Claire Gleitman

Claire Gleitman

Professor, Department of English
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Honors Program

Specialty:Dramatic Literature: Modern and Contemporary Irish, American and World Drama
Phone:(607) 274-3893
Office:303 Muller Center
Ithaca, NY 14850


Ph.D., New York University, 1992.
(Dissertation on contemporary Irish drama)
Master of Arts, New York University: 1986.
(Thesis on contemporary American drama)
Bachelor of Arts (with honors in theatre), Wesleyan University: 1983.


Introduction to Drama: Tragedy, Comedy, Tragicomedy
Critical Practice
Twentieth-Century American Drama
Staging History: Versions of the Past in Modern Drama (honors course)
Dramatic Literature I: Dramatic Literature to 1633
Dramatic Literature II: Dramatic Literature from Ibsen to the Present
400-Level Seminars in Drama: Modern Irish Drama & Taking it like a Man: Constructions of Masculinity in 20th Century American Drama

Research Interests and Ithaca College Activities

My research interests focus primarily on the modern drama and more specifically on modern and contemporary Irish drama. I have published articles on Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, and Sebastian Barry, all of whom are contemporary Irish dramatists. A particular and consuming interest of mine is the modern and contemporary history play, a genre that has been embraced and redefined by 20th and 21st-century playwrights not just in Ireland, but in America, Britain, Germany, Nigeria, and elsewhere. However, I also consider myself a generalist whose interest in dramatic literature spans many centuries and various continents.

In addition, I have a serious interest in playwriting. My original two-act play, Speech Acts, was produced by Theater Catalyst in the spring of 2004, under the direction of Carol Laratonda.

I am a founding member (along with Jack Hrkach, in the Theatre Department) of the On the Verge play-reading series. For information about this organization and its activities, feel free to email me. 

I am also the 2007 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award, granted by the Center for Faculty Excellence at Ithaca College.

Recent Publications, Presentations and Creative Work

"Three Characters in Search of a Play: Faith Healer and the Quest for Final Form," forthcoming, New Hibernia Review, 13:1 (Spring/Earrach, 2009).

"'Parading daily in thuh Great Hole of History': Foraging for Selfhood in Suzan-Lori Parks' Two 'Lincoln' Plays." To be presented at the College Language Association convention, Cambridge, Maryland, March 2009.

"'I’ll see you yesterday’: Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, and the Captivating Past,” Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama, ed. Mary Luckhurst (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing), 2008.

“Another look at those ‘three bollocks in a cell’: Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and the Power of Play,” forthcoming in Irish Theater in America: Essays on Irish Theatrical Diaspora, ed. John Harrington (Syracuse UP), 2009; originally presented at the 3rd annual Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference, Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, April, 2006. 

"'We are the chosen of God': Chosen and Stolen Identities in Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror," presented at the College Language Association convention, Miami, Florida, April 2007.

"'In the dank margins of things': Whistling Psyche and the Illness of Empire," Out of History: Essays on the Writings of Sebastian Barry, ed. Christina Mahoney (Dublin: Carysfort Press and Washington, DC: The Catholic University Press of America, 2006).

Speech Acts: an original, two-act play produced by Theater Catalyst at the Adrienne Theatre in Philadelphia, May 24th-June 18th, 2004 (directed by Carol Laratonda).

"Reconstructing History in the Irish History Play," Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Irish Drama, ed. Shaun Richards (London: Cambridge University Press), 2004.


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