June 29, 2022

Princeton University Professor Named as Lewis Center Chair

Judith Hamera
(Photo by Jonathan Sweeney)

Princeton University has named Professor of Dance Judith Hamera, an award-winning dance and performance studies scholar, as the next chair of the University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Hamera takes over from Michael Cadden, who served as interim chair for the 2021-22 academic year. Hamera will begin her new duties on July 1.

“I am so happy that Judith Hamera has agreed to serve as the next chair of the Lewis Center!” said Cadden. “Her work testifies to a lifelong interest in seeing connections among the arts and making connections among people living embodied lives in the worlds of academia and artistic practice — and the many other worlds we each inhabit. The Lewis Center dances on the bridges between those worlds and, as a scholar and teacher, Professor Hamera has surveyed many of them with ingenious results. Her eloquence, vision, and work ethic will serve us well — as will her commitment to an engagement with the entirety of our University, local, national, and international communities.”

Hamera has been a faculty member in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance since 2014, and holds a faculty appointment in the University’s Effron Center for the Study of America, as well as affiliations with the Programs in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Urban Studies. Her most recent book, Unfinished Business: Michael Jackson, Detroit, and the Figural Economy of American Deindustrialization received the 2018 Outstanding Book Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the 2017-2018 Biennial Sally Banes Publication Prize from the American Society for Theatre Research, and the 2020 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research awarded to the best dance studies book of the past three years by the Dance Studies Association.

Her essays have appeared in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies — Critical Methodologies, Dance Research Journal, Modern Drama, PMLA, Qualitative Inquiry, TDR: The Drama Review, Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, Women and Language, and Women’s Studies.

Hamera is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Performance Studies and has served as editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, the performance studies journal of the National Communication Association.

“I am honored to serve the Lewis Center for the Arts as its next chair, grateful to my predecessors who built this dynamic and vital unit, and energized by the work of my brilliant colleagues and our students,” said Hamera. “The arts press us to rigorously investigate our most foundational personal and societal questions and imagine new futures. I look forward to advancing the LCA’s commitment to this necessary and urgent work, and to welcoming even more members of the Princeton community to join us in our courses, events, and efforts.”