Gene Plunka

Gene Plunka

Professor Emeritus

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Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1978

Academic Summary

Dr. Gene A. Plunka received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from The University of Maryland, where he specialized in modern and contemporary drama. He has published eight books and forty-five articles in his areas of interest: modern drama and technical writing. Dr. Plunka also worked in private industry for five years as a technical writer and editor.

Dr. Plunka has been the recipient of these awards:
  • Distinguished Research Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Memphis, 1998-1999;
  • Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research, University of Memphis, 2005;
  • Amy & Eric Burger Theater Competition--Outstanding Essay in Theater, 2009;
  • South Central Modern Language Association Book Award, 2010;
  • Dunavant Professorship, University of Memphis, August 2012-August 2015.

Select Publications

Dr. Plunka has published forty-five essays and twenty-five book reviews. His books include Peter Shaffer: Roles, Rites, and Rituals in the Theater (1988); The Rites of Passage of Jean Genet: The Art and Aesthetics of Risk Taking (1992); ed., Antonin Artaud and the Modern Theater (1994); Jean-Claude van Itallie and the Off-Broadway Theater (1999); The Black Comedy of John Guare (2002); The Plays of Beth Henley: A Critical Study (1995); and Holocaust Drama: The Theater of Atrocity (2009). His latest book, Staging Holocaust Resistance, was published in May 2012.