A former Jumbo who earned her doctorate from the department, Nathans's scholarly interests include representations of race, gender, and ethnicity on the U.S. American stage, African American theatre, Jewish American theatre, musical theatre, 17th and 18th century French theatre, theatre historiography, English Restoration drama, and directing.
Nathans is the Editor for the award-winning Studies in Theatre History and Culture series from the University of Iowa Press (https://uipress.uiowa.edu/series/studies-theatre-history-and-culture). She is the recipient of the John W. Frick Book Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society, the Betty Jean Jones Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society (https://www.atds.org/awards/), and the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History from the American Society for Theatre Research (https://www.astr.org/page/BarnardHewittAward).
She has received numerous fellowships, including ones from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and, most recently, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Nathans holds numerous professional affiliations. She is the past-president of the American Society for Theatre Research and the American Theatre and Drama Society. In addition, she is affiliated with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education; the Society of Early Americanists; the Association for Jewish Studies; and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
Nathans earned her Ph.D. in Theatre from Tufts University (1999) and her A.B. in Theatre from Dartmouth College (1990). In 2012 she was honored to receive the Outstanding Career Achievement Award from the Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.