Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies:
Comparative Literature, and Slavic Languages
Phone: +1 401 863 1816
Spencer Golub is the author of the books Evreinov: The Theatre of Paradox and Transformation (1984), the Callaway award-winning The Recurrence of Fate: Theatre and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia (1994) and Infinity (Stage) (1999). He has also contributed 150 entries to The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre and The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre, and has published essays in a wide variety of books and professional journals. He is currently at work on two novels, as well as a theoretical book on theatre and philosophy addressing the theme of anxiety and performance.
Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; of Comparative Literature; and of Slavic Languages and former Chair of the Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance (2001-2007), is the author of the books Evreinov: The Theatre of Paradox and Transformation (1984), the Callaway award winning The Recurrence of Fate: Theatre and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia (1994) and Infinity (Stage) (1999). He has also contributed 150 entries to The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre and The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre and published essays in a wide variety of books and professional journals. The volumes to which he has contributed include: "A History of Russian Theatre, of Borders and Thresholds: Theatre, Practice and Theory"; "Wandering Stars: Russian Emigre; Theatre"; "Foreign Shakespeare: Essays on Contemporary Performance Outside of English"; "The O'Neill Century";" Russian Theatre in the Age of Modernism"; "Gender in Performance"; The Performance of Power: Theatrical Discourse and Politics"; "Novel Images: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Fiction on Stage and Screen"; "Shakespeare Around the Globe"; and "The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet Literature". He also has been a regular reviewer for Choice and an editorial board member of Teatr: Russian Theatre Past and Present, Theatre Survey, New England Theatre Journal and Theatre Insight. He served as a member and as chair of the American Society for Theatre Research's Barnard Hewitt Book Award Committee. Spencer has been a Fulbright, IREX and two-time NEH Fellow. He has worked as a professional stage director, journalist, script consultant and associate artistic director in New York City and served as a guest scholar at professional regional theatres. His research interests include Russian Theatre (in which he teaches two courses, "Revolution as a Work of Art" and "Russian Theatre and Drama"), the performance of mind through the evidence of film and allied to personal narrative and dramatic fictions (in which he teaches the course, "Mise en Scène"), adapting surrealist-based methodologies for scholarly and creative writing (in which he teaches the course, "Abstraction and Resistance"), and reconceptualizing the idea of "the Baroque" (in his course, "New Theories for a Baroque Stage.") He continues also to stage productions, including most recently The Misanthrope, The Changeling and Lulu. He is currently working on two novels and a theoretical book on theatre and philosophy.
My current research, which is often a hybrid of different fields, overlaps the disciplines of theatre studies and performance studies, incorporating investigations into cultural performance and event (especially, but not exclusively, in Russian/Soviet contexts) and mental performance and event (cinematic mise en scene as projected mental structures and states); philosophical geographies; anxious behaviors; paranoid storytelling and enactments; the incapacity of the real, the normative, and the representational; fakes and agencies of and for spying and lying; authoritative fictions; and death).
Joe A. Callaway Prize (1996) awarded by the Departments of English and Drama, New York University for the best book published in drama and theatre for The Recurrence of Fate: Theatre and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia (University of Iowa Press, 1994).
Nominated for the University of Virginia's Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award. Student nominated. Only one award given university-wide, Spring 1986.
Performance Studies International
The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
The Dramatists Guild
American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)
International Federation for Theatre Research
"New Theories for a Baroque Stage," a graduate seminar that beginning with seventeenth century neoclassical theory and French, Spanish and English dramatic and non-dramatic literature, develops conceptual and material models of a new stage and stage consciousness around the idea of constraints. Readings and iconography are drawn from Russian formalism, French surrealism, Oulipo, Joseph Cornell, Tadeusz Kantor, Richard Foreman, Deleuze, Foucault and more.
"Abstraction and Resistance," a graduate seminar utilizing surrealist and postmodern strategies to respond creatively to theoretical and stage performances (e.g., Nabokov, Jabès, Bataille, Cioran, Barthes, Bachelard, Foucault, Deleuze, Robbe-Grillet, Resnais, Godard, etc.).
"Mise en scène" The idea of mental staging and the frame explored primarily through film, augmented by narrative fiction and literary theory. Themes include spatial mystery and signification, mortality, blindness, desire and the unseen.
"Revolution as a Work of Art" A cross-sectional study of Soviet/Russian culture ca. 1890-1939, including readings in and discussion of literature, philosophy, theory, drama, painting, theatrical and cultural mise en scène in Russia.
Russian Theatre and Drama (from the eighteenth century to the present)
Advanced Acting and Directing (Conceptual Performance)
Salomon Grant, Dean of the College's award for course development. Brown University, Winter-Spring, 1996.
Salomon Grant, Dean of the College's award for course development. Brown University, Summer 1989.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (one of two nominated university-wide), Summer 1987.
University of Virginia Summer Research Award, Summer 1987.
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, Paris, 1986-87.
Research Travel Grant from the University of Virginia Center for Russian and East European Studies for Paris trip, 1/86-6/86.
University of Virginia Sesquecentennial Associateship (competitive, full-time research award), 1985-86.
Summer Research Grant from the University of Virginia Center for Russian and East European Studies to develop a course on the History of Russian Theatre and Drama, 1985.
Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for the study of Serbo-Croatian, University of Virginia, 6/83-8/83.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship to the Institute on Contemporary East European Drama and Theatre, Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, New York, NY, June-July 1982.
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship to the U.S.S.R., 8/75-6/76.
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) Fellowship: U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. Graduate Student/Young Faculty Exchange, 8/75-6/76.
National Defense Foreign Language Fellowship for the Study of Slavic Languages and Literatures. University of Kansas, 8/73-6/75 (selected first in competition, 8/74-6/75).