Katherine Zien

 Katherine Zien
Contact Information
514-398-4400 Ext 09343
Email address: 
katherine.zien [at] mcgill.ca
Faculty Members
Associate Professor

B.A., magna cum laude (Columbia University); Ph.D. (Northwestern University)

Drama and Theatre
Teaching areas: 

theatre and performance in the Americas, African diaspora studies, Latin American studies, postcolonial theory, cultural studies, studies of gender and sexuality, nineteenth- and twentieth-century theatre and drama.

Taught previously at: 

Northwestern University

Current research: 

“Claiming the Canal: Performances of Race and Nation in Panama, 1904-1999.”

Selected publications: 


Sovereign Acts: Performing Race, Space, and Belonging in Panama and the Canal Zone. Rutgers UP, 2017.https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/sovereign-acts/9780813584102

Book Chapters:

  • “Sidelong Glances: Black Divas in Transit, 1940-1960,” in the Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance. Eds. Kathy A. Perkins, Sandra L. Richards, Renée Alexander Craft, and Thomas F. DeFrantz. Forthcoming 2019.
  • “Scenting Time: Risk, Difference, and Nouveau Cirque Québécois,” in Transtemporalities of Minoritarian Performance. Eds. Soyica Colbert, Douglas A. Jones, and Shane Vogel. Press and publication date TBA.
  • Mises-en-scène of Militarization: Decommissioning US Military Infrastructure in the Panama Canal Zone,” in Performance in a Militarized Culture, eds. Sara Brady and Lindsey Mantoan. Forthcoming from Routledge, Fall 2017.
  • “Minstrels of Empire: Blackface and Black Labor in Panama, 1850-1914” in (Re)Positioning the Latina/o Americas: Theatrical Histories and Cartographies of Power, edited by Analola Santana and Jimmy Noriega. Southern Illinois University Press, “Theatre in the Americas” Series. Projected publication date January 2018.

Selected Refereed Journal Articles:

“A Mobile Social Realm: Labour, Sovereignty, and Subjecthood in Disabled Theater,” Theatre Research in Canada, 37.2 (Fall 2016): 164-200.

“Troubling Multiculturalisms: Staging Trans/National Identities in Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes’s El gallo.”Theatre Survey 55.3: Special Issue on Theatre and Transnationalism (September 2014): 343-361.

“Sounding Sovereignty: Performance and Politics in the 1999 Panama Canal Handover.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, Special Issue, “Performative Politics: Spectacular Productions of Culture in Contemporary Latin America,” 21.4 (August 2014): 337-353.

“Race and Politics in Concert: Paul Robeson and William Warfield in Panama, 1947-1953,” Global SouthSpecial Issue, “Interoceanic Diasporas and the Panama Canal’s Centennial Anniversary,” 6.2 (Fall 2013): 107-129.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • MAP Fund Grant for Theatre, Awarded to Colectivo El Pozo and Contratiempo Literary Journal (http://mapfund.org/grant_721.html), 2012.
  • Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts (CIRA) Fellowship, Northwestern University, 2010.
  • Targeted Community Arts Funding, United States Embassy in Panama, 2010.
  • Fulbright Institute of International Education (IIE) Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2010.
  • Third Place, New Scholars’ Essay Prize, International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), 2009.
  • American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) Research Award, 2008.
  • Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies (BCICS) Research Grant, 2008.
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