Dr Ellen Redling

Dr Ellen Redling

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Lecturer

Contact details

Address
G18, Selly Oak Visual Arts Centre (SOVAC)
The Old Library
998 Bristol Road
Selly Oak
Birmingham
B29 6LG

I joined the department in September 2016, after teaching English Literature and Drama at the University of Heidelberg since 2007. From April 2015 to April 2016 I conducted research at the Drama department of the University of Royal Holloway, London. I studied at the University of Heidelberg as an undergraduate and as the equivalent of a Master’s student (joint honours English & German, 2002-2007) and completed my PhD in 2012 while teaching full time there.

I liaise with the English Literature department and convene as well as teach on modules that are open to both Drama and English students. I also provide support for the organisation of the student exchange programmes.

My main areas of research include contemporary socio-political drama, non-standard forms of drama, intermediality, medieval and early modern drama, the Gothic and Victorian literature. My current post-doctoral research project has the preliminary title ‘Theatre in Times of Uncertainty: Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics in British Big Issue Plays after 2000’.

Qualifications

Equivalent of a Master’s Degree (Joint Hons) English & German Studies, University of Heidelberg, 2007.

PhD in English, University of Heidelberg. ‘The Vice at the Fair: Thackeray’s Secularised Allegories’, which analyses intersections between allegorical drama and the Victorian novel. Awarded 2012.

Biography

I joined the department in September 2016, after teaching English Literature and Drama at the University of Heidelberg since 2007. From April 2015 to April 2016 I conducted research at the Drama department of the University of Royal Holloway, London. I studied at the University of Heidelberg as an undergraduate and as the equivalent of a Master’s student (joint honours English & German, 2002-2007) and completed my PhD in 2012 while teaching full time there.

I have been an active member of CDE (German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English) since 2008, when I co-edited the conference proceedings on the topic of Non-standard forms of Contemporary Drama and Theatre. In addition to that I have been a peer reviewer in the field of Contemporary Drama for the journal Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature since 2016.

Teaching

I teach / have taught on the following modules:

Convenor of Theatre and Social Crisis (Year 3), Convenor of Extended Essay and Joint Dissertation (Year 3), Dramatic Medium (Year 1), Performance: Theory, Practice, Critique (Year 1), Plays and Performance (English Literature Year 1).

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research in the following areas:

  • Contemporary socio-political drama (British and European)
  • Ancient Greek and Roman plays and their influence on British theatre
  • Medieval and Renaissance drama
  • Non-standard forms of contemporary drama and theatre
  • Drama and narration
  • Literary and cultural theory and networks
  • Ethics and drama
  • Post-postmodernism
  • Intermediality

Research

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)

Other activities

Public lectures and conference papers

“Fake News and Drama: National Identity, Immigration and the Media in Recent British Plays.” CDE Conference, University of Reading, 30 June 2017.

“Taking a Stand: Calls for Radical Social and Political Change in Contemporary Drama in British Mainstream Theatre Houses.” Rediscovering the Radical: Theatre for Social Change. Liverpool, 2 September 2016.

“Monstrous Darkness: The Gothic in British and German Literature and Art.” Guest lecture at North London Collegiate School, 25 February 2016.

Measure for Measure’s Vienna in a State of Exception: Shakespeare’s Ambivalent Ruler Figures.” Shakespeare and the State of Exception. Kingston Shakespeare Seminar, 19 December 2015.

“Gothic Transgressions.” Guest Lecture, St. Mary’s University Twickenham, London, 8 December 2015.

“Canonizing Youth in Mark Ravenhill’s Major Plays.” Public Lecture, University of Heidelberg, 26 January 2015.

“The ‘Lived Experience’ of Reading and Writing (Neo-)Victorian Fiction in A.S. Byatt’s The Conjugial Angel.” Victorian ‘Structures of Feeling’ in Late 20th  and 21st-Century Cultural Products, University of Paderborn, 12-14 June 2014.

“Genteel Pragmatism in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America.” Traveling Traditions: Nineteenth-Century Negotiations of Cultural Concepts in Transatlantic Intellectual Networks, University of Halle, 17-19 April 2014.

“Graveyard Poetry.” Public Lecture, University of Heidelberg, 13 January 2014.

“‘Freevill’ vs. Containment: The Social (Mis)fits in John Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan.” Diversity and Homogeneity: The Politics of Nation, Class, and Gender in Drama, Theatre, Film and Media, University of Lodz, Poland, 25 October 2013.

“‘From the Top of Paul’s Steeple to the Standard in Cheap’: Urban Space, Narrativity and Mass Culture in Jacobean City Comedy.” Lecture at the Conference of the Deutscher Anglistenverband e.V. (German Society of English Studies), University of Constance, 19 September 2013.

“The Bawdy in Motion: Recent Developments in the Use and Function of Obscene Language in Contemporary British Drama.” Mobile Stylistics: Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) Conference, University of Heidelberg, 2 August 2014.

“Life-Writing und Lyrik: Tony Harrisons autobiographisches Gedicht ‘Fireeater.’” Akademische Mittagspause (‘Academic lunchbreak’), University of Heidelberg, 16 July 2013.

“Yes we can … think! An Aesthetics of Reflection in Contemporary British Political Drama.” Theatre and Politics: Theatre as Cultural Intervention: German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English (CDE) Conference, Charles University, Prague, 2 June 2013.

“Victorian Psychomachias: The Secularised Battles Between Virtues and Vices in William Makepeace Thackeray’s Major Works.” Sins, Vices and Virtues, Lisbon, 13-15 March 2013.

“Reception Theory.” Public lecture, University of Heidelberg, 12 November 2012.

“Nature in Canadian Literature.” Public lecture, University of Heidelberg, 19 December 2011.

“Insanity and Obsession ad extremum: Modernisations of Poe and Stevenson in the Gothic Cinema of Scorsese and Nolan.” Gothic Limits / Gothic Ltd: International Gothic Association (IGA) Conference, University of Heidelberg, 3 August 2011. 

“Der Figur eine Stimme geben: Ein interkulturelles Trainingsprojekt auf der Basis von David Greigs 9/11-Drama The American Pilot (2005).” Learning 9/11: Teaching for Key Competences in Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Heidelberg, 3 September 2010.

“Allegory: A Key Concept in Literary and Cultural Studies.” Public lecture, University of Heidelberg, 29 November 2010.

“What is a Villain? Thackeray’s Play with the Reader’s Perception in Catherine and Barry Lyndon.” Villains and Villainy, University of Oxford, 14-16 September 2010.

Fortuna in Shakespeare’s Plays.” Public lecture, University of Heidelberg, 26 October 2009.

“Allegory in Barry Unsworth and Michael Frayn.” Allegory in Theory and Practice, University of Toronto, 17-18 October 2008.

Conference organisation and proceedings

Gothic Limits / Gothic Ltd, International Gothic Association Conference, University of Heidelberg, 2011.

Conference Proceedings: Non-standard Forms of Contemporary Drama and Theatre, CDE Conference, English department, University of Heidelberg, 2007.

Publications

1. Monograph 

Allegorical Thackeray: Secularised Allegory in Thackeray’s Major Novels. Zurich: LIT, 2015.

2. Co-edited books

Gothic Transgressions: Extension and Commercialization of a Cultural Mode. Eds. Ellen Redling and Christian Schneider. Zurich: LIT, 2015.

Non-standard Forms of Contemporary Drama and Theatre. Eds. Ellen Redling and Peter Paul Schnierer. Trier: WVT, 2008.

3. Articles

“Canonizing Youth in Mark Ravenhill’s Major Plays.” Reading the Canons. Ed. Philipp Löffler. Heidelberg: Winter, 2017.

“The ‘Living Experience’ of Reading and Writing (Neo-)Victorian Fiction in A. S. Byatt’s ‘The Conjugial Angel.’” Victorian ‘Structures of Feeling’ in Late 20th- and 21st-Century Cultural Products. Eds. Christina Flotmann and Anna Lienen. Heidelberg: Winter, [forthcoming 2017].

“Home and Away: Place and Political Allegory in Contemporary British Drama.” Anglistentag 2015 Proceedings. Trier: WVT, 2016.

“Genteel Pragmatism in Nineteenth-Century America and Great Britain.” Traveling Traditions: Nineteenth-Century Cultural Concepts and Transatlantic Intellectual Networks. Ed. Erik Redling. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016.

“Life Writing und Lyrik: Tony Harrisons autobiographisches Gedicht ‘Fire-Eater.’” Texte seit 1386: Gedichte – Kurzprosa – Sprachdaten: Von Heidelberger Wissenschaftlern in der Akademischen Mittagspause vorgestellt und erläutert. Eds. Ludger Lieb and Ekkehard Felder. Heidelberg: Winter, 2016.

“Ein Mörder als ‘Superman’? Sympathielenkung und unzuverlässiges Erzählen in Martin McDonaghs Drama The Pillowman (2003).” Empathie, Sympathie und Narration: Strategien der Rezeptionslenkung in Prosa, Drama und Film. Ed. Caroline Lusin. Heidelberg: Winter, 2015. 

“Nightmarish Visions ad extremum: Multiple Falling Dreams and Unlimited Levels of ‘Reality’ in Christopher Nolan’s Inception.” Gothic Transgressions: Extension and Commercialization of a Cultural Mode. Eds. Ellen Redling and Christian Schneider. Zurich: LIT, 2015.

Introduction. Gothic Transgressions: Extension and Commercialization of a Cultural Mode. Eds. Ellen Redling and Christian Schneider. Zurich: LIT, 2015.

“‘From the top of Paul’s steeple to the Standard in Cheap’: Popular Culture, Urban Space and Narrativity in Jacobean City Comedy.” Anglistentag 2013 Konstanz: Proceedings. Eds. Silvia Mergenthal and Reingard Nischik. Trier: WVT, 2014.

“New Plays of Ideas and an Aesthetics of Reflection and Debate in Contemporary British Political Drama.” Journal of Contemporary Drama in English 2.1 (2014): 159-169.

“Victorian Psychomachias: The Secularised Battles Between Virtues and Vices in William Makepeace Thackeray’s Major Works.” Sins, Vices and Virtues. Eds. Jacek Mydla and David Schauffler. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2014. Inter-Disciplinary. Web. 13 Feb 2014.

“Der Figur eine Stimme geben: Ein interkulturelles Trainingsprojekt auf der Basis von David Greigs 9/11-Drama The American Pilot (2005).” Learning 9/11: Teaching for Key Competences in Literary and Cultural Studies. Eds. Irina Bauder-Begerow and Stefanie Schäfer. Heidelberg: Winter, 2011.

“What is a Villain? Thackeray’s Play with the Reader’s Perception in Catherine and Barry Lyndon.” Villains: Global Perspective on Villains and Villainy Today. Eds. Burcu Genc and Corinna Lenhardt. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011. Inter-Disciplinary. Web. 13 Nov 2011.

4. Review

Rev. of Performing Story on the Contemporary Stage, by Tom Maguire. Journal of Contemporary Drama in English 4.2 (2016): 1-5.