McAuliffe, Jody 1954-

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McAULIFFE, Jody 1954-

(Johanna McAuliffe)


Born 1954; married Frank Lentricchia (a professor and critic). Education: Attended Middlebury College Russian School and Pushkin Institute (Moscow, Russia); Northwestern University, B.S. (with highest distinction), 1976; Yale University, M.F.A., 1980.


Office—Duke University, 208C Branson Building, Durham, NC 27708. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, director and critic. Duke University, Durham, NC, associate professor. Director of more than seventy plays, including The Mystery of Attraction, Somewhere in the Pacific, Otherwise Engaged and the Road to Mecca, and Mao II. Producer and director of film My Man Ray. National Endowment for the Arts directing fellow at Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles CA.


American Society for Theatrical Research, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Modern Language Association.


Illinois State Scholar, 1972; Certificate of Merit, National Merit Scholarship Program, 1972; Excellence in Theater Award, Northwestern University, 1976; Certificate of Achievement, North Carolina International Film and Video Festival, 1991; Distinguished Teaching Award, Trinity College of Duke University, 1994-95; Provost's Common Fund, 2000.


(Editor) Plays, Movies, and Critics, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1993.

(With husband, Frank Lentricchia) Crimes of Art and Terror, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Adapted My Man Ray and Don DeLillo's Mao II for film and stage production, respectively. Contributor to books, including Dissent from the Homeland: Essays after 9/11, 2003; and The New Trial, by Peter Weiss. Contributor to periodicals, including Southwest Review and Literary Imagination. Guest editor of South Atlantic Quarterly.


Jody McAuliffe, a professor at Duke University, has directed many modern plays nationally and regionally. McAuliffe also specializes in literary and cultural criticism and is the editor of Plays, Movies, and Critics. Her short fiction and critical essays have appeared in numerous academic journals and magazines.

Crimes of Art and Terror is a book McAuliffe cowrote with her husband Frank Lentricchia, also a professor at Duke University. The book grew from an idea the couple conceived following the events of September 11, 2001. At that time, the statement by German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who called the terrorist attack "the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos," caused a lot of anger. In an interview with the University of Chicago Press Web site, McAuliffe and Lentricchia stated that, inspired by Stockhausen's "plain envy of the ability of the 9/11 terrorists to capture and reshape consciousness," they conceptualized their first chapter on the "disturbing adjacency of literary activity with violence and even political terror."

The book explores the idea that there is a connection between art and terrorism that most people prefer to ignore. Lentricchia and McAuliffe maintain that terrorists can be placed in a tradition that philosophically and artistically dates back to the Romantic movement, which promoted a literature that was shocking and transgressive. Rather than arguing their thesis, the authors present quotations from artists, interweaving them with the voices of terrorists. For example, they include an imagined dialogue between the eighteenth-century German playwright Heinrich von Kleist and 9/11 terrorist Mohammed Atta. Reviewer Josie Appleto commented in the Times Literary Supplement: "The authors' experimental approach to the question is refreshing and engaging, but it can also be somewhat evasive." Appleto also noted that authors' "pseudo-literary style of presentation puts them at a certain distance from their words, and allows contradictions to flourish." A critic for Publishers Weekly found that "the book's accessible combination of conceptual daring and moral seriousness places it well above the common run of lit crit."



Library Journal, November 1, 2003, Aparna Zambare, review of Crimes of Art and Terror, p. 83.

Los Angeles Times, November 5, 1985, Dan Sullivan, "Morality Plays Askew at 'In The Works '85 Fest,'" p. 1; July 3, 1991, T. H. McCulloh, "Stage Review 'Accelerando': Love at Two Speeds," p. 13.

Publishers Weekly, October 27, 2003, review of Crimes of Art and Terror, p. 57.

Times Literary Supplement, January 16, 2004, Josie Appleto, review of Crimes of Art and Terror.


Duke University Web site, (September 28, 2004), author profile.

University of Chicago Press Web site, (September 28, 2004), interview with Frank Lentricchia and Jody McAuliffe.

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McAuliffe, Jody 1954-

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