Bio


Peggy 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.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Theater and Performance Studies
  • Professor, English

Administrative Appointments


  • Ann O'Day Maples Professor in the Arts, Stanford University (2003 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Honorable Mention for the Joe A. Callaway Prize, Department of English at New York University (1999)
  • The top 25 best books in art and architecture, Amazon.com (2001)
  • Cited as "Best Critical Anthology", American Book Review (1993)
  • Fellow, Humanities Institute, University of California, Irvine
  • Fellow, Humanities Institute, The Australian National University
  • Fellow, Getty Research Institute
  • Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Ann O’Day Maples Chair in the Arts Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and English, Stanford University
  • Editor, Narrative
  • Editor, Women and Performance
  • Member, Editorial Board, Art Journal
  • Chair, Editorial Board, Art Journal
  • President, Performance Studies International
  • Treasurer, Performance Studies International
  • Chair, Department of Performance Studies at New York University
  • Chair, Drama Department at Stanford University

Program Affiliations


  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Modern Thought and Literature

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Rutgers University (1987)

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Charlotte Lindemann, Jennie Waldow
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Jessica Jordan, Anna Kimmel, Suhaila Meera

All Publications


  • OPEN SCORE ART IN AMERICA Phelan, P. 2019; 107 (6): 60–65
  • CONTACTING WARHOL ART IN AMERICA Phelan, P., Meyer, R. 2018; 106 (10): 76–82
  • Contact Warhol: Photography Without End, MIT Press and the Cantor Arts Center Phelan, P. 2018
  • On the Difference between Time and History PERFORMANCE RESEARCH Phelan, P. 2014; 19 (3): 114-119
  • Encircling Black and Blue PHOTOGRAPHY AND CULTURE Mavor, C., Phelan, P., Buchanan, A. R. 2013; 6 (3): 325-336
  • Live Art in LA: Performance in Southern California, 1970–1983 edited by Phelan, P. Routledge. 2012
  • IN CONVERSATION MILLENNIUM FILM JOURNAL Phelan, P., Stiles, K. 2011: 30–34
  • "Just Want to Say": Performance and Literature, Jackson and Poirier PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Phelan, P. 2010; 125 (4): 942-947
  • Renewing the Ado: Blau and Beckett MODERN LANGUAGE QUARTERLY Phelan, P. 2009; 70 (1): 11-18
  • Chapter: Death and disaster: 1963-67 Andy Warhol: Giant Size Phelan, P. edited by Editors, P. Phaidon Press. 2008
  • Intus: Helena Almeida Carlos, I., Phelan, P., Perdigão, . Lisbon, Portugal: Livraria Civilação. 2005
  • Shards of a History of Performance Art: Pollock and Namuth Through a Glass, Darkly COMPANION TO NARRATIVE THEORY Phelan, P., Phelan, J., Rabinowitz, P. J. 2005: 499–512
  • Building the Life Drive: Architecture as Repetition Herzog and De Meuron: Natural History Phelan, P. edited by Ursprung, P. Lars Müller Publishers. 2005
  • Marina Abramovic: Witnessing shadows THEATRE JOURNAL Phelan, P. 2004; 56 (4): 569-?
  • Lessons in blindness from Samuel Beckett PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Phelan, P. 2004; 119 (5): 1279-1288
  • Pipilotti Rist Phelan, P., Bronfen, E., Obrist, H. U. Phaidon Press. 2001
  • Art and Feminism Phalon, P. edited by Reckitt, H. Phaidon Press. 2001
  • The Ends of Performance edited by Phelan, P., Lane, J. New York University Press. 1998
  • Mourning Sex: Performing Public Memories Phelan, P. Routledge. 1997
  • Unmarked: The Politics of Performance Phelan, P. Routledge. 1993
  • Acting Out: Feminist Performances edited by Phelan, P., Hart, L. University of Michigan Press. 1993