Dr. Catherine Schuler, Professor Emerita of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, died on November 7, 2022 from metastatic cancer. She was 70 years old. A brilliant scholar, incandescent teacher, and creative performer and director, Dr. Schuler earned her Ph.D. from Florida State University. She joined the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University of Maryland, College Park in 2011 and had previously been a faculty member in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Dr. Schuler was a memorable teacher and prolific writer. Most notably, she served as the editor of Theatre Journal, the leading peer-reviewed journal in theatre studies in the U.S. She was the author of Theatre and Identity in Imperial Russia (Iowa UP, 2009) and Women in Russian Theatre: the Actress in the Silver Age (Routledge, 1996). She also coedited Theatre and Feminist Aesthetics (Associated University Presses, 1995) and published articles and book reviews in Theatre Journal, TDR (The Drama Review), Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, Theatre History Studies, Theatre Research International, and the Slavic Review.
Her awards, honors, and fellowships were numerous. Most recently, she was a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, where she was working on a book about Putin’s performances. Over the years, she earned the Barnard Hewitt Award for Best Book in Theatre History (1997), a Fulbright Fellowship (2004), the Heldt Award for Best Article in Slavic Women’s Studies (1993), IREX Short-Term Travel Grant (1998), and seven UMD research grants, as well as two American Society for Theatre Research fellowships. For her innovative and memorable teaching, she received three University of Maryland teaching awards and a Phi Kappa Phi mentoring award. Dr. Schuler’s inventive productions, especially her gender-reversal versions of Dr. Faustus and Peter Pan, have left a lasting impression on the theatre community.
Outside of her work at Maryland, Dr. Schuler was an avid biker, runner, and animal rescue advocate. She fostered many dogs and was particularly fond of dachshunds and corgis. Dr. Schuler enjoyed attending theatre performances, visiting museums, and trying out new vegetarian and vegan food offerings in the DC area. On her happiest days, she walked her dogs around her neighborhood in Silver Spring and rode her bike to the Bagel Place of College Park, where she always ordered a spinach cheese melt.
Dr. Schuler leaves behind her family, her two dogs, and many friends in the U.S., Russia, and Finland. A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 14th at 11:00am (Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814). If you would like to attend via Zoom, please email Sarah Singer for access details (firstname.lastname@example.org). In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of her favorite charities: Second Chance Wildlife Center (http://www.scwc.org/) or Pointless Theatre (http://www.pointlesstheatre.com/).