Areas of Expertise

Trustworthy artificial Intelligence (AI); feminist, transgender, queer, and critical race theory; Shakespeare; film and performance studies; digital humanities; disability studies; globalization; cultural diplomacy; Asian-European cultural exchange; early modern (Renaissance) and postmodern cultures; translation theories; intercultural theatre; Asian-American, East Asian and Sinophone (including Taiwanese) theatre and film

Video Highlights

bell hooks Lecture: Trans* Studies and Critical Race Theory at the Crossroad in Pop Culture


Joubin is currently a Public Interest Technology Scholar working on generative AI and open education resources (OER) as public interest technologies. She is a faculty in George Washington University’s Trustworthy AI Initiative, TAI (her Digital Humanities Institute is also a partner program of TAI). She is also a faculty affiliate at the National Science Foundation’s Institute for Trustworthy AI in Law & Society (TRAILS).

Shakespeare Bulletin 41.4 (Winter 2023): 529-553  :::  DOI: 10.1353/shb.2023.a920571 

When AI goes to theater with humans, it changes the dynamics of the social space. This article examines a case of audiences being asked by organizers to use an AI app on their phones to translate a sign language performance. This study draws on interface theories to analyze the roles of screens in regulating publics’ access to performance, producing new ambient conditions of theatergoing and changing the publics’ relationships to themselves and to performance.

     Whom does the screen interface serve, and how do artificial intelligence (AI) tools affect theatrical publics across both the playing space and the playgoing space? Screens in All the World’s a Screen, an Irish Sign Language production, served and became co-spectating theatrical publics. Operating both within and beyond the fabula of the performance, screens as anthropomorphic interfaces create multiple theatrical publics through an imperfect spectatorial proxy.

Oxford University Press, 2021

Four themes distinguish post-1950s East Asian cinemas and theaters from works in other parts of the world: Japanese innovations in sound and spectacle; Sinophone uses of Shakespeare for social reparation; the reception of South Korean presentations of gender identities in film and touring productions; and multilingual, disability, and racial discourses in cinema and diasporic theatre in Asian America, Singapore, and the UK.

     How do actors reposition their racialized bodies on stage and on screen? How did Akira Kurosawa influence George Lucas’ Star Wars? Why do critics repeatedly use the adjective Shakespearean to describe Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019)? How do East Asian cinema and theatre portray vocal disability? How do Korean transgender cinema and feminism transform gender identities in Shakespeare? Bringing film and theatre studies together, this book sheds new light on the two major genres in a comparative context and reveals deep connections among Asian and Anglophone performances.

The Routledge Handbook of Trans Literature, ed. Douglas A. Vakoch and Sabine Sharp (2024), 29-39    :::   DOI: 10.4324/9781003365938-4    

Performativity—how language tacitly or overtly affects social actions—is the core of all utterances and imaginative literature. This chapter examines transness through a theory of trans performativity. Specifically, this chapter engages what might be called body-swap narratives in a global context that were not labeled as trans, including Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Sally Potter’s film adaptation of it, Makoto Shinkai’s film Your Name, the Wachowski Sisters’ Matrix trilogy, as well as Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Trevor Nunn’s and Andy Fickman’s film versions of the comedy.

      Joubin’s theory of performativity hinges on the ideas that gender are social practices and interpersonal relationships that evolve over time and in different social spaces and that these practices are constituted, and sometimes undermined, by performative speech acts. Performativity destabilizes the idea of singularity and the perceived absolutism of such signifiers as gender.

The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Race, ed. Patricia Akhimie (Oxford University Press, 2024), pp. 195-211. 

   This chapter argues that race and gender are social practices that evolve over time, in each other’s presence, and in different social spaces. Bringing critical race theory and trans studies together, this chapter examines racial and gendered otherness through case studies of performances of Shakespeare’s plays. To correct the early modern studies’ tendency to privilege narrative texts, this chapter uses global and performance studies methods—as critical tools that are designed to capture transformative cultural practices—to highlight embodied significations of transness. The chapter concludes with a reflection on pedagogical implications of multidisciplinarity. Providing critical tools to understand atypical bodies, trans studies solidifies critical race studies’ support of minority life experiences. 

Adaptation 14.2 (August 2021): 187–205; DOI: 10.1093/adaptation/apaa031

Many screen and stage adaptations of the classics are informed by a philosophical investment in literature’s reparative merit, a preconceived notion that performing the canon can make one a better person. Inspirational narratives, in particular, have instrumentalized the canon to serve socially reparative purposes. Social recuperation of disabled figures loom large in adaptation, and many reparative adaptations tap into a curative quality of Shakespearean texts. Governing the disability narrative is the trope about Shakespeare’s therapeutic value. There are two strands of recuperative adaptations. The first is informed by the assumption that the dramatic situations exemplify moral universals. The second strand consists of adaptations that problematize heteronormativity and psychological universals in liberal humanist visions of the canon.  This article identifies a common trope in reparative performances of disability in order to highlight some questions the trope raises.

Shakespeare Survey 74 (2021): 15-29  (open access)

Co-authored by Alexa Alice Joubin and Lisa S. Starks, this article examines new theories and praxis of listening for silenced voices and of telling compelling stories that make us human. We draw on Emmanuel Levinas’s philosophy about the Other to design classroom practices for in-person and remote instruction that foster collaborative knowledge building and intersectional pedagogy. The moral agency that comes with the cultivation of ethical treatment of one another can lead to political advocacy. Special attention is given to race, gender, and the exigencies of social justice and remote learning in the era of the global pandemic. The new normal in higher education, which is emerging at the time of writing, exposes inequities that were previously veiled by on-campus life and resources. Even as they are cause for grief and anxiety, the inequities exposed by COVID-19 can spur change for the better.

Special Issue of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 14.2 (2023), edited by Alexa Alice Joubin

Cross-gender roles in Shakespeare have been misunderstood as “cross-dressing.” Cisgender-centric biases told us we have to suspend our disbelief to understand cross-gender acts. The enactment of gender practices is not predicated upon “substitutions” (as in substituting the boy actor for Desdemona). It does not entail diagnostic recognition (as in being reminded of the “real” body beneath the illusion of Desdemona). The special issue — 

  • proposes “trans” as method and as a social practice
  • argues that the enactment of gender practices is not predicated upon “substitutions”
  • demonstrates trans studies’ relevance to Shakespeare studies
  • highlights artists’ and practitioners’ voices and amplifies marginalized narratives

Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 14.2 (2023). Open Access.

This article proposes “trans” as method and as a social practice rather than as an immutable identity category that stands in opposition to more established ones such as cis-gender men or cisgender women. In Shakespeare’s times, the enactment of gender practices is not predicated upon “substitutions” (as in substituting the boy actor for Desdemona, for instance) or entail diagnostic recognition (as in being reminded of the “real” body beneath the illusion of Ophelia or Desdemona). This article outlines key issues with today’s terminology, suggests a more effective and inclusive vocabulary, elucidates trans as method, and demonstrates trans studies’ relevance to Shakespeare studies. 

Routledge New Critical Idiom Series, 2019

A study of ideas related to race throughout history. This book provides readers with an expansive, global understanding of the term from the classical period onwards:

  • Intersections of Race and Gender
  • Race and Social Theory Identity
  • Ethnicity, and Immigration
  • Whiteness and Legislative and Judicial Markings of Difference
  • Race in South Africa, Israel, East Asia, Asian America
  • Blackness in a Global Context
  • Race in the History of Science
  • Critical Race Theory

Books (Selected)

Oxford University Press, 2021

Co-authored with Martin Orkin. Routledge, 2019

Edited by Alexa Alice Joubin and Victoria Bladen. Palgrave, 2022. Illustrated excerpt with film clips. 

Edited by Alexa Alice Joubin and Elizabeth Rivlin. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

General Editor: Alexa Alice Joubin; Co-editor: Natalia Khomenko; Guest Editor: Katherine Schaap Williams. Routledge, 2024   :::    ISBN 9781032649238   ::: DOI 10.4324/9781032649238   

Co-edited by Tom Bishop, Alexa Alice Joubin, and Deanne Williams. Routledge, 2024

Co-edited by Tom Bishop, Alexa Alice Joubin, Ton Hoenselaars, and Stephen O’Neill. Routledge, 2022

Co-edited with Aneta Mancewicz. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018

Co-edited with Tom Bishop and Natalia Khomenko. Routledge, 2020

An open-access, multimedia, interactive textbook by Alexa Alice Joubin, George Washington University


Shakespeare Bulletin 40.3 (Fall 2022): pp. 417-437. DOI: 10.1353/shb.2022.0037

The American Journal of Chinese Studies 28.2 (October, 2021): 115-130. Interviewed by David Kenley and William Sewell

Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation 11.1 (2017)

Shakespeare: Journal of the British Shakespeare Association 9.3 (2013): 273-290.


The Routledge Handbook of Trans Literature, ed. Douglas A. Vakoch and Sabine Sharp (2024), 29-39  :::    DOI: 10.4324/9781003365938-4    

Trans Historical: Gender Plurality before the Modern, ed. Greta LaFleur, Masha Raskolnikov, and Anna Klosowska (Cornell University Press, 2021), 322-349

Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Interface (2023), ed. Clifford Werier and Paul Budra, pp. 332-344 ::::  DOI: 10.4324/9780367821722-30

Reimagining Shakespeare Education: Teaching and Learning through Collaboration, ed. Liam E. Semler, Claire Hansen, and Jacqueline Manuel (Cambridge University Press, 2023), 225-238  :::   DOI 10.1017/9781108778510.023

Global Shakespeare and Social Justice: Towards a Transformative Encounter, ed. Chris Thurman and Sandra Young (Bloomsbury, 2023), pp. 58-77.

The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Contemporary Performance, ed. Peter Kirwan and Kathryn Prince (Bloomsbury, 2021), pp. 132-150

Inclusive Shakespeares: Identity, Pedagogy, Performance, ed. Sonya Freeman Loftis, Mardy Philippian, Justin P. Shaw (Palgrave, 2023), pp. 221-234  :::  ISBN 978-3-031-26521-1   :::  DOI  10.1007/978-3-031-26522-8_14  

Coauthored by Alexa Alice Joubin and Elizabeth Rivlin as a chapter in Shakespeare and Cultural Appropriation, ed. Vanessa I. Corredera, L.Monique Pittman, Geoffrey Way (Routledge, 2023), pp. 222-233   ::: DOI: 10.4324/9781003304456-15

A Companion to the Biopic, ed. Deborah Cartmell and Ashley D. Polasek (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), 269-282.

Performing Shakespearean Appropriations: Essays in Honor of Christy Desmet, ed. Darlena Ciraulo, Matthew Kozusko, Robert Sawyer (Lanham, MD: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2022), 161-176

Transgender Theory and Global Shakespeare

Liberating Shakespeare: Adaptation and Empowerment for Young Adult Audiences, ed. Jennifer Flaherty and Deborah Uman (Bloomsbury, 2023), pp. 187-200

Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Global Appropriation, ed. Christy Desmet, Sujata Iyengar, and Miriam Jacobson (Routledge, 2020), pp. 25-36.

The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Performance, ed. James C. Bulman (Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 423-440. Click here to access the digital text. Click here for a scanned facing-page PDF file and here for the easier-to-read PDF of the print edition. 

Shakespeare in Succession: Translation and Time, ed. Michael Saenger and Sergio Costola (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023), 298-307

Digital Shakespeares from the Global South, ed. Amrita Sen (New York: Palgrave, 2022), pp. 93-104. 

Shakespeare’s Global Sonnets: Translation, Adaptation, Performance, ed. Jane Kingsley-Smith and W. Reginald Rampone, Jr. (Palgrave, 2023), pp. 161-179

The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare Vol. 2: The World’s Shakespeare, 1660-Present, ed. Bruce Smith (Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 1094-1101.

Shakespeare on Screen: King Lear, ed. Victoria Bladen, Sarah Hatchuel, and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Shakespeare, ed. Alexa Alice Joubin, Ema Vyroubalova, and Elizabeth Pentland (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism, ed. Evelyn Gajowski (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), pp. 247-261

The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts, ed. Mark Thornton Burnett, Adrian Streete, and Ramona Wray (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 68-87. (Excerpt)

Weyward Macbeth: Signs of Race, ed. Scott Newstok and Ayanna Thompson (Palgrave, 2009), 182-190.

Mo Yan in Context: Nobel Laureate and Global Storyteller, ed. Angelica Duran and Yuhan Huang (Purdue University Press, 2014), pp. 153-166.

“Lin Shu.” The Chaucer Encyclopedia 4 vols., Vol. 3, ed. Edited by Richard Newhauser (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2023), pp. 1085-1086. ISBN: 9781119087991. DOI: 10.1002/9781119086130.ch12

Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre, ed. Siyuan Liu. New York: Routledge, 2016. pp. 504-526  

Scenes from Dutch Formosa: Staging Taiwan’s Colonial Past, ed. Llyn Scott (Portland ME: MerwinAsia, 2014), pp. 153-179    :::  ISBN 978-1-937385-28-6

Performance & Book Reviews

The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Disability Performance and Global Shakespeare (Routledge, 2024), 199-200 

Renaissance Quarterly 76.2 (Summer 2023): 788-789 ::: DOI 10.1017/rqx.2023.292

Shakespeare Quarterly 59.4 (2008): 500-503.

Review of Performing the Socialist State by Xiaomei Chen  

CLEAR: Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 45 (2023): 338-340 ::: ISSN: 0161-9705

Review of Rethinking Chinese Socialist Theaters of Reform

CLEAR: Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 45 (2023): 335-338 ::: ISSN: 0161-9705

Chinese Literature Today 3.1-2 (2013): 163

Book Series

Editor, Palgrave Macmillan book series on Global Shakespeares

London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan

L’Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, France; ed. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin and Patricia Dorval

Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara; ed. Patricia Fumerton and Andrew Griffin

Board member, Brill book series on Hong Kong Studies: Between East and West

Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill; ed. Howard Yuen Fung Choy

Awards and Fellowships

Only research fellowships, grants, and awards are listed below. For teaching awards, please visit this page.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), collaborator: A Web Edition of King Lear which has been published as a print edition
ACLS and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship
Folger Library Fellowship
Stiftung Mercator (Germany) Grant for Weltliteratur und Welttheater
Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange grant for monograph publication
George Washington University Faculty Leadership Fellow
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, finalist for the Academy Film Scholar award

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