Patrick Anderson


Joint Appointment,
Department of Communication and
Department of Ethnic Studies


PhD, Performance Studies (Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality), UC Berkeley
MA, Communication Studies and Cultural Studies, UNC Chapel Hill
BS, Performance Studies (High Distinction) and Anthropology (Honors), Northwestern


Patrick Anderson works at the interstices of performance studies and cultural studies, focusing in particular on the constitutive role of violence, mortality, and pain in the production and experience of political subjectivity. He is the author of So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance (Duke UP, 2010), Autobiography of a Disease (Routledge, 2017; winner of the ICQI Book Award and finalist for the Many Voices Prize), and Empathy’s Others (forthcoming); the co-editor, with Jisha Menon, of Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict (Palgrave, 2009); and the author, interviewer, or co-author of numerous essays and book chapters in journals and anthologies. Anderson serves on the editorial boards of Women and Performance and Cultural Studies, and is the co-editor, with Nicholas Ridout, of the “Performance Works” book series at Northwestern University Press. He was a core member of the UC Office of the President Multi-campus Research Group on International Culture and Performance, and formerly served as the Vice-President of the American Society for Theater Research.

Anderson has worked as a director and actor in theater and film; as an anthropologist in Sri Lanka, Chicago, and New Mexico; and as an activist and organizer for anti-war groups in Sri Lanka, for the Berkeley Free Clinic in California, and for HIV/AIDS groups in various locations in the United States. He has previously taught undergraduate and graduate classes in performance and culture at Stanford University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the MFA program at the American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco).



Autobiography of a Disease (Routledge, 2017)

So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance (Duke University Press, 2010)

Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict (Palgrave, 2009)

Empathy's Others (in process)

Recent Essays

“To Be Undone” (Performance Research)

“A Slender Pivot: Empathy, Public Space, and the Choreographic Imperative” (Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theatre)

"Color Blind: Seeing Difference, Performing Slightlessness (Performance Production and Activism)

"I Feel For You (Neoliberalism and Global Theatres)

"Architecture is not Justice: Seeing Guantánamo Bay (Performance in the Borderlands)

"The Master Plan (é-misferica)

"There Will Be No Bobby Sands in Guantánamo Bay (PMLA)

Viral Terror (é-misferica)

Anorexia Nervosa and the Problem of 'Men' (Women & Performance)

Radical Intimacy: Dwight Conquergood's Classroom (Cultural Studies)\

Trying Ordeal: Henry Tanner and Chris Burden in the Event of Subjectivity (Radical History Review)

On Feeding Tubes (TDR)

To Lie Down to Death for Days: The Turkish Hunger Strike, 2000-2003 (Cultural Studies)