Participants’ bios

Anna Bendrat

Anna Bendrat is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English and American Studies at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. As a member of a research team on Cognitive Poetics, she focuses her interests on the metaphors of the body in contemporary American literature and media. She is a Board Member of the Polish Rhetoric Society and an editor of two journals: Res Rhetorica (Scopus, Web of Science), and New Horizons in English Studies(Erih+). In 2016 shepublished a book titled Speech is Golden. American President and Rhetoric (Mowa jest złotem. Amerykański prezydent i retoryka).

Andy Colpitts

Andy Colpitts is an artist-scholar focusing on rural theatre and spectatorship, popular performance, and queer meaning-making. He received his BA from Brown University in Theatre Arts and Literary Translation. As a theatre maker, Andy is a puppeteer, playwright and burlesque dancer. He trained at the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and has toured with the Bread & Puppet Theatre and the Vermont PuppeTree. He is currently a doctoral student at Cornell University in the Department of Performing and Media Arts.

Glauber Coradesqui

Glauber Coradesqui is a researcher and scene artist, professor in Theater at the Instituto Federal Fluminense (IFF). A Doctor in Art from the University of Brasília, he develops research on mediation, cartography and the contemporary Brazilian scene. He is the author of the books Building site: notes on candango theater (2012) and Experience and mediation of theater plays (2018).

Isla Cowan

Isla Cowan holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and a Masters from the University of St Andrews. Isla is currently studying at the University of Glasgow where her AHRC-funded PhD project explores ecological consciousness in contemporary Scottish theatre. Isla’s work has been published in New Theatre Quarterly and she works regularly as a playwright and theatre-maker.

Marianne Drugeon

Marianne Drugeon is a Lecturer in English Studies at Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 University, France. Her research focuses on politically-committed British playwriting from the 19th century to the present. She has published articles and edited and co-authored books on David Edgar, but also Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Tom Stoppard. She recently edited Medieval and Early Modern England on the Contemporary Stage (Cambridge Scholars, 2021). As a member of the Maison Antoine Vitez she has co-translated several plays including Stoppard’s The Hard Problem and The Invention of Love. She is currently working on community plays, modern mystery plays and other experiments in amateur theatre.

Gemma Edwards

Dr. Gemma Edwards is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester (UK), where she is working on the Civic Theatres: A Place for Towns research project (AHRC) with Professor Jenny Hughes. She received her PhD from the University of Nottingham (UK), and this research underpins her forthcoming book, Representing the Rural: Performance and Rurality in the Twenty-first Century (Palgrave Macmillan). More broadly, she is interested in the relationships between place, politics, and performance, and she has published on these areas, including in the Journal of Contemporary Drama in English. Her next project explores these concerns in relation to race, class, and the English nation in contemporary drama from 1945 to the present.

Francesca Forlini

Francesca Forlini is a theatre practitioner and a PhD candidate in English Literature at Roma Tre University. In her dissertation, tentatively entitled: “Towards and Ecological Theatre – The use of space in contemporary site-specific theatre”, she investigates the historical development of a site-specific performance tradition, showing its overlap with an emergent ecological consciousness. She holds a BA in English and French Literature (2017) and an MA in English and Anglo- American Literature from Sapienza University of Rome (2019) and is currently conducting research at the University of South Wales in Cardiff. Her main research interests are in contemporary British theatre and in the intersections of drama, theatre and performance with geography, history, politics and climate research. Since 2018, she has been the associate artistic director of the Eco Logical Theater Fest in Stromboli, Italy.

Nevin Gürbüz-Blaich

Dr Nevin Gürbüz-Blaich holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from İstanbul Yeni Yüzyıl University, Turkey (2020). She did her BA at the English Department of Ege University, Izmir, and received an MA degree in English Language Teaching from the same university (2013). Nevin’s research covers a spatial analysis of Tom Stoppard’s plays. Her further academic interests are space, place, the geography of literature, and literary representations in contemporary British drama, as well as postmodern novel and film studies. She is a member of ESSE (The European Society for the Study of English), ALUS (Association for Literary Urban Studies) and CDE (the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English). Nevin is currently a visiting scholar at Heidelberg University, Germany and carries out her post-doctoral research on climate change and contemporary British drama.

Katharina Herold-Zanker

Dr Katharina Herold-Zanker is Assistant Professor in English literature at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Previously she has held positions as Stipendiary Lecturer in Victorian and Modern Literature at Brasenose College and Trinity College, Oxford. She trained and worked as a theatre director at the Münchner Kammerspiele before embarking on a BA in English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, followed by an MSt in English Literature (1830 – 1914) and DPhil at Oxford. She is currently preparing her first monograph The Indispensable East in Decadent Literature 1880-1920 for publication. Previously, she has co-edited two collections of essays and has contributed book chapters to a number of scholarly volumes. Journal output includes an article on intermediality in the decadent performance of Anita Berber and an article for Feminist Modernist Studies on Global Decadence and Political Performance in war plays written by women.

Elisabeth Knittelfelder

Elisabeth Knittelfelder is a researcher and lecturer of anglophone literary studies and cultural studies. She holds a PhD in English and American Studies from the University of Graz and is an awardee of the Marietta Blau Scholarship. She spent extended research periods in South Africa, at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), in Bellville, and at Potsdam University in Germany. Her work exists at the convergence of literary studies, cultural studies, and performance studies, global feminism, decoloniality, Black studies, and dramaturgies of cruelty and trauma. Committed to social justices, her research, writing, and pedagogy negotiate literatures and performances in times of crisis and consider how different forms of violence intersect and how they are generated, enabled, sustained, and countered. In her current research project, she explores the nexus of intersections between necrocapitalism, crisis, and violence in particular towards aspects of (global) migration, (colonial) border epistemologies, environmental justice, and (decolonised) trauma studies in order to engage in a critical investigation of literature in/of crisis through a decolonial and global feminist perspective.

Gabrielle Moyer

Gabrielle Moyer teaches at Stanford University in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. Her work attends to the stories we tell about ourselves and others—in the way aesthetics can form a response to philosophical doubts, and in the contingent relationship between ethics and epistemology. In the classroom and in her research, she asks how styles of reading and writing can help us countenance uncertainty and complexity: in others, in our choices and in our judgments. She is completing a new book, Suggestions for A New Magic: Modernism in the 21st Century, which explores these questions in both modernist and contemporary fiction. She has published on modernist poetry, theories of tragedy and contagion, Samuel Beckett’s letters, Ford Madox Ford and Joseph Conrad.

Déborah Prudhon

Déborah Prudhon currently teaches at Aix-Marseille University. She wrote a PhD thesis on the relation between fiction and reality in contemporary English theatre. She published several articles on the work of Tim Crouch and Punchdrunk’s immersive theatre and she co-organised a symposium on immersive theatre in Paris in January 2020.

Tamara Radak

Tamara Radak is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna. Her publications include essays in James Joyce QuarterlyThe Review of Irish Studies in Europe and the edited collections Stage Irish: Performance, Identity, Cultural Circulation (with Paul Fagan and Dieter Fuchs; Irish Studies in Europe, WVT 2021) and Irish Modernisms: Gaps, Conjectures, Possibilities (with Paul Fagan and John Greaney; Bloomsbury 2021). Her current project focusses on mediatised emotion and digital affect in the context of political activism and theatrical performance.

Graham Saunders

Graham Saunders is the Allardyce Nicoll Professor of Drama in the Department of Theatre and Drama Arts at the University of Birmingham. He is author of Love me or Kill me: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes (Manchester: MUP, 2002), About Kane: the Playwright and the Work (London: Faber 2009), Patrick Marber’s Closer (Continuum, 2008) and British Theatre Companies 1980-1994 (Methuen, 2015). He is co-editor of Cool Britannia: Political Theatre in the 1990s (Palgrave, 2008); Sarah Kane in Context (MUP,2010) and Arnold Wesker: Fragments and Visions (Intellect, 2021). His latest monograph, Elizabethan and Jacobean Reappropriation in Contemporary British Drama: ‘Upstart Crows’ was published by Palgrave in 2017. He is a co-series editor (with Professor Maggie Gale, University of Manchester, UK) for Routledge’s Modern and Contemporary Dramatists – Stage and Screen and the Palgrave Studies in Censorship series (with Anne Etienne, University College, Cork, Ireland).

Christine Schwanecke

Christine Schwanecke holds the chair of “English Literature and Culture II” at Graz University, Austria. Before her joining the University of Graz in 2020, she held academic appointments at Heidelberg, Giessen, and Mannheim and was an academic visitor at the University of Oxford. She is interested in the nexus of literature and culture and specialises in drama, intermediality, and narratology. In 2013, her dissertation on ‘Intermedial Storytelling’ (sponsored by the German National Foundation) was awarded with the Ruprecht-Karls-Preis of the ‘Stiftung Universität Heidelberg’. Her second thesis (Habilitationsschrift) reconceptualises the relationship between drama and narrative and is a historiographical account of the interrelations between the two genres from the early modern era to the present. The respective monograph, A Narratology of Drama: Dramatic Storytelling in Theory, History, and Culture from the Renaissance to the Twenty-First Century, is going to be published by De Gruyter (Narratologia series) in January 2022.

Kristy Sedgman

An award-winning audience scholar based at the University of Bristol, Dr Kirsty Sedgman publishes and speaks on theatre, participation, exclusion, and behaviour. As Editor of the Routledge book series in Audience Research and the author of numerous publications on spectatorial engagement, she specializes in empirical research methods to understand how audiences find value in live performance experience. She has published two monographs – Locating the Audience (2016, Intellect) and The Reasonable Audience (2018, Palgrave) – and is currently awaiting the publication of her first mass-market trade book: On Being Unreasonable, published by Faber, in bookshops in 2022. She has spoken about her research on programmes from BBC2’s ‘Inside Culture with Mary Beard’ to R4 Front Row to R3 Free Thinking, and has been featured in outlets like Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times., @KirstySedgman

Verônica Veloso

Director, teacher and performer. She is Effective Professor of Theater and Performing Arts at the School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo (USP), where she also go her Master’s and PhD in Theater Pedagogy. In her PhD thesis she analysed a series of performative and theatrical actions based on walking, and her text was published this year, in Portuguese, by Editora Appris, under the title Crossing the city on foot: theatrical and performative actions in the urban context. Part of her doctoral research was conducted at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. She has been part of the Coletivo Teatro Dodecafônico since its foundation, in 2008, as stage diretor and collaborates with the investigation on urban intervention (

Eckart Voigts

Eckart Voigts is Professor of English Literature at TU Braunschweig, Germany, where he is also Co-Director of the Future Cities Research Cluster. A former President of CDE, he has written, edited and co-edited numerous books and articles, such as Dystopia, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalypse (WVT 2015), Companion to Adaptation Studies (Routledge 2018, with Dennis Cutchins and Katja Krebs), Filming the Past, Screening the Present: Neo-Victorian Adaptations (with Shannon Wells-Lassagne, WVT 2021), and Companion to British-Jewish Theatre since the 1950s (with Jeanette R. Malkin and Sarah J. Ablett, Bloomsbury 2021).

Francis Wilker

Director, teacher and curator. He holds a Ph.D. in performing arts from the School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo with a thesis on Staging-Landscape. He is Effective Professor of the Theater course at the Federal University of Ceará and director of the Teatro do Concreto group (

Eva-Maria Windberger

Eva-Maria Windberger is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of English Studies at the University of Trier. She finished her PhD thesis on the poetics of empowerment in David Mitchell’s novels in 2020 and co-edited the volume Empowering Contemporary Fiction in English: The Impact of Empowerment in Literary Studies (Brill, 2021) with Ralf Hertel. In her second book project, she is turning her attention to transculturalism in drama and looks at East Asian go-betweens on the English stage from the Early Modern Era to today. In addition to empowerment studies and 21st century fiction, film, and drama, she is interested in modernism and feminist criticism.