Robin Bernstein

My blogs

About me

Introduction I am a Professor of African and African American Studies and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. A cultural historian who specializes in US performance and theatre from the 19th century to the present, my interests include formations of race, age, gender, and sexuality, and my research integrates the study of theatrical, visual, material, and literary evidence. In addition to Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights, my books include the edited anthology Cast Out: Queer Lives in Theater (U. Michigan Press) and a Jewish feminist children’s book titled Terrible, Terrible! (Kar-Ben Books). I have published articles in PMLA, Social Text, African American Review, J19, Modern Drama, and other journals. My current book project, Paradoxy: Lesbians and the Everyday Art of the Impossible, shows how racially diverse lesbians in the U.S. have, since the early twentieth century, performed paradoxes on stage and in everyday life. These bodily performances of paradoxes, I argue, have theorized lesbian modes of historiography, art-making, and politics. Visit me at