The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Megan Lewis

Associate Professor | Theater History & Performance Studies


Fine Arts Center, Rm 107

BA Kenyon College
MA Johns Hopkins University
PhD University of Minnesota 

Dr. Megan Lewis is a South African-American theatre historian and performance scholar. She 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. Magnet Theatre won the Hiddingh-Currie National Book Award in 2018. She is currently working on her third book project: a study of safari as performance. Lewis has published widely in Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Theatre History Studies, Text & Performance, Theatre Topics, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Lewis taught theatre, media, and film courses at the University of Minnesota 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, theatre of dissent, 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. Prof Lewis developed an intensive study abroad program - Arts & Culture in South Africa - focused around the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown/ Makhanda. In Spring 2018, she circumnavigated the globe, teaching for Semester at Sea. She has served as Graduate Program Director for the Department of Theater, as the Multicultural Theater Certificate Director, and earned tenure at UMass in 2017.

Lewis balances her scholarly life with a professional career as a documentary filmmaker and editor and voiceover talent.

Click to learn: About Prof. Lewis' Grahamstown course

Click to read: Articles by Dr. Lewis

Click to view: Videos about Prof. Lewis' teaching philosophy and practices

Click to read: An article about Prof. Lewis's book award and sabbatical work with Semester At Sea