Emily Klein, PhD

Professor of English and Modern Drama

Personal profile


Dr. Emily B. Klein, PhD is Professor of English and faculty advisory board member in Ethnic Studies and Women's & Gender Studies at Saint Mary's College of California. She is co-editor of Performing Dream Homes: Theater and the Spatial Politics of the Domestic Sphere(Palgrave Macmillan 2019) with theatre scholars Jill Stevenson and Jennifer-Scott Mobley. The volume explores how theatre and performance use home as the prism through which we reconcile shifts in national, cultural, and personal identity. In her chapter, "Nostalgic Cartography: Performances of Hometown by Pittsburgh’s Squonk Opera and San Francisco’s Magic Bus," Klein investigates how the metaphors of tourism and travel inform place-based performance in two rapidly changing civic tech hubs. 

Her first book, Sex and War on the American Stage: Lysistrata in performance 1930-2012 (Routledge 2014) traces a feminist history of twentieth and twenty-first century American adaptations of Aristophanes' most popular comedy, and has been featured in The New York TimesMs. and Vice.
Immersive theater and intimate justice in Spike Lee's Lysistrata adaptation, Chi-Raq (2015) are the focus of Klein's current research. Other recent publications include "Failure to Adapt: Affect, Apathy, and Doomed Reenactments in American Theatre's Militarized Dystopias" in Performance in a Militarized Culture edited by Sara Brady and Lindsay Mantoan, (Routledge 2017). Her work has also appeared in Frontiers, Women and PerformanceAmerican Quarterly, American Literature, and Theatre Journal.
Her teaching and research areas include twentieth and twenty-first century American political theatre, women's and gender studies, performance theory, media and film studies, and cultural and ethnic studies.

She earned her PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Contact Information

SMC Email Address: 

Contact Information: 
Dante Hall 315
(925) 631-4763

Related documents

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Literary and Cultural Studies, Carnegie Mellon University

… → 2010

BA, English Literature, University of California, Los Angeles

… → 1999

External positions

Assistant Professor of English and Modern Drama, Birmingham Southern College

Jan 1 2010Jan 1 2014

Graduate Instructor of English, Carnegie Mellon University

Jan 1 2004Jan 1 2010

Research Interests

  • performance theory
  • feminist theatre history
  • contemporary political drama
  • women's and gender studies
  • film studies
  • cultural studies


  • American Studies
  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Women's Studies
  • Theater and Performance Studies
  • Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory
  • Performance Studies
  • Theater History