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Billy Gunn


Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2735
Office: THH 255

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. Slavic Languages and Literature, University of Southern California, 2012
M.A. Theatre, Brigham Young University, 2008
M.A. Russian, University of Southern California, 2007
B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Russian, Arizona State University, 2001

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Lecturer, School of Dramatic Arts and Slavic, University of Southern California, Fall 2012   
Associate Faculty, Theatre Department, MiraCosta College, 2007-2011  
Adjunct Faculty, Theatre Department, Scottsdale Community College, 2002-2006  
Lecturer/Teaching Assistant, Department of Theatre and Media Arts, Brigham Young University, 2003-2005  
Assistant Lecturer, Writing Program, University of Southern California, 2010-2011  

Other Employment

Research Assistant - (Exhibition) Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde, 1910-1917, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2008-2009  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

In my interdisciplinary research, I am constantly drawn to examine the process through which culture is produced. I am particularly interested in how discursive undercurrents impact artistic practice. This includes analyzing overt attempts by totalitarian regimes to prescribe aesthetic and ideological norms, as well as the ways individual artists respond to such demands—both consciously and unconsciously. Focusing on the theatre of the early Soviet era and working under the assumption that theatre production is an inherently synthetic undertaking—an arena in which the literary, visual, and aural arts confront social and political discourse before of a live audience—I explore how classical Russian literature was performed during the 1920s. My approach balances the theoretical training I have acquired as a literary scholar with my practical training as a theatre director and actor.

Research Specialties

Russian Literature, Russian Language, Theatre History, Performance Studies, Acting Theories, Translation, Early Soviet Theatre Practice, Russian Avant-garde, Shakespeare Studies

Conferences and Other Presentations

Other Presentations

"Alexander Ostrovsky on the Stalinist Stage", The End of Music History, Princeton, Spring 2012   
"Negotiating the Transition: Anatoly Lunacharsky and the Economics of Early-Soviet Theatre", American Society for Theatre Research, Montreal, Fall 2011   
"Directors, Dramaturgs, and Deconstruction: Meyerhold’s and Eisenstein’s Textual Adaptations of Alexander Ostrovsky on the Soviet Stage of the 1920s", American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, Pasadena, Spring 2011   
"Backward or Forward: Alexander Ostrovsky, Melodrama, and the early-Soviet Stage", Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Los Angeles, Fall 2010   
"Theatre of Re-Appropriation: Reinventing Alexander Ostrovsky on Soviet Stages of the 1920s and 1930s", Comparative Drama Conference, Los Angeles, Spring 2010   
"Branding Russica: Orientalizing Self and Other in Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes", American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, Fall 2009   
"Bard Economics: Evaluating Shakespeare's Cultural Value", American Society for Theatre Research , Las Vegas, Fall 2004   
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