English and Theatre Studies

English and Theatre Studies focuses on the form, meanings and effects of imaginative writing and dramatic performance, and explains how these practices engage with the everyday world. We are a combined program, in which students can pursue literary interests, theatrical interests, or both through their major.

English and Theatre Studies at Melbourne

Recognised nationally and internationally for innovative teaching, scholarship and research, English and Theatre Studies boasts one of the oldest literature programs in the world. Today, it is a leading research hub for critical thinking about literature and performance across genres and historical periods.

Our scholars are experts in:

  • Australian literature, theatre and culture
  • Theatre, dance and performance
  • Medieval literature and medievalism
  • Shakespeare and Renaissance drama
  • Enlightenment, Romantic and Victorian literatures
  • Modernism
  • World and comparative literature
  • Popular fiction and adaptations
  • Archival research and digital humanities
  • Literary and theatre history
  • Literary theory and critical thinking

Key research projects extend our work into interdisciplinary and funded collaborations in areas such as creativity, the history of the emotions, ecological thinking, cultural analysis, Asian performance, Irish literature, and early modern English theatre history. The program also  supports a thriving postgraduate community.

English and Theatre Studies runs a weekly research seminar during semester, featuring work in progress from our staff, our graduate students, and colleagues from other institutions. View the seminar schedule. All welcome!

View our staff

More featured research

Study with us

Master your craft in our undergraduate and graduate programs. You’ll learn from leading academics while joining a vibrant and engaged community.

Graduates in English and Theatre studies go on to rewarding careers in the creative arts, publishing, public relations, advertising, media, communications, teaching and law.


Graduate coursework

Graduate research

Meet our English and Theatre Studies staff

English and Theatre Studies academics are leading teachers, researchers and industry professionals. They train students in critical thinking, advanced writing and research skills, analytical and interpretive reading and effective oral communication.

Profile picture of David McInnis

Associate Professor David McInnis

Head of Program; Associate Professor of English and Theatre Studies
mcinnisd@unimelb.edu.au +61383445498
Profile picture of Sarah Balkin

Dr Sarah Balkin

Senior Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies
sarah.balkin@unimelb.edu.au +61390358617
Profile picture of Deirdre Coleman

Professor Deirdre Coleman

Robert Wallace Chair of English; Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor
colemand@unimelb.edu.au +61383445496
Profile picture of Sara Crouch

Dr Sara Crouch

Head Tutor in English and Theatre Studies
Profile picture of Margaret Harvey

Dr Margaret Harvey

Mckenzie Postdoctoral Fellow
Profile picture of Joe Hughes

Dr Joe Hughes

Senior Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies
joseph.hughes@unimelb.edu.au +61383447635
Profile picture of Beth McLean

Dr Beth McLean

Head Tutor in English and Theatre Studies
Profile picture of Lynda Ng

Dr Lynda Ng

Lecturer in English Literary Studies
lynda.ng@unimelb.edu.au +61390353071
Profile picture of Peter Otto

Professor Peter Otto

Professor of English; Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor; Executive Director, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Contemporary Culture Research Unit (ERCC)
peterjo@unimelb.edu.au +61383445482
Profile picture of Paul Rae

Associate Professor Paul Rae

Head of School; Associate Professor of Theatre Studies
paul.rae@unimelb.edu.au +61383441676
Profile picture of Lara Stevens

Dr Lara Stevens

Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Research Associate
Profile picture of Tyne Sumner

Dr Tyne Sumner

Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Associate
Profile picture of Stephanie Trigg

Professor Stephanie Trigg

Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Reader of English; Director of the Melbourne Node for the ARC Centre of Excellent for the History of Emotions (CHE)

English and Theatre Studies honorary staff