Dr. Megan Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a South African-American theatre historian and performance scholar concerned with the staging of national identity, gender, and race in a variety of performance media—including monuments and public pageants, traditional staged texts, and documentary and narrative films. Dr. Lewis is the author of a monograph about the intersections of whiteness, masculinity, national identity, and performance in South Africa, Performing Whitely in the Postcolony (2016, University of Iowa Press) and Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space (2016, Intellect Books and UNISA Press), a collection of essays and interviews about Cape Town-based Magnet Theatre, co-edited with Anton Krueger at Rhodes University. She is currently working on her third book project: a study of safari as performance in the US and southern Africa. Lewis has published on South African performance in Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Text & Performance, Theatre Topics, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism.
Prof. Lewis is a multidisciplinary educator with a passion for inspiring intellectual curiosity and advocating for the performing arts as a powerful force for social activation and change. Her teaching passions include African theatre and film, the politics of performance, non-Western performance traditions, and the performance of gender (masculinity) and race (whiteness). In 2015, Dr. Lewis received a Distinguished Teacher Award for her passionate work and politics in the classroom. Every summer, Prof Lewis leads students on an intensive study abroad program, called Arts & Culture in South Africa, focused around the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (theatrereinafrica.weebly.com). She served as Graduate Program Director from 2015-2017. She balances her scholarly life with a professional career as a documentary filmmaker and editor, and voiceover talent.