Annette J. Saddik

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Annette J. Saddik, Professor

Professional Bio:

Annette J. Saddik is Professor of English and Theatre at New York City College of Technology and the CUNY Graduate Center Doctoral Program in Theatre. Her area of specialization is twentieth- and twenty-first-century drama and performance, particularly the work of Tennessee Williams. She is the author of Contemporary American Drama (2007), a history of the postmodern performance of American identity on the stage since World War Two, and The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams' Later Plays (1999), and has edited and introduced a collection of Williams' previously unpublished later plays, The Traveling Companion and Other Plays (2008). In addition, she has published on the work of Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Tennessee Williams, and John Patrick Shanley in journals such as Modern Drama, The Drama Review (TDR), North Carolina Literary Review, Études Théâtrales, South Atlantic Review, Tennessee Williams Annual Review, and Valley Voices, as well as numerous critical anthologies and encyclopedias of theater history. Dr. Saddik's forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press, Tennessee Williams and the Theatre of Excess: "The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer," looks at Williams' late oeuvre through the theoretical lenses of the carnivalesque and the grotesque, using feminist and queer theory in order to contextualize his plays in a subversive politics of what she calls a "theater of excess," which seeks liberation through exaggeration, chaos, and laughter. She serves on the editorial boards of the journals Theatre Topics and the Tennessee Williams Annual Review.

Courses Taught:

  • ENG 1101: Composition
  • ENG 1121: Advanced Composition
  • ENG 2000: Perspectives in Literature
  • ENG 2002: Reading of Drama
  • ENG 3402: Gender and Sexual Identity: Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Literature
  • ENG 3403: One Major Author: Tennessee Williams

Graduate Courses taught:

  • The Grotesque in Theatre
  • Tennessee Williams in Context
  • Women's Performance Art and its Legacy
  • "Unnatural Acts": Women's Performance Art


Ph.D., M.A., B.A.: Rutgers University

Academic Interests:

Twentieth- and twenty-first century drama, modernism/postmodernism, performance theory, women's performance art, gender and queer theory, Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard, John Patrick Shanley, David Mamet, Antonin Artaud.



Tennessee Williams and the Theatre of Excess: "The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015).

Tennessee Williams: The Traveling Companion and Other Plays, editor and introduction (New York: New Directions Publishing, 2008).

Contemporary American Drama (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press [Distributed by Columbia University Press in the U.S.], 2007).

The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams' Later Plays (London: Associated University Presses, 1999).

Select Essays:

"There's Something Not Natural Here": Grotesque Ambiguities in Tennessee Williams' Kingdom of Earth, A Cavalier for Milady, and A House Not Meant to Stand." In A Critical Companion to Tennessee Williams. Ed. Brenda Murphy. London: Methuen, forthcoming 2014.

"John Patrick Shanley." Invited 7000- word essay in The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights. Ed. Martin Middeke and Matthew C. Roudané. London: Methuen, 2013.

"Sex, Lies, and Independent Film: Realism and Reality in Sam Shepard's Fool for Love." In Modern American Drama on Screen, ed. Robert Bray and Barton Palmer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

"Champion of the Fugitive Kind." Invited programme essay for the Old Vic production of Sweet Bird of Youth, starring Kim Cattrall. London, England. 2013.

"‘The Muted Warning of a River': The Clash between Nature and Culture in Kingdom of Earth." Invited programme essay for Artscape's production of Tennessee Williams' Kingdom of Earth (opened December 2012). Cape Town, South Africa.

"‘Drowned in Rabelaisian Laughter': Germans as Grotesque Comic Figures in the Plays of Tennessee Williams." Modern Drama 55.3 (Fall 2012).

Invited essay (in Turkish) on Williams' The Glass Menagerie for the programme of the 2011-2012 production in Ankara, Turkey, at Ankara Devlet Tiyatrosu. The production is currently running and expected to run until 2014.

"‘Too Grotesque and Too Funny for Laughter': Publishing the Late Tennessee Williams." In Tenn at One Hundred, ed. David Kaplan. East Brunswick, NJ: Hansen Publishing Group, 2011.

"‘Something about the Deep South of America and London's East End':Tennessee Williams's Late Plays and In-Yer-Face Theatre." Valley Voices 10:1 (Spring 2010).

Contributor to the Encyclopedia of Broadway and American Culture (2 Entries: Angels in America: Parts One and Two and "Tennessee Williams"), ed. Thomas A. Greenfield. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2010.

"Recovering ‘Moral and Sexual Chaos' in Tennessee Williams' Clothes for a Summer Hotel." North Carolina Literary Review, number 18 (2009).

Contributor to Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States (Entry: "Tennessee Williams"), ed. Emmanuel Nelson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009.

"Image, Myth, and Movement in the Plays of Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams." In The Influence of Tennessee Williams: Essays on Fifteen American Playwrights. Ed. Philip C. Kolin. McFarland & Co., 2008.

"Critical Expectations and Assumptions: Williams' Later Reputation and the American Reception of the Avant-Garde." In Bloom's Modern Critical Views: Tennessee Williams. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007.

"`Blueprints for the Reconstruction': Postmodern Possibility in Stairs to the Roof," Tennessee Williams Annual Review (2007).

"`The Inexpressible Regret of All Her Regrets': Tennessee Williams's Later Plays as Artaudian Theater of Cruelty," Rpt. in 20th-Century American Drama: Volume Two, ed. Brenda Murphy and Laurie C.J. Cella, London: Routledge, 2006.

"The (Un)Represented Fragmentation of the Body in Tennessee Williams'‘Desire and the Black Masseur' and Suddenly Last Summer." Rpt. in Short Story Criticism, volume 83: Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers, ed. Thomas J. Shoenberg. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2005.

"`You Just Forge Ahead': Image, Authenticity, and Freedom in the Plays of Tennessee Williams and Sam Shepard," South Atlantic Review 70:4 (Fall 2005).

Invited essay on Williams' Suddenly Last Summer for the Programme of the 2004 production at England's Lyceum Theatre, featuring Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton.

"Rap's Unruly Body: The Postmodern Performance of Black Male Identity on the American Stage," TDR: the journal of performance studies 47:4 (Winter 2003).

"Performing the American Dream: Postmodern Blurrings of Myth and Reality in the Work of David Mamet and Sam Shepard," Études Théâtrales/Essays in Theatre 20:2 (May 2002).

"`The Inexpressible Regret of All Her Regrets': Tennessee Williams's Later Plays as Artaudian Theater of Cruelty." In The Undiscovered Country. Ed. Philip C. Kolin. New York: Peter Lang, 2002.

"The (Un)Represented Fragmentation of the Body in Tennessee Williams' `Desire and the Black Masseur' and Suddenly Last Summer." Modern Drama 41 (Fall 1998).

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