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.
English and Theatre Studies at Melbourne
The program is a leading research hub for critical thinking in English and Theatre Studies across genres and historical periods. The English and Theatre Studies program is recognised nationally and internationally for its world-class research, scholarship and teaching.
Our scholars are experts in:
- Medieval literature and medievalism
- Shakespeare and Renaissance
- Romantic and Victorian literatures
- World literatures
- Popular genres
- Literature and other media
- Literatures of the Americas
- Australian literature, theatre and culture
- Theatre, dance and performance
- Digital Humanities and Archival Studies
- Histories and theories of reading
The program attracts significant external and university funding for key research projects in areas such as creativity, performance, literature and its relations to species and ecological thinking.
Women Photographers of the Pacific World, 1857–1930 (Routledge, 2020) - Associate Professor Anne Maxwell
Byron in Context
Byron in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2020) – Professor Clara Tuite, Professor of English, Deputy Head of School
The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt (Melbourne University Press) – Professor Ken Gelder, Professor of English, Co-Director of the Australian Centre; Dr Rachael Weaver, ARC Senior Research Fellow
Spectral Characters: Genre and Materiality on the Modern Stage (University of Michigan Press, 2019) – Dr Sarah Balkin, Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies
Limericks, Philosophical and Literary (Surpllus, 2019) – Associate Professor Justin Clemens, Associate Professor of English
Adapting Bestsellers: Fantasy, Franchise and the Afterlife of Storyworlds (Cambridge University Press, 2019) – Professor Ken Gelder, Professor of English, Co-Director of the Australian Centre
Old Fortunatus by Thomas Dekker (Manchester University Press, 2019) – Associate Professor David McInnis, Associate Professor of English and Theatre Studies
Affective Medievalism (Manchester University Press, 2019) – Professor Stephanie Trigg and Thomas A. Prendergast
The English and Theatre Studies program has a long and successful record of receiving external and university funding for research projects, including from the Australian Research Council (ARC).
Architectures of Imagination: Bodies, Buildings, Fictions, and Worlds
A project developing a new account of the 18th-century imagination through the study of buildings, fictions and their readers / inhabitants.
A project investigating the interactions, engagement and impact of theatre for young people in regional Australia.
Eco-Colonial Australian Literature: Environment, Species, Climate
A project exploring how colonial Australian writing addresses issues of species, environment and ecology that remain urgent for Australians today.
Merchants and Museums
Reconstructing museum specimen data through the pathways of global commerce.
Natural Born Subjects: A Cultural History of Naturalization in Britain and the Australian Colonies, 1660-1850
A multidisciplinary history of naturalization, the concept that brings the legal, philosophical and cultural aspects of citizenship into direct contact.
Literature and the face: A critical history
“He gave her a momentary glance, — a glance of brightness…” Jane Austen, Persuasion
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 Certificate in Arts
- Graduate Diploma in Arts
- Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced)
- Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced)
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.
Head of School; Head of Program; Associate Professor of Theatre Studies
Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies
Senior Research Fellow; Faculty of Arts Asia Scholar
Associate Professor of English
Robert Wallace Chair of English
Professor of Theatre Studies
Professor of English; Co-Director of the Australian Centre
Senior Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies
Professor of English
Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies
Associate Professor of English and Theatre Studies
McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow
Professor of English; Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor; Executive Director, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Contemporary Culture Research Unit (ERCC)
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Research Associate
Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Associate
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)
Professor of English; Deputy Head of School
Professor of Theatre Studies; Co-Director of the Australian Centre
Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature