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Tamara Underiner

Associate Dean
Administrative, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1003
Associate Professor
Administrative, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1003
Associate Dean & Associate Professor
Administrative, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1003
Associate Dean & Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1003
Biography: 

Tamara Underiner is associate dean for academic affairs and professional development in Arizona State University's Graduate College, and associate professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, where she serves as founding director of the Ph.D. program in Theatre and Performance of the Americas. She also convenes Creative Health Collaborations, a university-wide effort to integrate arts, humanities and design approaches in integrating arts, humanities and design approaches in health research, education, practice and policy. With Dr. David Coon, she co-directs a new NEA-sponsored Research Lab e the health-supporting role of the arts in different types of caregiving contexts and via a range of participatory arts experiences involving both caregivers and their loved ones. 

As associate dean, she convenes the University Graduate Council; oversees the general professional development activities of the Graduate College for graduate students, including the Preparing Future Faculty and Scholars program; develops new curricular innovations as part of its Graduate College Fellows Initiatives, and supports multi-level mentoring activities for graduate students.  She is also the Academic Integrity Officer for the Graduate College.   

Prior to joining the Graduate College, she was associate dean for research at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, where she helped to foster interdsciplinary collaborations between Herberger artists, researchers, and other ASU faculty and community members. 

With colleague Stephani Etheridge Woodson (MDT), she is the co-editor of the collected volume, "Theatre, Performance and Change" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).  She is the author of "Contemporary Theatre in Mayan Mexico: Death-Defying Acts" (University of Texas Press, 2004), and has published essays in Theatre Journal, RISE: The Journal of Applied Theatre, Signs, Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance, TDR, and critical anthologies from academic presses in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. She is active in the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Alliance for Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), the American Society for Theatre Research, and the board of the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, based in New York City.

As founding director of the doctoral program in Theatre and Performance of the Americas, she works closely with faculty across the Institute to develop individualized curricula, research projects, and funding opportunities for students interested in pursuing research on the relationship between artistic performance, in all its forms, and the ongoing history of the Americas and their peoples.

She earned a bachelor's in communication arts from the University of Dayton in 1980, a master's in theatre from Arizona State University in 1993, and a doctorate in drama from the University of Washington in 1997. She joined the ASU faculty as an assistant professor in 2001 after a faculty appointment at the University of Minnesota School of Theatre and Dance. In 2003, she was named a Faculty Exemplar by ASU President Michael Crow.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Drama, University of Washington 1997
  • M.A. Theatre, Arizona State University 1993
  • B.A. Communication Arts, University of Dayton 1980
Research Interests: 

The first half of my academic career was spent in researching theatre as a means of communal expression; the second in understanding how theatre, and the arts more broadly, can function as a form of medicine for individual and community wellbeing. Since 2011 I have been active in researching and developing programming around the integration of arts, humanities and design for health. Throughout, I have been concerned to explore, interrogate and create the conditions that promote equitable inclusion, whether in dramatic or canonical representation, classroom practice, or access to better health outcomes. Much of my recent work in publications and grant-writing has emerged from Creative Health Collaborations, which I co-founded in 2015 with psychologist David W. Coon, and with CENAS – Cultural Engagements in Nutrition, Arts and Science, co-founded with Seline Szkupinski-Quiroga,  Stephani Etheridge Woodson and Robert F. Karimi in 2012. I continue to stay active in my first field, as reflected in my single- and co-authored publications and conference presentations in the general area of theatre history and in my ongoing directorship of the doctoral program in Theatre and Performance of the Americas.

Research Group: 

Creative Health Collaborations

CENAS (Cultural Engagements in Nutrition, Arts and Sciences)

AZ Wellbeing Commons (Arts, Culture, Design and Humanities approaches to Health)

Publications: 

Theatre, Performance and Theories of Change, with co-editor Stephani Etheridge Woodson. London:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.  

Contemporary Theatre in Mayan Mexico:  Death Defying Acts. University of Texas Press, 2004. Spanish translation, Universidad Veracruzana, 2017.

“Of Models and Mechanisms: Theatre making as ‘intervention’ in individual health and wellness,” co-authors Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, Stephani Etheridge Woodson, and with Robert Farid Karimi. RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 22:4 (2017), 465-81

"Moveable Feasts and Immovable Paradigms:  Can Theatre Artists and Health Scientists Cook, Eat and Play Well Together?”  In Food and Theatre on the World Stage, eds. Dorothy Chansky and Ann Folino White. New York: Routledge, 2015, 189-206. Co-authored with Stephani Etheridge Woodson.    

“Redemption.” Ecumenica: Journal of Theatre and Performance v 7.1 and 7.2 (Fall 2014): 79-83.

Winham, Donna, Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, Tamara Underiner, Stephani Etheridge Woodson, and Megan Todd. “Integration of Theater Activities in Cooking Workshops Improves Healthy Attitudes Among Ethnically Diverse Adolescents.” A Pilot Study. Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition Journal.  Vol. 6 no. 2 (April 2014): 99-108.

“Cruel Mercies and Tender Ecstasies:  An Introduction to the Work of Caridad Svich.” Critical introduction to “Instructions for Breathing” and Other Plays by Caridad Svich, Seagull Press, 2014.

“Living Between Two or More Cultures: On the Interventions of PUENTE’s Community- Engaged Theatre.”  In New Essays on Canadian Theatre, vol. 3, eds. Natalie Alvarez and Ric Knowles. Playwrights Canada Press (Toronto), 2013:  62-86.

Burning Texts:  Indigenous Dramaturgy on the Continent of Life.” Indigenous American Drama: A Multivocal History, ed. Birgit Däwes.  Albany:  SUNY Press, 2013:  63-76.

“Plain Speech Acts: Reading Quakerism with Theatre and Performance Studies.”  Religion, Theatre and Performance:  Acts of Faith, ed. Lance Gharavi.  London:  Routledge, 2012: 100 – 114. 

“Playing at Border-Crossing in an Indigenous Community in Mexico. . . Seriously.”  TDR:  The Drama Review Summer 2011, Vol. 55, No. 2 (T210): 11–32.

“Violence Averted only to Return:  Visiting the Archive of ‘Pocahontas Plays’.” Violence in American Drama: Essays on Staging, Meanings and Effects, eds. Alfonso Ceballos Muñoz, Ramón Espejo Romero and Bernardo Muñoz Martinez. Jefferson, NC:  McFarland, 2011:  28 – 43. 

“Staging the Mestiza Subject in Recent Yucatecan Theatre.” In Representaciones Culturales:  Imágenes e imaginación de lo yucateco (Cultural Representations:  Images and Imagination of Yucatecan Identity), eds. Steffan Igor Ayora Diaz and Gabriela Vargas Cetina,Mérida: Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mérida, 2010. 

“The Demon’s Nun:  FOMMA and the Embodied Politics of Gendered Visibility in Mayan Mexico.” Theatre Research International Vol. 35, No. 2 (July 2010): 178-182.

“Caracol:  Transcontinental Substantiations in the Recent Work of Coatlicue Theatre Company.” Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance special issue “Nations Speaking:  Indigenous Performance Across the Americas” vol. 4.1 (2007): 55-72.

“Unmasking Mayan Mexico.”  American Theatre May/June 2005.  Excerpt from my Contemporary Theatre in Mayan Mexico.  28-ff.

Siete momentos en la vida maya:  Performance, Tourism, and Mayan Identity on the Yucatán Peninsula.  E-misférica 2.1 (Spring 2005).  Journal of the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. 

“Notes from the Ivory Labyrinth of Solitude.”  Theatre Journal 56:3 (Oct., 2004), 449-452.

"Intercultural Negotiations:  Contemporary Mayan Theatre in Mexico." Latin American Literary Cultures: A Comparative History.  Volume I: Configurations of Literary Culture. Eds. Mario J. Valdes and D. Kadir.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2004. 

"Opening the Shaman's Bag:  Latino Theatre, Mixed Audiences, and Tourist Logic." The State of Latino Theater in the United States: Hybridity, Transculturation and Identity. Ed. Luis Ramos-García. New York and London:  Routledge, 2002: 181-196.

"Incidents of Theatre in Chiapas, Tabasco and Yucatán:  Cultural Enactments in Mayan Mexico," Theatre Journal 50 (October, 1998):  349-369. 

 

Research Activity: 

 

  • National Endowment for the Arts.  $150,000 Cooperative Agreement to establish Caregiving Research Lab.  Co-PI David W. Coon, Edson CONHI, Investigators S. Woodson, E. Reifsnider, S. Langer.  Awarded Spring 2020.
  • Meharry Medical College:  $15,000 award for week-long residency in their Robert Wood Johnson Summer Institute on Health Policy.  Co-developed curriculum with CENAS team (S. Szkupinski-Quiroga, S. Etheridge Woodson and R.F. Karimi) for “The Emerging Importance of the Arts in Health Policy,” residency June 2017. 
  • NEA ArtWorks: Research Grant:  $15,000 award for Assessing the Impact of Theatre-Making on Individual Behavioral Change, awarded Spring 2015. With CENAS Collaborators S. Szkupinski-Qurioga and S. Etheridge Woodson. 
  • NSF-EHR-DRL(6/15/2015 - 5/31/2018):  App Maker Pro (AMP): Motivating STEM Study through App Development. .Greenes,Carole E.*Greenes,Carole E.*Hjelmstad,Keith DKaram,LinaLindquist,Timothy EMeltzer,David EUnderiner,Tamara Lou.  
  • HIDA Seed Grant, $12,000 award for Cultural Engagements in Nutrition, Arts and Sciences (CENAS):  A Pilot Study to Devise and Test a Health Promotion Curriculum Combining Theatre-Making and Cooking Classes.  With CENAS Collaborators S. Szkupinski-Quiroga, and S. Etheridge Woodson. Awarded Spring 2015. 
  • Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund (7/1/2014 - 6/30/2016). Nogales artistic residency programming. Stephens,Mary Sarah*Pinholster,Jacob DanielUnderiner,Tamara Lou
  • Institute for Humanities Research. $12,000 Collaborative Seed Grant for “The Diabetes of Democracy in South Phoenix:  Place, Performance and the Politics of Food.”  Lead P-I on a team that included Seline Szkupinski-Quiroga (medical anthropologist), Donna Winham (nutritionist), Stephani Etheridge Woodson (community-based artist), and Megan Todd (specialist in wellness and performance studies), with artistic partner Robert F. Karimi. Awarded May 2011. 
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
THF 397Prof Development Seminar
THP 484Internship
THE 499Individualized Instruction
THE 592Research
THE 599Thesis
THE 692Research
THP 692Research
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
THF 397Prof Development Seminar
TSS 593Applied Project
TWC 593Applied Project
CRD 593Applied Project
NUR 593Applied Project
MCO 593Applied Project
GRD 593Applied Project
HDA 598Special Topics
EPA 598Special Topics
THE 695Continuing Registration
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 499Individualized Instruction
THE 592Research
THE 599Thesis
THP 692Research
THE 692Research
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 695Continuing Registration
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 499Individualized Instruction
THE 592Research
THE 599Thesis
THP 692Research
THE 692Research
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 499Individualized Instruction
THE 592Research
THE 599Thesis
THP 692Research
THE 692Research
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 591Seminar
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 499Individualized Instruction
THE 592Research
THE 599Thesis
THP 692Research
THE 692Research
THE 695Continuing Registration
GRD 791Seminar
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
THE 320History of the Theatre I
THP 598Special Topics
THE 695Continuing Registration
THE 792Research
THE 799Dissertation
Expertise Areas: