Judith Hamera’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, contributing to American, communication, and cultural studies, as well as performance and dance studies. Her research examines the social work of aesthetics, especially play with genre conventions for self-fashioning and community building on and off stage. Her latest book is Unfinished Business: Michael Jackson, Detroit, and the Figural Economy of American Deindustrialization (Oxford University Press, 2017). She is the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing (2009) with Alfred Bendixen, and the author of Parlor Ponds: The Cultural Lives of the American Home Aquarium, 1870-1970 (University of Michigan Press, 2012) 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 Opening Acts: Performance In/As Communication and Cultural Studies (Sage, 2006); and the Sage Handbook of Performance Studies, co-edited with D. Soyini Madison (2006).
Her essays have appeared in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies, TDR: The Drama Review, Modern Drama, Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Topics, and Women and Language. She is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Performance Studies; has served as editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, the performance studies journal of the National Communication Association; and is a member of the Congress on Research in Dance Board of Directors.
Before coming to Princeton in 2014, Dr. Hamera taught at Texas A&M and at California State University, Los Angeles, where she held numerous administrative appointments and was honored as both a university Outstanding Professor and President’s Distinguished Professor. She received her B.A. in Mass Communication from Wayne State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Interpretation and Performance Studies, respectively, from Northwestern University.