Robson, Mark

Professor, Chair of English and Theatre Studies

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Personal profile


My background is primarily in literary studies, but my thinking has always been inter- or multi-disciplinary. My first degree was in English and Modern History (with a strong element of creative writing and a dissertation on political philosophy). My MA is in The English Renaissance: Politics, Patronage and Literature. My PhD was on Thomas More, historiography and the representation of violence, largely working with deconstruction.

I have held posts at Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham before coming to Dundee. I was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at Edinburgh, and visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.

In 2013 I had a year-long attachment to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, as one of the Traverse Fifty playwrights. I write for performance.

I am currently the Chair of the Scottish and English Literatures panel for the Scottish Graduate School in the Arts and Humanities doctoral awards. I also co-ordinate the training Discipline+ Catalyst for Literatures for SGSAH.


I have published several books as author or editor, and around fifty articles and chapters in books (see the details under Research Outputs). Some of my work can be described as practice research, and this is an area I am keen to develop. My latest book, Theatre & Death, has just been published (June 2019).


Theatre and Death


My research to date can roughly be divided into work on literature (particularly early modern); on critical theory and philosophy (particularly politics and aesthetics, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Rancière); on drama, theatre and performance.

Research interests

My current work is centred on the intersections of drama, theatre and performance with philosophy and critical theory. I am interested in the creative-critical overlap (border, divide, metaphor, etc.), and with performative modes of writing.

I would be keen to work with students on areas including:

- theatre, theatricality, singularity, theories of adaptation.

- performance philosophy.

- areas of European philosophy and critical theory, especially the work of Jacques Derrida, Jacques Rancière, and others associated with deconstruction.

- the work of Hélène Cixous, including her theatre-writing.

- Scottish theatre, particularly in its relationships to European theatre.

- tragedy (death, violence and ethics, politics of genre, etc.)

- relationships between literary, philosophical and visual cultures.



I teach across a range of disciplines and areas. Recent teaching has included modules on drama, theatre and performance (for English); on tragedy (for the MLitt in Philosophy); on visual culture (for the MFA in Art and Humanities), and for creative writing. I am particularly interested in exploring areas where creative work encounters and is informed by critical theory and philosophy.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Leeds

External positions

Chair of Scottish and English Literatures panel, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Mark Robson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2017 2020

Research Output 1996 2020

Theatre at the End of the World

Robson, M., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Speaking of Affect(s) in Twenty-First Century British Theatre. Aragay, M., Delgado-Garcia, C. & Middeke, M. (eds.). Palgrave

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

What is Literature? An Anthology of Criticism and Theory

Robson, M. (ed.), 17 Jan 2020, Wiley-Blackwell. 620 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Theatre & Death

Robson, M., 24 Apr 2019, 1 ed. London: Red Globe Press (Palgrave imprint). 96 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

English Literature
73 Downloads (Pure)

Performing Democracy

Robson, M., 10 Mar 2018, In : Anglia: Journal of English Philology. 136, 1, p. 154-170 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Paragraph Essay Prize 2015

Mark Robson (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2013 2018

Theatre and Thought in the European Tradition

Mark Robson (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

British Theatre in the Twenty-First Century

Mark Robson (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Translating and Adapting Canonical Works in Contemporary British Theatre

Mark Robson (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Theatre and Performance Research Association

Mark Robson (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Tayside Suicide Research Network

Mark Robson (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Modern Scottish Theatre: the Creation of a Tradition

Author: Brown, M., 2017

Supervisor: George, J. (Supervisor) & Robson, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy