James McMaster

PhD Candidate

James McMaster

James McMaster is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at NYU. His dissertation theorizes the category of “care”—from the perspective of queer and feminist Asian American critique and cultural production—as a vexed feeling and doing that poses an ethico-political challenge to neoliberal multiculturalist regimes. He received his BA in Theatre with focuses in Acting and Performance Studies from Muhlenberg College and his MA in Performance as Public Practice, along with a portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies, from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also regularly taught. At NYU, James edits for TDR and is part of the editorial collective for Women and Performance. Also a poet and devised theatre maker, he has performed and presented work in Texas and across the northeastern United States.

Why PS @ NYU?

I was first introduced to the field when I took an "Intro to Performance Studies" class in undergrad taught by the then-chair of my theatre department, an alumnus of this program. I learned then that my interest in aesthetic performance and my inextricability from sociopolitical urgencies could be held together in radical and nourishing ways. It was to that end that I came to NYU PS, in particular, in search of a politicized bastion of minoritarian thought. I felt and still feel that this department—populated as it is with faculty and students of color, queer comrades, femme and feminist leaders, unparalleled thinkers of minoritarian art and politics—was the only place at which I would be able to become who I needed to be in order to live on in the world, in order to change it. I feel very fortunate to be here.


New York University

PhD Candidate - Performance Studies

New York, New York


University of Texas at Austin

Master of Arts - Performance as Public Practice

Austin, Texas


Muhlenberg College

Bachelor of Arts - Theatre: Acting/Performance Studies

Allentown, Pennsylvania


• "Why Hamilton is Not the Revolution You Think it is," HowlRound