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  • Matthew S. Buckley
  • Associate Professor of English
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  • buckley@rutgers.edu
  • Office:

    36 Union Street, Room 213, College Ave Campus

  • Primary Areas of Specialization:

    Comparative early modern and modern drama

  • Field of Interest: Early Modern, Restoration & Eighteenth Century, Romantic, Victorian
  • About:

    Professor Buckley specializes in comparative early modern and modern theatre and drama, with a particular emphasis on the drama’s relation to the history of modern mass culture, media, visuality, and time.  His publications include Tragedy Walks the Streets: The French Revolution in the Making of Modern Drama (Johns Hopkins, 2006), as well as articles in Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, Victorian Studies, Studies in Romanticism and elsewhere.  

    For the past decade, his work has focused on the origins and early development of stage melodrama and on the broad implications of melodrama’s extended, multi-medial, trans-cultural history.  In 2012, he edited a special issue of Modern Drama (55:4) devoted to recent international scholarship on melodrama on stage, film, and television; in 2013, he founded the Melodrama Research Consortium, a global network of over 125 melodrama scholars working across the humanities and the arts, to foster, organize, and facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research on the topic (www.melodramaresearchconsortium.org).  His current research projects include the Digital Database of 19th-Century British Melodrama, begun in 2008, which now includes more than 10,000 entries and is currently being used to generate the first historical atlas of British stage melodrama’s emergence and growth, and the Melodrama Database Project, an international, interdisciplinary effort, begun in 2013 and now including more than three dozen scholars, to design and construct a digital database of the global history of stage, film, television, and new media melodrama. 

    Professor Buckley is currently the director of the Melodrama Research Consortium and the Melodrama Database Project and the chief editor of the Ashgate Research Companion to Melodrama, a comprehensive guide to melodrama scholarship planned for publication in 2018. His current book projects include Becoming Melodramatic, which explores melodrama’s historical formation, examines its formal development and cultural impact, and assesses that history’s challenge to our understanding of both melodrama and narrative culture in modernity, and Place of Seeing, a re-examination of major works in the history of Western theatre iconography.

  • Book(s):
  • Undergraduate Courses Taught:
    • Introduction to Dramatic Literature
    • Restoration and 18th-Century Drama
    • City, Stage, and Court
    • The Dramatic Revolution
    • 19th-Century Theater and Drama
    • The Dramatic and Visual Avant-Gardes
    • 20th-Century Drama I
    • 20th-Century Drama II
    • American Drama
  • Graduate Courses Taught:
    • Theatre and Revolution
    • Spectacle, Spectatorship, and the Urban Subject
    • Drama and Modernity
  • Awards:
    • Rutgers University Research Council Grant (2008)
    • Keats-Shelley Association Prize for best essay in the general area of the Godwin Circle and later British Romanticism (2007)
    • Mellon Foundation Program Grant (2003)
  • Membership Affiliations:
    • Member, Modern Language Association
    • Member, American Society for Theater Research
    • Member, Association for Theatre in Higher Education
    • Member, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
    • Member, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
    • Member, Modernist Studies Association
  • Other Publications:
  • Education:

    PhD, Columbia University
    AB, Princeton University