Director of Kilachand Honors College; College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
- PhD, MA, Rutgers University
BA, Michigan State University
- 91 Bay State Road, Suite 115
Dr. Preston’s 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. A website supplementing Learning to Kneel features performance clips, chapter summaries, and pedagogical activities.
She is currently working on a book called Participate! Race and Gender in the Audience for Interactive Theater. Dr. Preston examines the political and pedagogical work of audience participation, with studies of Jean Genet’s The Blacks, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon, the 2016 Broadway plays Shuffle Along and Hamilton, Emmursive’s Sleep No More, Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, and Anna Deveare Smith’s Notes from the Field.
As a professor, she teaches courses on modernist literature, feminist, gender, and queer theory, and modern drama and performance. Arts of Gender: Performing Gender in Drama, Dance, Film, and Theory 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. Dr. Preston directs the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program and serves as the humanist on the teaching team for WS 101: An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, the gateway course for the WGS minor, along with other coursework.