Visiting Research Fellow, August - February 2021
Kate Flaherty is a Senior Lecturer in English and Drama at the Australian National University. Her research is led by a desire to understand the relationship between performed drama and public culture. Her book, Ours as we play it: Australia plays Shakespeare (UWAP, 2011), examines contemporary Australian performance. Other publications analyse theatrical rivalry, the agency of the touring actress, civic disorder, sectarian tension, military commemoration, and education through their associations with Shakespeare. Among the venues in which her scholarship has featured are NTQ, Shakespeare, Shakespeare Survey, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Australian Studies along with volumes published by CUP, Routledge, Palgrave, and Rodopi. Three of her most recent projects are 'Reading Riot through Shakespeare', Moving Women: The Touring Actress and the Politics of Modernity, and ‘Fiction, Voice, and Feeling: Why Australians read Literature’. Kate is an experienced public speaker, passionate educator, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Association, and winner of multiple teaching awards including the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Education (2019).
In two senses, Edinburgh was more than a test-market for London theatres in 18th and 19th centuries. It was a centre for Scotland—drawing in legacies of cultural diversity to form its own National Drama. It was also a prime touring destination, shaping international superstars such as Sarah Siddons, Charlotte Cushman, and Sarah Bernhardt. These factors make Edinburgh an ideal context for understanding the socio-political influence of the actress in this era. With a focus on Edinburgh, my project will investigate ways in which the actress operated as a vector of political change in Scotland between Enlightenment and modernity.