Professor in Residence 2017-2020
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A., Amherst College
Peter Erickson received his BA, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Amherst College; spent a graduate year on fellowship at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham in England; and completed his PhD at the University of California at Santa Cruz. One of the founders of feminist Shakespeare criticism in the early nineteen-eighties, Erickson is currently part of a group of scholars working to establish the study of race, including racial whiteness, in the field of Renaissance culture. His wider interests are both cross-disciplinary—with dual commitments to literature and visual art—and cross-historical—with strong investments in contemporary culture, as well as the Renaissance. Erickson is the author of Patriarchal Structures in Shakespeare’s Drama (1985), Rewriting Shakespeare, Rewriting Ourselves (1991), and Citing Shakespeare: The Reinterpretation of Race in Contemporary Literature and Art (2007). He has co-edited three volumes: Shakespeare’s “Rough Magic” (1985), Early Modern Visual Culture: Representation, Race,and Empire in Renaissance England (2000), and Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare’s Othello (2005). The working title of his new book project is Bending the Arc: Racial Iconographies in Cross-Historical Perspective.
Erickson’s recent articles in the visual field involve studies of race both in Renaissance and contemporary art–from “Invisibility Speaks: Servants and Portraits in Early Modern Visual Culture” and a major review essay on “Picturing Race: Early Modern Constructions of Racial Identity” to a survey of the Black Atlantic as a subject in recent art. Other articles focus on the white South African artist William Kentridge, as well as contemporary African American artists, including Nick Cave, Glenn Ligon, Derek Walcott, and Fred Wilson, to which new work in progress adds Barkley Hendricks, Isaac Julien, and Kerry James Marshall. Erickson’s writing in the area of performance studies addresses colorblind casting and contemporary revisions of Shakespeare by Rita Dove, Young Jean Lee, Toni Morrison, and Djanet Sears. He has published a full-length interview with Harry Lennix, a graduate of the theatre program at Northwestern, and a chapter on the novelist Leon Forrest, who taught at Northwestern for many years.
ACLS-CHCI Fellow 2018-2019
Dassia N. Posner
Dassia N. Posner is Associate Professor of Theatre and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University. Her books include The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (2014), co-edited with Claudia Orenstein and John Bell, and The Director’s Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde (2016), which analyzes the vivid directorial innovations of Vsevolod Meyerhold, Alexander Tairov, and Sergei Eisenstein. Her digital humanities project, a companion website to The Director’s Prism featuring over a hundred archival Russian theatre sources, can be accessed at: www.fulcrum.org/northwestern. Posner is also a puppeteer and a dramaturg; recent dramaturgy projects include Grand Concourse, Russian Transport, and Three Sisters at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. While an ACLS-CHCI Fellow at the Kaplan Institute, she will be writing a new book on the history and artistic significance of the Moscow Kamerny Theatre. Photo (c) Northwestern School of Communication.
In 1914, Alexander Tairov and Alisa Koonen founded the Moscow Kamerny Theatre to revolutionize the theatre of their day. The Kamerny became world-renowned for its collaborations with cubist artists who redefined theatrical space in conjunction with virtuosic actors and a powerful female lead. Although the theatre initially pursued aesthetic innovation over political content, its later Soviet productions came to define Socialist realism in the theatre. After surviving most of the Stalinist period, the Kamerny was liquidated in 1950, an erasure that was justified by politically motivated accusations of irrelevance and artistic inferiority that still linger today. Drawing from the massive Kamerny archives, this project reveals the significance of the Kamerny and its artists in the context of the productions they staged, the cultures they bridged, and the tumultuous political times in which they lived and worked. How, this study asks, can theatrical innovation simultaneously serve and resist a totalitarian state?
Library Affiliate 2018-2019
Katie Risseeuw is the Preservation Librarian at Northwestern University Libraries. She manages collections care and preventative preservation programs and is involved with audiovisual preservation. She has a Master of Science in Information Studies with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Preservation Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a BFA in Art History from the University of Kansas, where her studio focus was printmaking and photography. She’s involved in the book arts community and national preservation initiatives. Her interests are community preservation outreach, print culture, and activism through/in archives.
The role of Kaplan Library Affiliate is to serve as the Library liaison for our humanities scholars and to bring a unique voice to the cross-disciplinary community of Institute Fellows, artists in residence, and visiting scholars.Back to top