Elizabeth W. Son

Dr. Elizabeth Son's research focuses on the relationship between histories of gender violence and social transformation in contemporary performance in South Korea and the United States. She teaches courses on theatre and social change; race and performance; and trauma, memory, and performance in U.S. and global contexts. Her first book Embodied Reckonings: Comfort Women, Performance, and Transpacific Redress, under contract with the University of Michigan Press, explores the political and cultural significance of performances in South Korea, Japan, and the United States for the transnational processes of engaging with the history of Japanese military sexual slavery. She looks specifically at the work of Korean and Korean diasporic subjects in protests, tribunals, theatre, and memorial building as sites for reimagining what constitutes redress. Her second book project The Drama of Human Trafficking examines the interrelationship between the migration of trafficked Asian women into the United States from the nineteenth century to the present, anti-trafficking advocacy, and cultural representations of these women and their experiences in the media, film, and theatre. Her articles have appeared in Asian Theatre Journal (forthcoming), Theatre Survey, Theater, and e-misférica. She has courtesy appointments in the American Studies Program, Asian American Studies Program, and the Department of Performance Studies.


PhD American Studies, Yale University
MPhil American Literature, University of Cambridge
BA English, Wellesley College

Recent Awards and Honors

  • Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, 2015
  • URAP Grant, Northwestern University, 2013
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2010
  • American Society for Theatre Research, Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2008
  • Fulbright Full Grant to Korea, 2000

Undergraduate Courses

  • Performance and Politics in Asia 
  • Performing Asian America
  • War, Gender, and Memory in Asian American Performance 
  • Asian/Black Connections in U.S. Theatre and Performance 
  • Theatre and Social Change 
  • Theatre and Violence 
  • Contemporary Women Playwrights

Graduate courses

  • Performance and Politics in Asia
  • Violence, Memory, and Performance
  • Research Design and Prospectus Writing

Elizabeth W. Son

Assistant Professor of Theatre




70 Arts Circle Drive
Room 5-174
Evanston, IL 60208



Graduate Programs:

IPTD; Performance Studies