Rachel Shteir


Rachel Shteir is Associate Professor and Head of the B.F.A. Dramaturgy / Criticism Program at the Theatre School at DePaul University. Widely published, her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The London Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Bookforum, New York Newsday, the late Lingua Franca, American Theatre, The Nation, Playboy, Time Out, and the Village Voice.

Now in paperback, her first book, Striptease: the Untold History of the Girlie Show (OUP, 2004) won the George Freedley award for “the best book on live theatre published in the United States.” A U.K. edition appeared in February 2006. Her second book, Gypsy Rose Lee: the Art of the Tease (Yale UP) is part of the American Icons series; Her third book, on kleptomania, will be published by The Penguin Press.

Striptease received rave reviews here and in the U.K. In The New Yorker, Francine du Plessix Gray called it a “landmark.” In The Washington Post, Elaine Showalter wrote that Striptease was both “scholarly” and “entertaining” and in The New Republic, Toni Bentley lauded it as “a genuine contribution to the history of American culture.” In her remarks at the George Freedley awards ceremony, Margo Jefferson described Striptease as “an important cultural and social history.” The Times of London also reviewed Striptease positively, as did the Globe Mail, in Canada. William Safire devoted a recent column to the book.

Rachel has received many awards for her writing, including multiple MacDowell and Yaddo residencies. She has also served as an evaluator for many arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts. She has lectured on striptease at museums, libraries, and universities across the country, been the keynote speaker for gender studies conferences, and appeared as a “talking head” on documentaries and as a dramaturg in theatres nationwide. She is the curator of the forthcoming show at the Museum of Sex, “Striptease.”

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