Judith Hamera

Professor of Dance in the Lewis Center for the Arts and American Studies
Chair, Lewis Center for the Arts
Office Phone
Wallace Dance Building, Room W314
  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • M.A., Northwestern University
  • B.A., Wayne State University

Judith Hamera is professor of dance in the Lewis Center for the Arts, with a faculty appointment in the Effron Center for the Study of America and affiliations with the programs in gender and sexuality studies and urban studies.

Her most recent book, Unfinished Business: Michael Jackson, Detroit, and the Figural Economy of American Deindustrialization (Oxford University Press, 2017), received the 2018 Outstanding Book Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the 2017-2018 Biennial Sally Banes Publication Prize from the American Society for Theatre Research, and the 2020 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research awarded to the best dance studies book of the past three years by the Dance Studies Association.

Her 2019 article, “Rehearsal Problems: Gus Giordano, The Rehearsal, and the Critical Utility of Forgotten Dance Triumphs,” received the Gertrude Lippincott Award for Best English Language Dance Studies Article, also from the Dance Studies Association.

Other books include Parlor Ponds: The Cultural Lives of the American Home Aquarium, 1870-1970 (University of Michigan Press, 2012), which posits theatricality and the theater as crucial to both the emerging popularity of the hobby and to its social work, and Dancing Communities: Performance, Difference and Connection in the Global City (Studies in International Performance: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), which received the Book of the Year award from the National Communication Association’s Ethnography Division. Other books are: the Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2009) with Alfred Bendixen; Opening Acts: Performance In/As Communication and Cultural Studies (Sage, 2006); and the Handbook of Performance Studies, co-edited with D. Soyini Madison (Sage, 2006).

Her essays have appeared in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, Dance Research Journal, Modern Drama, PMLA, Qualitative Inquiry, TDR: The Drama Review, Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Topics, Women and Language and Women’s Studies. She is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Performance Studies and has served as editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, the performance studies journal of the National Communication Association.

Hamera received her B.A. in mass communications from Wayne State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in interpretation and performance studies, respectively, from Northwestern University.