hana with horse

Hana Worthen

Associate Professor, Comparative Literature and Translation Studies & Theatre and Performance Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University; Faculty, Ph.D. Program in Theatre and Performance, Columbia University; Affiliated Faculty, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society


Comparative Literature


502 Milbank Hall


Professor Hana Worthen teaches courses related to her research on animal languages/communication, embodied translation, interspecies justice, and the performative dimensions of political ideologies (communism, national socialism, neo/liberal humanism, and democracy).

She is the author of two monographs, Humanism, Drama, and Performance: Unwriting Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and Playing Nordic: The Women of Niskavuori, Agri/Culture, and Imagining Finland on the Third Reich Stage (University of Helsinki, 2007); a co-edited anthology Finland’s Holocaust: Silences of History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); numerous chapters in interdisciplinary anthologies; and scholarly articles appearing in major professional journals, such as Contemporary Theatre ReviewTDR: The Drama ReviewModern DramaTheatre JournalTheatre Topics, and East European Jewish Affairs.

Professor Worthen is currently working on a new book, bringing together critical animal studies, translation studies, and law to examine the ethical/political, cultural, and legal implications of translation as a species activity.

Her academic work has won awards from prestigious international institutions, including the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the Czech Academy, the Finnish Academy, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation.


  • University of Helsinki
  • B.A. in German Philology
  • Ph.D. in Theatre Research

  • Translation Studies

  • Critical Animal Studies

  • Performance Studies

  • Critical Animal Studies

  • Translating the Animal

  • Nazism in Performance

  • Theatre and Democracy

  • Bertolt Brecht: The Making of Theatre

  • Dramaturgy (Theory)

"For a Skeptical Dramaturgy." Theatre Topics 24: 3 (September 2014): 175-186.

"Introduction: Contesting the Silences of History." With Simo Muir. Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History. Ed. Simo Muir and Hana Worthen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

"Towards New Europe: Arvi Kivimaa, Kultur, and the Fictions of Humanism." Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History. Ed. Simo Muir and Hana Worthen. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

"Kristian Smeds's Countergeographies of Theatre." TheatreForum (July 2012): 56-65 .

“Dramaturgy of Desire, Ethics of Illusion in Kristian Smeds’s Mr Vertigo.” Contemporary Theatre Review 22:3 (August 2012): 400-11.

"'Finland is dead, dead, dead': Ethics and National Identity in Kristian Smeds’s The Unknown Soldier.TDR: The Drama Review 56.2 (Summer 2012): 34-55.

"'Humanism,' Scenography, Ideology: Antigone at the Finnish National Theatre, 1968." Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage. Ed. Helene Foley and Erin Mee. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

"Within and Beyond: Pavel Kohout's Play Makbeth and its Audiences." GRAMMA:Journal of Theory and Criticism15 (2007): 111-132.

"The Deutsche Tanzfestspiele 1934 (December 9-16, Berlin): Ideology in Movement and a Movement in Ideology." With David J. Buch. Theatre Journal 59 (2007): 215-39.

"The Pillowman and the Ethics of Allegory." With W. B.Worthen. Modern Drama 49:2 (Summer 2006): 155-73.

"The Veil of Jinotaj: Nasková's Loviisa of Niskavuori and National Resistance at Prague's Provisional Theatre during the Protectorate." Modern Drama 45:4 (2002), 593-610.

Review of Matthew Causey and Fintan Walsh, Performance, Identity, and the Neo-Political Subject. Contemporary Theatre Review, 24:3 (August 2014): 400-402.

Review of Kristian Smeds, Vyšniu sodas-Der Kirschgarten, Wiener Festwochen, Macondo, May 2011. Theatre Journal 64:2 (2012): 273-75.

Review of Kristian Smeds, Mr Vertigo, Finnish National Theatre, October 2010. Theatre Journal 63:2 (May 2011): 253-255.

Review of Gerwin Strobl, Swastika and the Stage. German Theatre and SocietyTheatre Survey 51:2 (2010): 314-316.

Review of Elizabeth Woods, Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet RussiaTheatre Survey 49:1 (2008): 154-156.

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