:: CHAIR: Roberts, Jennifer L
Robin Bernstein is a cultural historian who specializes in U.S. performance and theatre. Her interests include formations of race, age, gender, and sexuality; and her research integrates the study of theatrical, visual, material, and literary culture. A graduate of Yale's doctoral program in American Studies, she is Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and of History and Literature. Her books include Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (New York University Press, 2011) as well as the edited anthologies Cast Out: Queer Lives in Theatre (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and Generation Q (Alyson Press, 1996). Her recent article, “Dances with Things: Material Culture and the Performance of Race” (Social Text no. 101 [December 2009]) developed a new methodology by which to analyze material culture so as to uncover otherwise inaccessible evidence of past performances. "Dances with Things" won two prizes: the Outstanding Article in a Journal award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the Vera Mowry Roberts Award for Research and Publication, given by the American Theatre and Drama Society for the best essay published in English. Bernstein’s other articles include "Children's Books, Dolls, and the Performance of Race; Or, The Possibility of Children's Literature” (PMLA 126.1 [January 2011]) and essays on Lorraine Hansberry, Anna Deavere Smith, Harlem Renaissance playwright Angelina Weld Grimké, and children's author Louise Fitzhugh. In 2010-2011, Bernstein held a Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. Bernstein’s current book project, Hand Knife Photograph: Performances of Impossible Gender, investigates the question, “How can theories and practices of performance reconfigure knowledge of lesbian histories?"
Professor Bernstein is serving, and/or has served, on the following American Civilization dissertation committee(s):
“Performing While ‘Black’: African American Broadway Musicals of the 1970s and the Politics of Race” (Scott Poulson-Bryant)
“In The Best Interest of the Child: The Cuban Refugee Children’s Program and Cold War America” (Maude Gates)
“No Place Like Home: A Cultural History of Gay Domesticity, 1948-1982” (Stephen Vider)
Contact information: Committee on Degrees in Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality; Robin Bernstein