Peggy Phelan

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Peggy Phelan
Margaret Phelan

New York
Awards2004 Guggenheim Fellowship for Theatre Arts
Main interests
Art and feminism
WebsiteStanford University

Peggy Phelan (born April 23, 1959) is an American feminist scholar. She is one of the founders of Performance Studies International,[1] the former chair of New York University's Department of Performance Studies from 1993 to 1996, Stanford's Theatre and Performance Studies Department (then called the Drama Department) from 2007-2011, and continues as the Ann O’Day Maples Professor of the Arts, Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and English, and the Denning Family Director of the Stanford Arts Institute.[2]

Phelan's work is primarily concerned with the investigation of performance as a live event. She argued that the ephemerality of performance is crucial to its force. While most of her initial work was rooted in feminist post-structuralism and psychoanalysis, her more recent work is concerned with media, photography, and visual arts. She has written on the selfie, and on Reagan and Warhol. Her most widely recognized essay is "The Ontology of Performance," originally published in Unmarked: the politics of performance (1993).[citation needed]

Select Publications[edit]


  • 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship for Theatre Arts[3]
  • Getty Research Fellow 2004-2005
  • Stanford Humanities Center, Fellow, 2011–12
  • Australian National University Fellow


  1. ^ Performance Studies International (PSi): Past presidents & directors.
  2. ^ "Peggy Phelan". Stanford University. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: Peggy Pelan". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

External links[edit]