Director, Cultural Studies Program
Ph.D., Performance Studies, New York University, 2004
M.A., Performance Studies, New York University, 2000
B.A., Classics and English Literature, Tulane University, 1997
My research is broadly concerned with the relationship between performance, race, and sexuality. In my book, The Scene of Harlem Cabaret (University of Chicago Press, 2009), I trace how a transatlantic cabaret culture in the 1920s and 1930s enabled some African American artists to create new possibilities for racial and sexual self-definition. Introducing and theorizing new archival research on nightlife, cabarets, and cabaret performances of the period, I cast new light on a queer nightlife that flourished in music, in print, and on stage. This book received Honorable Mention for the 2010 Errol Hill Prize from the American Society for Theatre Research. I am currently writing a study of the calypso craze that swept the United States and England in the late 1950s. This project tracks the popularity of calypso across different types of postwar middlebrow entertainment, including musical recordings, nightclub performances, television broadcasts, Broadway musicals, and films. In each of these media, I argue that black performers took advantage of the professional, historical, and musical opportunities afforded by this fad to comment on African American history and its relationship to diasporic consciousness. I regularly teach courses on performance studies, modern and contemporary drama, theatre history, dramatic theory, queer studies, and African American literature and performance.
L775 American Performance and Theories of Value
L775 Intimacy and Alienation in Modern American Drama, 1900-1950
L672 Queer Performance/Theory, 1960 to the Present
L680 Performance and Performativity (Special Topics in Literary Studies and Theory)
C601 Introduction to Cultural Studies: Critiques of Everyday Life
L396 African American Literature and Performance in the Jim Crow Era
L371 Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and their Legacies
L363 Performance and American Modernity, 1850-1950
L203 Introduction to Drama
L369 Global O’Neill
Selected Publications (click images for more information)
"Madam Zajj and US Steel: Blackness, Bioperformance, and Duke Ellington's Calypso Theatre," Social Text vol. 30, no. 4 (forthcoming winter 2012).
"Jamaica on Broadway: The Popular Caribbean and Mock Transnational Performance," Theatre Journal vol. 62, no. 1 (2010): 1-22.
"By the Light of What Comes After: Eventologies of the Ordinary," Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory 19.2 (2009). Special Issue: Between Psychoanalysis and Affect
“Performing ‘Stormy Weather’: Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Katherine Dunham,” South Central Review 25.1 (2008) Special Issue: Staging Modernism
“Lena Horne’s Impersona,” Camera Obscura 23.1 (2008): 10-45.
“Closing Time: Langston Hughes and the Queer Poetics of Harlem Nightlife,” Criticism 48.3 (2006 [published in 2007]): 397-425.
“Where Are We Now?: Queer World Making and Cabaret Performance,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 6.1 (2000), 29-60.
"The New Queer Essentialism." American Literature vol. 83, no. 1 (2011): 175-184.
Selected Honors and Awards
Honorable Mention, Errol Hill Award (for best book in African American theatre, drama, or performance studies), American Society for Theatre Research. 2010
Trustees' Teaching Award, Indiana University. 2010
Outstanding Essay in Theatre/Performance Studies, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, "Lena Horne's Impersona." 2009
Honorable Mention, Gerald Kahan Scholar's Prize, American Society for Theatre Research, "Lena Horne's Impersona." 2009
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University. 2006-2007
Dean's Outstanding Dissertation Award, New York University. 2005
Michael Kirby Memorial Prize for Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation, New York University. 2005
American Theatre in Higher Education Graduate Student Theory and Criticism Award. 2003