Catherine M. Cole, Professor of Drama and Divisional Dean of the Arts at the University of Washington, is the author of Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition (2010), Ghana’s Concert Party Theatre (2001), and Performance and the Afterlives of Injustice (forthcoming 2020). Cole has served as the Executive Editor of Theatre Survey, co-edited the book Africa After Gender? (2007) as well as special journal issues on “African and Afro-Caribbean Performance” with Theatre Survey, and “Routes of Blackface” with TDR. Cole’s disability dance theater piece Five Foot Feat toured North America between 2002 and 2005.
Cole has published over thirty articles in journals such as Africa, Boom: A Journal of California, Critical Inquiry, Dissidences: Hispanic Journal of Theory and Criticism, Disability Studies Quarterly, Ghana Studies, Research in African Literatures, Theatre, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and TDR and chapters in many edited volumes. Cole's research has received funding from sources such as the National Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin, National Endowment for the Humanities, Fund for U.S. Artists, American Association of University Women, ELA Foundation, and University of California Institute for Research in the Arts. She serves as co-editor with Christopher Balme and Tracy C. Davis on a book series, Transnational Theatre Histories (Palgrave MacMillan).
With over twenty years of teaching and administrative experience, Cole has been UW's Divisional Dean of the Arts since 2016, where she has launched an Arts and Creativity Initiative with a $600K grant from the Mellon Foundation. Cole has held previous positions as Chair of the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies and head of the Graduate Group in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; as well as Associate Director for Special Projects at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and Vice Chair of the Academic Senate at UC Santa Barbara. Key campus-wide projects have included Isla Visa Arts at UCSB and the Fiat Lux Redux project at UC Berkeley.
For a recent interview about Cole's research, see: https://vimeo.com/251477254
- Foreword, “Sequins, Self and Struggle” special issue, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, vol. 18, no. 2., 2017
- 2016, “In the Theater of the Rule of Law: Performing the Rivonia Trial in South Africa, 1963-1964,” co-authored with Jens Meierhenrich, chapter in Political Trials in Theory and History edited by Jens Meierhenrich and Devin O. Pendas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- 2015, “The Theater and the University: Two ‘Last’ (and Lasting) Human Venues,” Theatre Topics, vol. 25, no. 1.
- 2015, “Justice in Transition: South Africa Political Trials, 1956–1964,” chapter in The Courtroom as a Space of Resistance: Reflections on the Legacy of the Rivonia Trial, edited by Awol Allo. Ashgate, Edinburgh/Glasgow Law and Society Series, Ashgate; reprint from Cole’s monograph on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- 2015, “Genocides at Home: Ishi, Again,” chapter in Theatre and Human Rights after 1945: Things Unspeakable, edited by Mary Luckhurst and Emilie Morin, Palgrave Macmillan
- 2014, “At the Convergence of Transitional Justice and Art,” Review essay for International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 8, pp. 314-322.
- 2014, “Reverberations of Testimony: South Africa’s TRC in Art and Media,” in Transitional Justice, Culture and Society: Beyond Outreach. Edited by Clara Ramirez-Barat, International Center for Transitional Justice, New York: Social Science Research Council.
- Catherine M. Cole. Performing South Africa's Truth Commission. Indiana University Press, 2010.
- Catherine M. Cole. Africa After Gender? Indiana University Press, 2007.
- Kwame Braun. Stage-Shakers!. Indiana University Press. 2001
- Catherine M. Cole. Ghana's Concert Party Theatre. Indiana University Press, 2001.
- “Statements Before and After Arrests: Performing at Law’s Edge in Apartheid South Africa,” Law as/and Performance, edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Umphrey, The Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, published by University of Massachusetts Press.
Representative Creative Work
Research Advised: Graduate Dissertations
- Dissertations Chaired at UCSB: J Bauerlein, Feminist Solo Performance in the United States; J Caldwell-O’Keefe, Contemporary American Transgender Theatre; J Lewis, Jewish Women, Stereotypes, and the Twentieth-Century American Stage; H Rasche, Actresses, Age, and Anxiety: A Study of Midlife Women in Performance; M Shaw, Positive Influence: Harold Pinter and the In-Yer-Face Generation
- Dissertations Chaired at UC Berkeley: KT Nguyen, Sensing Vietnam: Melodrama of Nation from Colonialism to Market Reform; A Sizemore-Barber, Over the Rainbow? Constituting Queerness and Performing Nation in South Africa; S Wallin, Madness in the Making: Psychosocial Disability and the Performativity of Theatrical Discourse; J Williams, “Don’t Tell The Hyena How Well You Can Bite:" Performance, Race and Animality in East Africa