Hana Worthen


Assistant Professor, Theatre and Performance Studies

Associate Director, The Center for Translation Studies

Affiliated Faculty
Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
Ph.D. Program in Theatre Studies


Professor Hana Worthen teaches courses related to her research on performative cultures and totalitarianisms, nationalist rhetoric and the Holocaust, European drama, theatre and performance studies, censorship and the arts, and dramaturgy.

She inaugurated and curates the Department of Theatre series of occasional talks by artists and scholars, Stages of Inquiry.

Professor Worthen's work has been published in major theatre and performance studies journals and she has received awards from several prestigious international institutions, including the DAAD, the Czech Academy, the Finnish Academy, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation.

Research for her new book, tentatively entitled Theatre of Humanisms, has received support from the International Research Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures" at the Free University Berlin, where she has been appointed as a Fellow for the 2013-2014 academic year.

  • Drama, Theatre, Theory
  • Dramaturgy (Theory)
  • Politics of Performance (PhD seminar)
  • Theatre and Democracy
  • Performative Cultures of the Third Reich
  • Nazism in Performance
  • Communism/Socialism in Performance
  • Bertolt Brecht: The Making of Theatre
  • Western Theatre Traditions

Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History. Co-edited with Simo Muir. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Playing "Nordic": The Women of Niskavuori, Agri/Culture, and Imagining Finland on the Third Reich Stage. University of Helsinki: Helsinki, 2007.

Scholarly Articles

"For a Skeptical Dramaturgy." Theatre Topics 24: 3 (September 2014): 175-186.

"Introduction: Contesting the Silences of History." With Simo Muir. Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History. Ed. Simo Muir and Hana Worthen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

"Towards New Europe: Arvi Kivimaa, Kultur, and the Fictions of Humanism." Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History. Ed. Simo Muir and Hana Worthen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

"Kristian Smeds's Countergeographies of Theatre." TheatreForum (July 2012): 56-65 .

“Dramaturgy of Desire, Ethics of Illusion in Kristian Smeds’s Mr Vertigo.” Contemporary Theatre Review 22:3 (August 2012): 400-11.

"'Finland is dead, dead, dead': Ethics and National Identity in Kristian Smeds’s The Unknown Soldier." TDR: The Drama Review 56.2 (Summer 2012): 34-55.

"'Humanism,' Scenography, Ideology: Antigone at the Finnish National Theatre, 1968." Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage. Ed. Helene Foley and Erin Mee. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

"Within and Beyond: Pavel Kohout's Play Makbeth and its Audiences." GRAMMA:Journal of Theory and Criticism15 (2007): 111-132.

"The Deutsche Tanzfestspiele 1934 (December 9-16, Berlin): Ideology in Movement and a Movement in Ideology." With David J. Buch. Theatre Journal 59 (2007): 215-39.

"The Pillowman and the Ethics of Allegory." With W. B.Worthen. Modern Drama 49:2 (Summer 2006): 155-73.

"The Veil of Jinotaj: Nasková's Loviisa of Niskavuori and National Resistance at Prague's Provisional Theatre during the Protectorate." Modern Drama 45:4 (2002), 593-610.

Review Articles

"Israel-Jakob Schur and the Finnish Scholarly Community." Review article of Simo Muir and Elina Salomaa (eds.), Hyljätiin outouden vuoksi. East European Jewish Affairs 40: 3 (2010): 299-304.

 "Tip of the iceberg? Finland and Holocaust." Review article of Hannu Rautkallio, The Jews in Finland. Spared from the Holocaust. East European Jewish Affairs, 39: 1 (2009): 121–133.

Reviews (scholarly publications and performances)

Review of Matthew Causey and Fintan Walsh, Performance, Identity, and the Neo-Political Subject. Contemporary Theatre Review, 24:3 (August 2014): 400-402.

Review of Kristian Smeds, Vyšniu sodas-Der Kirschgarten, Wiener Festwochen, Macondo, May 2011. Theatre Journal 64:2 (2012): 273-75.

Review of Kristian Smeds, Mr Vertigo, Finnish National Theatre, October 2010. Theatre Journal 63:2 (May 2011): 253-255.

Review of Gerwin Strobl, Swastika and the Stage. German Theatre and Society. Theatre Survey 51:2 (2010): 314-316.

Review of Elizabeth Woods, Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia. Theatre Survey 49:1 (2008): 154-156.


Office: 502 Milbank Hall
Phone: 510 - 813 9277
E-Mail: hw2283@columbia.edu

Office Hours: 

Tuesday 12:00-2pm (by appointment only)


University of Helsinki

B.A. in German Philology

Ph.D. in Theatre Research


In the News

Essay collection examines how modern Finnish memory and the writing of history have engaged and evaded both the history of antisemitism in Finland.