Edinburgh Research Explorer

Olga Taxidou

Personal Chair of Drama and Performance Studies

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Dr Taxidou has seen over 18 PhD projects to completion.
Some examples of recent and current projects:
Theatre and the New Wars (Julia Boll)
Beckett and God (Seung En-Song)
Sight, Theatre and Trauma (Panayiota Chrysochou).
C.P. Cavafy and Music (Andreas Triantafyllou, co-supervision with Nigel Osborne)
Politics and Poetics in the Drama of Abd al Sabur and Wole Soyinka (Mahmoud Shalaby - co-supervision with Marilyn Booth)
The Director as Philosopher in Modernist Performance (Eve Katsouraki)

Dr Taxidou is interested in considering PhD projects in the following areas: modernist theatre and performance, adaptations of classical Greek drama and its reception in performance, theories of tragedy, tragedy and the philosophies of modernity.


After completing her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Olga Taxidou held a Lectureship in Drama at the University of Exeter’s Drama Department for three years, before returning to Edinburgh in 1995, where she has worked since. Her work in theatre and performance studies includes adaptations of classical Greek tragedies, some of which have been performed in Edinburgh and abroad. 

Research Interests

Her research interests lie mainly in the fields of theatre history and performance studies, with an emphasis on modernism. In particular her work concentrates on the centrality of performance for the aesthetic and political concerns of modernism. She has published extensively on the work of Edward Gordon Craig and the relationships between Anglophone modernism and the historical avant-garde. She is interested in the relationships between modernist experimentation and tradition, in particular classicism and Hellenism. Within this context her worked has focused on theories of tragedy and how these have been reconfigured within the project of modernity (from Nietzsche to Brecht). At present she is continuing this work with a study on the significance of tragedy for the theatrical experiments of modernism and the historical avant-garde.

The co-edited anthology (with Vassiliki Kolocotroni and Jane Goldman) Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents (1998) has been reprinted many times and has hepled to re-define the field. At present she is co-editing (with Vassiliki Kolocotroni) its companion Modernism: a Dictionary. Her Modernism and Performance: Jarry to Brecht (2007) has placed performance and theatricality at the centre of the thinking about modernism and modernity. She continues this project as Series Editor of The Edinburgh Critical Studies in Modernism, Drama and Performance (EUP and OUP).

Her interest in and  contribution to theories of tragedy (Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning, 2004) shapes her current book project: Greek Tragedy and Modernist Performance, which also results from a series of lectures delivered as part of the Onassis Foundation Senior Visiting Scholars series in 2010-11.

She has a long-standing interest in marionettes, puppets and automata and has published a book on Edward Gordon Craig, The Mask: a Periodical Performance by Edward Gordon Craig (1998).

 Dr Taxidou is on the Press Committee of Edinburgh University Press and on the Board of the Scottish Universities' International Summer School. She is also the Festivals Co-ordinator for CHSS. She is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College

Research outputs

  1. Greek Tragedy and Modernist Performance

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  2. 'What festivals of atonement, what sacred games we have to invent' (Friedrich Nietzsche): Modernist tragedy after the Death of God

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

  3. Communities of production and consumption: Modernism and the re-birth of tragedy

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

View all (28) »

Research activities & awards

  1. In Conversation with Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell, Reading of Adaptation, Medea

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. Epic Performances

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

View all (59) »

Latest prizes

  1. Visiting Fellow

    Prize: Fellowships awarded competitively

View all (1) »

Research projects

  1. Democracy, Violence, and Theatre: Reading the Baccahe Today

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

  2. Performing Greek Tragedy

    Project: Awarded Facility Time

  3. The Homo-Sacer on Sage

    Project: Research Collaboration with external organisation

View all (6) »

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