James Harding

Theatre Scholarship and Performance Studies
Academic Rank: 
Associate Professor

James M. Harding is an internationally known scholar whose work focuses on the history of experimental theatre, on post 9/11 theatre and performance, on the intersection of surveillance and performance, and on performance studies more generally. He has just finished a new monograph entitled Performance, Transparency and the Cultures of Surveillance, and he is the author of three previous monographs: The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s): Exorcising Experimental Theatre and Performance(Michigan, 2013), Cutting Performances: Collage Events, Feminist Artists and the American Avant-Garde (Michigan, 2010), and Adorno and "A Writing of the Ruins": Essays on Modern Aesthetics and Anglo-American Literature and Culture (SUNY, 1997).  He has co-edited five anthologies, the most recent of which is entitled The Sixties, Center Stage: Mainstream and Popular Performances in a Turbulent Decade and will be published in early 2017.   His articles have appeared in Performing Arts Journal, TDRPerformance InternationalTheatre JournalTheatre SurveyModern Drama, and PMLA.  During the 2016-2017 academic year, he will be a research fellow at the Freie Universität, Berlin’s International Research Center / “Interweaving Performance Cultures” working on a new monograph tentatively entitled, Performance Beyond the Pale: Politics, Sacrifice and Bodies in Extremis.

Harding is proud to be a Maryland alumnus, having completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1991 at College Park. Before joining the faculty at Maryland, he was Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK, was twice a Visiting Professor at the Insitut für Theaterwissenschaft at the Freie Universität, Berlin, and was Professor of English at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.

Education / Training:

Ph.D.,  Comparative Literature, University of Maryland, 1991

M.A.,  English / Comparative Literature, San Diego State University, 1987

B.A.,  German Literature, University of Texas, 1982

Areas of Specialization:

Modern and Contemporary Performance, Experimental Theatre and Performance, History of the Theatrical Avant-Garde, Theatre of the 1960s, Post-9/11 Theatre and Performance, Critical Theory, Performance Studies, and Surveillance Studies.

Professional Affiliations:

American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

Performance Studies International (PSi)

International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR)

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Representative Publications/Research Activities:
Research Grants and Fellowships:
Creative Activities

Performance, Transparency and the Cultures of Surveillance (authored). In progress.

Theatre of Spies: State Secrets, Deception, and Espionage as Performance (authored). In progress.

Center-Staging the Sixties: Mainstream and Popular Performances in a Turbulent Decade (co-edited with Cindy Rosenthal). In progress.

The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s): Exorcizing Experimental Theatre and Performance. Michigan, 2013.

The Rise of Performance Studies: Rethinking Richard Schechner’s Broad Spectrum (co-edited with Cindy Rosenthal). MacMillan, 2011.

Cutting Performances: Collage Events, Feminist Artists and the American Avant-Garde. (authored). Michigan, 2010.

Restaging the Sixties: Radical Theaters and their Legacies (co-edited with Cindy Rosenthal). Michigan, 2006.

Not the Other Avant-Garde: The Transnational Foundations of Avant-Garde Performance (co-edited with John Rouse). Michigan, 2006.

Journal Editor:  Associate Editor (2000-2002); Senior Editor (2002-2005)

Fellowships: DAAD Guest Professor Fellowship, Freie Universität, Berlin (2010-2011);

Fulbright Research/Teaching Fellowship, Freie Universität, Berlin (2001-2002)