Peter Civetta Lecturer, The Cook Family Writing Program; Director, Office of Undergraduate Research; Lecturer, American Studies Program

Peter Civetta is the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research in the Office of the Provost, running programs including the Undergraduate Research Grants (URG) and the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition.  He advises students on grant proposals, works to foster undergraduate research across the University, and helps to develop new initiatives.  In addition to his affiliation with the Writing Program, he is also a lecturer for the American Studies Program, where he teaches on the intersection of performance and culture, particularly looking at the impact of religion, politics, and comedy.  Before beginning this position, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, exploring the role and impact of religious beliefs on the 2008 presidential elections.

Civetta received his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Boston College in 1989, before working for almost ten years as a professional actor.  He received a Master’s in Theatre Studies from San Francisco State University in 2000 and a PhD in Theatre Studies from Cornell University in 2004.  His research explores the performance of religious/spiritual/moral beliefs in contemporary American society, particularly focusing on the impact of preaching as cultural discourse.  He was also the guest editor of a special issue of the journal Eccumenia devoted to the intersection of politics, performance, and religion.  In Evanston, Peter runs the non-profit Extraordinarily Sophisticated Imagination Club, a theatre program where children improvise and create their own original plays.