Photo of Dr Alexander Coupe

Dr Alexander Coupe BA, MA, PhD, FHEA

Lecturer in Theatre and Drama Studies English


Personal Statement

My research and teaching encompass contemporary theatre and performance. To date, my work has focussed on theatre, live art and dance in Ireland, with an emphasis on gender, conflict transformation and cultural policy. I was previously based at Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies, where I worked on Art for Reconciliation, an investigation into the impact of the funded arts on conflict transformation in Ireland. Specifically, I explored how prevailing cultural policy orthodoxies and 'thin' conceptions of reconciliation affect our ability to capture and amplify the living legacies of funded arts projects. While at the Institute I taught courses on politics and literature and, before that, I worked as an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I also acquired my PhD.

Currently, I am working on two projects. I am writing a monograph for Palgrave Macmillan, entitled 'The Gender Politics of Contemporary Performance in Northern Ireland'. The book examines theatre and performance produced since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in the context of growing discontent with the failure of the peace to deliver genuinely transformative forms of social justice. The story it tells is of an emerging current within the performing arts consisting of work concerned not only with uncovering the morbid symptoms of the neoliberal peace, but also embodying those messy and everyday conditions of co-dependency, vulnerability and solidarity that both patriarchal ideologies and androcentric individualism seek to deny. I am also Principal Investigator on Recovering the Art of Reconciliation, an AHRC-funded project with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to put together the first database of arts-based peacebuilding in the North. Do feel free to email me with queries about either of these.

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