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Jennifer Goodlander

Jennifer Goodlander

Assistant Professor - Theatre History, Theory, and Literature
Director, Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies Program

Ph.D.     Ohio University, Athens, OH
M.F.A.    University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI
B.A.        Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI


Jennifer Goodlander focuses on Asian performance as it intersects with gender studies, ethnography, performance studies, visual culture and museum studies, postcolonial theory, and transnational circuits of performance. She has received many grants and fellowships for her performance work and research on Asian performance, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia and funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her book, Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali was published by Ohio University Press in November 2016. The book draws upon her own experience of the practical training and ritual initiation to become a dalang, or puppeteer, coupled with interviews of early women dalangs and leading artists, she argues that "tradition" in Bali must be understood as a system of power that is inextricably linked to gender hierarchy.

Jennifer is an affiliate faculty member with the Department of Gender Studies, East Asia Studies Center, African Studies, and and was appointed Faculty Research Curator (2013-2015) at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and has used that appointment as a springboard to study puppets as Intangible Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia and China together with the interrelationships between display and performance. As part of this work, Jennifer co-curated the exhibit, "Still/Moving: Puppets and Indonesia" with graduate and undergraduate students. Jennifer continues to work with the museum as a Consulting Curator.

Currently Jennifer is finishing a second book called Puppets and Cities: Articulating Identities in Southeast Asia. This work addresses how puppetry complements and combines with urban spaces to articulate present and future cultural and national identities. She provides insight into the dialectical relationships between traditional and contemporary performing arts as creative social agents within systems of economics, politics, and community formation in Southeast Asian cities. The book is under contract with Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Jennifer engages connections between scholarship and theatrical practice. In New York City and regionally she worked extensively as a director and teacher with a special emphasis on new plays and physically based performance, combining Asian theatre into innovative productions of The Ghost Sonata, The Bacchae, and others. She was a member of the 2005 Lincoln Center Director's Lab that focused on new play development and working in collaboration. She often shares her research through performances and lectures at theatres, civic groups, and universities and has performed wayang kulit both nationally and internationally. Jennifer is the President for the Association of Asian Performance (2017-2019).

Recent Activities

Gave an invited lectures, "Negotiating Tradition and Modernity through Southeast Asian Puppetry" for the Institute of Asian Studies Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, January, 2016. And "Between Art and Performance: Puppetry in Southeast Asia" for the Rockbund Museum Hugo Boss Asia Art Exhibit 2015, Shanghai, China, December, 2015.

Participated in a Faculty Exchange with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand to conduct research on traditional and contemporary puppet performance.

Received the Robert A. Schanke Research Award (2014). Award given annually to an untenured faculty presenter at the Theatre History Symposium for the Mid-American Theatre Conference (MATC). For the paper "Khmer Identities through the Arts after the Killing Fields in a Post 9/11 New York City."

Select Publications

Women in the Shadows

Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali. Athens: Ohio University Press. 2016.

"Inventing” Tradition in a Changing World: Wayang Tantri in Bali.” — invited article for Journal of Southeast Asian Performing and Fine Arts (SPAFA) through the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education, SEAMO 23.1(2016): 1-23.

"Negotiating Gender and Tradition: A Woman Dalang Performs Wayang Lemah in Bali" TDR. 60.1(2016): 50-66.

"Sbeik Thom at the Season of Cambodia Festival: Performing Memory after the Killing Fields in a Post 9/11 New York City" Theatre Research International. 41.1(2016): 40-52.

"Gender, Power, and Puppets: Two Early Women Dalangs in Bali." Asian Theatre Journal. 29.1(2012): 54-77.

Routledge Handbook on Asian Theatre. "Modern Theatre in Laos": 359-361. "Case Study: Indonesian Dalang" (co-authored with Ashley Robertson): 430-436. "Traditional Performance in Modern and Contemporary Times: Southeast Asia": 497-503. Provided review comments for the section on "Contemporary Theatre in Cambodia." Edited by Siyuan Liu. New York: Routledge, 2016.

"Plaza Indonesia: Performing Modernity in a Shopping Mall." In Play and Performance: How Institutions Structure Ludic Spaces. Edited by Drew Chappell and Matt Omasta. New York: Routledge, 2015: 117-127.

"Local Traditions and National Identity: Youth and Dance in Bali." In Nationalism and Youth in Theatre and Performance. Edited by Victoria Pettersen Lantz and Angela Sweigert-Gallagher. New York: Routledge, 2014: 187-205.