2019 Session: "Migrations"

June 24 - July 5, 2019

About the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research

In an intense two-week course of study, faculty members and graduate students from around the world will convene at Harvard University to explore drama, theater, and performance from various historical and theoretical perspectives. Participants will work with an international faculty of distinguished scholars in one of two daily seminars on overarching theoretical and methodological topics related to the theme. In addition to the daily seminars, the program will include discussions, research workshops, performances, and evening lectures taught by visiting faculty members. Graduate student participants will take part in a writing workshop devoted to their dissertation research, while junior faculty will participate in a workshop focused on turning their dissertations into books. We will also introduce you to the Harvard Theater Collection, the oldest theater collection in the country, and the librarians here are eager to help you research your dissertation or book project while you are at Harvard.

With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the English Department's Spencer Fund, and Theater, Dance & Media, this summer school and all of its offerings are entirely free to participants. Economical on-campus housing is available for participants. You will also get to explore Boston’s lively theater scene, from the American Repertory Theater to the revived downtown Theater District.

2019 Session: "Migrations"

June 24 - July 5, 2019


In 2019, the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research will focus on migration. Combining perspectives from the social sciences and the arts, we will explore migration as a human condition, as a historically specific phenomenon, and as an urgent crisis. Dancers, theater makers, and performance artists have responded to the recent increase in migration in different ways, from work in refugee camps to the production of new plays and performance events centered on the enforced and voluntary movements of people from one culture to another. At the same time, performance artists have also drawn on the migratory history of their own profession, learning from the experiences of traveling troupes and vagrant performers, among others. This summer session will aim to detail what role the performing arts can play in a future in which migration will likely increase. In doing so, we are extending the themes from previous years, including activism and public humanities, both of which will also play a role during the ninth session.


Debra Caplan (City University of New York)
Lizzy Cooper Davis (Emerson College)
Helena de Bres (Wellesley College)
JuYon Kim (Harvard University)
Carrie Preston (Boston University)
Martin Puchner (Harvard University)
Andrew Sofer (Boston College)
Gabriela Soto Laveaga (Harvard University)
Patricia Ybarra (Brown University)


Applications for the 2019 session of the Mellon School are closed. Please check back in late Fall 2019 for information about Mellon School 2020.

Please see our Applications page for more information for details about the application process.