Dr. Megan Lewis is a South African-American theatre historian and performance scholar concerned with the staging of national identity, gender, and race in a variety of performance media---including monuments and public pageants, traditional staged texts, and documentary and narrative films. Dr. Lewis is the author of a monograph about the intersections of whiteness, masculinity, national identity, and performance in South Africa, Performing Whitely in the Postcolony (2016, University of Iowa Press) and Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space (2016, Intellect Books and UNISA Press), a collection of essays and interviews about Cape Town-based Magnet Theatre, co-edited with Anton Krueger at Rhodes University. She is currently working on her third book project: a study of safari as performance in the US and southern Africa. Lewis has published on South African performance in Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Text & Performance, Theatre Topics, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Lewis taught theatre, media, and film courses at the University of Minnesota (2006-2011) before joining the faculty at UMass Amherst in 2011.
Prof. Lewis is a multidisciplinary educator with a passion for inspiring intellectual curiosity and advocating for the performing arts as a powerful force for social activation and change. Her teaching passions include African theatre and film, the politics of performance, non-Western performance traditions, and the performance of gender (masculinity) and race (whiteness) in South Africa. In 2015, Dr. Lewis received a Distinguished Teacher Award for her passionate work and politics in the classroom. Every summer, Prof Lewis leads students on an intensive study abroad program, called Arts & Culture in South Africa, focused around the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. And she is currently the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Theater at UMass.
She balances her scholarly life with a professional career as a documentary filmmaker and editor, and voiceover talent.
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