Associate Professor Ana Elena Puga Recognized at ATHE

November 5, 2021

Associate Professor Ana Elena Puga Recognized at ATHE

Bench and Puga

Congratulations to Associate Professor Ana Elena Puga, Assistant Professor Victor M. Espinosa (Ohio State Newark, Sociology), and Associate Professor Harmony Bench (Department of Dance) for their research, which was recognized at this year’s American Society for Theater Research conference. 

Puga and Espinosa received the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History for their jointly authored volume Performances of Suffering in Latin American Migration: Heroes, Martyrs, and Saints (Palgrave 2020). The award committee offered the following praise: “Methodologically innovative, their book combines theater and performance studies with lucid ethnographic research to produce a compelling and timely intervention into one of the most burning issues of our day: migration. Thinking carefully through the drama of migrant life, Puga and Espinosa provide much-needed critical insight into the tropes through which social actors shape our response to moral issues. The committee admires in particular their demonstration that theater scholarship can matter to civic life not in spite but because of our attention to aesthetic, symbolic, narrative, and dramaturgical form.”

Along with her collaborator Kate Elswit and postdoctoral scholars Tia-Monique Uzor and Antonio Jimenez-Mavillard (all from the University of London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Bench received the joint ATHE-ASTR Award for Excellence in Digital Theatre and Performance Scholarship for Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry( The award committee noted that this project “stands as a model of how digital scholarship can transform the practice of historical research and historiography and points to the ways in which large datasets can be used to illuminate as-yet-untold stories of performers’ lives and works.”