Skip Navigation

Theatre Arts

Research-Driven Experimental Theatre

Amy Cook

Amy Cook
Amy Cook

Associate Professor of Shakespeare, Theatre History & Cognitive Theory
Current Chair of the Art Department
Faculty in English Department

BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
PhD, University of California


Twitter: @ProfAECook

Amy Cook is Associate Professor in English and Theatre Arts and current Chair of the Art Department. She specializes in the intersection of cognitive science and theories of performance and early modern drama.

Her book, Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting (University of Michigan Press, 2018)  argues that we build the characters of others from a sea of stimuli and that the process of watching actors take on roles improves our ability to “cast” those roles in our daily lives.

She has also published Shakespearean Neuroplay: Reinvigorating the Study of Dramatic Texts and Performance through Cognitive Science , (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and essays in Theatre Journal, TDR, SubStance, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and several edited volumes, including Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations.

She has an essay in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater (2015), and will have an essay in  The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition (2018). 

She teaches theatre history, Shakespeare, Theatre in New York, and seminars on cognitive approaches to the arts and humanities. 

Prof. Cook was at Indiana University, Bloomington from 2008-2014 and before that she was a Mellon Fellow in dramaturgy, directing, and dramatic literature at Emory University in Atlanta.

For more information and to download selected publications, go to

Login to Edit