Skip to Content

Petra Kuppers

Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture

Petra Kuppers Profile photo


Curriculum Vitae
  • PhD, Performance Studies and Feminist Theory, Falmouth College of Arts, UK

Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a German community performance artist and a disability culture activist. She uses social somatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures.

She has been engaged in community performance and disability culture production since the late 80s and continues to lead workshops internationally. Her latest academic study is Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (University of Minnesota Press, 2022, open access).

Petra was a 2021 Dance Research Fellow at the New York Public Library, a 2022 Dance/USA Fellow, and a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on Three Fires Confederacy Territory.

Her third performance poetry collection, Gut Botany (Wayne State University Press, 2020), was named one of the top ten US poetry books of 2020 by the New York Public Library, and won the 2022 Creative Book Award by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. Her fourth poetry collection, Diver Beneath the Street, investigates true crime and ecopoetry at the level of the soil (Wayne State University Press, 2024).