Alt.Theatre, Performance Paradigm, Critical Survey, Theatre Survey, Jadaliyya, Counterpunch, This Week In Palestine, and various edited volumes, such as Palgrave’s Performing For Survival, Edinburgh Press’ Being Palestinian, and the Freedom Theatre’s recently published Performing Cultural Resistance in Palestine. He is the co-editor of the anthology Stories Under Occupation and Other Plays from Palestine (Seagull Press/University of Chicago Press) and Arab, Politics, Performance (Routledge - Forthcoming). He edited a collection of plays: Youth Plays from Gaza (Bloomsbury Press). Courses taught include: Performing Identities, Race and Performance, Advanced Directing: Actor-Director Dialog, Making Your Own Solo Show, Edward Said: Scholar Vs Empire, Performing Arabs, Introduction to Comparative Race and Ethnicity, New Play Development, and World Theater History. Samer serves on the advisory boards of Arab Stages and Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco.

    Areas of expertise: Theory; History; Criticism; Middle East Studies, Western Theater, Non-Western theater, Race and Performance, Middle Eastern Theatre; Islam and the Arts; Arab Theatre; Directing; Historiography; Postcolonialism; Nationalism; Ethnography; Performance, Politics, Casting, and Collaboration.

  • Nina Ball

    Nina Ball

    Lecturer

    BioNina Ball (she/ her) is an award winning scenic designer whose professional work has been seen at American Conservatory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater, Shotgun Players, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, Center Repertory Theatre, UC Berkeley TDPS, TheatreFIRST, The Cutting Ball Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Z Space, among many others. She has been a company member at Shotgun Players in Berkeley since 2009 as well as TheatreFIRST (also in Berkeley) since 2018.

    Recent awards include a Theatre Bay Area award for "The Nether" at San Francisco Playhouse; San Francisco Bay Area Critic Circle awards for her designs of "My Fair Lady" at San Francisco Playhouse and "Metamorphosis" at the Aurora; a Shellie award for "Mirandolina" at Center REP; a Broadway World San Francisco Award for "Care of Trees" at Shotgun Players and an Arty Award for her design of "Eurydice" at Solano College Theatre. In addition to theatre, Ms. Ball is also a production designer and has worked on numerous film, TV and commercial productions locally and in LA.

    Ms. Ball holds a bachelor degree in biology with an emphasis in marine ecology from UC Santa Cruz and studied visual art and photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. She received her masters degree in scenic design with a costume design secondary from San Francisco State University.

    She is also a lecturer at UC Berkeley where she teaches Design for Performance in the Theatre Dance and Performance Studies department.

    Ms. Ball is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.

    ninaball.com

  • Becky Bodurtha

    Becky Bodurtha

    Senior Lecturer of Theater and Performance Studies

    BioBecky Bodurtha is a professional costume designer with regional, international and New York City credits. Recent credits include Drowing in Cairo (Potrero Stage), Felix Starro (Theatre Ma-Yi), Open (The Tank), 1000 Nights and One Day (Prospect Theatre Company), and Mr. Burns (NYU Gallatin). Other credits: Constellations (Wilma), The Strangest (East 4th Street), Among the Dead (Theatre Ma-Yi) Passover (Cherry Lane), The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra, Go! (Theatre Ma-Yi), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Theatre Ma-Yi), and This Lingering Life (HERE Arts). International credits include Anna in the Tropics (Repertory Philippines), Movement for Humanity and Africa’s Hope for the Ubumuntu Festival in Kigali, Rwanda. Becky is the resident costume designer for Vermont Shakespeare Festival where she recently designed Taming of the Shrew and Julius Caesar. She has served as an assistant costume designer on Broadway as well as on feature film.

    Alongside her professional design work, Ms. Bodurtha has been an educator with 15 years of experience in teaching the new generation collaborative design and theatre making.

    She received her MFA in Theatre Design from University of Iowa. Please visit her website at: www.beckybodurtha.com

  • Jennifer DeVere Brody

    Jennifer DeVere Brody

    Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and, by courtesy, of African and African American Studies

    BioJennifer DeVere Brody (she/her) holds a B.A. in Victorian Studies from Vassar College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Her scholarship and service in African and African American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, visual and performance studies have been recognized by numerous awards: a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2023 Virginia Howard Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation, support from the Mellon and Ford Foundations, the Monette-Horwitz Prize for Independent Research Against Homophobia, the Royal Society for Theatre Research, and the Thurgood Marshall Prize for Academics and Community Service among others. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders, Callaloo, Screen, Text and Performance Quarterly and other journals as well as in numerous edited volumes. Her books include: Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (Duke University Press, 1998), Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (Duke University Press, 2008) and Moving Stones: About the Art of Edmonia Lewis(forthcoming from Duke University Press). She has served as the President of the Women and Theatre Program, on the board of Women and Performance and has worked with the Ford and Mellon Foundations. She co-produced “The Theme is Blackness” festival of black plays in Durham, NC when she taught in African American Studies at Duke University. Her research and teaching focus on performance, aesthetics, politics as well as black feminist theory, black queer studies and contemporary cultural studies. She co-edited, with Nicholas Boggs, the re-publication of James Baldwin’s illustrated book, Little Man, Little Man (Duke UP, 2018). She held the Weinberg College of Board of Visitors Professorship at Northwestern University and has been a tenured professor at six different universities in her thirty year career. Her expertise in Queer Studies fostered her work as co-editor ,with C. Riley Snorton, of the flagship journal GLQ. She serves on the Editorial Board of Transition and key journals in global 19th Century Studies. At Stanford, she served as Chair of the Theater & Performance Studies Department (2012-2015) and Faculty Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (2016-2021) where she won a major grant from the Mellon Foundation and developed the original idea for an Institute on Race Studies.

  • Harry Elam

    Harry Elam

    Senior Vice Provost for Education, Vice President for the Arts, Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities, Emeritus

    BioVice Provost for Undergraduate Education; Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities; Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow for Undergraduate Education; Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts. Harry J. Elam, Jr. is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities and the Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University.

    He is author of and editor of seven books, Taking It to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka; The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson (Winner of the 2005 Errol Hill Award from the American Society of Theatre Research); and co‑editor of four books, African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader; Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama; The Fire This Time: African American Plays for the New Millennium; and Black Cultural Traffic: Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture. His articles have appeared in American Drama, Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly as well as journals in Israel, Taiwan and Poland and several critical anthologies. Professor Elam is also the former editor of Theatre Journal and on the editorial boards of Atlantic Studies, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and Modern Drama. He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in April 2006. In August 2006 he won the Betty Jean Jones Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society and in November 2006 he won the Distinguished Scholar Award form the American Society of Theatre Research. In July 2014, Elam received the Association of Theatre in Higher education’s highest award for theatre scholars, the Career Achievement Award.

    In addition to his scholarly work, he has directed professionally for over twenty years: most notably, he directed Tod, the Boy Tod by Talvin Wilks for the Oakland Ensemble Company, and for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto California, he directed Jar the Floor by Cheryl West and Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleague, which was nominated for nine Bay Area Circle Critics Awards and was the winner of DramaLogue Awards for Best Production, Best Design, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Direction. He has directed several of August Wilson's plays, including Radio Golf, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Two Trains Running, and Fences, the latter of which won eight Bay Area “Choice” Awards.

    At Stanford he has been awarded five different teaching awards: The ASSU Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Small Classes (1992); the Humanities and Sciences Deans Distinguished Teaching Award (1993); the Black Community Service Center Outstanding Teacher Award (1994), The Bing Teaching Fellowship for Undergraduate Teaching (1994-1997); The Rhodes Prize for Undergraduate Teaching (1998).

    He received his AB from Harvard College in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Dramatic Arts from the University of California Berkeley in 1984.

  • Amy Freed

    Amy Freed

    Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies

    BioAmy Freed is the author of Restoration Comedy, The Beard of Avon, Freedomland, Safe in Hell, The Psychic Life of Savages, You, Nero and other plays. She 's a past recipient of the Charles McArthur Playwriting Award (D.C.) The New York Art's Club Joseph Kesserling Award, a several-times winner of the LA Critic's Circle Award, and a Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Her work has been produced at South Coast Repertory Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Seattle Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Yale Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Rep, the Goodman, Playwright's Horizons, Woolly Mammoth, Arena Stage and other theaters around the country.

    Her most recent play is The Monster Builder, and she is developing commissions for Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep and Arena Stage. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University and also holds a Mellon Foundation Playwriting Residency for the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

  • Stephanie Jane Hunt

    Stephanie Jane Hunt

    Lecturer

    BioStephanie is an actor, director, and teacher of voice and acting. As a core member of the Bay Area theatre company, Word for Word, Stephanie has acted in numerous productions, including Tobias Wolff’s Sanity, Colm Tóibín’s Silence, Upton Sinclair’s Oil! and Susan Glaspell’s A Jury of her Peers. She played Lizzie Borden in The Fall River Axe Murders by Angela Carter directed by Amy Freed. For Word for Word, she directed the productions of Bullet in the Brain and Lady's Dream by Tobias Wolff, and All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones, which played at the Z Space before touring France. She has acted with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Campo Santo, Aurora Theatre, the Magic Theatre, Berkeley Shakespeare, the One Act Theater, and in New York at La Mama. For two years with Pulp Playhouse, Stephanie performed late-night comedy improv with O-Lan Jones and Mike McShane at the Eureka Theater. She has taught voice at ACT in the Summer Training Congress, and at the University of San Francisco, Chabot College, and Sonoma State University. She has directed a number of university productions, most recently at USF, where she directed Twelfth Night, and adapted and directed Alice Munro’s The View from Castle Rock. Her training includes an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and certification as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. Stephanie is committed to creating and teaching ensemble-based theater with a focus on heightened language.

  • Branislav Jakovljević

    Branislav Jakovljević

    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 The Performance Apparatus: On Ideological Production of Behaviors (forthcoming from University of Michigan Press), 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).

    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).

  • Young Jean Lee

    Young Jean Lee

    Denning Family Professor of the Arts

    BioYOUNG JEAN LEE is a playwright, director, and filmmaker who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by The New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She’s the first Asian-American female playwright to have had a play produced on Broadway. She has written and directed ten shows in New York with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company. Her plays have been performed in more than eighty cities around the world and have been published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, and Theatre Communications Group. Her short films have been presented at The Locarno International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and BAMcinemaFest. Lee is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN Literary Award, a United States Artists Fellowship, and the Windham-Campbell Prize. She is a Denning Family Professor in the Arts and Nina C. Crocker Faculty Scholar at Stanford University.

  • Christian V. Mejia

    Christian V. Mejia

    Lecturer

    BioChristian Mejia (he/they) believes that light has the ability to transport us to a moment in time and cradle us within a particular place. Light affects our mood, informs our emotional landscape, and enhances the everyday moments that make up our lives. The right light can tell a story that goes beyond words.

    Christian’s approach to design seeks to create environments that ask people to lean into and learn something about our shared humanity. His design practice includes live performance, architectural lighting, and immersive entertainment. His work has been seen on stages and in built environments around the world. Some of his most cherished theatrical collaborations include the Geffen Playhouse (Los Angeles), Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), ACT (San Francisco), and New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco). His architectural lighting design practice has included work with Universal Creative, Lincoln Center NYC, and global Soho House properties.

    Christian received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts. See a selection of his work at christianvmejia.com.

  • Jisha Menon

    Jisha Menon

    Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature

    BioJisha Menon is Professor of Theater and Performance Studies, and (by courtesy) of Comparative Literature. Her research interests lie at the intersection of critical theory and performance studies; law and performance; race and the carceral state; affect theory, cities, and capitalism; gender and sexuality; cosmopolitanism and nationalism. Her current research project, Confessional Performance: The Cultural and Legal Arts of Personhood, explores how legal practices entrench a particular liberal topology of personhood, and how this conception departs from other societies where persons are conceived in more plural and discontinuous ways. The book argues that attending to the fictive constitution of the person within the law allows us to highlight the artifice, indeed, the aesthetics that are central to jurisprudence. Her four books explore arts and aesthetics in relation to neoliberal capitalism, postcolonial nationalism, secularism, and geopolitical conflict. Her newest book, Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in Urban India (Northwestern UP, 2021) considers the city and the self as aesthetic projects that are renovated in the wake of neoliberal economic reforms in India. The study explores how discourses of beauty are mobilized toward anti-democratic ends. 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. Her first book, The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan and the Memory of Partition (Cambridge UP, 2013), examines 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 examining the mimetic relationality that undergirds the encounter between India and Pakistan. 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. Previously, she served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Peggy Phelan

    Peggy Phelan

    Ann O'Day Maples Professor of the Arts and Professor of English

    BioPeggy Phelan is the Ann O’Day Maples Chair in the Arts Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and English. Publishing widely in both book and essay form, Phelan is the author of Unmarked: the politics of performance (Routledge, 1993); Mourning Sex: performing public memories (Routledge, 1997; honorable mention Callaway Prize for dramatic criticism 1997-1999); the survey essay for Art and Feminism, ed. by Helena Reckitt (Phaidon, 2001, winner of “The top 25 best books in art and architecture” award, amazon.com, 2001); the survey essay for Pipilotti Rist (Phaidon, 2001); and the catalog essay for Intus: Helena Almeida (Lisbon, 2004). She edited and contributed to Live Art in Los Angeles, (Routledge, 2012), and contributed catalog essays for Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles (Mak Center, 2013), Haunted: Contemporary Photography, Video, and Performance (Guggenheim Museum, 2010); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007); and Andy Warhol: Giant Size (Phaidon, 2008), among others. Phelan is co-editor, with the late Lynda Hart, of Acting Out: Feminist Performances (University of Michigan Press, 1993; cited as “best critical anthology” of 1993 by American Book Review); and co-editor with Jill Lane of The Ends of Performance (New York University Press, 1997). She contributed an essay to Philip Ursprung’s Herzog and De Meurron: Natural History (CAA, 2005).

    She has written more than sixty articles and essays in scholarly, artistic, and commercial magazines ranging from Artforum to Signs. She has written about Samuel Beckett for the PMLA and for The National Gallery of Ireland. She has also written about Robert Frost, Michael and Paris Jackson, Olran, Marina Abramovic, Dziga Vertov and a wide range of artists working in photography, dance, architecture, film, video, music, and poetry. She has edited special issues of the journals Narrative and Women and Performance. She has been a fellow of the Humanities Institute, University of California, Irvine; and a fellow of the Humanities Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. She served on the Editorial Board of Art Journal, one of three quarterly publications of the College Art Association, and as Chair of the board. She has been President and Treasurer of Performance Studies International, the primary professional organization in her field. She has been a fellow of the Getty Research Institute and the Stanford Humanities Center. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. She chaired the Department of Performance Studies at New York University and the Drama Department at Stanford University.