Christina S. McMahon

Associate Professor

Office Location

Theater Dance West, Room 2514


Christina McMahon is an associate professor in the Theater and Dance Department at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Her first book, Recasting Transnationalism through Performance: Theatre Festivals in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Brazil, was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan in the award-winning "Studies in International Performance" series. She has published articles in Theatre Survey, Theatre Research International, Theatre History Studies, the Luso-Brazilian Review, and Latin American Theatre Review. She is a past recipient of the IFTR New Scholar's Prize (2007) and a Fulbright-Hays grant.

Broadly speaking, her research interests encompass race and representation, African theater and performance studies, postcolonialism in the Lusophone world, globalization, ethnography, and gender and sexuality in performance. Her current book project focuses on best practices for teaching and producing African theatre in the West. She is a guest co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of the journal Research in African Literatures on Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo.

Christina is also a creative writer and committed meditator, and is interested in mindfulness as a creative and pedagogical tool. She is a new contributor to the magazine Conscious Lifestyle. Her first play, Stand By: Meditations on Africa and the Afterlife, received a reading in the LAUNCHPAD program for new play development at UCSB in 2014.

Courses taught regularly:

Ethnographic Research Methods for Performance (grad seminar)
African Theater/African Performance Studies (grad seminars)
Race and Gender and American performance
Performance in Global Contexts: Africa and the Caribbean
African Theater and Drama
Special topics in African-American Theater


Selected publications:

“From Adaptation to Transformation: Shakespeare ‘Creolized’ on Cape Verde’s Festival Stage,” Theatre Survey. Theatre Survey 50.1 (May 2009): 35-66. (special issue on African and Afro-Caribbean Theatre)

“Mimesis and the Historical Imagination: (Re) Staging History in Cape Verde, West Africa,” Theatre Research International 33.1 (2008): 20-39.

“Embodying Diaspora: Ambivalence and Utopia in Contemporary Cape Verdean Theatre.” Theatre History Studies 27 (2007): 110-38. 

“Globalizing Allegory: Augusto Boal’s A Lua Pequena e a Caminhada Perigosa in Brazil and Cape Verde,” Latin American Theatre Review 39:1 (2005): 71-93.