Dr. Diana Benea

Assistant Professor of English and American Studies

BA, University of Bucharest, 2008
MA, University of Bucharest, 2010
PhD, University of Bucharest, 2013

Office hours: by appointment


Contemporary Theatre: Representations of Crisis


Diana Benea is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Bucharest, where she teaches self-designed courses in 20th and 21st century American literature, methodologies in cultural studies, and contemporary American theatre. Her publications include a monograph and book chapters on Thomas Pynchon’s works, as well as articles on contemporary theatre practices.

She was a visiting doctoral researcher at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies in Berlin (2012) and a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the City University of New York—The Graduate Center (2017-2018), with a research project on the politics and aesthetics of community-based theatre in the US. She has been recently awarded a research fellowship at the Eccles Centre for American Studies – The British Library (2020).

Her current research focuses on the theory, praxis, and pedagogy of theatre for social change, particularly documentary and community-based formats, in the US as well as the Romanian context.



The Political Imagination of Thomas Pynchon’s Later Novels. Ars Docendi – University of Bucharest Press, 2017, 247 pages. ISBN 978-973-558-993-6.

Journal articles and book chapters

  • “Thomas Pynchon.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Fiction, 1980-2020. Eds. Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen Burn, and Lesley Larkin. Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming. ISBN13 9781119431718; ISBN10 1119431719.
  • “Producing Community: A Process-Oriented Analysis of Ping Chong + Company’s Undesirable Elements: Generation NYZ (2018).” American Dramaturgies for the 21st Century. [part of the e-Theatrum mundi series]. Ed. Julie Vatain-Corfdir. Paris: Sorbonne Université Presses, 2021. pp. 219 – 244. ISBN 979-10-231-1793-6.
  • “Thomas Pynchon’s Hybrid California(s): In Search of Spatial/Social Justice in Inherent Vice.A Dark California: Essays on Dystopian Depictions in Popular Culture. Eds. Agata Zarzycka and Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2017. pp. 139 – 152. Print ISBN: 978-1-4766-6783-6. Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2959-9.
  • “’Turning Setbacks into Comebacks’: Representing Disability in Ping Chong’s Inside/ Out . . . Voices from the Disability Community.” B.A.S – British and American Studies XXIII, Timisoara: West University Press, 2017. pp. 109 – 121. ISSN 1224 – 3086.
  • “Negotiating the Quandaries of Post-9/11 Pakistani American Identity in Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced.” Moravian Journal of Literature and Film 6.2 (Fall 2015).Olomouc, Czech Republic: Palacky University Press. pp. 51 – 66. ISSN 1803-7720.
  • “Visions of Community in Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland.Embracing Multitudes of Meaning. Ed. M. Burada, R. Sinu, O. Tatu. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. pp. 352 – 370. ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-7060-3. [ISI Web of Science – Proceedings].