Clare Finburgh Delijani

Staff details

Position Professor
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Clare Finburgh Delijani

I am the recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2023-26) during which I am tracing a history of postcolonial theatre in France from the 1950s to today. My book (Liverpool University Press) looks back at histories of colonialism, better to understand identity, community and the postcolonial nation today.

Inspired by playwrights like Marguerite Duras, Kateb Yacine and Jean Genet, I came to Theatre Studies through Modern Languages. This initial passion has developed into a research area, and I have published widely on modern and contemporary performance, for example Jean Genet (2012), Contemporary French Theatre and Performance (2011), and Jean Genet: Performance and Politics (2006).

A specialist in postcolonial and European culture, I strive to broaden and internationalise the curriculum, to reflect performance traditions from around the world, and inspire students from all backgrounds to believe that they/you can shape the future of world theatre and thought.

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

Research interests

I am current Director of Research for the Department of Theatre and Performance.

My current book (contracted with Liverpool University Press) examines how contemporary theatre in France and its overseas territories looks back at histories of colonialism in Africa, the Caribbean and South East Asia, better to understand identity, community and the postcolonial 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.

I analyse how work by these theatre-makers, often performed by postcolonial subjects themselves, might enable audiences to recognize how racialised identities are constructed from language and images, and can be reshaped to foster new ways of understanding our postcolonial world.

Publications and research outputs


Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2023. Le « grin » de Fanon et le théâtre postcolonial en France. Théâtre/Public, 246, ISSN 0335-2927

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2023. ‘Countering the Colonial Exhibition: Contemporary Performance in France’. Modern Languages Open, ISSN 2052-5397

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2022. The Afterlives of Enslavement: Histories of Racial Injustice in Contemporary Black British Theatre. Modern Drama, 65(4), pp. 471-498. ISSN 0026-7694

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2022. “Nobody’s ever held the door open and invited women, Black people or disabled people in”: confronting discrimination in Marie NDiaye’s theater. CFC Intersections, 1(1), pp. 43-58. ISSN 2752-552X

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2022. The Ghosts of Slavery in Contemporary Theatre from the Francosphere. L'Esprit Créateur special issue, Replaying the Francophone Early Modern in the Twenty-First Century, 62(2), pp. 32-49. ISSN 0014-0767

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. 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. 2023. « Élargir le cercle » Le Public théâtral au XVIe siècle et aujourd’hui. In: Tiphaine Karsenti; Olivier Neveux and Christophe Triau, eds. Éloge du désordre : Pour Christian Biet. Paris: Classiques Garnier.

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2023. ‘“I’m gonna tap you in the face with this hammer”: Torture and the Ethics of Spectatorship in Dennis Kelly’s Works’. In: Jacqueline Bolton and Nicholas Holden, eds. Beautiful Doom: The Works of Dennis Kelly on Stage and in Television. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Finburgh Delijani, Clare. 2022. Absence: Chloé Déchery’s A Duet Without You and Marguerite Duras. In: Chloé Déchery, ed. Performing Collaboration in Solo Performance: A Duet Without You and Practice as Research. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 122-136. ISBN 9781783209958

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 Delijani, Clare, ed. 2023. A New History of Theatre in France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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 Delijani, Clare, ed. 2023. Face au passé colonial, Théâtre/Public, 246. 0335-2927

Biet, Christian; De Simone, Cristina and Finburgh Delijani, Clare, eds. 2019. Internationale situationniste. Théâtre, Performance, Théâtre/Public, 231. 0335-2927

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

Further profile content

Media engagements

2021: Adapting Molière: Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3
Liz Lochead, Clare Finburgh-Delijani and Suzanne Jones join Anne McElvoy to look at adaptations and translations of France's great comic dramatist Molière, born in January 1622.

Conferences and talks

2022: ‘Hear the Bones Sing’: Postcolonial Ghost Plays.
Hosted by the Goldsmiths Centre for Comparative Literature.

2021: The Theatre of Marie Ndiaye – Closed Doors and Openings.
Hosted by the Dramatikkens hus, Oslo, Norway.

2021: Ghosts: From The Persians to Wajdi Mouawad’s The Blood of Promises.
Hosted by the University of Oxford, Archive for the Performance of Greek and Roman Drama.

2019: In conversation with Dennis Kelly.
An interview with the world-famous playwright Dennis Kelly, who studied at Goldsmiths.

Grants and awards

2018: Reviewing Spectacle: The Pasts, Presents and Futures of the Situationist International in Performance
AHRC-funded team from the Universities of Paris-Nanterre and Glasgow, and artists from Belgium, France, the DRC and UK.

Professional Experience

I am on the editorial committee for one of France’s leading theatre journals, Théâtre/Public.

I have translated several plays from French into English and I worked as a dramaturg for productions of British plays in France, and French works in the UK.