Dr Kathryn Kate Flaherty

PhD (English) Sydney; MA (Theatre Studies) Leeds; BA Hons (English) Sydney
Senior Lecturer in English and Drama
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +612 6125 7024

Areas of expertise

  • Literary Studies 2005
  • Drama, Theatre And Performance Studies 190404

Research interests

What in the world do plays do? What happens when imaginative plots touch our present concerns through the embodied experience of performers and audiences? With Shakespeare as an expansive test case, I investigate how plays play on the stage of public culture.  My book, Ours as we play it: Australia plays Shakespeare, examines contemporary Australian performance. Other research concerns educational applications of Shakespeare since the advent of English curricula at school and university. Recent publications analyse theatrical rivalry, the agency of the touring actress, civic disorder, sectarian tension, and military commemoration through their involvement with Shakespeare in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Australia. My current project is an international and interdisciplinary collaboration called 'Reading Riot through Shakespeare'. In it we aim for an improved understanding of riot by learning more about the affective and performative dynamics it shares with theatre in the long and colourful history of Shakespeare-associated public disturbances.


Researcher's projects

Reading Riot through Shakespeare

How is a riot begun? Structured? Spread? The Reading Riot through Shakespeare Project will contribute new answers to these urgent question. Its international, inter-disciplinary team of researchers are using Shakespeare-associated riots to better understand the imaginative and performative dynamics of public disorder. 

Current student projects

Luisa Moore (PhD candidate)

Shakespearean Character Psychology - From Text into Fine Art

This project aims to demonstrate the utility of Karen Horney’s theories in the investigation of the implied psychological states in Shakespeare’s characters in the texts, and to use this analysis to enhance interpretations of the visual representations of these characters in the visual arts in England in the nineteenth-century.

Judi Wilkins (PhD candidate)

Shakespeare’s ‘she wolves’: [Mis] representations of female characters in the First Tetralogy

The aim of this project is to examine, explicate and re-evaluate the reception of the female characters in the First Tetralogy - Henry VI Parts 1 2 3 and Richard III - by examinining their historical and cultural backgrounds and by evaluating their interpretion on film and television from the early 1960s until 2016.


Past student projects

Elizabeth Beaton PhD 

The Shakespearean Political Influence in Epic Fantasy

This project comprising a novel plus exegesis was completed in 2015. Dr Beaton is in the process of seeking publication for her novel - The Councillor


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Updated:  23 October 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers