Jill Stevenson is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts who joined MMC’s theatre faculty in 2006. Her most recent book is Sensational Devotion: Evangelical Performance in 21st-Century America (University of Michigan Press, 2013). She is also the author of Performance, Cognitive Theory, and Devotional Culture: Sensual Piety in Late Medieval York (Palgrave, 2010) and co-editor of Thresholds of Medieval Visual Culture: Liminal Spaces (Boydell and Brewer, 2012). She has published articles in various journals and collections.
Jill is active in various professional organizations, regularly organizing sessions and delivering conference papers. From 2010 to 2014 she was the Focus Group Representative for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)’s Religion and Theatre Focus Group, and served on ATHE’s 2011 and 2012 Conference Planning Committees. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) and chairs ASTR’s Working Conditions Task Force. She sits on the board of several academic journals and chairs the Editorial Board of the journal Research On Medieval and Renaissance Drama.
Each semester Jill teaches courses in Theatre history, including the two-semester Theatre History sequence and various upper-level seminars on topics such as Japanese Theatre, Medieval Performance, 19th-century U.S. Popular Performance, and Theatrical Theory & Criticism. She is enthusiastic about introducing students to a contextualized theatre history and helping them to explore how theatre participates in larger political, social, and cultural economies. She regularly teaches seminars in the General Education Curriculum on topics such as “Medievalisms” and “The Ethics of Performance Reenactment,” and has taught in both the first-year Writing Seminar program and the College Honors Program.
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
B.S. Valparaiso University (1997)
Ph.D. The Graduate Center, City University of New York (2006)
Sensational Devotion: Evangelical Performance in 21st-Century America (University of Michigan Press, 2013). http://www.press.umich.edu/5159114/sensational_devotion
Performance, Cognitive Theory, and Devotional Culture: Sensual Piety in Late Medieval York. Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance Series. (New York: Palgrave, 2010). http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=407311
Co-editor with Mario Longtin, “Special Issue: Showcasing Opportunities,” Research On Medieval and Renaissance Drama (ROMARD) 51 (2012). [Co-authored Introduction]
Co-editor with Elina Gertsman, Thresholds of Medieval Visual Culture: Liminal Spaces (Boydell & Brewer, 2012). [Co-authored Introduction]
“Affect, Medievalism, and Temporal Drag: Oberammergau’s Passion Play Event,” in The Changing World Religion Map, ed. Stanley D. Brunn (Springer, 2015), 2491-2515.
“Eschatology,” Critical Terms Issue of Ecumenica: A Journal of Theatre and Performance 7, nos. 1 & 2 (2014): 13-9.
“Rhythmic Liturgy, Embodiment, and Female Authority in Barking’s Easter Plays,” in Barking Abbey and Medieval Literary Culture: Authorship and Authority in a Female Community, eds. Jennifer N. Brown and Donna Alfano Bussell (York Medieval Press, 2012), 245-66.
“Embodying Sacred History: Performing Creationism for Believers,” TDR: The Drama Review 56, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 93-113.
“Embodied Enchantments: Cognitive Theory and the York Mystery Plays,” in The York Mystery Plays: Performance in the City, ed. Margaret Rogerson (York Medieval Press, 2011), 91-112.
“Marymount Manhattan College’s Theatre Archives and Active Learning,” co-authored with Mary Elizabeth Brown, Metropolitan Archivist 16, no. 2 (Summer 2010): 11-12. http://www.nycarchivists.org/metro/2010_2.pdf
“The Material Bodies of Medieval Religious Performance in England,” Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief 2, no. 2 (July 2006): 204-32.
“Community through Discourse: Reconceptualizing Introduction to Theatre,” jointly authored with Amy Hughes and Mikhail Gershovich, Theatre Topics 16, no. 1 (March 2006): 85-101.
“Poised at the Threatening Edge: Feeling the Future in Medieval Last Judgment Performances,” Theatre Journal (May 2015).
“Passion Playing: An Interview with Sarah Ruhl,” Oberammergau 2010: Critical Essays and Critical Contexts, ed. Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. (McFarland, 2015).
“Playful Violence and Sincere Belief in Medieval Religious Performance,” in The Ashgate Research Companion to Early Drama and Performance, ed. Pamela King (Ashgate, 2016).
“Performing Devotion as a mode of religious study,” in Volume 6: Material Religion. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Religion, ed. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona (MacMillan Publishing, 2016).
Recent Book and Performance Reviews
Review of “The Mysteries at the Flea Theater,” Theatre Journal 66, no. 4 (2014): 591-4.
Review of Guillemette Bolens, The Style of Gestures: Embodiment and Cognition in Literary Narrative (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), Speculum 88, no. 2 (2013): 494-6.
Outlook review of “Oberammergau’s Passion Play 2010: Performance and Context,” Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief 7, no. 2 (2011): 304-7.
Review of Penny Granger, The N-Town Play: Drama and Liturgy in Medieval East Anglia (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2009), European Medieval Drama 14 (2010): 157-61.
Review of “Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play,” Ecumenica: A Journal of Theatre and Performance 3, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 95-7.
Recent or Upcoming Professional Presentations
Panelist, “The Production of the Medieval Play,” 50th anniversary commemorative session, 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
“Reenacting the Future: The Dramaturgy of Threat in End Times Performance,” as part of the “Time as Actor” working session, The American Society for Theatre Research 2014 Conference, Baltimore.
“Feeling the Future: Excess and Absence in Apocalyptic Performances,” The Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2014 Conference, Scottsdale, July 2014.
“Moving Bodies, Invisible Threats: The Last Judgment as Affective Fact,” International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 2014.
“Affecting Performances: The Media and Body Politics of Contemporary Christianity. A conversation with Jill Stevenson and Anthony Petro.” Fall Forum at New York University, co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality and the Center for Religion & Media, 14 November 2013.
“Hellish Merriment, Sincere Belief: Performing the End Times,” The Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2013 Conference, Orlando, August 2013.
Co-Organizer and Participant in Working Session entitled “Contaminating Bodies, Infectious Spectacles, Troubling Histories: Women on Performative Display,” the American Society for Theatre Research 2012 Conference, Nashville, November 2012.
Participant in roundtable entitled “Kingdom Come: Performing Interfaith Civics in Election-Year America,” The Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2012 Conference, Washington, D.C., August 2012.
Jill is currently working on a new book project that explores End Times performances, especially those from the Middle Ages. She received the American Society for Theatre Research’s 2013 Grant for Researchers with Heavy Teaching Loads to help fund the early stages of this work. She is also jointly editing an essay collection tentatively entitled Performing the Family Dream House: Space, Ritual, and Images of Home.