Leon J. Hilton

Ph.D. '16, M.A. '10

Leon Hilton

Leon J. Hilton is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU. His dissertation, "Minding Otherwise: Autism, Disability Aesthetics, and the Performance of Neurological Difference," completed with the support of a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship, examines historical contestations around autism, mental disability, and the politics of neurological difference through the lenses of performance and cultural theory.

His writing has appeared in GLQThe Journal of Popular Music Studies, Dance Research Journal, The Los Angeles Review of Books, andTDR/The Drama Review, where he was also Managing Editor from 2011-2013. In addition to his dissertation, he is at work on two new research projects: the first considers the influence of political critiques of psychiatric power on avant-garde aesthetic movements (including theatre, performance art, and cinema) in the 1960s and 70s; the second explores representations of biological systems in contemporary poetry and performance art. In 2015/16 he will be teaching courses in performance studies, cultural criticism, and critical theory at Cal State-Northridge and Occidental College in Los Angeles.


New York University

Ph.D. - Performance Studies

New York, New York


New York University

Master of Arts - Performance Studies

New York, New York


Wesleyan University

Bachelor of Arts - College of Letters 

Middletown, Connecticut 

Published Works

"Mapping the Wander Lines: The Quiet Revelations of Fernand Deligny" - Los Angeles Review of Books, July 2015


"Presence, Rhetoric, Difference: Jérôme Bel and Theater HORA’s Disabled Theater"TDR/The Drama Review, Fall 2014