College of Fine and Applied Arts names new dean

By ME Online

Robert B. Graves has been appointed dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, pending approval by the Board of Trustees. He has served as the interim dean of the College since 2005.

Graves, who was born in Oak Park, Ill., earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Washington University in St. Louis, and master’s and doctoral degrees in theater history from Northwestern University, in 1971 and 1976.

“I have full confidence that the College of Fine and Applied Arts will build on its long tradition of excellence under the leadership of Dean Robert Graves,” said Linda Katehi, the provost of the Urbana campus, in a press release. “Professor Graves has the trust and respect of his colleagues on campus and a distinguished record of leadership within the institution.”

Graves joined the University theater department as an assistant professor in 1977. He first served as the head of the department from 1982 to 1987, and was reassigned to the position in 2000. He also was the interim head of the department in 1996 and 1999 to 2000.

In addition, Graves served as the interim director of the School of Art and Design in 1997 to 1998.

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Graves has taught theater history and dramatic literature to undergraduate and graduate students, specializing in Renaissance and early modern theater. As a scholar, he has published books on early-modern English theater and avant-garde Asian drama, as well as journal articles on Greek drama, Elizabethan staging, Irish theater and Samuel Beckett.

Graves is the author of the book “Lighting the Shakespearean Stage, 1567-1642,” and co-author, with Ah-jeong Kim, of another, “The Metacultural Theater of Oh T’ae-sok: Five Plays From the Korean Avant-Garde.” “Lighting the Shakespearean Stage” was awarded the Sohmer-Hall Prize for best book published in 1999 on 16th- and 17th-century English stagecraft by London’s International Shakespeare Globe Centre. The book also received honorable mention for the Barnard Hewitt Award in theatrical history of the American Society for Theatre Research.

His many honors and awards include an Undergraduate Instructional Award, Amoco Foundation Award for Undergraduate Instruction, Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and American College Testing Program Award for Innovative Teaching in the Arts.