School of Communication

Tracy C. Davis

Department of Theatre

Tracy C. Davis

Professor, Ethel M. Barber Professor in Performing Arts
Theatre and Interpretation Center
1949 Campus Drive
Evanston , IL 60208-2430
Graduate Programs: Theatre & Drama, English, Performance Studies

Tracy C. Davis is a specialist in performance theory, theatre historiography, and research methodology. She edits the book series Cambridge Studies in Theatre and Performance Theory. She is Director of the Graduate School's Excellent in Doctoral Mentoring initiative and Chair of Northwestern University Press's Editorial Board. She is Immediate Past-President of the American Society for Theatre Research and a member of the Board of Directors for Performance Studies international.

Mentoring Philosophy [pdf]


PhD Theatre Studies, University of Warwick
BFA Drama, University of Calgary

Recent Publications

Davis' most recent books are The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Stages of Emergency: Cold War Nuclear Civil Defense (Duke), The Performing Society: Nineteenth-Century Theatre's History (co-edited with Peter Holland, Palgrave), and Considering Calamity: Methods for Performance Research (co-edited with Linda Ben-Zvi, Assaph) all in 2007. She has also authored Actresses as Working Women: Their Society Identity in Victorian Culture (1991), George Bernard Shaw and the Socialist Theatre (1994), The Economics of the British Stage (2000), and co-edited Women and Playwrighting in Nineteenth-Century Britain (with Ellen Donkin, 1999), and Theatricality (with Thomas Postlewait, 2004). Forthcoming Book: The Broadview Anthology of Nineteenth-Century British Performance (Broadview Press, 2011).

Recent Awards and Honors

1990-91 Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship, Harvard University
1994-95 Kathleen Barker Research Award, Society for Theatre Research
1994-95 American Philosophical Society Research Grant
1995 National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship
1997 Folger Library Short-Term Fellowship
2001 George Freedley Memorial Award (Theatre Library Association)
2003 Eisenhower Presidential Foundation Travel Grant
2004 Clarence Ver Steeg Graduate Faculty Award (Northwestern University)
2004 White House Historical Foundation Grant
2005 Distinguished Scholar’s Prize (American Society for Theatre Research)
2007 Lane Humanities Institute Teaching Professor
2008 Stanley J. Kahrl Fellowship in Theatre History, Houghton Library (Harvard)
2009 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library

Recent Grants

2008-09 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library
2008-09 Stanley J. Kahrl Fellowship in Theatre History, Houghton Library


Recent graduate courses:

  • Nineteenth-Century Repertoire
  • Theatre Research Methodology
  • Not Present at the Occasion
  • The Drama of Victorian Society
  • Feminist Performance Historiography
  • History of Western Theatrical Practice (1660-1900)
  • Theories of Theatricality

Recent undergraduate courses:

  • Nineteenth-Century Repertoire
  • Women Characters and Characterizations in Contemporary Drama
  • Fairy Music from Purcell to Norton (co-taught in English and Music)
  • Nineteenth-Century British Women Playwrights