Mark Phelan

    Mark Phelan


    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5107

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Interests

    My teaching and research is primarily concerned with the role theatre and performance 'plays' in ongoing processes of conflict transformation in the North of Ireland. I consider this work in a comparative context in relation to postconflict drama produced in South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, and Latin America over the past two decades that deals with issues of truth, remembrance, reconciliation, trauma, transitional justice, forgiveness and forgetting. 

     My research examines how disparate artists, activists, theatre companies, community groups, charities, and other organisations involved in conflict resolution in Northern Ireland, have collectively produced a diffuse repertoire of work through which  playwrights and practitioners have developed effective approaches for dealing with the legacies of political violence. This uncatalogued (and largely unpublished) body of work mobilises theatre as a public forum for civic debate, and has helped to assimilate traumatic history into public memory; to engage (and stage) the politics and processes of reconciliation; and to explore possible models through which a postconflict society may deal with the past.

    I also maintain wide-ranging research interests in other areas and have written on post-conflict photography in the North; nineteenth-century faction fighting; bare knuckle boxing; radio drama; queer historiography; theatre criticism; Roger Casement; Stewart Parker, Brian Friel and The Northern Revival. Connecting these otherwise disparate topics is my shared interest in the roles ‘played’ by theatre and performance in relation to politics, culture and the public sphere.

     PHD Supervision

    I have successfully supervised several doctoral projects: on post-conflict theatre and performance in Northern Ireland and Sarajevo; postconflict queer theatre & performance in Northern Ireland; the role of song twentieth century Irish theatre; Translation and Irish Theatre, with other doctoral projects focusing on the work of Stewart Parker, Brian Friel, Owen McCafferty, Marina Carr and John B. Keane. I would welcome prospective PhD students interested in working in any of these areas:

    - Irish Theatre
    - Postconflict Theatre & Performance
    - Theatre and Memory Studies
    - Theatre history/historiography
    - The Politics/Performance/Adaptation of ancient Greek Tragedy
    - Theatre and Conflict

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    Irish Theatre;
    Theatre and conflict;
    Post-conflict theatre and performance in Northern Ireland;
    Greek Tragedy and Performance;
    Theatre History/Historiography

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    Frequent Journals

    • Australasian Drama Studies

      ISSNs: 0810-4123

      La Trobe University

      Scopus rating (2015): SJR 0.101 SNIP 0


    • Modern Drama

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1712-5286

      University of Toronto Press

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 0.14 SJR 0.1 SNIP 0.357


    • Theatre Journal

      ISSNs: 0192-2882

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1086-332X

      Johns Hopkins University Press

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.158 SNIP 2.08


    • Theatre Survey

      ISSNs: 0040-5574

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1475-4533

      Cambridge University Press

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.123 SNIP 0.644


    • Ilha Do Desterro

      ISSNs: 0101-4846

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 2175-8026

      Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 0.22 SJR 0.137 SNIP 0.498


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