Who we are

The workshop brings together a mix of faculty and graduate students from across the university. If you’d like to join our email list, please contact the workshop coordinators at their emails below, or using the contact page.

Faculty sponsors:

David Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Germanic Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College

Office: Wieboldt 126
Phone: (773) 702-8532
e-mail: dlevin@uchicago.edu

David J. Levin is Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies, the Department of Cinema & Media Studies, and the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies. In June, 2011 he was appointed the inaugural Director of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, a new collaborative center for artists and scholars. From 2007-10, he was Co-Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH). Before joining the faculty at Chicago in 1998, he taught German and Theater Studies at Columbia University. He has been a guest professor of Theater and Performance Studies at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Mainz; he regularly team-teaches courses on opera, theater, and performance at the University of Konstanz with Professor Christopher Wild (Chicago) and Professor Juliane Vogel (Konstanz). Professor Levin’s recent work focuses on the aesthetics and politics of performance in opera, theater, and cinema. He is the editor of Opera Through Other Eyes (Stanford University Press, 1994) and the author of Richard Wagner, Fritz Lang, and the Nibelungen: The Dramaturgy of Disavowal (Princeton University Press, 1998). His latest book, Unsettling Opera: Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Zemlinsky, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007; a paperback edition appeared in autumn 2010. Professor Levin has also worked extensively as a dramaturg for various opera houses in Germany and the United States and for William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet. He serves as executive editor of the Opera Quarterly, published by Oxford University Press. This year, David is serving as a faculty sponsor of the graduate workshop in Theater and Performance Studies along with Christopher Wild and John Muse.  In the Spring of 2010, Levin and Christopher Wild hosted “Praxes of Theory“, an international conference at Chicago that brought together artists and scholars form Berlin and Chicago to explore the intersections of performance practice and performance theory. The conference inaugurated a multi-year cooperation with the Institute for Theater Studies at the Free University Berlin.

Christopher J. Wild, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Germanic Studies and the College; Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Department of Germanic Studies

Office: Wieboldt 117
Phone: (773) 702-8494
e-mail: wild@uchicago.edu

Before joining the Department of Germanic Studies in 2008, Christopher Wild taught at UCLA (2006-08) and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997-2004).  In the intervening years he held a visiting professorship at the University of Konstanz. Professor Wild is the author of  Theater der Keuschheit – Keuschheit des Theaters. Zu einer Geschichte der (Anti-)Theatralität von Gryphius bis Kleist (Rombach: Freiburg, 2003), which traces the profound historical transformation of theatricality that takes place in German theater from the Baroque to Classicism.  Furthermore, he has edited (with Helmut Puff) Zwischen den Disziplinen? Perspektiven der Frühneuzeitforschung (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2003) and several thematic issues of Germanic Review (with Eric Downing) and Modern Language Notes (with Rüdiger Campe).  His current projects examine the ways in which theology and religion inform developments that are generally considered genuinely modern.  Most immediately, he is working on a book that asks the seemingly simple question why Descartes’ founding text of modern philosophy was titled Meditations on First Philosophy in order to take its generic affiliation seriously.  A more long-term project concerns a media history of the Reformation and is going to be collaborative – together with Helmut Puff (University of Michigan) and Ulrike Strasser (UC Irvine). In the academic year 2009-2010 Professor Wild will serve as the Williams Andrew Clark Professor at the Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies of UCLA and co-organize (with Ulrike Strasser) a series of four conferences on “Cultures of Communication, Theologies of Media in Early Modern Europe and Beyond.”  In cooperation with Juliane Vogel (University of Konstanz) and David Levin he has just launched a multi-year research project within the Konstanz’s Excellenzcluster Cultural Foundations of Integration which seeks to develop a “Kulturelle Poetologie des Auftretens” by revisiting theater and theatricality from their constitutive operations of entry and exit.


John Muse, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English; Committee on Theater and Performance Studies

Office: Rosenwald 415D
e-mail: jmuse@uchicago.edu

My research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary theater, modernist literature, and performance. I’m particularly interested in work that tests the boundaries of a given medium or the borders between media: plays that approach visual art, poems performed on stage, closet dramas, novels in dramatic form, metatheater and metafiction, and digital or otherwise virtual theater.

My current book project, for instance, explores the minimum boundaries of dramatic form by focusing attention on modernist microdramas. The book argues that short plays warrant at least as much attention as short stories, lyric poems, or short films, in part because the temporal medium of theater allowed modernist artists both to represent and unsettle emergent conceptions of time. Plays by figures like August Strindberg and Suzan-Lori Parks, F. T. Marinetti and Samuel Beckett demonstrate that theatrical time is relative in particular ways, that minimal compositions often magnify their subjects, and that a drama of impoverishment can enrich our understanding of the possibilities and limits of the theater.

Workshop coordinators:

Amy Stebbins (amystebbins@uchicago.edu)

Lauren Caldwell (caldwellian@uchicago.edu)

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