Carrie J. Preston

Associate Professor

BA, Michigan State University
MA, PhD, Rutgers University


Room 323
617-358-2537
For CV click here

My research and teaching interests include modernist literature, performance, and dance, feminist and queer theory, and transnational and postcolonial studies. Modernism’s Mythic Pose: Gender, Genre, Solo Performance, was released in Oxford University Press’s Modernist Literature and Culture Series in 2011 and received the De La Torre Bueno Prize in dance studies. The book examines modernist solos in modern dance, film, and poetic recitation and the subjectivities they construct and includes case studies of Isadora Duncan and H.D.

My current book project, Learning to Kneel: Noh, Modernism, and the Pedagogies of Transnational Performance, will examine the influence of Japanese noh drama on international modernist theater, poetry, and dance with chapters on W. B. Yeats, Ito Michio, Ezra Pound, Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin Britten, and Samuel Beckett. My research for the project has been supported by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Peter Paul Career Development Professorship, which enabled me to study noh performance technique in Tokyo and conduct research in Ireland and England.

I regularly teach courses on modernist literature, feminist, gender, and queer theory, and modern drama and performance. Performing Gender: Drama, Dance, Film, and Feminisms considers women as performers and dramatists and stagings of gender from antiquity to the present. Students have the opportunity to interpret readings in drama and feminist theory through performances of their own. Queer Drama and Performance examines how twentieth-century and contemporary theaters have shaped our perceptions of sexuality and sexual identity and influenced the ways queer communities define themselves and advocate for social change. I am the humanist on the teaching team for WS 101: An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, the new gateway course for the WGS minor.

Work in Progress
  • Modernism and Dance, a special issue of Modernist Cultures, forthcoming in 2014.
  • Learning to Kneel: Noh, Modernism, and the Pedagogies of Transnational Performance, a project considering the influence of Japanese noh theater on transnational modernism with chapters on W.B. Yeats, Ito Michio, Ezra Pound, Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin Britten, and Samuel Becket.
Selected publications
  • Michio Ito’s Shadow: Searching for the Transnational in Solo Dance,” in On Stage Alone: Soloists and the Formation of the Modern Dance Canon, eds. Claudia Gitelman & Barbara Palfy (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012)
  • Taking Direction from Beckett: Noh/No, Footfalls/Pas,” in Back to the Beckett Text, ed. Tomasz Wiśniewski (Gdansk: University of Gdansk Press, 2012)
  • Modernism’s Mythic Pose: Gender, Genre, Solo Performance (New York: Oxford, 2011). Winner of the De la Torre Bueno Prize for scholarship in dance
  • “Joyce’s Reading Bodies and the Kinesthetics of the Modernist Novel,” in Twentieth-Century Literature (55.2, Summer 2009)
  • “Posing Modernism: Delsartism in Modern Dance and Silent Film,” in Theatre Journal (61.2, 2009)
  • “The Motor in the Soul: Isadora Duncan and Modernist Performance,” in Modernism/modernity (12:2, 2005)
  • You! hypocrite lecteur! New Readings of T.S. Eliot,” in Twentieth-Century Literature (53:3, Fall 2007)
Fellowships and Awards
  • The Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Boston University College of Arts & Sciences (2013)
  • De La Torre Bueno Prize, for a book on dance (2012)
  • Boston University Humanities Foundation, Junior Faculty Fellowship (2010–2011)
  • The Peter Paul Career Development Professorship (2007–2010)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Research Grant (2009)
  • The Excellence in Student Advising Award (2008)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar Grant (Dublin 2007)
  • Mellon Dissertation Research Grant (2005)
  • The Cavanaugh Award, National Society of Arts and Letters (2003)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (2000–2001)
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