Bruce Henderson has been on the faculty of Ithaca College, since 1988, and holds the rank of tenured full professor of Communication Studies. His main areas of teaching and research within Communication Studies are Performance Studies, Rhetoric, and Health Communication; in addition, he works in disability studies, queer studies, and literary criticism and linguistics. He served as department chair from 1998-2003 and coordinator of the college's interdisciplinary program in Culture and Communication from 2006-2012. He is a member of the Honors Faculty, the Women's and Gender Studies Faculty, and the Gerontology Institute, and has taught in the Ithaca Seminar Program and for the Department of Occupational Therapy. He received the B.S., M.A., and Ph.D from the School of Communication at Northwestern University, where his major emphasis was Interpretation/Performance Studies with cognate work in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism and English and American Literature. In 2006, he received a second Ph.D., in Disability Studies, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Previous to his tenure at Ithaca, he taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, Triton College, and Eastern Illinois University (as well as at Northwestern).
He has co-authored two textbooks in performance studies with Carol Simpson Stern: Performance: Texts and Contexts (Longman) and Learning to Perform: An Introduction (Northwestern). He also co-edited, with Noam Ostrander, Understanding Disability Studies and Performance Studies (Routledge), and is currently under contract with Harrington Park Press to write an undergraduate textbook in LGBTQ/Queer Studies, tentatively titled Introducing Queer Studies: Beyond Binaries (expected completion, 2016). He was Editor in Chief of Text and Performance Quarterly and Disability Studies Quarterly. He has written more than thirty other publications in various journals, reference works, and edited volumes. He is also a frequent performer and director, most recently of the one-person show Last Summer in Milledgeville: The Misfit's Playhouse, based on the writings of Flannery O'Connor and his recent time as an NEH Summer Scholar at Georgia College. In addition to his textbook, current research focuses on the intersections of disability, race, and sexuality in literature, performance, and culture of the American South, as well as masculinities and disability in general.
He has served widely, both at home institutions and more broadly at disciplinary and organizational levels. At Ithaca College, he was a member for eight years of the All-College Tenure and Promotion Committee, serving twice as chair. He also served as officer (including president) of the college's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, IC's only all-college honor society. Within the National Communication Association, he has served leadership roles in both the Performance Studies Division and the Disability Issues Caucus (including Vice-Chair and Chair of both units), as well as a term on the Diamond Anniversary Monograph Award Committee (including Chair) and currently serves on the Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies and on the National Review Board for Performance Studies. He has also served on the Legislative Assembly, the Affirmative Action Committee, and the Committee on Committees. He served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Interpretation and Performance Studies Interest Group of the Eastern Communication Association. He also served a term on the Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies.
Dr. Henderson has received a number of honors, including the Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies from the National Communication Association in 2011, as well as the Distinguished Service Award from the Performance Studies Division. At Ithaca College, he received the Faculty Excellence Award and was inducted as faculty member of Phi Kappa Phi. He has received five summer seminar/institute fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.