Gwyneth Shanks is the Mellon Postdoctoral Interdisiplinary Arts Fellow at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Her research and teaching focuses on contemporary performance, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, and urban studies. She earned a PhD in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University. Her past research focused on how histories of embodied display impact the curation of contemporary performance in museums. Her book project explores the relationship between site-specific performances and urban ecologies, focused on how gender and race are performed in that interface.
Shanks’s work has been published in X-TRA, Performance Matters, Third Text, and the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Additionally, her work appears in the anthology Theater/Performance Historiography: Time, Space, Matter (Palgrave, 2015), and is forthcoming in a French-language anthology on performance in museums and in Writing the Body: Staging the Other (McFarland Press, 2018). She has taught in the Theater Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California, and is currently teaching in the Art Department at the University of Minnesota. Shanks also worked at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles developing and implementing educational programing for K-12, college, and family audiences.
In addition to her academic work, Shanks is a choreographer and performer. Most recently, she created work for the non-profit experimental architecture space Materials & Applications and the queer arts festival Install WeHo. As a performer she has worked with, amongst others, The Trisha Brown Dance Company, Marina Abramović, Jérôme Bel, Maria Hassabi, and Meredith Monk.