I practice an interdisciplinary approach to theatre, in particular integrating theatre history with cultural and political history – with a specialism in Irish studies. My approach is informed by a broad training: after gaining an MA in Modern Literature from Queen Mary, University of London, I was awarded my doctorate from the History Faculty, Oxford University, and went on to teach at the School of Politics at Queen's University Belfast before joining the Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths. My first book, 'The Theatre of Nation: Irish Drama and Cultural Nationalism 1890-1916' (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 2002) was awarded the Michael J. Durkan Prize. I also convene, with Professor Roy Foster (Queen Mary), Dr Lauren Arrington (Liverpool University), and Dr Simon Prince (Canterbury Christchurch) the London Irish Studies Seminar based at the School of Advance Studies, Senate House.
My research focuses on connections between Irish literature, theatre and cultural and political history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. W. B. Yeats is also a specialism. I am interested more generally in the avant-garde, theatrical modernism and connections between theories of performance and performativity. With the aid of a Leverhulme Fellowship, I am currently researching my next book, with the working title of Ireland, Theatre and Modernity - a project that seeks to assess the relationship between theatrical innovation and national identity in 20th century Ireland.
Levitas, Ben. 2018. 'The Dancer and the Heart's Desire: W. B. Yeats and the Theatre of Modernity'. The Yeats Journal of Korea, 56, pp. 111-128. ISSN 1226-4946
Levitas, Ben. 2010. The Censoring of The Ginger Man, London and Dublin 1959, or, the “nipple nuttiness” of J. P. Donleavy. La recepció del teatre contemporani, XV, pp. 179-194. ISSN 1135-4178
Levitas, Ben. 2006. Censorship and Self-Censure in the Plays of J. M. Synge. Princeton University Library Chronicle, 68(1-2(1-2), pp. 253-276. ISSN 00328456
Levitas, Ben. 2003. Plumbing the Depths: Irish Realism and the Working Class from Shaw to O'Casey. Irish University Review, 33(1)(1), pp. 133-149. ISSN 00211427
Levitas, Ben. 2002. The Theatre of Nation: Irish Drama and Cultural Nationalism 1890-1916. Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780199253432
Levitas, Ben. 2016. ‘The Abbey and the Idea of a Theatre’. In: Nicholas Grene and Morash Christopher, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 41-57. ISBN 978-0-19-870613-7
Levitas, Ben. 2016. ‘A Temper of Misgiving: W. B. Yeats and the Ireland of Synge’s Time’. In: Senia Pašeta, ed. Uncertain Futures: Essays About the Irish Past for Roy Foster. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 110-122. ISBN 978-0-19-870613-7
Levitas, Ben. 2011. Reading and the Irish Revival, 1891-1922. In: Clare Hutton and Patrick Walsh, eds. The Oxford History of the Irish Book: Volume 5: The Irish Book in English 1891-2000. 5 Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 43-69. ISBN 978-0-19-924911-4