June 2022


The Documentary Theatre Festival Connecting Realities as a Site of Crossing between social communities and artistic practices

Is there a crisis of humanities?

On the first day of the in-person sessions, Martin reported that only 8% of the new students enrolling at Harvard will study in the field of Humanities. Colleagues at other universities (liberal arts colleges excepted) also reported similarly low enrollments in the humanities. There was then disagreement in the discussions of the following days about whether this should be interpreted...


“Here let me stand, that, for a while, I too may gaze on nature.”

           After 11 years of a successful run, the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research, founded by Martin Puchner, The Byron and Anita Wien Professor on English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, concluded last Friday, June 18, 2022! However, as Mellon Faculty member Andrew Sofer aptly put it in the last line of his concluding poem, which we all greatly anticipated according to the tradition established within the School, “we say ...

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Back in the Room

As excited as I was to join the Mellon School as a participant (having previously worked alongside Sheryl behind the scenes), I was extremely nervous as well. As I walked into Farkas Hall on Wednesday morning, I felt a little like I’d joined the “All-Star” season of a reality show I had never competed on… and was completely unqualified to participate in.... Read more about Back in the Room

Planting (Mellon) Seeds or Why is a Classicist into Chinese Opera?

I’ve long used the metaphor of planting seeds when I think of pedagogy: plants come to fruition on their own schedule, sometimes when we least expect. This applies to our scholarly work too. In reflecting on my time at the 2015 iteration of the Mellon School, I think of the many seeds that were planted for myself and my fellow scholars. Since my time there, I’ve organized panels on ancient performance featuring other Mellon alums and last week I was able to reconnect with fellow 2015er Ernesto Fundara at the...

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To be performed with open eyes

To be read out, with the text held in front of the face

Though most scholarship does examine ambitious and nuanced indices of performance, often enhanced by the tangible, practical experience of its proponents, it is curious that the discourse of performance appears so detached from its own performativity.


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Collective Freedom Dreaming at the Last Hurrah

How to encompass what the Mellon School has meant to me over the past decade? Perhaps the most honest answer is that it provided a sense of community when community was hard to find. I joined the school in 2013, a year into what became a five-year (ultimately successful) search for a tenure-track job. For next three years, I lived apart from my partner in Pretoria, Boston, and Iowa. An itinerant theatre history teacher, I was often alone in an unfamiliar place. The relationships I forged during those two weeks in Cambridge sustained me. To this day, when I sit to write, my Mellon School...

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A Personal “Look Back” to Mellon School: The Ivy Between Us

It was so exciting to see my friends from Mellon School after four years. Indeed, it was quite impressive to be a part of this summer school, this collective dream and endeavor, which has left 11 years behind and brought together hundreds of people. I felt that I was a member of a community where everyone shows care and compassion to each other; where everyone listens to each other. Of a community that one can share anything that comes to mind  out of serendipity. Of a community like an ivy that spraws with "love" and extends and embraces itself like a dancing body.


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