Tufts University
Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship

Research Topic

Playing the Land of Milk and Honey: Performing Southern, Jewish, and African Diasporic Identities, 1776–1915


Heather Nathans is the Chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, and the Alice and Nathan Gantcher Professor in Judaic Studies at Tufts University. Her scholarly interests include representations of race, gender, and ethnicity on the American stage, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French theatre, theatre historiography, English Restoration drama, and directing.

Nathans received her PhD from Tufts University. She is the series editor for the University of Iowa Press’ Studies in Theater History and Culture series.

Selected publications

  • Hideous Characters and Beautiful Pagans: Performing Jewish Identity on the Antebellum American Stage (University of Michigan Press, 2017)
  • Slavery and Sentiment on the American Stage, 1787-1861: Lifting the Veil of Black (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
  • Early American Theatre from the Revolution to Thomas Jefferson: Into the Hands of the People (Cambridge University Press, 2003)




Delving into some of the most pressing debates within US history and Jewish history, and examining vital questions shaping Jewish cultural studies, literary theory, and social scientific inquiry