Hillary Miller

  • Hillary Miller profile photo
Associate Professor
Assistant Director of Graduate Studies
Klapper Hall, Room 707

You can find my short CV here, or visit my website to learn more about my work.

Research interests

I write about modern and contemporary dramatic literature, with interests in theatre post-World War II, performance and urban development, and American and British playwriting. My book, Drop Drop: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (Northwestern University Press, 2016), uses close readings of plays and analyses of institutions to trace changing theatre practices across a decade. In Playwrights on Television: Conversations with Dramatists (Routledge, 2020), I interviewed eighteen prominent dramatists about their careers on stage and screen, looking at the cultural and economic conditions of playwriting. I’ve published articles on a range of topics: interdisciplinary pedagogy in higher education, the anti-nuclear activism of performance ensemble Mabou Mines, the anti-gentrification poetry of Annie Lanzillotto, and the gospel song-play collaborations of Langston Hughes and Vinnette Carroll. I am currently writing a cultural history about the Off-Broadway Greenwich Mews Theatre (1952-1973), one of the first professional theatres to mount plays with integrated casts in New York.

Teaching Interests

I teach courses in twentieth- and twenty-first century dramatic literature in the U.S. and Britain. Many of my courses incorporate questions about place, performance, and literature in the global city. In ENGL 371: Visions of Home in Post-War Drama and Performance, we explore representations of the city on stage from World War II to the present. I also teach courses on the genealogies of queer theatre (ENGL 391W: Senior Seminar) and the building blocks of writing (and reading) for the contemporary stage (ENGL 302: Playwriting Workshop). One of my favorite courses to teach is ENGL 241: The Text in its Historical Moment, which is a required course for all English majors, and offers the opportunity to pair close readings with historical research and archival work. I also teach in our English MA program, and have taught MA seminars on theatre in the 1970s, urban space and dramatic literature, and queer drama. In the required ENGL 701: Graduate Methodologies course, we look at one case study to understand the multiplicity of ways scholars can interrogate a single text over decades. I look forward to working with MA students interested in dramatic literature, queer and feminist studies, sociology of culture, performance studies, and pedagogy.

Selected Publications

Playwrights on Television: Conversations with Dramatists, Routledge, 2020.

Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York, Northwestern University Press, 2016 (Winner of the 2017 John W. Frick Award and the 2017 Barnard Hewitt Award).

Selected Book Chapters & Articles

“Vinnette Carroll, Langston Hughes, and the Creation of the Gospel Song-Play,” in The Great North American Stage Directors, Vol. 4, eds. Chase Bringardner and Henry Bial (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2021), 119-149.

Mabou Mines’ Dead End Kids and Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament,” in Side by Side: Collaborative Artistic Practices in the United States, 1960s1980s, eds. Gwyneth Shanks and Allie Tepper, Vol. III of the Living Collections Catalogue (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2020).

“Television as Theatre Text in the Austere Academy,” Research in Drama Education (RiDE) 24.3: Creative Pedagogies, Neoliberal Realities (August 2019).

“Marching Off-Beat and On Screen: New York’s Reform Movements & Charles Hale Hoyt’s A Milk White Flag,” in Performing the Progressive Era: Immigration, Urban Life, and Nationalism on Stage, 1890-1920, eds. J. Christopher Westgate and Max Shulman (University of Iowa Press, 2019).

“Subject to Punishment: Julie Bovasso’s Angelo’s Wedding and the Politics of the Unproduced,” Theatre Survey 58.2 (May 2017): 141-161.

“Institutional ‘Landing Sites’ and Uneven Cultural Development: Planned Shrinkage and La Mama E.T.C.” Performance Research 20.4: ‘On Institutions’ (September 2015).

“Live from the Nebulizer: Annie Lanzillotto and Eviction Survival,” in Lateral Journal, Performance and Cultural Studies Special Issue (September 2015), online.

“Walking the Elastic City: An Interview with Niegel Smith and Todd Shalom of Elastic City,” in Radical History Review 114: Voyeurs, Walkers, and the Politics of Urban Space (Fall 2012): 191-205.

“’Let Our Freak Flags Fly’: Shrek the Musical and the Branding of Diversity,” co-authored article, in Theatre Journal (May 2010): 151-172.