Jen Shook

Jen Shook

Visiting Professor
theatre and performance history
PhD, University of Iowa
MA, University of Chicago
BA, Swarthmore College
Office: 
140 TB
Phone: 
319-353-2408

Jen is a digital and performance dramaturg whose work lives at the intersection of theatre, literature, digital humanities and media art, intersectional Indigenous studies, and cultural memory. Most recently a Visiting Fellow at Penn State’s Center for Humanities and Information, she has also taught at institutions including UI, The Theatre School at DePaul University, Grinnell College, Columbia College, and Oklahoma State.  

Jen founded and directed Caffeine Theatre (2002-2012, Chicago), and has dramaturged and directed at theatres including Goodman, Steppenwolf, The Hypocrites, TimeLine, Dallas Theater Center, Rivendell, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She makes paper art and public puppets large and small, including with the Iowa City Carnaval Project, Eulenspiegel Puppets, and Public Space One. She is currently directing audio dramas of plays by Indigenous women, co-editing an ongoing guest series on Soundwork and Media Activism for Resonance: A Journal of Sound and Culture, and co-directing a short film about exploring human-land relations through the body.

Jen serves on the steering committee of the American Studies Association’s Digital Humanities Caucus; she participated in the NEH’s Digital Native American Indigenous Studies pedagogy cohort and was a WikiEdu Fellow with the National Women’s Studies Association. She served for four years as Co-Director of Imagining America’s PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Engagement) Fellow Program and served on the editorial board of the multimedia journal PUBLIC. Her book project Unghosting Tribalographies: Performing Oklahoma-as-Indian-Territory connects politics and pop culture with plays, poetry, and virtual performances that remediate early archives, particularly in promoting Native American artists’ reworkings of historical commemorations. She has workshopped and presented sections from it at the American Theatre and Drama Society’s First Book Bootcamp, the Harvard Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research, and several conferences. Her article “Unghosting Bones: Resistant Play(s) vs the legacy of Carlisle Indian Industrial School” was published in Studies in American Indian Literature. She has also juried for the Sound of Silent Film Festival and the Region 5 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has been a reading judge for 50pp Latinx new plays, Native Voices, and Middle East America new play lists/awards/festivals. More at jenshook.com