Kyna Hamill, PhD.

Kyna Hamill is a writer and educator in the Boston area. She is the Director of Boston University’s Core Curriculum (CAS) and teaches courses on literary foundations, pre-modern theatre, and American Minstrelsy.

Kyna is known for her research on the minstrel history of the Christmas classic “Jingle Bells”. Her article in Theatre Survey closely traces the song’s roots on Boston and New York minstrel stages in the middle of the nineteenth century. Her research has been featured in the Guardian, the Boston Globe, NPR Sunday Weekend Edition,, Howlround’s Theatre History Podcast, BU Today, and CBC Radio Canada (starts at 16:00) . You can hear the most recent interview with Kyna on the popular Christmas Past podcast.

Kyna also specializes in the visual culture of the early Commedia dell’arte. She is particularly interested in the seventeenth-century theatrical etchings of the artist Jacques Callot (1592-1635) and has published articles in Print Quarterly and Theatre Symposium on the topic. Her current book project examines the legacy of Callot on art, literature and theatre. Her articles on theatre can be found below.

“Branding Irish Violence: The Spectacle of Rural and Urban ‘Ireland'” in  Performing Violence in Contemporary Ireland.

Blood is Ancient, Blood is In –

Homer’s Trojan War on Boston Stages –

Staging Local, Staying Small –

Cannonade of Weapons – Theatre Symposium

Callot, Schiaminossi, and Fencing – Print Quarterly

BU Today pieces

POV, “We Need to Keep Talking about Books, Not Ban Them.”
BU Today, 18 August 2023

POV, “What Happens Next? Four Literary Classics for a Post–COVID-19 World.”
BU Today, 5 June 2020.

POV, “What Makes for a Satisfying Ending.”
BU Today, 16 January 2020.

A co-founder of Two Roads Performance Projects, Kyna co-produced the award-winning site-specific dance festival, Dance in the Fells. Kyna has also has studied stage fighting with Fight Director’s Canada and Tony Wolf and is the editor of They Fight: Classical to Contemporary Stage Fight Scenes (Smith and Kraus, 2003). She attended Antonio Fava’s commedia dell’arte school in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and has danced with Daniel McCusker.

Kyna also volunteers her time at the Medford Historical Society & Museum doing reference and research on local history.

Image courtesy of Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff.