Prof. Derek Miller
12 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Derek Miller is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities in the Harvard English Department, where he has taught since 2013. His research considers the material relationship between the performing arts and industry, particularly the effects of law and economics on artistic production. He draws on both traditional archival and digital methods in his work. Other research interests include musical theater and music-as-performance. He holds a PhD in Theater and Performance Studies from Stanford University (2013) and a BA cum laude in English from Yale (2004).
His first book, Copyright and the Value of Performance, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, explores the implicit legal theories of the performing arts in nineteenth-century Anglo-American copyright law. Drawing on close readings of litigation and contemporary copyright debates, the book argues that copyright law creates performances as commodities by negotiating multiple theories of performance's value.
Visualizing Broadway, a project in the digital humanities, combines data mining and visualization with close readings of plays to explore theater on Broadway and other performing arts from a quantitative perspective. This research investigates theater and music as fields of cultural production defined by competition and scarcity, in which success is the exception, mediocrity and failure the rules.
In addition to his book projects, Derek has a number of articles in development. One, "On Bow and Exit Music," is forthcoming in the *Journal of American Drama and Theatre*. The article examines the use of underscoring during curtain calls in the musical theater, arguing that bow and exit music perform significant economic functions, in addition to their artistic utility. Other works in progress involve studies of popular, non-Broadway theater, examinitions of stage managers' reports, and investigations into the relationship between literacy and literary studies.
At Harvard, he offers courses in dramatic literature and theater history. His teaching emphasizes the relationship between text and performance and the material history of theater.
Derek's articles and reviews have appeared in Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Contemporary Theatre Review, Musicology Australia, TDR, and Studies in Musical Theatre. He has presented at national and international conferences, including at conferences of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the American Society for Theatre Research, Performance Studies international, and the American Musicological Society.
His extensive experience as a theater practitioner includes work as an actor, writer, music director, and dramaturg.