Michal A Kobialka

Photo of Michal A Kobialka

Contact Me


Theatre Arts and Dance
520C Rarig Center
330 21st Avenue South


Michal Kobialka is an internationally recognized theatre historian and scholar. He has published over 100 articles, essays, and reviews as well as presented papers on medieval, eighteenth-century, and contemporary European Theatre.

His current research includes the investigation of representational practices as well as defining the nature of theatre/performance historiography. Additionally, he is focused on examining the temporal and spatial flaws and imperfections in the academic design for the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, which haunt the Euro-American academy.

To view Michal Kobialka's full bio, please select it from the links provided above.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: Theatre History and Theory, Graduate School of the City University of New York, 1982 – 1987.
  • MA: English and American Literature, Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland, 1976 – 1981.
  • Courses in the History of Stage Directing: Royal Holloway College, London, Great Britain, 1979 – 1980.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Eastern European theater
  • Literature
  • Theatre Historiography
  • Theatre History
  • Medieval Theatre
  • Avant-Garde Theatre and Drama
Courses Taught
  • Th 1101V - Honors Section: Introduction to the Theatre
  • Th 1101W - Introduction to the Theatre
  • Th 3171 - History of the Theatre: Ancient Greece through Neo-Classicism
  • Th 3172 - History of the Theatre: Age of Enlightenment to Present
  • Th 8115 - History and Theory of Western Theatre: 20th Century Through World War II
  • Th 8113 - History and Theory of Western Theatre: The Rise of National Theatres
  • Th 8111 - History and Theory of Western Theatre: Ancient/Medieval
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • "Theatre Historiography: A Challenge to the Archive": American Society for Theatre Research, Philadelphia, PA , 2002
  • Member: Winton Chair Selection Committee , 1999 - 2001
  • "Can there be Such a Thing as a Postmodern Archive": The New Information Order and the Future of the Archive, The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh, UK , 2002
  • Member: McKnight Artist Fellowship for Theatre Arts Panel , 1997 - 1998
  • Member: West Bank Arts Quarter Advisory Committee
  • Member: Humanities Institute Advisory Board, University of Minnesota , 1998 - present
  • Member: Committee on Publications, University of Minnesota Press , 1998 - 2001
  • Head: MA/Ph.D. Program, University of Minnesota
  • Member of the committee for the Research Award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy: Association for Theatre in Higher Education , 2001 - 2003
  • Executive Board Member: American Society for Theatre Research , 1998 - 2001
  • Editorial Board: Theatre Survey , 2001 - 2004
  • Chair: Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Minnesota
  • “Everyday Histories“: CIVICCentre CONFERENCE: RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO PERFORMANCE, London , April 2003
  • Associate Editor: Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
  • “Image and Body: Historiography of Late XVIIIth-century English Representational Practices“: Presentation, Newport Beach, CA , October
  • Lectureship: A series on lectures on the theatre of Tadeusz Kantor: DEPARTMENT OF DRAMA, STANFORD UNIVERSITY , January 2004
  • Lectureship: “Why Historiography?“: Mainz, Germany , July
  • “The Future of the Profession“: Presentation, State of the Profession Panel, Durham, NC , November
  • Lectureship: “Theatre Historiography: Self-Examination in the Time of the Now“: GRADUATE SCHOOL OF CUNY , New York, NY, Novemb
  • Guest Lectureship: “Theatre Historiography: Ethics and the State of Exception“: IPP PERFROAMNCE AND MEDIA STUDIES SUMEMR SCHOOL 2005 , Mainz, German, July
  • A series on lectures on the theatre of Tadeusz Kantor: TEATRO FíBRICA SíƒO PAULO , São Paulo, Brazil,
  • A three-week long Eminent Hoffman Scholar Chair seminar on theatre historiography and postmodern critique: FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY , Tallahassee, FL, Jan
  • Guest Lectureship: “Further on, Nothing: Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre“: UNIVRSIDAD DE GRANADA Granada, Spain, October, 2008
  • A day-long symposium & guest lectureship (with Ludmila Ryba): “Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre“: HUIS AAN DE WERFT Utrecht, The Netherlands, January 2009
  • “International Conference: The Art and Theatre of Tadeusz Kantor“ (panel participant with David Gothard, Ludmila Ryba, and Richard Schechner): POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE and THE MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER CUNY, New York, January 2009
  • Guest Lectureship: “Representational Practices and Real Abstractions in Eighteenth-Century London“: BROWN UNIVERSITY , February 2009


  • Theatre Historiography: The Archive and the Performance Culture“”a book-length study of the Enlightenment and its representational practices. This project interweaves new approaches to archival research to show how a new mode of thinking about the archive may make us rethink the function of theatre in England during the times of the emergent capitalism in the eighteenth-century.: 2008
  • “Tadeusz Kantor’s Objects": A forthcoming essay to be published in a special collection of essays about Kantor’s theatre, performance, and visual artist practice.
  • The History of Polish Theatre/Theatre in Poland: A book-length study of the historiography of Polish Theatre/Theatre in Poland. This is a co-edited volume bringing together scholars working in the field and whose work will reposition the terms and conditions for the evaluation of Polish Theatre. I am responsible for setting up the intellectual, historiographic, and academic framework for the project. This project is under contract with Cambridge University Press to be published in 2020.
  • Historical Archives, Events and Facts: History Writing as Fragmentary Performance: Kobialka, Michal, Performance Research, 7(4) , 2002.
  • Can there be Such a Thing as a Postmodern Archive: Kobialka, Michal, The New Information Order and the Future of the Archive, 2002.
  • Tadeusz Kantor's Happenings: Reality, Mediality, and History: Kobialka, Michal, Theatre Survey, 2002.
  • Theatre and Tragedy: Kobialka, Michal, Theatre Journal, 2002.
  • Words and Bodies: A Discourse on Male Sexuality in Late XVIIIth-century London: Kobialka, Michal, Theatre Research International, 2002.
  • This is My Body: Representational Practices in the Early Middle Ages. Kobialka, Michal, University of Michigan Press, 1999.
  • A Journey Through Other Spaces: Essays and Manifestos, 1944-1990. Kobialka, Michal, The University of California Press, 1993.
  • “Words and Bodies: A Discourse on Male Sexuality in Late XVIIIth-century: Kobialka, Michal, Theatre Research International, 28(1) 1-19, none.
  • “Tadeusz Kantor’s Odysseus: Imagined Myths and Chronicled Histories in Le Maschere di Proteo: Kobialka, Michal, ed. Rosalba Gasparo, Edizioni di Nicolo, 175-185, 2003.
  • “Historical Events and Historiography of Tourism“ in Performance: Critical Concepts,. Kobialka, Michal, ed. Philip Ausl &er, Routledge, 2003.
  • “Everyday Histories“. Kobialka, Michal, Performance Research, 9, 4, 2004.
  • “Historiography“. Kobialka, Michal, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 18.2, 2004.
  • “Theatre and Space: A Historiographic Preamble“. Kobialka, Michal, Modern Drama, 46.4, Winter 2003/4.
  • “Tadeusz Kantor’s Practice: A Postmodern Notebook“. Kobialka, Michal, Performing Arts Journal, 28, 1, 2006.
  • “Prácticas Representacionais na Idade Média“ in O Teatro e a Cidade: Lií§íµes de História do Teatro. Kobialka, Michal, ed. Sérgio de Carvalho, Sao Paulo, 2006.
  • ““˜Delí­rio da carne: arte e biopolí­tica no espaí§o do agora“’. Kobialka, Michal, eds. Christine Greiner and Claudia Amorim, Saíµ Paulo: Annablume, Author, 2007.
  • “Tadeusz Kantor: Collector and Historian,“ Performance Research, 12, 4 (December 2007): 78-96. Kobialka, Michal, Author.
  • “Theatre Historiography: History and Ethics in the Time of the Now,“ Performing the Matrix: Mediating Cultural Performances,. Kobialka, Michal, eds. Meike Wagner and Wolf-Dieter Ernst, Mí¼nchen: Epodium, Author, 2008.
  • “Delirium of the Flesh: “˜All the Dead Voices’ in the Space of the Now,“. Kobialka, Michal, ed. Maaike Bleeker, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, Author, 2008.
  • “Representational Practices in Eighteenth-Century London: A Prolegomenon to Historiography of the Enlightenment,“. Kobialka, Michal, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2009, Author.
  • "Theatre Historiography: Politics, Ethics, and the Now": Kobialka, Michal, Modern Language Quarterly, 70:1 (March 2009) 19-42.
  • “Tadeusz Kantor and Hamed Taheri: Of Political Theatre/Performance“: Kobialka, Michal, The Drama Review, T204 (Winter 2009) 78-91.
  • Further on, Nothing: Tadeusz Kantor's Theatre. Kobialka, Michal, University of Minnesota Press, Author, 2009.
  • “There is a World Elsewhere: The Endgame of Theory and Practice”: Kobialka, Michal, Megan Altruz, Julia Listengarten, M. Van Duyn Wood, Palgrave, Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice, 2012.
  • “Representational Practices and Real Abstractions in Early XVIIIth-century London”: Kobialka, Michal, Lara D. Nielsen and Patricia Ybarra, Palgrave, Neoliberalism and Global Theatre: Performance Permutations, 2012.
  • “Epilogue: Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre of Personal Confessions”: Kobialka, Michal, Marta Bryś, Anna Burzyńska and Katarzyna Fazan, Peter Lang, Tadeusz Kantor Today: Metamorphoses of Death, Memory and Presence, 2014.
  • “Of Adorno’s Beckett”: Kobialka, Michal, Will Daddario and Karoline Gritzner , Palgrave, Adorno and Performance, 2014.
  • Theatre/Performance Historiography: Time, Space, Matter. Kobialka, Michal, Rosemarie K Bank and Michal Kobialka, Palgrave, Co-Editor, 2015.
  • McKnight Land Grant Professorship
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain: “Staging Difficult Pasts” project, 2018 - 2021
  • Paul W Frenzel Professorship in Liberal Arts, 2016 - 2021
  • Scholar of the College, CLA, University of Minnesota, 2007 - 2010
  • ATHE Research Award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practive and Pedagogy for This is My Body: Representational Practices in the Early Middle Ages, 2000
  • CLA Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship, University of Minnesota, 2000
  • Fesler-Lampert Professorship in Humanities, 2003 - 2004
  • 20th Eminent Hoffman Scholar Chair holder at the Florida State University, Fall 2004 - Spring 2005
  • Belle van Zuylen Chair/Professorship at the University of Utrecht/The Netherlands, Fall 2008 - Spring 2009
  • Imagine Fund Annual Award, 2010