Christina S. McMahon

Associate Professor

Office Location

Theater Dance West, Room 2514


Christina McMahon is an associate professor in the Theater and Dance Department at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Her book, Recasting Transnationalism through Performance: Theatre Festivals in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Brazil, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in the award-winning "Studies in International Performance" series. She has published articles in Theatre Survey, Theatre Research International, Theatre History Studies, the Luso-Brazilian Review, and Latin American Theatre Review. She is a past recipient of the IFTR New Scholar's Prize and a Fulbright-Hays grant.

Broadly speaking, her research interests encompass race and representation, African theater and performance studies, postcolonialism in the Lusophone world, globalization, ethnography, and gender and sexuality in performance.

Christina teaches mindfulness classes regularly at the Women’s Center at UC-Santa Barbara, and is a featured meditation teacher on the Aura and Insight Timer meditation apps. Recently, her work on mindfulness was featured in the UCSB current.

Besides academic scholarship, Christina does creative writing in a variety of genres. Her first play, Stand By, received readings in the LAUNCH PAD program for new play development at UCSB in Spring 2014 and Summer 2016. Both were directed by Risa Brainin. She is also a contributor to the Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.

As a children’s author, Christina is represented by Jenna Pocius at the Red Fox Literary Agency. Her picture book manuscript, “Just the Beginning,” won first place (“Most Promising”) at the SCBWI-CenCal Writers’ Day 2016. Current projects include a picture book adaptation of a Nigerian folktale, and an early middle-grade novel inspired by her years living on the Cape Verde Islands in West Africa.


Selected publications:

“From Adaptation to Transformation: Shakespeare ‘Creolized’ on Cape Verde’s Festival Stage,” Theatre Survey. Theatre Survey 50.1 (May 2009): 35-66. (special issue on African and Afro-Caribbean Theatre)

“Mimesis and the Historical Imagination: (Re) Staging History in Cape Verde, West Africa,” Theatre Research International 33.1 (2008): 20-39.

“Embodying Diaspora: Ambivalence and Utopia in Contemporary Cape Verdean Theatre.” Theatre History Studies 27 (2007): 110-38. 

“Globalizing Allegory: Augusto Boal’s A Lua Pequena e a Caminhada Perigosa in Brazil and Cape Verde,” Latin American Theatre Review 39:1 (2005): 71-93.