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Lisa Merrill

Professor of Rhetoric


Degrees

PHD, 1985, New York Univ (NYU); MA, 1977, New York Univ (NYU); BA, 1976, CUNY City Coll


Bio

Professor Merrill's ongoing research and publications are in the fields of performance studies, critical race and cultural studies, American studies, and women's and LGBTQ history. Her critical biography, When Romeo was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and her Circle of Female Spectators (U of Michigan Press, 2000) was awarded the Joe A. Callaway Prize for Best Book on Drama or Theater. She has recently been awarded the Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize from the American Society for Theatre Research and the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism at the University of Texas-Austin for "Most Fitting Companions: Making Mixed-Race Bodies Visible in Antebellum Public Spaces," published in Theatre Survey, May 2015.  

Professor Merrill was awarded the Eccles Centre Visiting Professorship in North American Studies at the British Library for 2010-2011: "Performing Race and Reading Antebellum American Bodies." She also received a 2002-2003 National Endowment for the Humanities senior faculty research fellowship. 

Dr. Merrill's talks and appearances in Britain on nineteenth century performances of race in the abolition movement and onstage were sponsored, in part by IBAR, the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, UCLAN, Preston England, where she was a visiting scholar in 2016. She has published widely in the US and UK, most recently in the journal Slavery and Abolition, 2016, vol. 37, no.3: "Amalgamation, Moral Geography and 'Slum Tourism': Irish and African Americans Sharing Space on the Streets and Stages of Antebellum NY."

At Hofstra, Dr. Merrill teaches courses in Performing History, Performance Art, Nonverbal Communication, Performing for Social Change, Dramatic Activities in Educational and Therapeutic Settings, and Women's Studies, among others. During each of the three presidential debates held at Hofstra University (2008, 2012, 2016) she has staged public historical performance re-enactments as a form of Democracy in Performance. Professor Merrill is a member of Hofstra's Digital Research Center.


Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
RHET 014S (AA)PERFORM FOR SOCIAL CHANGE Undergraduate
RHET 033 NONVRBL COMM IN HMN INTRCTN Undergraduate
RHET 129 PERFORMING HISTORY Undergraduate
RHET 150 INDEPENDENT STUDY/READINGS Undergraduate
RHET 170 SPCM & RHET INTERNSHIP Undergraduate
RHET 181G LITERATURE IN PERFORMANCE Undergraduate
RHET 181J CROSS DRESSING & PASSING WOMEN Undergraduate
RHET 221 LITERATURE IN PERFORMANCE Graduate
RHET 260 ADVSEM: STDIES IN SPECTATRSHIP Graduate
RHET 302 ADVOCACY INTERNSHIP/PRACTICUM Graduate
RHET 303 THESIS Graduate
WST 150Q (IS) CROSS-DRESSING & PASSING Undergraduate
Photo of Lisa Merrill

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