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Ryan Platt

Associate Professor, Chair

Ryan Platt is Assistant Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre & Dance. He holds a BA in Theatre & Dance and French Studies from Amherst College and a doctoral degree from Cornell University, where he studied 20th-century and contemporary performance in the context of French and German literature and theory. He has also studied at the Université de Paris VI and at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin with the support of a DAAD Research Fellowship. Ryan’s writing has appeared in PAJ,Theatre Journal, and Dance Research Journal.

His primary field of study concerns the relationship between live performance and technology. Movement provides the lynchpin for this work, which articulates an emergent aesthetic paradigm based on a traditionally static construct, the screen. In contrast to conventional notions of televisual technology, he reimagines "the screen" as both an actual partition and a concept generated by a formal process that employs motion to mediate phenomena excluded from theatrical representation. The development of this theory proceeds through close readings of artists who explore the disciplinary margins between dance, installation art, and film, including Chantal Akerman, Yvonne Rainer, and William Forsythe. His current research considers this emergent mode of aesethetic mediation in literature and performances that use translation as a theme to explore the experience of individuals relegated to cultural margins, especially women and immigrants. These artistic applications of translation also lay the groundwork for an upcoming project on sound art and sonic performance.

Ryan maintains a website on the subject of performance at

Regular Classes

DA/TH100 Ritual, Theatre, Performance

DA/TH 107 Art, Spectacle, and Society

TH200 Experimental & Expanded Cinema

DA/TH224 Contemporary Performance: 1950-Present

DA/TH326 Performance Studies

DA/TH327 Feminist Performance

DA/TH329 Queer Performance and Body Politics


    B.A. Amherst College, 2001

    M.A. Cornell University, 2007

    Ph.D. Cornell University, 2010