I am currently working on a post-doctoral book project that has the working title ‘Theatre in Times of Uncertainty: Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics in British Big Issue Plays After 2000’. For this project I gained a prestigious research scholarship which enabled me to live and conduct extensive research in London from April 2015 until April 2016. The plays under consideration in this project feature controversial socio-political as well as ethical discussions and interventions concerning national topics, such as the NHS or the housing crisis, and international themes – e.g. wars, the global financial crisis, Trump and Brexit, terrorism, refugees and climate change. I am particularly interested in analysing how socio-political drama ‘works’ today in terms of its politics, ethics and aesthetics, and how it responds to – as well as interacts with – current issues and a wide-spread feeling of uncertainty in the Western world today.
The post-millennial plays have arguably re-introduced a focus on politics. The second decade of this century might prove to be even more political than the first decade – in the sense that the range of social and political plays that can currently be seen on the British stages has increased immensely. This development not only provides exciting material to work with but also feeds directly into my teaching as it allows me to offer topical courses on a wide range of current issues. Aside from seminars on refugees and climate change in contemporary drama, one can, for example, look at plays dealing with precarious jobs, old age, addiction and mental health.
For this project I was awarded a fully funded post-doctoral research year in London:
- 2015-2016: Research year at the Drama Department of Royal Holloway University London (Prof. Dan Rebellato), funded by the German Research Association (DFG)