Robert Graves is professor emeritus of theatre and dean emeritus of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For many years he served as the head of the theatre department and taught theatre history and dramatic literature to both undergraduate and graduate students. He supervised more than twenty PhD dissertations and appeared over forty times on an “Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students.”
Graves received a PhD in dramatic literature from Northwestern University in 1977, the year he joined the Illinois faculty. He has won campus and national teaching awards and has been active on many college and campus committees. In addition to serving as head of theatre on several occasions, for one year he was director of the School of Art and Design at Illinois. He retired as dean of the college in 2013.
His publications include articles and chapters on early modern and Irish theatre and books on avant-garde Asian drama and Shakespearean stagecraft. His Lighting the Shakespearean Stage, won the 2001 Sohmer-Hall Prize of the International Shakespeare Globe Center in London. His introduction to avant-garde Korean plays, The Metacultural Theater of Oh T’ae-sk, won the 2002 Korean Literature Translation Award. He is currently working on a monograph on Samuel Beckett’s relationship to early film. He serves on the architectural advisory boards of both Shakespeare’s Globe in London and the reconstruction of the second Globe playhouse in Staunton, Virginia.