Clare Finburgh Delijani

Staff details

Position Professor
Email c.finburgh-delijani (
Clare Finburgh Delijani

I came to Theatre Studies through Modern Languages, having been inspired by playwrights like Marguerite Duras, Kateb Yacine and Jean Genet. This initial passion has now developed into a research area, and I have published widely on modern and contemporary theatre and performance, focusing in particular on French and Francophone playwrights and directors, for example in Jean Genet (2012), Contemporary French Theatre and Performance (2011), and Jean Genet: Performance and Politics (2006). My current research project examines how contemporary theatre in France looks back at histories of colonialism in Africa, the Caribbean and South East Asia, better to understand identity, community and nation today. I look at contemporary theatre-makers including Marine Bachelot Nguyen, Alexandra Badea, Nasser Djemaï, Latifa Laâbissi, Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Léonora Miano and Dieudonné Niangouna, to illustrate how postcolonial arts can promote racial and social justice by viewing contemporary societies through the prism of colonial pasts.

My examination of French and Francophone theatre is situated within my broader interest in World Theatres and World Literatures, and I am Deputy Director of the Goldsmiths Centre for Comparative Literature.

From 2016 to 2018 I led an AHRC-funded team of researchers from the Universities of Paris Nanterre and Glasgow, and artists from Belgium, France and the UK, who investigated the legacy in contemporary performance of the Situationist International, a group of radical artists and activists from the 1950s and 1960s. The project, called Reviewing Spectacle, resulted in two festivals of performances inspired by the Situationist International held in France and the UK, and two special issue journal editions, of Théâtre/Public in France (2018), and Performance Research in the UK (2018).

My research involves seeing many productions of plays and interviewing playwrights and directors, for example the world-famous playwright Dennis Kelly, who studied at Goldsmiths. You can watch the interview here.

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD French Studies, University College London
  • Diplôme d’Études Avancées en Lettres Modernes, Université de Toulouse II
  • Maîtrise en Lettres Modernes, Université de Toulouse II
  • BA Hons. French and German, University of Manchester


I teach across a broad spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate modules which include core first-, second-, and third-year modules, PhD training and PhD supervision. My main areas of teaching focus on World Theatres, and postcolonial literature and performance.

A number of values inform all my teaching. First, I believe that students have as much knowledge to share as teachers, and always encourage them to develop their own skills and opinions. Second, being a specialist in postcolonial and European theatre and literature, I strive to internationalise and diversify the curriculum, so as to reflect the great range of different performance traditions around the world, and also to inspire students from all backgrounds to believe that they, too, can shape the future of world theatre and thought.

Professional Experience

I have also translated several plays from French into English and I have worked as a dramaturg for productions of British plays in France, and French works in the UK. I am also on the editorial committee for one of France’s leading theatre journals, Théâtre/Public.


Research Interests

I have written widely on French and francophone playwrights and directors including Jean Genet, Kateb Yacine, Valère Novarina and Noëlle Renaude.

More recently, my research has reflected some of the most pressing political and social issues of the modern world: the ecological crisis, global conflict and migrant and post-migrant identities and communities. I have co-edited a volume of eco-critical essays, Rethinking the Theatre of the Absurd: Ecology, the Environment and the Greening of the Modern Stage (2015) and written a monograph on representations of war on in recent British theatre, Watching War on the Twenty-First-Century Stage: Spectacles of Conflict (2017). Here is a short talk about the book. I am currently writing a book on postcolonial theatre in France. I focus on playwrights and directors who reveal how social inequality and discrimination in France today need to be viewed within the longer history of European Empire, haunted by spectres of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the eradication of languages and cultures in the colonies, and brutalities committed to maintain territorial empires.

Areas of supervision

I have extensive experience of postgraduate supervision, having enabled many students to complete their PhDs. I am happy to supervise dissertations and theses in the following areas:

  • Postcolonial Francophone or Anglophone theatre and performance
  • Postcolonial literatures and cultures
  • World theatres and literatures
  • Any aspect of French or Francophone theatre
  • Modern and contemporary European theatre
  • Radical and activist performance
  • Representations of war and conflict in the arts
  • Performance theory and critical theory
  • Scenography



Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2022. Portes fermées, possibilités ouvertes dans le théâtre de Marie NDiaye. Parages, 11, pp. 105-115. ISSN 2494-8268

Kilito, Abdelfattah; Finburgh Delijani, Clare and Warner, Marina. 2021. Abdelfattah Kilito, Archeologies: Twelve Miniatures, translated by Clare Finburgh Delijani and Marina Warner. The White Review,

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2021. Le Passage du milieu dans le théâtre britannique. Théâtre/Public, 241, pp. 52-58. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2021. « Je cherche une langue non pas réaliste mais très écrite » Entretien avec Marie NDiaye. Théâtre/Public, 239, pp. 4-18. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2021. The Afterlives of Enslavement: Histories of Racial Injustice in Black British Theater. Modern Drama, 65(4), ISSN 0026-7694

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2020. The Anti-Monumental Cemetery: Ghosts in Jean Genet’s ‘Quatre heures à Chatila’. French Studies, 74(4), pp. 587-604. ISSN 0016-1128

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2020. In Memoriam: Christian Biet (1952-2020). Contemporary Theatre Review, 30(4), pp. 595-598. ISSN 1048-6801

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2019. “‘Ces portes entrouvertes qui filtrent le monde’. Graeme Miller : Entretien avec Clare Finburgh Delijani”. Internationale situationniste, Théâtre, Performance, special issue, Théâtre/Public, 231, pp. 82-92. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2019. “‘Déborder le cadre’. L’Internationale situationniste, le théâtre et la performance”. Internationale situationniste, Théâtre, Performance, special issue, Théâtre/Public, 231, pp. 16-27. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2019. “‘Élargir la part non médiocre de la vie’. La situation construite et le théâtre Contemporain”. Internationale situationniste, Théâtre, Performance, special issue, Théâtre/Public, 230, pp. 46-56. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh, Clare . 2019. “Un metteur en scène, un théâtre, un continent, un monde. Thomas Ostermeier et la Schaubühne. Entretien réalisé par Clare Finburgh”. Théâtre/Public, 230, pp. 4-23. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh, Clare . 2017. ‘Violence without Violence’: Spectacle, War and Lola Arias’s MINEFIELD (CAMPO MINADO). Theatre Research International, 42(2), pp. 163-178. ISSN 0307-8833

Finburgh, Clare . 2017. Théâtres de violence : Les nouvelles écritures théâtrales britanniques. Théâtre/Public, 223, pp. 31-64.

Finburgh, Clare . 2014. Press, Patrols and Power: The British Army in Recent UK Theatre. Double jeu - Figurations du pouvoir, pp. 45-55. ISSN 1762 -0597

Finburgh, Clare . 2014. Derrière l’écran : La Guerre à la télévision sur la scène anglaise. Théâtre/Public, 212, pp. 99-108. ISSN 978-2-84260-660-2

Finburgh, Clare . 2014. Theatre’s Other: Event and Testimony in British Verbatim Plays. Sillages critiques, 18, ISSN 1969-6302

Finburgh, Clare . 2012. French Theatre ‘dans la merde’. Contemporary Theatre Review, 22(2), p. 287. ISSN 1048-6801

Finburgh, Clare . 2011. “‘Vérité’ ou ‘mensonge’ ? Le Théâtre politique en Grande-Bretagne post-11 septembre”. Agôn (Special Issue),

Finburgh, Clare . 2010. Internal and External Dramaturgies: The French Context. Contemporary Theatre Review, 20(2), pp. 203-213. ISSN 1048-6801

Finburgh, Clare . 2008. Women in Howard Barker’s Theatre: Object or Subject? Études britanniques contemporaines, 35, pp. 127-139. ISSN 1168-4917

Finburgh, Clare . 2007. Un monstre bariolé : Les Paravents de Jean Genet, mis en scène par Frédéric Fisbach. Alternatives théâtrales, 93(summer), pp. 24-27. ISSN 0774-4145

Finburgh, Clare . 2007. Les Mille plateaux de Noëlle Renaude : Par les routes. Théâtre/Public, 183, pp. 26-31. ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh, Clare . 2007. Voix/Voie/Vie: The Voice in Contemporary French Theater. Yale French Studies, 112, pp. 99-115. ISSN 0044-0078

Finburgh, Clare . 2005. The Tragedy of Optimism: Kateb Yacine's Le cadavre encercle and Les ancetres redoublent de ferocite. Research in African Literatures, 36(1), pp. 115-129. ISSN 0034-5210

Finburgh, Clare . 2004. Speech Without Acts: Politics and Speech-Act Theory in Genet's The Balcony. Paragraph, 27(2), pp. 113-129. ISSN 0264-8334

Finburgh, Clare . 2004. Unveiling the Void: The Presence of Absence in the Scenography of Jean Genet's The Screens. Theatre Journal, 56(2), pp. 205-224. ISSN 0192-2882

Finburgh, Clare . 2002. Jean Genet and the Poetics of Palestinian Politics: Statecraft as Stagecraft in 'Quatre heures a Chatila'. French Studies, 56(4), pp. 495-509. ISSN 0016-1128

Finburgh, Clare . 2002. Facets of Artifice: Rhythms in the Theater of Jean Genet, and the Painting, Drawing and Sculpture of Alberto Giacometti. French Forum, 27(3), pp. 73-98. ISSN 0098-9355


Finburgh, Clare . 2017. Watching War on the Twenty-First Century Stage: Spectacles of Conflict. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781472598660

Finburgh, Clare and Bradby, David. 2012. Jean Genet. Routledge. ISBN 9780415375061

Book Section

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2021. Jean Genet and the Sanctuary of the Sea. In: Florian Mussgnug; Mathelinda Nabugodi and Thea Petrou, eds. Thinking Through Relation: Encounters in Creative Critical Writing. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 133-156. ISBN 9781789976397

Finburgh Delijani, Clare and Kelly, Dennis. 2021. Introduction. In: Clare Finburgh Delijani, ed. DNA. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 1-44. ISBN 978-1-3501-8804-4

Finburgh Delijani, Clare . 2021. Rire orchestré et révolte dans Les Nègres de Jean Genet. In: Florence Leca Mercier and Élise Nottet-Chedeville, eds. Jean qui rit et Jean qui leurre: Les rires de Genet: approches stylistiques et rhétoriques. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Éditions Academia. ISBN 9782806105998

Finburgh, Clare . 2017. Introduction. In: Chris Campbell, ed. The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary French Plays. Oberon. ISBN 9781786820723

Finburgh, Clare . 2016. Genet mis en scène : Table ronde avec Philippe Adrien, Antoine Bourseiller, Frédéric Fisbach et Sébastien Rajon. In: Agnès Vannouvong, ed. Genet et les arts. Dijon: Les Presses du Réel, pp. 147-160. ISBN 9782840666837

Finburgh, Clare . 2016. Jean Genet et l’art du comédien: Un jeu maladroit. In: Agnès Vannouvong, ed. Genet et les arts. Les Presses du Réel, pp. 119-132. ISBN 9782840666837

Finburgh, Clare . 2015. Mises en scène de l’événement historique: la Terreur dans le théâtre anglais contemporain. In: Catherine Courtet; Mireille Besson; Françoise Lavocat and Alain Viala, eds. Corps en scènes. CNRS, pp. 189-200. ISBN 9782271086747

Finburgh, Clare . 2014. Entries on Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco and Michel Vinaver. In: Maggie B. Gale and John F. Deeney, eds. Fifty Modern and Contemporary Dramatists. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415630368

Finburgh, Clare . 2014. Jean Genet Eugène Ionesco, Michel Vinaver. In: Maggie Gale and John Deeney, eds. Fifty Contemporary and Modern Dramatists. Routledge, pp. 101-116. ISBN 9780415630351

Finburgh, Clare . 2012. Quel est le rôle des Nègres de Genet à Londres en 2007 ? The Blacks Remixed au Theatre Royal Stratford East. In: Eden Martin, ed. L'Héritage de Genet. Méthode !, pp. 91-98. ISBN 9782906591610

Finburgh, Clare . 2011. Le théâtre britannique contemporain post-11 septembre 2001: du théâtre verbatim à l’allégorie. In: David Lescot and Laurent Véray, eds. Les mises en scène de la guerre au XXè siècle Théâtre et cinéma. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, pp. 583-603. ISBN 2847365761

Finburgh, Clare . 2011. “Display and Disguise in Michel Vinaver’s 11 septembre 2001”. In: Manon Mathias; Maria O'Sullivan and Ruth Vortsman, eds. Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture. Peter Lang, pp. 183-203.

Finburgh, Clare . 2011. Jean Genet et le théâtre de l’‘ornement’. In: Hadrien Laroche, ed. Pour Genet. Editions MEET. ISBN 9782911686719

Finburgh, Clare . 2011. La Théâtralisation de l’attentat : la représentation du terrorisme dans le théâtre britannique contemporain. In: Christine Douxami, ed. Théâtres politiques en mouvement. Besançon: Les Cahiers de la MSHE, pp. 17-27. ISBN 9782848673943

Finburgh, Clare . 2011. Translating Contemporary French Theatre: How ‘Linguistic Translation’ becomes ‘Stage Translation’. In: Roger Baines; Cristina Marinetti and Manuela Perteguella, eds. Staging and Performing Translation. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 230-249. ISBN 9780230228191

Finburgh, Clare . 2010. Croisements. In: Michel Corvin, ed. Noëlle Renaude : Un atlas alphabétique. Paris: Éditions Théâtrales, pp. 136-138. ISBN 9782842603267

Finburgh, Clare . 2010. La Vue d'ailleurs. In: Michel Corvin, ed. Noëlle Renaude : Un atlas alphabétique. Paris: Éditions Théâtrales, pp. 162-163. ISBN 9782842603267

Finburgh, Clare . 2006. 'Micro-treatise on a Mini-politics': Genet, Individualism and Collectivity. In: Clare Finburgh; Carl Lavery and Maria Shevtsova, eds. Jean Genet: Performance and Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 79-91. ISBN 9780230595439

Edited Book

Finburgh, Clare and Boenisch, Peter, eds. 2018. The Great Stage Directors, volume 6: Littlewood, Planchon, Strehler. London: Bloomsbury Methuen. ISBN 9781474254168

Lavery, Carl and Finburgh, Clare , eds. 2015. Rethinking the Theatre of the Absurd: Ecology, the Environment and the Greening of the Modern Stage. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781472513205

Finburgh, Clare and Lavery, Carl, eds. 2011. Contemporary French Theatre and Performance. Palgrave. ISBN 9780230305663

Finburgh, Clare ; Lavery, Carl and Shevtsova, Maria, eds. 2006. Jean Genet: Performance and Politics. Palgrave. ISBN 9780230595439

Edited Journal

Finburgh, Clare , ed. 2014. Migration, Comparative Critical Studies, 11(2-3). 1744-1854