Department Chair:
Caroline Jackson Smith

Phone: (440) 775-8154

Warner Center 100
30 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Roger Copeland

Roger Copeland

Professor of Theater and Dance

Contact Information


Hall Auditorium 207
(440) 775-8443

Roger Copeland

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Science, Northestern Illinois Univ, 1971
  • Master of Fine Arts, Yale University, 1974
  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Yale University, 1978

Roger Copeland is a Professor of Theater and Dance at Oberlin College. He has published well over one hundred articles about dance, theater, and film in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Village Voice, Dance Theatre Journal, Partisan Review, American Theatre, and many other periodicals.

His books include What is Dance? (named Best Dance Book of 1983 by the Dance Perspectives Foundation and paperback of the month by The London Times) and Merce Cunningham and the Modernizing of Modern Dance.

He has contributed chapters to many books and anthologies, including Conversations with Susan Sontag, Perspectives on Photography, Dance History: An Introduction, The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, The Dance of Defiance, Dance, Gender, and Culture, Dancing Female, Merce Cunningham, and The Encyclopedia of Dance and Ballet.

He has also worked as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Dance in America series on PBS, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, and the eight-part television series Dancing.

Professor Copeland has been awarded fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over the past few years, he has delivered keynote addresses at the University of Surrey's "Border Crossings" Conference, the Exodus Festival in Slovenia, and the "Confluences" Conference at the University of Capetown in South Africa. He has also taught at Yale, Carleton, Wesleyan, Colorado College, and the University of Bristol in the U.K. In 1998, he was Sage Cowles Visting Scholar at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He has recently become one of only three performing arts critics in the country to win a writing award from Stagebill, the national performing arts program; he received the award for his article "Cabaret at the End of the World," the cover feature in the January 1999 issue of American Theatre.

Professor Copeland teaches Concepts of the Avant-Garde and History of Western Theater.