Warren Kluber

Doctoral Candidate in the Theatre Subcommittee of the Department of English and Comparative Literature

Columbia University

Heyman Center Fellow, 2018 - 2019

Project Title: "Theatre of Operations / Operating Theatre"

Warren Kluber is a doctoral candidate in the Theatre Subcommittee of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His research focuses on war and medicine in modern and contemporary drama, and his dissertation, “Theatre of Operations / Operating Theatre,” studies anti-war theatre that has looked to medical models for new theatrical forms and strategies. Within an overarching phenomenological framework, and incorporating methods from cognitive science, affect theory, and lacanian psychoanalysis, Kluber details how these medical dramaturgies catalyze different spectatorial ways of knowing, feeling, and acting. And he argues for their exigency as representational tools for wrestling with the new rhetoric and reality of 21st-century asymmetric warfare. As medical discourse, imagery, and conceptual metaphors are increasingly deployed as weapons of war – from the “surgical strikes” conducted by drone operators, to the medically-sanctioned torture perpetrated under the nom de guerre of “enhanced interrogation” – medical models developed in the theatre can operate as both instruments of critique, and imaginative resources for envisioning and enacting a different relationship to the “theatre of war.”

Kluber has published articles in Theatre Journal, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. In Fall 2018, he will teach a new course at Columbia on “War Plays” from the Greeks to today.