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Katie Schaag is a writer, artist, scholar, curator, and educator. She has worked with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison Public Library, UW Arts Institute, and UW Center for the Humanities to curate and orchestrate public arts and humanities symposia, workshops, talks, and performances. She is a PhD Candidate in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she researches social and political dimensions of avant-garde theatre. She is also a multimedia artist, and has taught public workshops on creative writing, performance, and art as activism. She is currently a Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Fellow and a consultant at UW Design Lab, a transmedia storytelling center dedicated to democratizing digitality.

Academic Research 

Katie is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in performance studies and visual cultures. She earned her BA in English and Women’s and Gender Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and her MA in English from UW-Madison. She has presented research at international conferences including Performance Studies International at Stanford University and Theatre, Performance, Philosophy at Paris-Sorbonne University. She has a book chapter in an edited volume forthcoming in Palgrave Macmillan’s Performance Philosophy series: “Biological Plasticity and Performative Possibility in the work of Catherine Malabou and Curious,” Inter Views in Performance Philosophy: Contemporary Crossings and Conversations, ed. J. Elliott, M. Pauker, and A. Street. Her current research project, CONCEPTUAL THEATRE: Race, Gender, and Dematerialization, explores the political potential of thought experiments in African American avant-garde closet drama and feminist performance art.


Katie teaches courses in modern and contemporary literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison, training students in literary analysis, critical and creative writing, transmedia storytelling, and experience design. As a consultant at DesignLab, a transmedia storytelling center founded by Jon McKenzie, she helps students and faculty develop creative teaching and research methodologies in digital composition and remediation. She has also developed several grant-supported creative process workshops with SALYER + SCHAAG: “Image/Text: The Performing Page” and “Collaboratory: Serious Play” at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, “Serious Play: Surrealist Experiments” at The Bubbler at Madison Public Library, and “Performance and 4D Art” at Arts + Literature Laboratory as part of the ArtWrite Collective’s Flourish! creative development series.

Public Programs/Curatorial

Katie co-founded the Art + Scholarship Borghesi-Mellon Workshop and the Madison Performance Philosophy Collective, with whom she co-curated a series of Theory-Practice Collaboratory workshops, a series of events with visiting artists, and two public symposia, MAD THEORY and MAD THEORY 2. She has also co-convened experimental roundtables at PSi (Performance Studies International) and M/MLA (Midwest Modern Language Association) exploring intersections of scholarly inquiry and creative practice.

Artistic Practice

As a poet, playwright, and multimedia artist, Katie works at the interstices of text, performance, video, book arts, and installation. She has performed and exhibited at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Chazen Museum of Art, Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), Darling Foundry (Montréal, Québec), Stanford University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Paris-Sorbonne, Little Berlin (Philadelphia, PA), Co-Prosperity Sphere (Chicago), Commonwealth Gallery (Madison), University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery (Knoxville, TN), Mess Hall (Chicago), Madison Public Library Central Branch, Herron Galleries (Indianapolis, IN), Art + Literature Laboratory (Madison), and i^3 Hypermedia (Chicago). Her writing has been published by Ugly Ducking Presse (Brooklyn, NY), Metatron (Montréal, Québec), Rabbit Catastrophe Press (Lexington, KY), Requited Journal (Chicago, IL), Word For/Word (Weston, WV), and Nat. Brut (Dallas, TX), and her plays have been staged at Hemsley Theatre (Madison, WI). In addition to her solo art practice she has a collaborative practice with SALYER + SCHAAG, with whom she has exhibited and performed widely. Their social practice project Performing MMoCA was selected for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA)’s 2016 Wisconsin Triennial exhibition.

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