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Kellen Hoxworth

Published July 19, 2019

Assistant Professor, Theatre & Performance Research
School of Theatre


Kellen Hoxworth is Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre at Florida State University. His research focuses on the formations of race and coloniality, particularly in the transhistorical performance networks of the global south.

His current book project, Transoceanic Blackface: Empire, Race, Performance (under advance contract with Northwestern University Press), traces the formation of blackface minstrel performance networks throughout the British Empire and the global Anglophone world. His writing has been published in Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Performance Research. He also co-edited and co-curated the PSi19 performance blog, from which several posts were selected for publication in Performance Research 19.3 (2014). He has presented his research at several academic conferences such as the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the African Studies Association, the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), Performance Studies international (PSi), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), where he was awarded the Theatre History Focus Group Emerging Scholars Award in 2011. In 2018, his essay “The Many Racial Effigies of Sara Baartman” was selected by the American Society for Theatre Research as the recipient of the Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theatre, drama, and/or performance studies.

As an artist, Kellen is a director, dramaturg, and performer. He approaches performance as a charged site at the intersections of affect, representation, corporeality, and material practice. As such, the theatre offers a space for interrogating and undoing historical formations of race, gender, class, sexuality, and access. Recently, He has directed productions of Argentine playwright Lola Arias’s A Kingdom, a Country or a Wasteland, in the Snow and María Irene Fornés’s Mud. He has performed in fox mirror forest by the Becky Collective as well as The Collected Works’ site-specific production of Jean Genet’s The Balcony at the San Francisco Mint. He has also served as a dramaturg for productions of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes at Z Below, San Francisco, and for productions of Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold”…and the Boys and Fraser Grace’s Breakfast with Mugabe at the Aurora Theatre, Berkeley.


B.A. English Literature & Drama (minor), Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
M.A. Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Theater & Performance Studies, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Graduate Certificate in African Studies, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Teaching Areas

World Theatre History
Black Performance / Black Performance Theory
African and Caribbean Performance & Culture
Performance in/from the Global South; Performance Historiography
Performance & Performativity
Performing Feeling; Sports and/as Performance

Publications — Articles and Book Chapters

“Football Fantasies: Neoliberal Habitus, Racial Governmentality, and National Spectacle,” American Quarterly 72.1 (forthcoming 2020).

“Minstrel Scandals; or, The Restorative White Properties of Blackface,” TDR: The Drama Review 63.3 (2019): 8-19.

“Strains of the Enlightenment: Making Belief in American Secularism and African Difference in The Book of Mormon,” Modern Drama 60.3 (2017): 364-386.

“The Many Racial Effigies of Sara Baartman,” Theatre Survey 58.3 (2017): 275-299.

Awards and Affiliations

Errol Hill Award, American Society for Theatre Research, for “The Many Racial Effigies of Sara Baartman” in recognition of outstanding scholarship in African American theater, drama, and/or performance studies, 2018

Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship in the Humanities, supported by the Alfred A. and Blanche W. Knopf Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin, 2018

Thomas Marshall Graduate Student Award, American Society for Theatre Research, 2016

Mellon School for Theater and Performance Research, “Theaters Sacred and Profane,” Summer Seminar, Invited Participant, 2016

Theater History Focus Group Emerging Scholars Award, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 2011