Monday, May 25, 2015

Areas of research and teaching interest

European and American theatre history and dramatic literature, especially 1789–1914; representations of Islam in British drama; theatrical practice in British India; theatrical practice in the Ottoman Empire; the life and career of the English actor-manager Sir Henry Irving (18381905) and his circle; Italian, French, and German opera in nineteenth-century London; melodrama; pantomime; theatrical orientalism 

European and American dramatic literature; the profession of the playwright; dramatic censorship; the legal and economic contexts of performance

Theatre historiography; theatrical biography and autobiography; adaptation theory; performance studies; theatre and anthropology; digital humanities approaches to the study and teaching of theatre history and dramatic literature

The management of performing arts collections; theatre museums; the public exhibition of theatrical artefacts and world performance traditions; the preservation and adaptive reuse of historical theatres and music halls


In addition to lecturing on a broad range of subjects related to the literature, art, and theatre of the Victorian period, I write a research blog called The Victorian Peeper in which I share my boundless enthusiasm for the amazing (and sometimes appalling) age of the Victorians (1837-1901). The blog has a companion Facebook page ( and Twitter page (

As a doctoral student in the School of English at the University of Leicester, I'm researching representations of Islam in Victorian drama and the position of Muslims in Victorian society more generally. 
My thesis considers a previously unstudied four-act play by Sir (Thomas Henry) Hall Caine. Mahomet, a historical drama based on the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was written in 1890 for Sir Henry Irving, the leading actor of the late-Victorian period. The mere rumour that this play would be produced in London caused unrest in Britain’s Muslim communities, prompted protests throughout India, and strained the nation’s relationship with the Ottoman Empire. Although Mahomet treats Islam sympathetically, it was immediately banned by the Lord Chamberlain in his capacity as licenser of stage plays. My thesis analyses the historical contexts of this controversial play, which to this day has never been performed.

I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from Michigan State University with additional training in documentary editing from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (U.S. National Archives). 

You can visit my profile, which includes PDFs of many of my publications, here. I welcome your comments and questions.