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Stan Garner

Stanton B. Garner Jr.

Stanton B. Garner Jr.

James Douglas Bruce Professor of English and Affiliated Professor of Theatre

512 McClung Tower


Stanton B. Garner, Jr. is James Douglas Bruce Professor of English and Affiliated Professor of Theater. A specialist in modern drama and theatre/performance theory, he is the author of The Absent Voice: Narrative Comprehension in the Theater (Illinois UP, 1989), Bodied Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in Contemporary Drama (Cornell UP, 1994, nominated for the Joe A. Callaway Prize and the Barnard Hewitt Award), Trevor Griffiths: Politics, Drama, History (Michigan UP, 1999), and Kinesthetic Empathy in the Theatre: Phenomenology, Cognition, Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). His current research explores the theatrical dynamics of kinesthetic empathy—how we respond to the movements we observe on stage by vicariously enacting them—from a phenomenological viewpoint informed by research in cognitive science. Professor Garner also studies the intersections of theater and medicine; in addition to a 2008 guest-edited special edition of Modern Drama and numerous articles on this topic, his book entitled Theatre and Medicine will be published in early 2023 by Bloomsbury Academic. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, including Shakespeare Survey, Studies in Philology, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Comparative Drama, Essays in Theatre/Études théâtrales, Degrés, Theatre Journal, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism Theatre Survey, Theatre Research International, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Modern Drama. With J. Ellen Gainor (Cornell) and Martin Puchner (Harvard), he is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Drama (3rd ed., 2018).

Professor Garner teaches undergraduate courses in modern and contemporary drama, introduction to drama, literature and medicine, and introduction to literary and dramatic studies. He has taught a range of graduate courses, including courses in modern and contemporary drama, Samuel Beckett, modernism and drama, and drama/theater/performance theory. He has supervised a range of dissertations in these areas.


  • B.A., Pennsylvania State University
  • Ph.D. Princeton University


  • Theatre and Medicine (Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming)
  • Kinesthetic Spectatorship in the Theater: Phenomenology, Cognition, Movement (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
  • Theatre and Medicine. Guest editor. Special issue, Modern Drama 51 (September 2008).
  • Trevor Griffiths: Politics, Drama, History (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999).
  • Bodied Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in Contemporary Drama (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994).  Nominated for the Joe A. Callaway Prize (New York University Department of English).  Nominated for the Barnard Hewitt Award (American Society for Theatre Research).
  • The Norton Anthology of Drama. Co-editor with J. Ellen Gainor and Martin Puchner. Complete and shorter editions (New York: Norton, 2009);  3rd ed., 2018.
  • The Absent Voice: Narrative Comprehension in the Theater. Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1989. 

Representative articles

  • “Futurism, Dadaism, and Surrealism.” The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Theatre. Ed. Brad Kent and David Kornhaber. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, forthcoming.
  • “‘At the needle point’: Theatre and Vaccination Skepticism.” Routledge Companion to Performance and Medicine. Ed. Alex Mermikides and Gianna Bouchard. London: Routledge, forthcoming.
  • “Phenomenology and the Actor’s Voice (In Memory of Phillip Zarrilli).” Theatre Research International 45.3 (October 2020): 354-57.
  • “Bodies of Knowledge: Theatre and Medical Science.” The Cambridge Companion to Theatre and Science. Ed. Kirsten Shepard-Barr, 85-100 Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2020.
  • “Performing Dementia: Toward a Postdramatic Subjectivity.” Postdramatic Theater and Form. Ed. Shane Boyle, Matt Cornish, and Brandon Woolf, 196-210. London: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2019.
  • “Watching Movement: Phenomenology, Cognition, Performance.” Routledge Companion to Theater, Performance, and Cognitive Science, 203-214, Ed. Bruce McConachie and Rick Kemp. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.
  • “Stagescapes, Scenescapes: Uncle Vanya on Film.” Approaches to Teaching Anton Chekhov. Ed. Michael Holquist and Michael Finke. New York: Modern Language Association, 2016.
  • “In Search of Merrick: Kinesthetic Empathy, Able-Bodiedness, and Disability Representation.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 29:2 (Spring 2015): 91-103.
  • “Is There a Doctor in the House?: Medicine and the Making of Modern Drama.” Modern Drama 51 (September 2008): 311-28.
  • “The Gas Heart: Disfigurement and the Dada Body.”  Modern Drama 50 (2007): 502-20.
  • “Sensing Realism: Illusionism, Actuality, and the Theatrical Sensorium.” In The Senses in Performance, ed. Sally Banes and André Lepecki, 115-22.  New York: Routledge, 2007.
  • “Artaud, Germ Theory, and the Theater of Contagion.”  Theatre Journal 58 (2006): 1-14.
  • “Urban Landscapes, Theatrical Encounters: Staging the City,” in Land/Scape/Theater, eds. Elinor Fuchs and Una Chaudhuri (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002): 94-118.
  • “Physiologies of the Modern: Zola, Experimental Medicine, and the Naturalist Stage.” Modern Drama, 43 (2000): 529-42. Rpt. in Modern Drama: Defining the Field ed. Ric Knowles, Joanne Tompkins, and W. B. Worthen (University of Toronto Press; 2003): 67-79.
  • “Theater and Phenomenology,” Degrés: Revue de synthèse à orientation sémiologiques 107-108 (Autum-Winer 2001): B1-17.
  • “Framing the Classroom: Power, Pedagogy, Oleanna,” Theatre Topics, 10 (Spring 2000): 39-52.
  • “Staging ‘Things’: Realism and the Theatrical Object in Shepard’s Theater,” Contemporary Theatre Review, 8:3 (1998): 55-66.
  • “Rewriting Europe: Pentecost and the Crossroads of Migration, Essays in Theatre/Études théâtrales, 16 (November 1997): 3-14.
  • Angels in America: The Millennium and Postmodern Memory ,” in Approaching the Millennium: Essays on ‘Angels in America,’ eds. Deborah R. Geis and Steven F. Kruger (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997): 173-84.
  • “‘Still living flesh’: Beckett, Merleau-Ponty, and the Phenomenological Body,” Theatre Journal, 45 (1993): 443-60. Rpt. in Modern Drama: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, 4: 75-95.  Ed. Martin Puchner.  New York: Routledge, 2008.
  • “Post-Brechtian Anatomies: Weiss, Bond, and The Politics of Embodiment,” Theatre Journal, 42 (1990): 145-64.

Awards, Honors & Grants

  • James Douglas Bruce Professorship in English, 2018-
  • Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement, 2019.
  • Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, 2009-2014.
  • Alexander Prize, 2009.
    UT National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award, 2008.
  • Liberal Arts Convocation Advising Award, Tennessee, 2004.
  • Provost’s Outstanding Advisor Award, 2002.
  • Lindsay Young Professor, 2001-09.
  • Modern Language Association Drama Division Executive Committee, 1999-2003.
  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Essay in Criticism Award, 1998 (for “Rewriting Europe”).
  • Liberal Arts Convocation Teaching Award, University of Tennessee, 1994.
  • Distinguished Teaching Chair, 1997-2000; Phi Beta Kappa Certificate of Merit for Scholarly and Creative Work in the Humanities, University of Tennessee, 1992.
  • Board of Directors, The Brecht Company (Ann Arbor, Michigan), 1988-90.
  • Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award, University of Michigan, 1987.
  • ACLS Fellowship for Recent Recipients of the Ph.D., 1986.
  • Editorial Board, Theatre Journal (1999-2004), Modern Drama (1995-present)