I received my PhD from the Performance as Public Practice Program in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin in December of 2008. I received my Masters Degree from Washington University in St. Louis in May of 2003. I received my Bachelors Degree Magna cum Laude with Highest Honors in Theatre and High Honors in Philosophy from Butler University in 2001. I studied abroad from 1999-2000 at the University of Bristol.

My larger research interests concern race, gender, and non-human performance in popular entertainments in the United States.

Current Projects
I am currently working on an anthology on theme parks and performance co-edited with Dr. Tom Robson. As part of this, we convened a working group at the Nov. 2017 ASTR conference in Atlanta. I am also starting a new book project centering on Barnum’s Museum, performance, and the development of edutainment in 19th century US.

Book
Swim Pretty: Aquatic Spectacles and the Performance of Race, Gender, and Nature (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2017)

Essays in Anthologies

“Shamu the (Killer) Whale and an Ecology of Commodity” in Showing Off, Showing Up: Studies of Hype, Heightened Performance, and Cultural Power edited by Laurie Frederik, Kim Marra, and Catherine Schuler. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017), 81-106.

Peer Reviewed Articles:

“A Kind of Magic: Theatre and Moral Persuasion” co-authored with Mary Beth Willard. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Vol. 28, No. 2), 7-27.

“Weeki Wachee Girls and Buccaneer Boys: The Evolution of Mermaids, Gender, and ‘Man versus Nature’ Tourism.” Theatre History Studies. (Vol 31): 51-66.

“Molding a Heroine: Patience Wright and Transatlantic Notions of American Female Patriotism.” The Journal of American Drama and Theatre. (Vol. 29, No. 2 Spring 2009): 49-66.

Book Reviews:

“Cultivating National Identity Through Performance: American Pleasure Gardens and Entertainment By Naomi J. Stubbs.” Theatre Journal, (Vol. 66, No. 3 October 2014): 482-483.

Sisters in Sin by Katie N. Johnson.” Ecumenica. (Vol. 2, No. 2 Fall 2009): 99-100.