Assistant Professor of Theater
Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA University of Pennsylvania; MFA Columbia University; MA New York University; PhD New York University
Research Areas: performance, politics and new media/digital humanities in the 20th and 21st centuries through the lens of feminist and queer theory, disability studies, and visual studies
Debra Levine is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at New York University and is an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Undergraduate Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Hemispheric Institute for Politics and Performance. Debra received her doctorate in 2012 from New York University’s Department of Performance Studies where she was a recipient of the J. Ndukaku Amankulor Award for Academic Excellence and a two time NEH Vectors Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy (2010, 2011).
Debra’s work explores the intersection between performance, politics and new media/digital humanities in the 20th and 21st century through the lens of feminist and queer theory, disability studies, and visual studies. With Pamela Cobrin, she co-edited the recent 2012 special issue on “Aging and Performance,” for Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, and edited the 2008 issue of Women and Performance on “Wasting.” Debra has contributed articles to GLQ, Women & Performance, e-misférica, Theatre Research International, and The Disability Studies Quarterly. Her digital book in process on Scalar, Demonstrating ACT UP is a multimedia exploration of how, within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), participation in public AIDS demonstrations exposed and enabled new paradigms of collective care for activists with HIV and AIDS. The work is a set of critical essays and acts as a digital archive and finding aid, linking private and public archival documents of AIDS activism from the 1980’s and 1990’s with the testimonies from the ACT UP Oral History Project.
Debra holds an MFA in Theatre Direction from Columbia University and has taught at New York University, Barnard College, and The Cooper Union. Debra directed Alyson Pou’s To Us At Twilight, which was awarded the New York Dance and Performance Award Bessie in 1996. Debra has directed extensively for the theatre and has produced a number of independent documentaries – three specifically about the crisis of AIDS in incarcerated populations in New York State and Oklahoma. She has also worked extensively with women prisoners to organize inmate-directed AIDS peer education programs.
Debra is a member of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), American Academy of Religion (AAR), Performance Studies International (Psi), the Society for Disability Studies (SDS), and the Hemispheric Institute for Politics and Performance. She has been a member of the editorial collective of the journal Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory since 2004.