W. B. Worthen, Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre, is the author of several books, including The Idea of the Actor (Princeton University Press, 1984), Modern Drama and the Rhetoric of Theater (Univ. of California Press, 1993), Shakespeare and the Authority of Performance (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Shakespeare and the Force of Modern Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and most recently Print and the Poetics of Modern Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Drama: Between Poetry and Performance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and Shakespeare Performance Studies (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014). He is the editor of the Wadsworth Anthology of Drama, and of the award-winning Modern Drama: Plays, Criticism, Theory; he is the former editor of the professional journals Modern Drama and Theatre Journal, and his articles have appeared in PMLA, Shakespeare Quarterly, TDR, Modern Drama, Performance Research, Theatre Journal, and elsewhere. Professor Worthen took his B. A. at the University of Massachusetts, summa cum laude, in English in 1977, and his Ph.D. in English Literature at Princeton University in 1981.
Before coming to Barnard, Professor Worthen taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University, the University of California at Davis, the University of California at Berkeley, and at the University of Michigan, as well as being a founding faculty member of the International Centre for Advanced Theatre Studies sponsored by the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has held grants from a number of foundations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gugenheim Foundation; most recently, he is a Fellow of the "Interweaving Performance Cultures" International Research Center, Institute for Theater Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. He teaches a wide range of courses in drama, theatre, and performance theory and is Co-Chair of the Ph.D. Program in Theatre; he is appointed as Professor in the Theatre Division, School of the Arts, and also in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, also serving on the Executive Committee of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.