Kellen Hoxworth is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University at Buffalo, where he is also an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Africana and American Studies and the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. He has previously taught at Florida State University and Dartmouth College. He holds a Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies from Stanford University, where he has also received a Graduate Certificate in African Studies. He also holds a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
His academic interests focus on the formations of race and coloniality, particularly in the transhistorical performance networks of the global south. His first book, Transoceanic Blackface: Empire, Race, Performance (Northwestern University Press, 2024), traces the transnational circulations of blackface minstrelsy and related forms of racialized performance from the prerevolutionary circum-Atlantic world through the nineteenth-century Anglophone imperium. His writing has been published in American Quarterly, Contemporary Theatre Review, the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Modern Drama, Performance Research, TDR, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and several edited volumes. He has presented his research at several academic conferences such as the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the African Studies Association, the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), Performance Studies international (PSi), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), where he was awarded the Theatre History Focus Group Emerging Scholars Award in 2011. In 2018, his essay "The Many Racial Effigies of Sara Baartman" was selected by the American Society for Theatre Research as the recipient of the Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theatre, drama, and/or performance studies.
As an artist, Kellen is a director, dramaturg, and performer. He approaches performance as a charged site at the intersections of affect, representation, corporeality, and material practice. As such, the theatre offers a space for interrogating and undoing historical formations of race, gender, class, sexuality, and access. Recently, he has directed productions of Argentine playwright Lola Arias’s A Kingdom, a Country or a Wasteland, in the Snow and María Irene Fornés’s Mud. He has performed in fox mirror forest by the Becky Collective as well as The Collected Works’ site-specific production of Jean Genet’s The Balcony at the San Francisco Mint. He has also served as a dramaturg for productions of Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca and A Lesson From Aloes at Z Below, San Francisco, and for productions of Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold”…and the Boys and Fraser Grace’s Breakfast with Mugabe at the Aurora Theatre, Berkeley.