About Me

Website

www.cgrobe.com 

Degrees

Ph.D. (2011), M.Phil./M.A. (2009), Yale University, English Department

B.A. (2005), Yale University, English & Theatre Studies Departments

Teaching

I specialize in the twentieth-century entanglement of literature, performance and media, and I teach across the long history of drama. I came to literary studies from a career in the theater, and this background explains my interests as a thinker and a teacher. In traditional theater, the actor’s task is to inhabit that no-man’s-land between the printed text of the play and the proliferating possibilities of its performance. My years spent in this no-man’s-land convinced me that whenever we deal with texts, we must pay attention to the performances they prompt or presume. Is that book you’re holding meant to be read silently or aloud, in private or in public, alone or together? Is it meant to be read at all? We instinctively consider such questions when reading plays, but what of novels, poems, or essays? We must ask not only what they offer us as readers, but also what they demand of us.

Publications

Books
  • The Art of Confession: The Performance of Self from Robert Lowell to Reality TV (NYU Press, 2017). (Link)
  • Imitation Games: Actors, Robots, and the Art of Seeming Human (manuscript in progress)
Journal Articles
  • "On Book: The Performance of Reading," New Literary History 47.4 (Autumn 2016): 567-589. (Link)
  • contributor to "A Constellation of Imagined Theatres: Technology and Performance," ed. Daniel Sack, Theatre Journal 68.3 (September 2016): 379-403. (Link)
  • "Why It's 'Easier to Act with a Telephone than a Man,'" Theatre Survey 57.2 (May 2016): 175-199. (Link)
  • “Every Nerve Keyed Up: 'Telegraph Plays' and Networked Performance, 1850-1900," Theater 46.2 (Spring 2016): 7-33. (Link)
  • “The Breath of the Poem: Confessional Print/Performance Circa 1959."  PMLA 127.2 (March 2012): 215-230. (Link)
  • “Love and Loneliness: Secular Morality in the Plays of Conor McPherson.” Princeton University Library Chronicle 68.1-2 (2006): 684-704.
    • (excerpted in the Norton anthology of Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama, 563-568)
Book Chapters
  • “Sound, or, An Essay on 'O'” in Further Reading, ed. Leah Price & Matthew Rubery (Oxford UP, forthcoming).
  • “Playing with Technodollies: The TV Actress and Other Technologies,” Orphan Black: Performance, Gender, Biopolitics, ed. Andrea Goulet and Robert Rushing (Intellect Books, forthcoming).
  • contributor to Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage, ed. Daniel Sack (Routledge, 2017): 140, 192-3, 233. (Link)
  • "Advertisements for Themselves: Poetry, Confession, and the Arts of Publicity," American Literature in Transition, 1950-1960, ed. Steven Belletto (Cambridge UP, 2017): 238-250. (Link)
  • "From the Podium to the Second Row: The Vanishing Feel of an Anne Sexton Reading" in This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton, (UP of Florida, 2017): 127-140. (Link
Editorial Projects
  • India & After: the lost monologue of Spalding Gray (manuscript in progress)
    • An adventurous edition of an unpublishable performance
  • "The Anne Sexton Reading Poems" in This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton, University Press of Florida (forthcoming 2016): 141-154. (Link)
    • A collection of poems sent to Sexton by her fans about the experience of attending her poetry readings.
Reviews & Other Short Essays
  • "The Case of the Missing Detective: William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes Rediscovered and Restored," Los Angeles Review of Books (January 2016). Online.  (Link)
  • Review of Bodies on the Line: Performance and the Sixties Poetry Reading by Raphael Allison, New England Quarterly 88.3 (September 2015): 532-4.  (Link)
  • "Hollywood Calling: Luise Rainer, Sally Hawkins, and the First Law of Telephone Scenes," Los Angeles Review of Books (January 2015). Online.  (Link)
  • "Lending An Ear," Public Books (May 2014). Online.  (Link)
  • "Memoir 2.0; or, Confession Gone Wild," Public Books (March 2013). Online.  (Link)
  • Review of American Poetry in Performance: From Walt Whitman to Hip Hop.  Modern Drama 55.4 (Winter 2012): 579-81. (Link)
  • "Refined Mechanicals; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Share the Stage: New Scholarship on Theater and Media." Theater 42.2 (May 2012): 139-146. (Link)
  • “Canonical Improvisations: The Case of Them.” Theater 41.2 (2011): 5-7. (Link)
  • “Twice Real: Marina Abramović and the Performance Archive.” Theater 41.1 (2011): 104-113. (Link)
  • The New Haven Independent (head theater critic, 2007-2008)
  • The Village Voice (contributing theater critic, 2008-2010)