Jennifer Goodlander focuses on Asian performance as it intersects with gender studies, ethnography, performance studies, visual culture and museum studies, postcolonial theory, and transnational circuits of performance. She has received many grants and fellowships for her performance work and research on Asian performance, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia and funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her book, Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali will be published by Ohio University Press in November 2016. The book draws upon her own experience of the practical training and ritual initiation to become a dalang, or puppeteer, coupled with interviews of early women dalangs and leading artists, she argues that "tradition" in Bali must be understood as a system of power that is inextricably linked to gender hierarchy.
Jennifer is an affiliate faculty member with the Department of Gender Studies, East Asia Studies Center, African Studies, and is on the executive board for the newly formed Southeast Asia and ASEAN Studies program. She was appointed Faculty Research Curator (2013-2015) at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and has used that appointment as a springboard to study puppets as Intangible Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia and China together with the interrelationships between display and performance. As part of this work, Jennifer co-curated the exhibit, "Still/Moving: Puppets and Indonesia" with graduate and undergraduate students. Jennifer continues to work with the museum as a Consulting Curator.
Currently Jennifer is researching and writing a second book tentatively called Puppets and Cities: Articulating Identities in Southeast Asia that examines the complex relationships between urban spaces, tradition, and modernity within contemporary Southeast Asian identities
Jennifer explores connections between scholarship and theatrical practice. In New York City and regionally she worked extensively as a director and teacher with a special emphasis on new plays and physically based performance, combining Asian theatre into innovative productions of The Ghost Sonata, The Bacchae, and others. She was a member of the 2005 Lincoln Center Director's Lab that focused on new play development and working in collaboration. She often shares her research through performances and lectures at theatres, civic groups, and universities and has performed wayang kulit both nationally and internationally. Jennifer is the Vice President/Conference Planner for the Association of Asian Performance (2014-2016).