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VK Preston

VK Preston, Assistant Professor

Email: vk.preston@utoronto.ca
Office: UC A307
Office hours: Wednesdays 11:00AM to 1:00 PM or by appointment

Degrees: Ph.D. (Stanford University, Theatre and Performance Studies); M.A. (SUNY Binghamton, Comparative Literature and Translation), B.A. (Concordia, Liberal Arts College and Interdisciplinary Studies in Fine Art)

Research & Teaching: History and Performance Historiography, Performance Studies, Intersectionality, Dance and Theatre, Early Modern Studies, Queer Performance and Dramaturgy

VK Preston is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and University College at the University of Toronto. She pursues contemporary as well as historical research, writing on the witches’ Sabbath in the early modern Atlantic World, the colonial invasion of the Americas, performance art, early ballets, dis/ability, and choreography. VK is the recipient of an early career fellowship from Australian Research Council’s History of Emotions project and a short term fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. She has participated in research communities including the seminar on Early Modern Cross-Cultural Conversions at the University of Cambridge, the Sense Lab’s Immediations project in Montreal, the Universität der Künste Berlin’s KlangKunstBühne, and the Mobile Academy in Warsaw. VK is an inaugural member and contributor to the Mellon Dance Studies in/and the Humanities program. She completed her dissertation in Paris as a Stanford research fellow at the École normale supérieure and as an artist-researcher at La Cité internationale des arts. VK arrives in Toronto by way of a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship McGill University’s Institute for the Public Life of the Arts and Ideas and a position as Visiting Assistant Professor (2015-2016) at Brown University’s Theatre Arts and Performance Studies program. She has received funding from SSHRC, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the Montreal Mayor’s Foundation and Stanford University.

Her publications include “How Do I Touch This Text?: Or, the Interdisciplines Between, Dance and Theatre in Early Modern Archives” in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theatre (2015) as well as texts in TDR / The Drama Review, the Canadian Theatre Review, TheatreForum, and History, Memory, Performance. Her “Tendering the Flesh: the ABCs of Dave St-Pierre’s Contemporary Utopias,” co-authored with Dr. Alanna Thain, won the 2013 Richard Plant award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research for best article in English on a Canadian topic in theatre and performance. She comes to performance research with a background in practice, and she teaches Laban-based movement research, dramaturgy, and interdisciplinary performance fundamentals.




Articles and Chapters


(Forthcoming). “Baroque Relations: Indigenous Protest and Precious Metals in Early Ballet, 1626.” In The Oxford Handbook of Danced Reenactment. Ed., Mark Franko. New York: Oxford University Press.

Preston, Virginia. “A Dictionary in the Archives.” In Performance Research, special issue on Trans/Performance, ed. Amelia Jones, 21(5): 85-88.

Petra Kuppers, Stephanie Heit, April Sizemore Barber, and VK Preston. “Mad Methodologies and Community Arts: The Asylum Project.” In Theatre Topics, special issue on Devised/Collective Performance. 26(2): 221-237.

“How do I touch this text?: Or, the Interdisciplines Between: Dance and Theatre in Early Modern Archives.” In The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater. Ed., Nadine George-Graves. 56-89. New York: Oxford University Press.

“Un/becoming Nomad: Marc Lescarbot, Movement and Metamorphosis in Les Muses de la Nouvelle France.” In History, Memory, Performance. Eds., David Dean, Yana Meerzon, and Kathryn Price, 68-82. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
“Curating Performance: Artist as Curator, Curation as Act.” Introduction to “Views and Reviews,” on the Montreal International Symposium on Curating the Performing Arts. Canadian Theatre Review 162: 76-77.

With Alanna Thain. “Tendering the Flesh: The ABCs of Dave St-Pierre’s Contemporary Utopias.” In TDR/The Drama Review

Preston, Virginia. “Imag/ing Theater: Wajdi Mouawad’s Seuls,” Theatreforum 35: 17-25.



“Curating Performance,” Views and Reviews, Canadian Theatre Review 162 (guest editor).

Kornas, Tadeusz and Caryn Swift. Between Anthropology and Politics: Two Strands of Polish Alternative Theatre. Institut Teatralny. Warsaw, Poland, 2007.


Beauvoir, Simone de. “Must We Burn Sade?” in Political Writings. Trans. by Kim Allen Gleed, Marilyn Gaddis Rose, and Virginia Preston. Simone de Beauvoir Series. Eds., Marybeth Timmermann and Peg Simons. Illinois UP: 50-101.

Performance Texts

(Forthcoming). “Trans-scriptive Things” and “The Last Wor(l)d” in Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage. Ed., Daniel Sack. New York/London: Routledge.


Preston, VK. 2016. Tanya Tagaq in Concert with Nanook of the North in Theatre Journal 68(4), 649-650

Preston, VK. 2012. La Délivrance de Renaud: Ballet Danced by Louis XIII in 1617 (Brepols, 2011), Dance Research Journal 44(2): 95-100. (Book review).

Preston, Virginia K. 2010. “Voyages: Revisiting Québec’s Delegation to Avignon,” Canadian Theatre Review 144: 99-101. (Festival review).

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