Ph.D (Trinity College Dublin)
I am the Head of Drama and Creative Writing in the School of English. I teach drama, theatre, and performance (both text, theory and practice) across all three undergraduate year groups. As you'll see from my research expertise below, I have particular expertise in twentieth-and-twenty-first-century Irish theatre and performance. I am the convener of a fantastic final year undergraduate module, "Modern Irish Drama and Literature".
My research expertise is in twentieth-and-twenty-first-century Irish theatre and performance, with a specific focus on memory, history, forgetting and nostalgia. I have published extensively on the work of Irish playwright J.M. Synge in relation to these critical concepts. You can follow updates on my current research on Twitter here
Professional Affiliations; Outreach and Public Engagement
I am a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). From 2016 to 2020 I served as the Secretary-General (Communications) for IFTR, and sat on the Executive Committee from 2016-2021. I am also a member of the Irish Society for Theatre Research, and sat on the Executive Committee from 2014-2019.
From 2022-2025, I am a member of the AHRC's Peer-Review College.
I have worked as a community-based workshop facilitator, leading workshops in category 'A' prisons, and with children and young adults with chronic illnesses and handicaps. I am currently the Principal Investigator on an internally funded AHRC Impact Accelerator award at the University of Nottingham, "Performing Cerebral Palsy: Healthcare, Ageing and Access".
I have given many public workshops/lectures and post-show discussions on twentieth-and-twenty-first-century British and Irish playwrights. I've also been invited to speak about Synge's work at Ireland's National Theatre (the Abbey Theatre) on more than one occasion, as well as at the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara, Turkey. I'd be very happy to give more!
I teach across all three undergraduate years including the core first-year module, Drama, Theatre and Performance. For final-year undergraduates I teach a module called Modern Irish Drama and… read more
I am currently dividing my time between four research projects, all of which I am very excited about.
The first is a new book called Synge's Emotions: Lives of Loneliness. A central concern of the book will be Synge's reflections on the emotions associated with solitude and loneliness, and how this shaped the development of his modernist aesthetic. My latest research on this topic, an essay called "Synge on Vagrancy: Labour, Workhouses and the Feeble-Minded" was published in Irish Studies Review in November 2020.
The second project is a collection of essays entitled Synge and Transnational Modernisms. This project brings together experts on Synge and modernisms in order to historicise Synge's works within the Ireland and Europe of his time and/or reflect on the intersections and influences with transnational modernisms.
The third project considers how nostalgia is produced and to what effect in contemporary performance. My most recent work on this project, "Performing the Rural in Contemporary Irish Theatre" was published in New Theatre Quarterly in 2019. I have an essay called "Modernist Nostalgia and Contemporary Irish Dance" forthcoming in The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism in Contemporary Performance that will be published in 2023.
The fourth project is called "Performing Cerebral Palsy: Healthcare, Ageing and Access". This multidisciplinary project investigates the potential of theatre to communicate new knowledge and understanding on ageing and experiences of healthcare in people with cerebral palsy.
CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, 2020. "Synge on vagrancy: labour, workhouses and the feeble-minded" Irish Studies Review. 28(4),
CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, 2019. Performing the Rural in Contemporary Irish Theatre New Theatre Quarterly. 35(4),
CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, 2018. "Other Theatres". In: EAMONN JORDAN and ERIC WEITZ, eds., The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary Irish Theatre and Performance Palgrave Macmillan.
My past research has focused on modern and contemporary Irish theatre and performance, with a particular focus on the works of J.M. Synge. My first monograph, Theatre and Residual Culture: J.M. Synge and Pre-Christian Ireland was published by Palgrave in 2016, and it was reviewed as 'the most important volume on Synge to be published in decades'. I have also published a guide to arguably Synge's most controversial play, The Playboy of the Western World (Routledge, 2016) as well as writing the introduction to the Methuen Student Edition of The Playboy of the Western World (Methuen, 2021). My reserarch on contemporary Irish theatre includes articles in New Theatre Quarterly, The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary Irish Theatre and Performance (Palgrave 2018) and a collection of essays that I co-edited entitled Ireland, Memory and Performing the Historical Imagination (Palgrave 2014).