Douglas A. Jones, Jr.
Associate Professor of English


African-American & Diaspora, Drama, Early American, Nineteenth Century American

American literatures before Reconstruction; African American culture and writing before 1920; performance theory; literature and/as political philosophy, especially American democratic theory

Douglas Jones' research and courses treat (African) American literatures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, drama and performance studies, and cultural histories of slavery in British North America and the US. He is currently working on a monograph that focuses on early African American  writers' contributions to democratic theory and praxis. An essay from that research appears in Early American Literature. He is also in the midst of two editorial projects: a special issue of Modern Drama called “Slavery’s Reinventions,” which considers the ubiquity of slavery in drama and theatre of the long twentieth century; and a co-edited volume called Time Signatures: Race and Performance After Repetition, which considers the many ways in which minoritarian performance keeps time and theorizes temporality.

Professor Jones is the author of The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan, 2014) as well as articles and essays that have appeared or are forthcoming in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century AmericanistsEarly American Literature, Theatre SurveyTDR/The Drama Review, and ESQ: A Journal of The American Renaissance, among other scholarly journals, and a wide range of edited collections. He is also co-editor of The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays (Methuen/Bloomsbery, 2013).

He serves on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Theatre Research (2016-2019) and the editorial board of Theatre Survey. At Rutgers, he is director of the Certificate in Drama and Performance Studies and coordinates the Literature and Political Theory working group in the Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA). A former fellow of the Princeton Society of Fellows, Professor Jones is also on faculty at the Bread Loaf School of English, where he has held the Frank and Eleanor Griffiths Chair.

Office / Office Hours

36 Union Street, #101, College Ave Campus

Wednesday, 1-4:30 and by appointment


  • The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan, 2014)
  • Co-editor, with Harry J. Elam, Jr., The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays (Methuen/Bloomsbury, 2013)

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Courses Taught

  • Antebellum American Literature
  • Slavery and American Culture: Seminar
  • Uncle Tom and Anti-Toms: Seminar
  • Black American Writing and Literature to 1910
  • Introduction to Performance Theory
  • Staging America from the Colonial Period to the Civil War
  • The Literature of Black New York from Slavery to the Great Migration
  • Twentieth-Century American Drama
  • Civilization and its Discontents
  • Slavery and Personhood: Ontologies and (Narrative) Afterlives
  • Form, Genre, and Period in Early African American Writing
  • Emerson and Douglass

Awards and Affiliations

  • Winner of the inaugural Josè Esteban Muñoz Working Session, American Society for Theatre Research (2016)
  • Frank and Eleanor Griffiths Chair, Bread Loaf School of English (2015)
  • Cotsen Fellow, Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, 2011-2013, Princeton University
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2011-2012 (Declined), Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
  • Wendell Cole Memorial Award for Distinguished Dissertation, Stanford University


Ph.D., Stanford