David Gardner (BA, English, Duke University) works on the intersections of theater and the novel in antebellum America, with particular interests in African American studies, gender and sexuality, and performance studies. His dissertation, "How Novels Act: The Dramaturgy of Nineteenth-Century American Fiction," traces the presence of figures from antebellum theater--blackface performers, actresses, star actors, and anonymous supernumeraries--in the novels of Melville, Hawthorne, Fern, Stowe, and Bird.
At Penn he has taught or assisted in courses on musical theater, Shakespeare, Moby-Dick, the Harlem Renaissance, queer literature, 21st-century literature, modernist and post-modernist drama, film theory, and nonconformity. He has also taught composition courses at the Community College of Philadelphia, and graduate seminars at Rosemont College.
After graduating in May 2013, David is thrilled to be heading to Andover, Massachusetts, where he will teach in the English department at Phillips Academy.