Spencer Golub Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Professor of Slavic Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature

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, Lulu and Phaedra. His latest book is Incapacity: Wittgenstein, Anxiety and Performance Behavior (Northwestern UP, forthcoming). He is currently working on a study of baroque philosophical mise en scene in film.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

Clockwise-Counterclockwise (The Vowelless Revolution)," in Theatre Journal, May 2004.

The Remains of the Day for Night," an invited article to be published in a special edition of the journal Discourse devoted to the theme of "Death and Resurrection." Publication date, 2003.

Atom, Bomb," an invited essay on the theme of "Energy" for the journal Frakcija, published bilingually in Croatia (fall 2001).

Chapter on "Russian Theatre in the Silver Age" in History of the Russian Theatre, Cambridge University Press (1999).

Two Acts of the Illimit," in Of Borders and Thresholds, ed. Michal Kobialka, University of Minnesota Press (1999).

Infinity (Stage). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Moscow Is Watching," in Slavic and East European Performance (spring 1997).

21 new entries plus revisions of my 119 previous entries and addition to my general essay for The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, 2nd edition (1995). Also revisions and additions to the shortened paperback edition of the GUIDE (1995).

[missing]," in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, December 1995.

The Recurrence of Fate: Theatre and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1994. Awarded the Joe A. Callaway Prize (1996) by the Departments of English and Drama, New York University, for the best book published in drama and theatre, 1994-95.

A Kiss Is Not A Kiss: Evreinov and the Illusion of Desire," in Wandering Stars: Russian Emigré Theatre, ed. Laurence Senelick, University of Iowa Press, 1993.

The Taganka in the Hamlet Gulag," in Foreign Shakespeare: Essays on Contemporary Performance Outside of English, ed. Dennis Kennedy, London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Revolutionizing Galatea: Iconic Woman in Early Soviet Culture," in Gender in Performance, ed. Laurence Senelick, University Press of New England, 1992.

The Curtainless Stage and the Procrustean Bed: Socialist Realism and Stalinist Theatrical Eminence," in Theatre Survey, May 1991: 64-84.

O'Neill and the Poetics of Modernist Strangeness," in The O'Neill Century, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991.

Charlie Chaplin, Soviet Icon," in The Performance of Power: Theatrical Discourse and Politics, ed. Sue-Ellen Case and Janelle Reinelt, University of Iowa Press, 1991.

Russian Theatre and Drama entries (119 individual entries and a general essay--a total of 30,000 words) for The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre. London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

The Subject Stripped Bare: Rózewicz's 'Things as Things-in-Themselves.'" Slavic and East European Drama and Theatre. Winter/Spring 1985: 23-32.

Evreinov: The Theatre of Paradox and Transformation. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1984.

Nikolai Evreinov." The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet Literature. Gulf Breeze, Florida: Academic International Press, 1984. Cited in Wolfgang Kasack, Dictionary of Russian Literature, New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

Mysteries of the Self: The Visionary Theatre of Nikolai Evreinov." Theatre History Studies, vol. II (1982): 15-36.

Le Monodrama, Structure de Base pour l'Etude de Nicolas Evreinov." Nicolas Evreinov L'Apôtre Russe de la Théâtralité. Revue des Etudes Slaves. Paris: L'Institut d'Etudes Slaves (1981): 15-26.

Acting on the Run: Efros and the Contemporary Soviet Theatre," and "Energy, Enervation and the Mathematics of Intrigue," an article and interview, respectively Theatre Quarterly. London: TQ Publications. 26 (Summer 1977): 18-33.

Incapacity: Wittgenstein, Anxiety and Performance Behavior. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press (forthcoming).

research overview

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), Infinity (Stage) (1999)and Incapacity: Wittgenstein, Anxiety and Performance Behavior (forthcoming, July 2014). 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 a book about the baroque construction of theatrical framing and behavior in film.

research statement

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).

funded research

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).