Contact Information


Office: GH-436

Voice: 657-278-3318

Dept: 657-278-3163

J. Chris Westgate



I earned my doctorate from the University of California, Davis in 2005 with a dissertation that examined the intersections of drama, critical geography, and urbanism, with emphasis on the representation of the homelessness and public space, gentrification and suburbanism, rioting and ghettoization. I earned my B.A. and M.A. from California State University, Sacramento.


2005, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

2000, M.A., California State University, Sacramento

1998, B.A., California State University, Sacramento

Research Areas

My research follows two parallel tracks.  The primary track, right now, involves modern drama and theater history, specifically a book-length project entitled, Staging the Slums, Slumming the Stages.  This project demonstrates how theatrical production during the Progressive Era served as an arbiter and producer of discourse on class, ethnicity, and poverty in New York City.  The second track is about contemporary drama, where I’m interested in the politics of performance and reception attendant with work by dramatists like José Rivera, George F. Walker, and David Hare.

Courses Regularly Taught

Modern and contemporary drama; literature, critical geography, and landscape studies; theater history; and cultural studies. 


Urban Drama: The Metropolis in Contemporary North American Plays. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

"Between Want and Wealth: The Failure of Upward Mobility in José Rivera's Early Plays."  "To Have or Have Not": Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modern Theatre.  Ed. James Fisher, McFarland & Co., 2011.  257-278.

"Evicted In—and From—Toronto: Walker's Beautiful City at Factory Theatre." Theatre and Performance in Toronto.  Ed. Laura Levin.  Playwrights Canada P, 2011.  136-155.

"O'Neill's 'Damned Unconventional' Play from the Prohibition Years: 'Anna Christie.'" Eugene O'Neill Review 33.1 (2012): 56-70.

"A Voice Evolving Through Time: An Interview with José Rivera." Contemporary Theatre Review 20.1 (2010): 86-99.

"Poverty, Philanthropy, and Polemics: Edward Sheldon's Salvation Nell and Theater History."  The Journal of American Drama and Theater 21.3 (2009): 25-47.


Office Hours

Spring 2024

W 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Th 4:00pm - 6:00pm