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Northwestern School of Communication

Margaret Thompson Drewal

Associate Professor Emerita
Margaret Thompson Drewal

Margaret Thompson Drewal is a performance theorist, dance historian, and ethnographer. She has studied Yoruba (West Africa) and Afro-Brazilian ritual performance, late-19th/early 20th- century American dance and popular entertainments, including performance at early International Expositions. Drewal has special interests in the poetics and politics of performance discourse. She has been trained professionally as a dancer and choreographer.


  • PhD New York University


  • Performers, Play, and Agency: Yoruba Ritual Process (1989)
  • Gelede: Art and Female Power Among the Yoruba (co-author with Henry Drewal) (1983) Need pub info
  • Numerous articles that have appeared in journals such as TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies, African Studies Review, African Arts, and The Journal of Ritual Studies.