Margaret L Werry

My research focuses on the way that people, and things, “perform” outside the walls of traditional theatre, in places of public culture and pedagogy such as tourism attractions or museums. This work is interdisciplinary, mixing the methods and concerns of performance studies, theatre, anthropology, media and cultural studies, and history. My interest is in the politics of performance, that is in analyzing the relationship between the aesthetic, kinaesthetic, relational, affective, and embodied dimensions of performance behaviors, and the broader problems of power and history with which they are entangled, such as indigenous sovereignty, human rights, climate change, colonialism, and global neo-liberalization.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

Curriculum Vitae


  • anthropological approaches to performance as social dramatrugy
  • critical race theory
  • cultural politics and performance of ethnicity, nationalism, and trans-nationalism, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region
  • 19th century Euro-American and British colonial popular theatre and entertainment culture
  • performance theory and historiographic method
  • cultural policy and governmentality - tourism, heritage, film
  • critical pedagogy
  • museum studies
  • The Tourist State: Leisure, Liberalism, and Race in New Zealand. Werry, Margaret, University of Minnesota Press, Author, 2011.
  • On Failure . Werry, Margaret, Roisin O'Gorman, Co-Author, 2012.
  • “Assimulations: theatrical failure, racial imposture, and the global entertainment economy,” (forthcoming Theatre Research International )
  • “What’s Left of Rights? Arendt and Political Ontology in the Anthropocene,” Performance Philosophy 5:1 (2019).
  • “Sea-change: Performing a Fluid Continent,” with Latai Taumeopeau, Rosanna Raymond, Dorita Hannah, Ani O’Neill, and Amanda Yates, On Sea/At Sea a special issue of Performance Research, 21: 2 (2016): 90 - 95.
  • “Immersion and the Spectator,” with Bryan Schmidt, Theatre Journal, 66 (2014): 467-479.
  • “Articulate Bodies: Writing instruction in a performance-based curriculum.” Co-authored with Stephanie Lein Walseth. Theatre Topics 21, no. 2 (2011): 185-198.
  • “De-colonizing Theatre History: Ontology Alterity, Acting Objects, and What Theatre Studies Can Learn from Museums," Routledge Companion to Theatre Historiography, ed.s Tracy C. Davis and Peter W. Marx (forthcoming 2020).
  • “Moving Objects: Repatriation, Indigeneity, and the Performance of the Dead,” In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization, ed.s Helen Gilbert, J.D. Philipson, and Michelle H. Rajeha (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2018).
  • “Tourist States, Neoliberal Utopias,” Tourist Utopias, ed. Tim Simpson (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2017).
  • “House Arrest: Museological Performance, Animacy, and the Remains of Rural America,” for Joanne Zerdy and Marlis Schweitzer ed.s Performing Objects, Theatrical Things (London: Palgrave, 2014).
  • “Oceanic Imagination, Intercultural Performance, Pacific Historiography,” for The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures, ed.s Erika Fischer-Lichte, Torsten Jost, and Saskya Iris Jain, epilogue by Homi Bhabha (New York and London, Routledge, 2014).
  • “Nintendo Museum: intercultural performance, neoliberal pedagogy, and a theatre without actors.” Neoliberalism and Global Theatres: Performance Permutations, eds Lara Nielsen and Patty Ybarra (Palgrave, UK: 2012).
  • Imagine Grant, University of Minnesota, 2018
  • COGS Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award, University of Minnesota 2017
  • Arthur “Red” Motley Exemplary Teaching Award, 2017
  • Single Semester Leave, University of Minnesota (2017)
  • COGS Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, University of Minnesota 2010
  • Research Fellow, Freie Universitat Berlin 2010-11
  • Horace T. Morse-University of Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
  • Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship in Arts and Humanities, 2001-3
  • American Association of University Women, American Fellowship, 1998
  • Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Grant, 1998