James Hoffman is professor emeritus of theatre studies at Thompson Rivers University. His research specialty is the theatre history and culture of British Columbia. Most recently he examined the relationship between professional theatre companies in small cities (Kamloops, Prince George, Nanaimo) and their communities. His latest publications include editing of Whose Culture Is It, Anyway? Community Engagement in Small Cities (New Star Books, 2014) and an essay, “Performing Community Action in the Small City: The REDress Project in Kamloops,” in the book, Animation of Public Space through the Arts, Toward More Sustainable Communities (Almedina, 2013).
In addition, he has co-edited Playing the Pacific Province: An Anthology of British Columbia Plays, 1967-2000 (Playwrights Canada Press), Alan Filewod’s Performing Canada: The Nation Enacted in the Imagined Theatre (TSC Monographs), and edited George Ryga: The Other Plays and George Ryga: The Prairie Novels (Talonbooks).
He was born in Victoria BC in 1943, educated at University of Victoria, then at New York University where he obtained his PhD in theatre history. He taught post-secondary theatre courses at the David Thompson University Centre in Nelson, East Kootenay Community College in Cranbrook, and Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, where he became chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department and co-director of the Community-University Research Alliance, which focused on the study of the culture of small cities. He achieved the designation of full professor in 1995 and professor emeritus in 2012.
He is a member of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.